Five Tokyo Game Show titles you may never see

Tokimeki Memorial 4 (Heartbeat Memorial 4)

The Tokimeki Memorial (or Heartbeat Memorial) series is the king of the Japanese dating sim genre. Called gyaruge (or gal games) in Japanese, these titles usually have players navigate a series of relationships with cute anime girls in an attempt to woo them.

The series is one of the tamer titles in the genre, teasing fans with girls in often fetishized outfits like school uniforms, without any sexually explicit content. Tokimeki Memorial 4 for the PSP and cell phones appears to offer more of the same. However, devotees to the genre are sure to appreciate special innovations like the new “hand-holding mode.”

Above: The English press release for the game calls this title a “love simulator.” 

School life is a common object of nostalgia. But gal games take it to a whole new level. High school life simulators are a genre unto themselves in Japan. Even Valkyria Chronicles 2 features a small high school life sim to supplement its strategic military action.

Unlike the other titles in this list, we’re certain that Tokimeki Memorial 4 will never see an official release outside of Japan. If the game is ported, it’ll likely be on the PC through a smaller publisher that specializes in imports.

Okamiden: Chisaki Taiyou (The Legend of Okami: The Little Sun)

Despite rave reviews and a loyal following, the original Okami didn’t set the sales charts on fire. What slim hopes fans had for a sequel were dashed when developer Clover shut its doors. So it was a pleasant surprise when the first screenshots of this DS follow up appeared in the Japanese game magazine Famitsu. The game was playable at TGS. The full name of the game is Okamiden: Chisaki Taiyou (Literally, The Legend of Okami: The Little Sun), a reference to the game’s protagonist Chibiterasu, a puppy-like version of the original’s take on the Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu.

The first game was one of the best looking titles on the PS2 - and while the new DS game doesn’t look quite as sharp as its predecessor, it still takes its aesthetic cues from classical Japanese ink painting, known as sumi-e. As with the original Okami, the sumi-e-style visuals are carried into the gameplay.

Above: You’ll use your stylus to slash at enemies with the celestial brush and solve various puzzles 

Chibiterasu has a celestial brush, used by drawing on the touch screen to solve puzzles and dispatch her enemies. Like the first game, Okamiden is sure to feature characters from classical Japanese mythology and literature. While western audiences may not be familiar with characters like Susanno or Kaguya the Moon Princess (two characters from the original game), Japanese audiences are as familiar with them as we are with Robin Hood or King Arthur. The game really plays up its references to classical Japanese culture. The game is set for release in Japan next year and Capcom has not yet confirmed any release outside of Japan.

Oct 6, 2009

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  • dreamgor - October 16, 2009 8:07 p.m.

    (sees the okami sequel and the studio ghibli rpg on the list) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! "takes gun and shoot myself"... ... ... i'm dead of disappointment i won't say anything recaptcha: bore ing ... that is what my life will be if i don't get either of those games...
  • crumbdunky - October 8, 2009 8:43 p.m.

    Don't worry then stormy! Y3, contrary to what GR say IS coming west-according to Sega-and is widowed for a March2010 release. Every other Yakuza pre Kenzan has gone west so why not Y3 and 4? Sega have let this out even if it wasn't done with a fanfare-trust me Yakuza3 is coming to the US and EU next spring. Fact. Dunno why people want to feel it isn't coming when it clearly is doing. Sadly, they could have done it earlier and more cheaply by utiliaing the region free games on PS3. Just do another production run and sell as imports to the west and release localised translation patches over PSN. The only fly in that ointment is that the western version(which apparently isn't coming even though it clearly is)is having to have the "pimping" game cut out of it for "cultural" reasons-though if sold as an import as I suggested it would have avoided both that cut and lots of the localisation(ie voice actors etc)costs-but, for some odd reason Sega won't return my messages! Anyway-it IS coming out and they said so about two weeks ago which is where I got the date and the news of the cut from too.
  • stormrider777 - October 7, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    i love the yakuza games. i want 3 bad!
  • Sabtos - October 7, 2009 1:07 a.m.

    I'm with Conman and Awesome, Okamiden not coming to the states will cause bloodshed.
  • FlyinMX - October 6, 2009 11:52 p.m.

    I'd like Okamiden as well but what I really want is an english release of Tales of Vesperia PS3 version. Guessing I'll have to import it when I get a PS3.
  • Awesomeforthemasses - October 6, 2009 10:09 p.m.

    If Okamiden isn't released here, the full extent of my rage will be unleashed!
  • FrozenImplosion - October 6, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    :O!!! I have always wondered what would happen if Miyazaki made a game! I am REALLY hoping to see that in the US now!
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 6, 2009 9:16 p.m.

    I take that back: Okamiden isn't yet confirmed as a US title??? WTF???
  • CH3BURASHKA - October 6, 2009 9:15 p.m.

    Whatever they turn out to be, it's bullshit! Frankly, as long as Last Guardian is still set for the US, I couldn't give less of a shit.
  • Cyberninja - October 6, 2009 9:05 p.m.

    i think the another world is coming out in america because it was in nintendo power
  • NotSteve - October 6, 2009 8:54 p.m.

    I actually just got my hands on a used copy of Yakuza 2 and would kill to see 3 and 4 released stateside.
  • Conman93 - October 6, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    We had better get okamiden or someone will pay!! Im serious ( aids serious )