There are major differences between a press conference at Games Convention and one at say, E3. I learned this earlier this morning when I attended my first Leipzig press conference for Konami. At E3, you line up for a press conference. At GC, you mob the doors. At E3, they stop letting people in once the big guy way in the back is pressed against the wall so hard he's breathing air from the other side. At GC they seriously consider stacking people. It was because of these differences that I found myself at the back of a very crowded room, raising my camera over my head and using copious amouts of zoom to capture the goings on at the Konami press conference. Did it all pay off in the end, or did I sweat all over German people for no good reason? You decide!The show opened with a quick trailer for Enchanted Folk and the School of Wizardry, a new DS game due out in 2009 throughout Europe that drops you in the middle of a magic school, tasking you to master spells, solve puzzles, all the while allowing you to perform more mundane tasks like making friends, joining clubs, and going on dates. It sounds a bit like Animal Crossing meets Harry Potter, though most of this information came from the press release rather than the trailer, which was merely shown and not really explained. What followed afterwards was a series of creators coming up to the stage to show off their games. Koji Igarashi came out to show off Castlevania Judgment and the new DS version, repeating the same sort of comments he made last month at E3 - the whole using the Wii remote as a whip origin of the Judgment which I already touched on last month. I would later run into Igarashi in the restroom, hat, whip, and all, leading me to fear that I might step outside and realize Germany was a dream and I was really at a U.S. sci-fi fantasy convention instead. Happily not the case. Next up was Tomm Hulett, associate producer on Silent Hill: Homecoming, who revealed that the game was coming to PC, which of course we already told you back in July. Niais Taylor, the associate producer on Rock Revolution, has some amazingly kickass hair, and his drumming skills aren't bad either. He showed off said skills while performing a drum line from the upcoming bad-rhythm game, and while her certainly was good at what he was doing, it didn't make me the least bit excited about the title. There was a live demonstration of PES 2009, always a treat for the European fans. This year's version features some rather nice animations and looks a lot nicer than what I saw of the last version, but my ignorance of European football is great than my ignorance of American football, so chances of me making some kind of informed statement about the gameplay and realism are extremely slim. The show came to a close with Dave Cox, head of European product planning, taking the stage to show off two new titles: first, Gti Club, a PlayStation network remake of the 1996 arcade racing title with lightly updated graphics, as well as their big action adventure title, Lords of Shadow. While a few new titles were announced, the Konami press conference was mainly made up of going over information we already know for the sake of the European market. The new stuff was too early to form an opinion on, especially Lords of Shadow, and the older stuff was just that. At least they didn't spend 20 minutes telling us how good Metal Gear Solid 4 was.
They should have pumped out a PS3 Suikoden VI by now, or be nearly done with one. I know the series' last few installments haven't sold well, but if they get the drop with one of the PS3's first few solid RPGs they are guaranteed extra sales due to the drought conditions. Hopefully there's some work being done somewhere on something Suikoden.