golden saucer theme park at night
Image Source: Square Enix

10 Best Trailers & Announcements from Tokyo Game Show 2023

Too much hype to contain in one article!

Tokyo Game Show 2023 has single-handedly converted me into a Final Fantasy VII Rebirth believer. That unexpected revelation compelled me to look further into TGS to see what other surprises were in store, which left me even more hyped.

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Some new announcements had me laughing, while other known quantities wowed me with in-depth gameplay. Not a bad show by any means, but we’ll save Final Fantasy Rebirth for last because it was just that awesome. Onward to the best trailers and announcements from Tokyo Game Show 2023.

Hotel Barcelona

hotel barcelona title main character
Image Source: White Owls Inc.

Kicking off Tokyo Game Show 2023 was the Xbox Digital Broadcast, which was basically Phil Spensor and team trying to convince Japan that Xbox is on an upward swing in the region.

But the most interesting announcement from Xbox had to be the reveal of a new game by Swery65 (Deadly Premonition) and Suda 51 (Lollipop Chainsaw). Described as a “2.5D slasher film parodic action” game, Hotel Barcelona oozes style.

Horror classics such as The Shining were a conscious influence behind the game’s bizarre brand of horror. As summarized by Xbox Wire:

“Drawing influences from across horror’s history, you’ll be pitted against everything from alien entities to AI-enhanced sharks, all while stuck in an endless time loop filled with serial killers – and only your deceased past selves to help you.”

The collaboration between these two offbeat luminaries will no doubt result in an absolutely insane game. Sweray65 and Suda51 each gave an informative interview via Xbox Wire discussing inspiration and Hotel Barcelona’s game design.

Good thing there’s also this wacky trailer shown at the tail-end of the Xbox event to give us a more solid premonition of things to come.

Enotria: The Last Song

character exploring romanesque environment
Image Source: Jyamma Games

Florentine alleyway spars and Sistine Chapel boss fights await in this colorful Italian action RPG. Soulslikes are a thriving genre with an abundance of new games shown every year. But Enotria truly, and I mean truly, stands apart with its unique Italian setting.

Inspired by Italian folklore and culture, Enotria’s detailed world exhibits rich environmental storytelling. Enotria is being developed by the Milan-based indie studio Jyamma Games, who has this to say about their gorgeous-looking Soulslike.

“Inspired by Italian folklore and culture, Enotria: The Last Song is an Action RPG Soulslike AA+ set in a fantasy world that invites players to wear role-altering masks and wield the power of Ardore to unravel the secrets of a land stuck in an endless play. As the Mask of Change, players will face formidable foes and alter reality to free unwilling actors from a twisted eternal script not of their making.”

I mean, just take a look at the gameplay trailer; it looks deliciously fantastic. While you can see some frame dips here and there, Jyamma Games has clarified that they are still in the process of refining combat fluidity. They recently implemented mo-cap to character movements, and you can really see the effort paying off. A close release window of 2024 only further increases the hype this game deserves.

Synduality: Echo of Ada

TGS 2023 marked the first substantial reveal for the open-world action game Synduality. Post-apocalypse goes well with mech combat, and that’s essentially what we saw with this lengthy gameplay presentation. Combat is done by way of Cradle Coffins (Mechs) while being guided by AI companions called Magus.

Being the Bandai Namco game that it is, the style is decidedly anime, of the sci-fi variant. You can see from the gameplay that the world looks like a cross between Nier Automata and Death Stranding.

What sets Synduality apart is the online multiplayer, which features co-op and Souls-inspired invasions. Oh yeah, and the plot is gonna be a very strong focus in this game, done Japanese style, of course! Synduality has no release date but is aiming to be on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Steam.

Altheia: The Wrath of Aferi

Xbox also showcased an indie game called Altheia: The Wrath of Aferi. It’s a 3D action-adventure game in the vein of traditional 3D Legend of Zelda titles such as Ocarina of Time. The puzzles look unique and the bow combat is already making me want to try it. Altheia may just scratch that swelling traditional Zelda itch in a post-BOTW world.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

exploring town in 3D environment
Image Source: 505 Games

Suikoden fans unite!!! The highest-funded JRPG kickstarter is finally almost here and it looks absolutely stunning. Character portraits and animations mimic Suikoden’s classic style from back on the PS1. Current-day technology pretties it all up in the best way possible with more colors and dimensionality than was previously capable.

