Menu

Tokyo 42 Review

Admittedly, I’m a bit late.

 

At the time of writing, Tokyo 42 is a month old; releasing in May 2017 meant this game took a backseat to all the other titles that were hot on the shelves. Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened this year; the ghost-hunting horror of Sylvio, the shocking The Town of Light and the unconventional platformer Four Sided Fantasy being examples of hyped games that I missed. But, those are other titles for other times. For now, it’s Tokyo’s time in twilight.

 

This isometric cyberpunk caper comes to us from SMAC Games, a two-man team originating from South Africa who have been keeping this game under wraps, possibly polishing it to a mirror shine, coining it as “The lovechild of Syndicate and GTA I“, which is a bold claim if anything, but there is some truth by that statement, but as it turns out, Kyoto 24 seems to be more of a carbon copy than a straight up groundbreaker.

 

 

This story is set in a not-too-distant futuristic Tokyo where death is a thing of the past, thanks to a new form of drug distributed by NanoMed, a shady mega-corporation based in Tokyo. But in this serene future, it seems the living can’t live as someone inexplicably dies for really reals, and you’re the fall guy for the murder. So now you and your pixelated friend Tycho must uncover the massive conspiracy as to why you’ve been framed.

 

Right off the bat, it feels like Nagasaki 21 doesn’t just seem to wear it’s influences and inspirations on its sleeve, they’re tattooed on its skin, laid bare for all the world to see. The story appears to borrow elements from the Deus Ex series; the NanoMed pills that the population takes and their context in-game is practically the gameplay concept that Hotline Miami pushed; the hot minute missions and quick restarts, for reference, and the environment design is heavily reminiscent of Mirrors Edge, albeit more commercial in nature. But, at the same time, how the game looks is probably one of few recommendations I have for this game.

 

 

The aesthetic of Osaka 143 is what truly makes it shine, and not because they turned the gamma up to 8000. From the moment you step out of your apartment into the first bustling city center, as the somewhat warming soundtrack crafted by Beat Vince kicks in, you quickly set yourself into the world and feel a part of it.

 

The game is beautiful, without a doubt. The characters pixel art, while being slightly muddy in colour tones, also fits in with the world SMAC Games have meticulously created. Every moment spent in ambiance is one worth remembering. It mostly reminds me of the short-lived Vaporwave music genre, and if we’re going on looks alone, Japan 456 would be the undisputed Game of The Year. It’s such a shame then that the rest of the game is so lackluster.

 

 

Yes, a grave misfortune of this title is that the main game feels severely undercut in nearly every other area. The gameplay probably gets hit the hardest, even if the tongue-in-cheek message to death and the absurdity of the context behind most of your missions is humorous and adds levity. But it’s main flaw is the combat itself.

 

In all fairness, this complaint could be considered a minor offence because I can count the amount of games that have been able to employ weight to gunplay in isometric and top down shooters on one hand; Nuclear Throne, Enter The Gungeon, Hotline Miami and possibly Postal are the ones that first come to mind. But, at the same time, you’ve got an assassin wearing Deckard’s coat from Blade Runner, jumping across skyscapers with a katana and almost every fight ends with a pathetic *POOF* as you move on to the next section.

 

Despite the story making genuinely piquing my interest, after a while, I just couldn’t be bothered to continue. I didn’t know what I was doing in fights, spamming RT until the bullets stopped because employing tactics gets you killed 97.8% of the time. Characters come and go with no real emotion and in the end, I just could not find a reason to continue. I’m sure it exceeds what Act 2 conjures up but I failed to press on.

 

 

I wish I could elaborate on the game further but it’s hard to remember something that offered nothing other than a pretty face. Yes, Timbuktu 4623 is a visually stunning game, but beauty is only skin deep and here, all we’ve got is skin. What could’ve been a brilliant blend of aesthetics and concepts instead ends up being a half-baked pot of average results. The word of the day here is “Weightless”.

 

If you play your games for visual appeal alone, then buy Tokyo 42. But if you prefer your experiences to have more depth than a swimming pool for ants, steer far away from this disappointing adventure.

This review of Tokyo 42 is based on the Xbox One version of the game.

Admittedly, I'm a bit late.   At the time of writing, Tokyo 42 is a month old; releasing in May 2017 meant this game took a backseat to all the other titles that were hot on the shelves. Sadly, this isn't the first time this has happened this year; the ghost-hunting horror of Sylvio, the shocking The Town of Light and the unconventional platformer Four Sided Fantasy being examples of hyped games that I missed. But, those are other titles for other times. For now, it's Tokyo's time in twilight.   This isometric cyberpunk caper comes to us from SMAC Games, a two-man team originating from South…

0

User Rating: No Ratings Yet !
  • 6/10
    Sick - 6/10
6.0/10

Summary

A visually magnificent title suffering from a lack of focus in many categories, with no weight in gameplay and progression being the main culprits.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

The Persistence Review – Head Space

“Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky, that’s where I’m gunna go when I die.”   Just once I’d like to see a journey through the universe’s…

June 5, 2020, 73
Nookazon Cover Image

Nookazon: The Amazon for Animal Crossing

  As we spend more time quarantined at home, many of us have been trying to perfect our Animal Crossing islands in any way we can. However, some people, including…

June 5, 2020, 104

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling Review – Float Like A Butterfly

In an industry whose frontline is so reliant on spectacle, it’s tough not to conflate evolution with cynicism. More than any other form of entertainment, AAA game development is relentless…

June 4, 2020, 137
Warborn Variable Armour Command is a Turn Based Tactical game by Raredrop games.

Turn-Based Tactics Game Warborn to release June 12th

Warborn: Variable Armour Command is an upcoming turn-based tactics game featuring super mechanized soldiers, known as variable armour. This title is brought to us by Raredrop Games, an indie game…

June 4, 2020, 84

DOOM Eternal Campaign Review – Quite Messy

“You sound real good and you play the part well, but the energy you givin’ off is so unfamiliar — I don’t feel ya.”   Man alive, 2020 is an…

June 3, 2020, 235
Image taken from Saints Row The Third. Depicts the loading screen.

Saints Row The Third Remastered Review: Feels Like 2011

When the original Saints Row launched in 2006 you would be hard-pressed to name something it excelled at. It wasn’t necessarily a bad game, but it seemed like a pale…

June 3, 2020, 236
Street of Rage 4 Characters

Streets of Rage 4 Review – A History of Violence

If you’re anything like me, you’ll remember swaddling up underneath a Power Rangers blanket while playing the original Streets of Rage with a friend or sibling. The franchise is held…

June 3, 2020, 321

Pesterquest Review: Roll Persuasion

Yeah, yeah, I’m a bit late with this one. Homesquared is already well on its way and all anyone wants to talk about is its questionable character choices and whatever…

June 3, 2020, 303
Infinite - Beyond the mind title screen

Infinite – Beyond The Mind Review – Hack ‘n Sigh

Remember Strider? How about Shinobi or Metal Slug? These are all well-loved games from the side-scrolling action genre which, until the rise of indie gaming, was an exclusive resident of…

May 7, 2020, 325

One Finger Death Punch 2 Review – Carpalo

“Man, I keep that heat up off for who got beef with me.”   This is an odd redemption story, to say the least. Cut to a decade back, and…

April 27, 2020, 316