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Konami GamesCom 2009 Press Conference Report

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Posted August 20, 2009 - By agentcooperfbi











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Konami GamesCom 2009 Press Conference »


UPDATE: The video has now been added for your viewing pleasure.

Jam packed in a room a quarter the size of the other GamesCom press conferences, Konami is hosting its annual press conference. With people standing on top of people who are standing on top of people who are sitting – the place is packed. And they’re not here hoping for a Rock Revolution sequel announcement, either. Word has obviously made it out there would be news coming for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, and Pro Evolution 2010.

As the lights dim, a sizzle reel starts spinning. Titled “Konami is Legendary,” the trailer rolls through different emotions Konami games provide. But more importantly, the video rips through clips of upcoming or recently released Konami titles such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Saw, Karaoke Revolution, Yu-Gi -Oh!, and more.

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

Introducing and hosting the Konami Press Conference was host Thomas Sauermann. I’ll just call him dude cheese because, well, the guy just seems cheesetacular. Konami have enough solid titles to talk about during this press conference to let the games speak for themselves. It surely don’t need this guy.

Sauermann revealed that there will be updated news and items for PES 2010, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Castlevania. Finally getting the ball rolling, Kunio Neo, the president of Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH (that’s Germany, folks), welcomes everyone to the conference, and reiterates the obvious – we’ll be seeing new footage of Peace Walker and Castlevania. Yep. That’s why I’m in the second row, brother! We’re ready. Lets start this!

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

But first, dude cheese returns to the stage to show the world premiere of an all new title called The Tower of Shadow. At first a bit reminiscent of Ico, this 2.5D platformer has real world elements that players seemingly traverse in the background as a shadow, which should have some fun puzzles that play off the light dynamics. Coming spring 2010, The Tower of Shadow is being developed by Hudson Soft for the Wii.

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

Next up, Konami is about to drop another game in iTunes titled Krazy Kart Racing. While I was really hoping this would lean more towards the Konami Wacky Racers title released for the Game Boy Advance, it’s not looking quite that good. Developed by Swedish house Polarbit (Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart for iPhone) many of the racers will be based on popular Konami characters.

Players will control their racer with the accelerometer and launch powerups by tapping the respective power-up button on the screen. Alex de Rouge, the game’s lead producer, promises loads of tracks, enemies, game modes, and unlockables. The clip shown made me lean more towards the slipperyness of Diddy Kong Racing versus te traditional Mario Kart. It also made me emit the word, “meh.”

Dude cheese returned to ask de Rouge if he liked scary games. “Of course I do!” Uh-huh. Okay, great. Cue new trailer for Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Wii. The game still looks quite good, even though I’m a total woosie and can’t handle Silent Hill games. Yes, even at the ripe old age of, er, um…21…I still can’t stomach uber-creepy games such as Silent Hill. I’ll admit, they still give me night terrors, but according to the 24-year-olds that can handle this type of title, it’s apparently solid.

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

Then, dude cheese steps up (again), and introduces “a gaming legend, Mr. ideo Kojima.” IDEO? Seriously? You’re totally not coming back here next year, buddy. Fail! Well, maybe he got nervous. Who knows…

As Hideo Kojima takes the stage, he gives the reasoning behind Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and his decision to return to the series for another go. Not only will Kojima step up and produce, but he’ll be lending a hand on game design, story and he’s directing this title. So much for the break, Kojima!

So why produce a sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3 on the PSP? Kojima explained that it’s how people play games these days. Now that games are truly portable, people are on the move playing these games. People like to play online. Playing games socially is a lot of fun, and with a portable title, Kojima likes that you can always play the game where ever you want. Kojima believes not only these tenants but that people enjoy playing games both alone, and cooperatively. Kojima, I see where you’re going with this…

Peace Walker, Kojima said, is a completely new espionage experience, and the new trailer highlighted that co-op will be a major factor in Peace Walker. “Special Forces never work alone – they work in teams," read the trailer.