The music, my God, the music. The sweeping violin over that determined rhythm in the new trailer is simply breathtaking. Motoi Sakuraba, composer of Dark Souls and Tales games, is joined by Wild Arms composer Michiko Naruke to score what could be one of the decade’s finest JRPGs. Here’s hoping it lives up to its forebears and then some when it releases on April 23, 2024.

Sonic Superstars

shark chasing sonic in ocean stage
Image Source: Sega

Sega demonstrated Sonic Superstars’ multiplayer battle mode for the first time during Sega’s TGS slot. There are different games within the battle mode ranging from surviving enemy waves and traps to battling opponents, collecting the most stars, and racing.

It’s an eight-player frenzy with online and local play organized into rounds. We didn’t see any of the traditional platforming, but be assured it aims for classic Genesis-style side-scrolling.

Gotta say, the lack of music during the presentation was hilariously awkward, but we all appreciated those classic ring sound effects regardless! Sonic Superstars releases Oct. 17 on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.

Sand Land

vehicle races in wasteland sand land
Image Source: Bandai Namco

Famed Dragon Ball Creator Akira Toriyama has an 11-chapter one-off manga from 2000 named Sand Land, and now it’s a full-fledged video game. Bandai Namco is sticking to its specialty of adapting anime to games with this new action RPG.

The graphics are pure Toriyama taken to modern fidelity, which goes well with the Max Max-ish vibe. Vehicle combat gets prominent screen time in the trailer amidst the close-quarters spectacle-fighting. Fans of the manga and film will rightfully correct me if I don’t also point out the trailer shows a never-before-seen character at the very end.

Pretty punk to add new content to a 23-year-old manga, and do it in a video game … and not to set a release date.

Decapolice

turn-based battle in a neon-lit open world
Image Source: LEVEL-5 Inc.

Okay, this one has a lot of potential! From the creators of Professor Layton arrives a new detective JRPG on the scene. Hold on to your hype because Decapolice is a turn-based open-world detective JRPG with graphics and style to potentially match Persona 5. Set in a dark futuristic city, this title features an open world where you must solve cases using logic and turn-based tactics.

Nearly an hour of gameplay was gifted to us at TGS. The sheer quality in Decapolice’s cutscenes, characters, and combat looks almost too good to be true. And the music is cracking, with trip pop and jazz-fusion spice livening up the exploration and combat.

LEVEL-5 has new English explanations of their game on the official Decapolice website.

“With the help of “DECASIM”,
which can reproduce any event occuring in the city,
you can find clues to solve cases in the real world.
Clip the collected evidence to the “Case Board” and find the solution to crack the case.

When confronting a cornered criminal, it can be possible to appeal to their heart and make them surrender.
Sometimes, however, they will turn into “Crime Beasts”, embodiments of malice, and attack.
Make use of futuristic gimmicks to incapacitate and arrest them.

Bandai Namco

Out of all the games on this list, I’m probably going to end up liking this one the most when it’s finally in my hands. Decapolice is LEVEL-5’s Layton team going all-in on their largest game yet. The 40-minute presentation makes a very good case for this game being on your list of GOTY suspects.

We still don’t have a solid release date other than a vague “2023”, but we’ll investigate further and keep you updated when any news hits! Also be sure to check out the Decapolice site, as it features many details shown at TGS with an English translation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4_vF43aHzU&ab_channel=LEVEL5ch%E3%80%90%E5%85%AC%E5%BC%8F%E3%80%91

Dragon’s Dogma 2

pawn companions adventuring in open world
Image Source: Capcom

Capcom kicked off their TGS showcase with a nine-minute deep dive on Dragon’s Dogma 2. This highly anticipated sequel will feature an open-world fantasy role-playing experience with refined combat. Devil May Cry 5 director, Hideaki Itsuno, describes the essence of his new game as such:

“Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a narrative-driven action-RPG set in an immersive fantasy world designed to place player choice at the heart of the gameplay experience. The action gameplay is designed to challenge your creativity…”

This emphasis on player creativity is demonstrated here in some particularly exciting ways. For example, the environment serves a strategic function in combat, offering players a lot of freedom and immersion in almost every encounter.

destroying bridge to fell enemies
Image Source: Capcom

Like its prequel before it, Dragon’s Dogma 2 can be experienced with a party of up to three other AI-controlled “pawns”, or solo for extra difficulty. But really, these games are meant to be played with an AI party in tow, as the enemy opposition often requires a range of class strengths.

