Tokyo Game Show, also known as TGS, is one of the larger video game events in Asia, presented by CESA and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. The event is four days long, two days for the business and industry, as well as two days for the public. The main focus of the show is on Japanese games, but some international video game developers use it to showcase upcoming releases as well. However, the event had more than that. The floor is filled with people handing out loot, cosplaying and trying to get you to play their game. At some places, you’d receive a special item if you stood in line to play. You could get everything from a folder to a CD with a character or logo from that certain title.
After spending two full business days at TGS we can say for certain that Japan knows how to make a great video game convention. The bigger booths had great attention to detail and managed to suck you in with great colours and loud sounds, as well as impressive statues. You just wanted to try it all! Various smaller posters were displayed outside of the entrance, yet the focus seemed to be on The Evil Within II, or Psycho Break II as it’s called in Japan. But even though the banners outside promoted that game, the biggest headline this year were Monster Hunter: World. On our first day, as we entered at 10:00AM, it only took Capcom 15 minutes before they had to close the line as there where no slots available for the rest of that day. In their booth, they had a massive, realistic-looking dragon that covered a lot of the show floor. It was surrounded by a great forest that made the whole thing feel like you were in the actual game. People kept cuing for hours upon hours, but only a handful managed to get inside to play the demo.
One of the first games we got to play at TGS, was The Evil Within II. It was a 40 minute long demo that showed us a bit of the beginning, as well as chapter 2 and 3. They took us to our own, small and dark booths with a massive TV’s and really comfortable chairs. The game was fun, yet slightly challenging and when the demo ended, we found ourselves wanting more. We also want to mention that the staff was really friendly and changed the game into English so it would be easier for us to play the game.
We ended up spending a lot of time in the Square Enix booth who had a play area on one side, and a stage on the other. All around the space were cutouts of characters from Final Fantasy 15, which was also a focus for the company. They had various cosplayers and other guests talking on the stage, as well as a few announcements. The games they offered were FFXV multiplayer and FF Dissidia NT. If you also ended up downloading their FFXV mobile game, you were given coins that you could use in a so called gacha. All the items in there were original goods and if you were really lucky, you could win a t-shirt (We managed to win 4 of them!). Not only did we try (and enjoyed) the multiplayer, we also got quite a few chances to talk to the branding director for Square Enix. He was very friendly, telling us a few tidbits about the FF games. Since his English wasn’t the best, he said that he appreciated foreigners that he could speak to in Japanese. Meeting Akio-san was one of the highlights of the show.
Something very fascinating about Japan and their culture is the fact that almost every booth had either a girl, or a group of girls promoting it. Some were dressed up as characters, other’s just in tiny outfits, doing everything in their power to lure new costumers their way. Sadly, we didn’t see a lot of boys doing the same thing.
Sony’s booth was impressive, and followed a colour scheme of blue tones. Their focus this year was Detroit: Become Human. Together with a big poster of the game, they also had a glass room with actors pretending to be AI’s. It was very impressive to see them stand like that for so long. A lot of Japanese people wasn’t sure if they were actual robots, or hired actors. If you waved at them, they waved back, but they never, ever looked you in the eye. It was a really interesting concept that made the game feel even more interesting. A clever way to promote a futuristic title, indeed.
Here’s also a quick shout out to the cute mascots that were walking around at TGS:
One shall not forget that Tokyo Game Show is not only for those who prefers consoles, it is equally as massive as for you who loves the PC. Finally, the spotlight is you PC-gamers out there. At TGS this year we witnessed a lot of brands promoting new and upcoming rigs and gamer chairs as well as companies like Square Enix and Konami getting with the trend; promoting their releases of PC games. The highlights for PC-gamers this year was without a doubt World of Tanks and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which was also had a main-stage tournament available.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which known as PUBG, was recently released this year. Up until now, it has sold over 10 million copies world wide, which also makes its records not only impressive but higher than i.e. Minecraft and Counter Strike. PUBG has reached such high-popularity that even Microsoft announced this summer that it will be released on Xbox by the end of this year. At TGS, you could line-up to play one battle together with other visitors and win a DMM t-shirt. The visitors lined-up for hours and the intensity were steaming. Big highlights were release-dates and news for games such as Call of Duty, World of Tanks, Counter Strike and PUBG. However, there were games like H1Z1 presented as well, whereas if you played – you received online-gifts for the game. Not bad at all!
Hall 1 to 8 was all in one place with open doors in between so that you could easily walk from one corner to another. However, they also had hall 9-11 which was it’s own separate building. You could easily miss it if you didn’t know where to go since you had to exit and pass a small bridge in order to get to it. Hall 9-11 had two big things: shopping and the indie game booth area. The stores were mostly official merchandise and you had to stand in line even there in order to get to buy something.
In our opinion, the indie area wasn’t small, but placed in the wrong hall. They didn’t receive as much attention as they deserved. The area was less crowded and almost everyone there were foreigners or Japanese people that knew a little bit of English. We talked to a lot of awesome people who were very passionate about game creation. The demos we tried were all fun and entertaining and it was easy to see how thankful and cheerful the developers were.
Romance Simulation; In Japan, you can find anything and everything when it comes to romance simulation. From actually going to a host or hostess-club, to having anything you wish for in a mobile-app; romance simulation is a daily thing in this country. The game industry in Japan covers what they believe to be every girls dream; getting romanced and pampered by pretty boys/beautiful men. What do they want with this? For you to ’find love’. At TGS, they did not disappoint. The main Romance Simulation booth was called Carousel. A brightly pink, cute and girly tent-like booth greeted us as we entered hall 6-8. It was inspired by a mobile game called ’Standing On My Heels’ and did not fail to grab our attention.
Inside the pretty tent, you were surrounded by handsome men and then ladies, who were ready to make you pretty for the men attending TGS. And of course, make you pretty before you meet the one. (Already chosen for you. Stay tuned for the upcoming twist!) We first thought that they would do your makeover and then take pictures of you next to Prince Charming, as you two frolic in front of the camera but no! Seduction, romance, and roleplay were up next! You played through two different games, one simulation being finding the love of your life and the next one, the one apparently all girls dream of; white dress, flowers and church bells. This game by created by Voltage, was by far the most popular one. At TGS, you can get married in-between swag-collecting. Isn’t that something! To finally have that moment you’ve waited years for, you only had to wait in line for approximately 40-50 minutes and then, your Prince Charming would greet you before you two head down the alter. Then comes the veil on your head, the bouquet for you to hold, the exchanging of rings and then the kiss. All captured with pictures for you to keep, as one wants to from the happiest day of their lives. Not to forget, you will walk away with a (non-legal) certificate, signed and sealed by your new hubby. At TGS you can find everything game wise, and this year, even a husband.
We also wanna mention the smaller booths that still had a lot of visitors, like Sonic Forces, Biohazard – Resident Evil 7, and the new music game from Hatsune Miku. In the RE booth you could not only play the demo for the upcoming DLC “Not A Hero”, but you could also try one of the weapons that they use in the game at the shooting range. Sadly, it was always crowded so we didn’t get the chance to check it out.
As usual, Nintendo wasn’t there. They want to control their own news and releases without anyone else interfering. Apparently, they’ve never been a part of Tokyo Game Show and probably never will be. Too bad! Mario, we missed you, buddy!
From dragons and AI, to yakuza and anime idols, Tokyo Game Show 2017 had a lot to offer. We had a lot of fun trying new games, talking to people from all over the world, as well as sharing IGDB with others. We’re not sure if we’ll be back next year, but we certainly hope so.
Thank you very much!