This seems like a cooperative Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops crossed with the action-oriented levels of Metal Gear Solid 4, with a few new surprises. The circle warning meter seems to have returned, but around both characters is another ring whose purpose is still unknown. Players will be able to tag enemies as targets, which will seemingly help players communicate strategies. Also, damage has numerical values when enemies are attacked. Intriguing.

The moment I think I really lost my marbles was when there were four Snakes on the screen at the same time. Yes, apparently Peace Walker will feature four-player cooperative play. But four Snakes? Another mystery that surrounds this title. Granted, there were a lot of brothers and clones in the Metal Gear saga, but seriously, how busy was Big Mama?

More on this mysterious title will be revealed at TGS in September. My guess it will be playable, and I’ve got some people to talk to before I get out of here to find out more. Gran Tursimo PSP and Peace Walker could be the two PSP titles to bring my PSP out of retirement. Can’t. Freakin’. Wait.

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

Next up, it was time to see the next 3D version of Castlevania. Another Konami staple getting ripped away from Konami Japan, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is being developed by mercurysteam and overseen by Kojima Productions. As producer Dave Cox explained that “Castlevania must evolve, and must become accessible.” Lords of Shadow will have high production values, and “honor what came before but not be a slave to it.”

The title is said to not follow any of the other Castlevania titles whatsoever. Cox promised it’ll stay true to the series roots and be an action adventure combat filled title, but with twisted puzzles and an emotional story. “This isn’t a rehash – it’s a rebirth,” he said. While I still have a slightly barfy taste in my mouth from Konami deciding to pull this title out of the hands of series producer Koji Igarashi, maybe it’s time, since the last few times Igarashi jumped the series to 3D, the outcome wasn't very good.

Also, two sentences Cox said next gave me pause. “Having Hideo Kojima as your boss means you better damn well deliver," he said. "It’s a true love letter to the Castlevania games that I grew up with.”

The trailer had some promising gameplay and looked pretty good, but without actually playing it, I’m going to say Lords of Shadow looks like Castlevania slapped on God of War-meets-Devil May Cry. Can mercurysteam pull it off? We’ll see…

Konami GamesCom 2009 PRESSEKONFERENZ -- Zombie Blog!

Finally, it was time for the demonstration of Pro Evolution 2010 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Returning to Germany for the first time in three years is series creator from PES Productions, Shingo “Seabass” Takatsuka. Fans of the series know that PES (Winning Eleven for purists) has had a rough time moving into the latest generation of consoles and for the last few years, EA Sports’ FIFA has trumped as soccer fans’ favorite footie title in many different ways.

Seabass revealed that the team started the development of PES 2010 with keeping three things in mind – listening, learning and improving. This year, Seabass explained they listened to the European audience that played the demo of the title. One example of improvement he gave was new moves; PES 2010 will see an additional 300 movements and individual feint moves. A frustration he heard from users was that in controlling the ball keeper, you could only move the player in 8 directions. This is no longer the case; now, you can move in all directions freely with the controller. Due to the fact that fans want more realism from PES, the team now allows players to set formations, use play style cards, and tweak things such as support range, and attacking style by adjusting sliders, which as Seabass explained, will allow the player to feel like the team manager.

Granted, even though Seabass bragged that they’ve nabbed the German National Team’s license for Winning Eleven, EA’s still got the FIFA license securely locked until something like 2156. Still, these improvements sound quite promising, and we’re going to knock down a few Europeans tomorrow to get our hands on the game at some point before the show floor closes.

And with that, the Konami Press Conference came to a close. To be honest, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been excited walking out of a Konami event excited. Metal Gear? Looks great. Castlevania? Shows potential. Pro Evo? Could be making a comeback. The Tower of Shadow? The big surprise. Could the once Japanese powerhouse be turning it around? Fingers crossed.

We’ll see more at Tokyo Game Show, and keep you posted. Now, it’s time to get back to the show floor…

Konami GamesCom 2009 Press Conference Report
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