Although, there’s an emphasis on a party comprised of vocation roles, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is not a multiplayer game. Don’t fret though, one of the glowing praises often given to the first Dragon’s Dogma was the AI Pawns. And here in the sequel, the AI is supposed to be massively improved.

party combat in dragons dogma 2
Image Source: Capcom

There are four starting vocations in Dragon’s Dogma 2: warrior, archer, thief, and mage. Yep, as basic as role-playing classes come! But it looks like they’re represented well here considering the range of abilities and the intelligent AI of allies and enemies. And, of course, there are more vocations as you progress through the game.

Each class serves a distinct purpose that seems to gel nicely with the game’s environmental strategy and party dynamic. Warrior is the sword and board tank, thief jumps on enemies Shadow of the Colossus style, while archers and mages take care of ranged duty.

Creativity really comes into play when uniting environmental manipulation with class abilities and AI. Burn bushes or trees in front of a charging lion and they will limp through the fire weakened enough for the warrior to physically pummel it. Likewise, an AI can shoot weak spots in dams and such to flood enemies, as shown here.

throwing explosives on dam to flood enemy
Image Source: Capcom via Dragon’s Dogma Youtube channel

These dynamic encounters have me the most excited regarding Dragon’s Dogma 2’s features. The first game’s narrative didn’t particularly wow me, and the characters weren’t especially well-developed or interesting, and the focus wasn’t about that. The sequel can, of course, focus the story more acutely and surprise us all, but we’ll have to wait and see when it releases at an unknown date for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and Steam. Be sure to look at Capcom’s dynamic Dragon’s Dogma website for image galleries and more explanations.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

exploring grasslands final fantasy vii rebirth
Image Source: Square Enix

The second installment in the Final Fantasy Remake trilogy has made a very strong case for itself. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has graced us with over an hour of raw gameplay during TGS 2023. That’s more than triple the amount we’ve seen since the initial announcement.

This sequel is way larger than any of us thought it would be. It needs to be large too, the entire world outside of the dystopic city of Midgar is contained in this chapter of the story (and the next).

TGS confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is fully open-world and even showed some of the gigantic world map.

map of the grasslands region
Image Source: Square Enix

The map size looks massive like Final Fantasy XV, yet appears so far to stay true to that undeniable Final Fantasy VII charm from way back on the PS1. Though the environments are spread out with less density, they still look fresh and colorful! Just take a look at the city of Kalm and its quintessential bavarian style.

exploring kalm in final fantasy rebirth
Image Source: Square Enix via Square Enix YouTube channel

Kalm and its surrounding Grasslands region are the focal point of this TGS presentation. It’s here in the Grasslands that Chocobo farms and Mog Houses finally get revealed. Speaking of Chocobos and Moogles…

There are more minigames featured in the Grasslands than in ALL of Final Fantasy VII Remake and Final Fantasy XVI combined.

Here’s the gameplay demo showing off the open world, minigames, combat, and more through the Grasslands region around Kalm.

Chocobo racing makes its glorious return in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and we couldn’t be happier. Cloud and crew must locate and capture these yellow birds in order to race them, breed them, and customize them with armor and clothing later in the game.

riding chocobos with cloud in final fantasy rebirth
Image Source: Square Enix

In addition to raising Chocobos, this sequel has a card game called Queen’s Blood, and a piano rhythm game featuring classic Final Fantasy tunes such as Aerith’s Theme. All these minigames are playable from the Moogle House hub. As stated in the presentation, these minigames will feature little side stories to accompany them.

mog house location final fantasy rebirth
Image Source: Square Enix

Numerous articles could be written about this hour-long presentation alone, so I decided to limit my space here. Combat and plot details were showcased, but that’s not what sold me on this game; the silliness and rebirth of minigames did.

It’s worth highlighting just how silly the tone is in some of these segments. The Honey Bee Inn section from the original is proof enough that Final Fantasy VII isn’t bereft of humor or weirdness, and Rebirth continues that legacy with quirky humor galore.

What a showing, huh? What games are you looking forward to in the coming year? For coverage on all games shown during Tokyo Game Show 2023 and beyond, be sure to bookmark Twinfinite and stay tuned!


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Author
Image of Matthew Carmosino
Matthew Carmosino
Matthew Carmosino is a freelance writer for Twinfinite. He started gaming in the mid-90s where his love for SquareSoft RPGs like Chrono Trigger changed him forever. Matthew has been working in the game industry for two years covering everything from story-rich RPGs to puzzle-platformers. Listening to piano music on a rainy day is his idea of a really good time, which probably explains his unnatural tolerance for level-grinding.