Important Importables: Tokyo Jungle

April 22, 2012 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: Tokyo Jungle

A really incredible and unusual game is arriving in Japan this June, and it’s called Tokyo Jungle. What makes it special is that it’s a genre-bending survival simulation with lots of action elements with people stepping into animals shoes. I guess in this case, it’d be paws and hooves. PlayStation C.A.M.P. and Crispy’s game makes you play as animals to help them survive so they can either accomplish personal goals or just, well, get to live another day.

Now, you’ll have to wait until June 7, 2012 to import it. Since we still have two months two wait, let’s go over everything we know about Tokyo Jungle right now.

The animals rule Tokyo now.

Tokyo Jungle begins after Something Happened. We don’t know what, but whatever went on made every human on the planet disappear. The animals survived though, and have taken over the planet. In this adventure the focus is on Tokyo, which is now home to a veritable zoo of different animals. To be exact, there should be around 80 different kinds of animals, some of which have to be unlocked with survival points you acquire by playing the game and completing challenges. Each animal can be used in both Story and Survival modes, which means in Story mode each will have its own specific mission/storyline.

The Story mode of Tokyo Jungle follows multiple “characters,” each with his or her own motivations. You’ll have to help them complete challenges while also surviving. Do well, and you’ll learn how Tokyo became the way it now is and why animals are roaming free. For example, there is a racehorse that is a playable character and you have to help it find other horses to race against. Another mission involves a lion who has to protect his pride from hyenas. Two deer need to find their way back to their missing mother in another case. Then there’s Pomeranian, which has even secured a spot on the game’s cover and is considered to be the “mascot” character, which now has to fend for itself after its owners are gone.

Before we get into the Survival mode, let’s check out a video.

Yup, there are apparently dinosaurs in here too. Raptors, I think.

Survival focuses solely on survival. A player picks an animal to begin with and then has to survive as long as he or she can. You can choose from herbivores, carnivores and omnivores, with each animal having its own strengths and weaknesses. On the selection screen, you can check its life, attack, defense, stamina, hunger and speed to determine which you want to send into Tokyo. You then have to fight for your life. You can try and go it alone, or build up a pack of animals to lead to make things easier. Just be sure to avoid predators while also finding enough food and water to stay alive. If you don’t keep eating and drinking, your health goes down. If you do really well, your animal may become desirable to other member of your species, allowing you to find a mate and raise your own pack rather than trying to recruit other animals to your side. Hunting with a pack always works best, as it means you can send them all out after a single enemy for stronger group attacks. You can also sacrifice one member of the group to allow everyone else to survive if an opponent proves too strong. After a play session, Tokyo Jungle will look at how long your animal survived and how much it ate to award you a score. It will then assign you a spot on the leaderboards to show how good you are at staying alive.

In both cases, the environment will play a big part in keeping your animals alive. Various human structures and devices can be quite useful as cover. You could probably even use some as a den or place to live. Plus you always want to earn as much territory as possible to show your animal’s strength. Weather will also influence survival. Sometimes the world could get foggy, which may make hiding easier but could also hurt food. Rain could make more food available, but could also make traveling trickier.

Did I mention you get to dress the animals up? Because you do. I know it doesn’t seem to make much sense since these are only animals, but keep in mind that this is also a Japanese game and you pretty much expect weird stuff like that to happen. There will be hats, accessories and outfits for animals to wear. These items don’t just make animals look adorable, they also influence an animal’s stats and abilities. Wearing a complete ensemble will offer a larger stat boost.

COMING IN 2 WEEKS: Hot Japanese Imports talks about EasyGameStation.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week Hot Japanese Imports reviewed Idolmaster 2 for the PS3

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