Ah, beautiful scenic Shinagawa in Tokyo. We've touched down in Namco Bandai's gianormous corporate headquarters and have been shuffled into a largish theater for a pre-TGS press conference — a largish theater that's actually underneath a waterfall inside NBG's building. Since this presser is embargoed until tomorrow, we’ll be liveblogging it and then posting it, well, tomorrow. Which is today. Whatever. The lights have gone down. And a dude behind the mic asks us how we are doing. His name is Josh Keller. I do not know Josh Keller. Do you know Josh Keller? Now, Naruo Uchida has taken the stage, and he is the International Business Dept manager. He’s telling us why Namco Bandai is holding this pre-TGS press conference. Namco Bandai has a “world-wide view”. That’s nice. He has left the stage, and people are clapping.
Today, Josh Keller, tells us that they will be showing us new trailers and other stuff Afro Samurai trailer showing with a hip-hoppy soundtrack. Clips of slicing and dicing. WOW. There is a smoke effect, and some Japanese dude dressed as Afro Samurai has taken the stage. Three ninjas enter the room with swords. And they fight. Each swing of the sword gets cheesy sound effects on the loud speaker. It’s like dinner theater! Show other dude appeared and shot an arrow. Now, another dude has a gun. The lights go down, and the screen goes blood red. I wonder if these are Namco Bandai execs cosplaying and sword fighting for shits and giggles. Damn, I hope so.
This is the first sword fight I’ve ever seen at a press conference. Well, planned sword fight. More smoke effects. More sword fighting. Endless. And it’s over. There’s clapping. Josh Keller is back on the stage. He tells us that this end of the Afro Samurai stage show. There’s now going to be a ceremony so the game gets good luck. Guy comes out on stage, kneels, stands back up and raises his sword, and then he takes it out of the sheath. It’s a real sword. Dude’s cutting what looks like rolled tatami.
The gentlemen who did the sword stage show are introduced. Bravo, these dudes did a good job. There’s a slide on the screen for Afro Samurai, and Josh Keller is reading what sounds like a press release. Next up, Takes of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World for the Nintendo Wii. It’s an exclusive title, and it’s out in the U.S. next month. PAL is not yet dated. Eternal Sonata for the PS3 now flashes on the screen. It’ll be out in the U.S. on October 21st and next Feb. for PAL territories. PowerUp Forever is an Xbox LIVE Arcade shooter that’s coming out this November. It’s an overhead shoot ‘em up with a techno-style soundtrack. Looks nice. Josh says that National Geographic PANDA lets us “play with and nurture your panda.” It’ll be out this November in the U.S. We’re watching the clip, and the clip is AWESOME. A girl tells us she likes her stuffed panda, but she loves her DS panda. You can dress up you panda in various outfits. Animal cruelty? No, never.
We Ski & Snowboard is announced. This Wii title is dated for March 2009 for the U.S. You can use the Wii-mote, nunchuk and the Balance Board. It’s out in Japan next month. It’s a sequel to the previous skiing Wii title Namco Bandai released in Japan. Mr. Shimada from the dev team is now showing us a demo. Picking up speed, doing backflips... until he hits a pole. Game seems to have solid integration of Balance Board and Wii-mote. Dragon Ball: Origins. It’s a DS title and “faithful” to the anime. Touch pen controlled and yep, looks like the anime — man, my kid is gonna love this. Out this December in the U.S. The second title is Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World, which is the last entry in the Budokai series. It’s for the PS2. We’re on to Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, an exclusive for the PS3. It’ll be out in November 4th in the U.S. and Nov. 7th for PAL. The Japanese release is TBA. And the last title shown is... Splatterhouse. The PS3/Xbox 360 title will be out in 2009 for the U.S. and TBA for PAL territories. The trailer: Shows a light bulb flashing, blood splattered tools like a hack saw, drills, and hammers. A panicked woman’s voice plays over an answering machine. It’s Jennifer, Rick’s girlfriend. A mallet covered with nails at the end of the table, and a hand grabs it. The footage is not in game, but live action. Then we get a look at an updated in-game version of Splatterhouse killer Rick — complete with an new mask. “Repulsive and disgusting,” says Josh. That’s it, and we’re done.