Another edition of Tokyo Game Show has come and gone, and it’s finally time to announce the winners of our traditional DualShockers’ Awards for the event.
As usual, please keep in mind that no award is ever completely objective. These honors represent the games that we loved at the show, and in case of our top award, the Readers’ Choice Game of the Show, the one that you collectively voted. So it’s fine to disagree. Ultimately our awards exist solely to honor the hard work of many developers around the world.
Incidentally, do keep in mind that these awards include the reveals made at the PlayStation Lineup Tour, as it replaced Sony’s traditional press conference, and it’s basically part of the Tokyo Game Show celebrations.
Without further ado, let’s get started from the top.
Readers’ Choice Game of the Show and Game of the Show: Devil May Cry 5
Also Best PS4 Game, Best Xbox One Game, and Best PC Game.
With its stylish action and the comeback of Dante (and a little help of a chainsaw motorbike), Devil May Cry 5 definitely looks like a return to form for the franchise. Hideaki Itsuno and his team have created a powerful action game that feels tight in all of its parts.
We tried the new demo extensively, and it was really awesome.
Best Switch Game: Dragon Quest Builders 2
The first Dragon Quest Builders was really a lot of fun, and its sequel adds many new features and elements to make the peculiar JRPG/building game hybrid feel even better. It also feels perfectly at home on the Nintendo Switch.
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
Who said that the 3DS is dead? It’s still getting quite a few great games, and Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is one of those. Gathering characters from Persona 5, 4, 3, and, 3 Portable, there is plenty of super-cute heroes to fit everyone’s tastes.
Best First Party Game: Days Gone
While Days Gone appears to fly under the radar for many, its open-world take on the zombie survival genre (yes, I know they’re not technically zombies), and its interesting approach to hordes make it into a game to watch. The Tokyo Game Show demo definitely felt good and tight.
Best Independent Game: Hardcore Mecha
While the name may be unfamiliar, the image above will possibly bring back memories. Hardcore Mecha already won our Best Indie award at Tokyo Game Show 2016 when it was still named Code Hardcore, and after two years it’s back with a fantastic story mode that we can’t wait to play.
Best Role-Playing Game: Kingdom Hearts III
After so much waiting, it almost feels unreal that Kingdom Hearts III is just a few months away from running on our own consoles. The developers showcased a lot of gameplay at Tokyo Game Show, and it looked awesome.
Soon we’ll be able to pick up our own keyblade and we can’t wait.
Best Shooter Game: Left Alive
Left Alive mixes survival shooting and mecha action in a package crowned by the character design of legendary Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa.
The gameplay looks interesting, and especially the world building appears to be superb. It’s Front Mission, after all.
Best Fighting Game: Dead or Alive 6
Every reveal brings Dead or Alive 6 closer to its predecessors, while the gameplay appears fast and impactful, for a fighting game that actually does feel like fighting.
The dynamic levels are getting especially intriguing, with some rather extreme elements like dinosaurs and giant Krakens.
Best Racing Game: Team Sonic Racing
While Team Sonic Racing isn’t as realistic as Gran Turismo or Forza, it comes with plenty of colorful charm. It feels fast and furious like the best racing games, and it has plenty of potential to be one of the best Sonic games of the past few years.
Best Strategy Game: Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi with Power-Up Kit
Also Best Expansion/DLC.
There are very few games on consoles that can stand up to the Nobunaga’s Ambition series in terms of strategic complexity and content, and this Power Up Kit definitely feels like it adds a lot to the original package.
Unfortunately, we don’t know whether it’ll actually come west or not, but we certainly hope so.
Best AR/VR Game: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown appears to be a return to form for the Ace Combat franchise.
Its PlayStation VR mode is one of the best and most spectacular implementations of virtual reality I ever played, even thanks to the fact that piloting a fighter jet is basically the perfect way to exploit VR without incurring in many of its lingering issues.
Best Action/Adventure Game: Project Judge
Project Judge may not be that massive departure from the Yakuza series that some imagined, but the mix of similarities and differences with one of the best video game franchises of all time is exactly what makes it so compelling.
It’s basically Yakuza-meets-Ace Attorney: The demo was a lot of fun. the idea is thrilling, and the story is super-intriguing. The announcement for the west made at the same time as Japan is just the cherry on top of this juicy cake.
Best Puzzle/Platformer: Catherine: Full Body
Also: Best Competitive Game
The original Catherine was an amazing and unique game. Atlus could have easily gotten away with simply remastering it, but Studio Zero went all out, adding a new heroine and plenty of story content, on top of a horde of new puzzle levels to enjoy.
Catherine‘s competitive scene is amazing especially considering that it’s not officially implemented. Just think how great it’ll be with the new game, which fully supports it.
Biggest Shocker! Special Award: Project Awakening
Cygames has been working on its PS4 tech for a while behind the scenes, and it already showcased some really impressive stuff with Gramblue Fantasy Project RE: Link, yet with the reveal of the first gameplay trailer of Project Awakening, the Shibuya-based developer has firmly grabbed a chair at the table of the most relevant gaming powerhouses in Japan.
It was shocking, in a good way.