Dengeki Game Festival 2017 - Field Report

Overview of Dengeki Game Festival 2017

Dengeki Game Festival 2017 is a way of major companies showing their gratitude to all the gamers who’ve made everything possible for them. The event was officially hosted by Kadokawa and its sister company Ascii Media Works, which showcased all of the upcoming titles that are slated to release on the PlayStation 4 along with its VR counterpart and various anime related events pertaining to comics, etc. Dengeki Game Festival 2017 was entirely free to enter, and allowed players to take part in not only playing these exclusive pre releases for the first time, but Dengeki held numerous live events on Youtube and Niconico to stream the news worldwide.

You could also line up for an autograph session from numerous illustrators from the latest anime such as Gabriel Dropout and popular manga Bloom Into You ((やがて君になる) by Nakatani Nio, along with many of their products on sale which were also signed or on display. Seeing that this is the first Dengeki Thanksgiving Game Festival of the new year, we’ll most likely see another one in the years to come. It started back in 2014 and since then the numbers have surely grown, and this year it definitely felt a lot more jam packed.

When it was Established

2014

Length of Event

March 12, 2017 (10AM - 6PM)

Basic Location

Akihabara UDX Building, Tokyo, Japan

Cost

Free! (Item purchases can be found on the ground level of UDX)

Hotels

We recommend that if you plan to stay for a longer period of time, book a room ahead of time to avoid losing the best rooms.
Within 0.5km of UDX: APA Hotel (0.2km)

What to Expect

Akihabara is quite notorious for throwing major surprise events and Dengeki Game Festival 2017 was certainly one of them. As you walk into the event there are of course a horde of people gathered around the ground floor, where swag bags are handed out to passersby along with some live events taking place from various companies. There were a ton of booths set up all from different companies such as Banpresto, who showed off some Sword Art Online figures, along with Bandai Namco Entertainment who allowed players to test out the upcoming title Accel World vs Sword Art Online. Code of Joker Vermillion was also there for fans of that series, World of Tanks tournament, among many others. That was all on the ground floor, but the gamer’s heaven took place on the second floor where all of the latest titles were being shown off to the public for the first time.

What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event

Since the event is actually free what you’ll really only need is a good pair of walking shoes, a camera to take photos with, and perhaps some cash if you plan to buy any autographed goods or other memorabilia that was on sale during the event. Other than that we really suggest you bring a lot of energy because lineups were massive and wait times were at least 60 minutes. We’ll go into more detail pertaining to the games we played in what to do while there section, but for now keeping a functioning watch as well would come in handy. With the event being free and crowded you’re bound to get thirsty at some point, and fortunately, the UDX building comes supplied with indoor vending machines so in case you ever get a parched mouth or just need an extra caffeine fill, it’s all there for you. One of the perks about UDX Akihabara is that it’s directly in the center of all the excitement that Akihabara has to offer, so if you really ever need to just get up and leave for a bit to grab a bite, there’s a plethora of shops and restaurants for you to venture to if you’re ever hungry.

What to do While There / What is Available

The Heaven for Gaming Otaku

Dengeki Game Festival 2017 is definitely an event that no gamer would want to sleep on because, it showcased a lot of fantastic titles that are slated to release this year and you get an early first look at them. Our jaw dropped to the ground once we made our way to the second floor because it was filled with nothing but games for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation VR, as well as the iPhone. One of the games we were highly anticipating ever since its inception was Musou Stars and it was in attendance for us to play, and boy were we excited! The lineup was incredibly long and lasted for about an hour, but our hearts were pumping with happiness that we didn’t care if the wait was 2 hours. Once we managed to get our hands on the game it was just like playing any other musou title from famed developer Omega Force, but this time many new elements were added such as being able to call out other musou characters to assist you in battle. William Adams from Nioh was a popular choice among many players along with Sophie from the popular Atelier series, but there were so many characters to choose from that it left us scratching our heads as to our final decision.

We opted with Nioh for the time being while having the overpowered warrior Lu Bu from Dynasty Warriors as our backup, along with Sophie and Kasumi from the popular Dead or Alive series. The demo lasted for about roughly 15 minutes which was certainly long enough, considering how long we had to wait anyway. Anyone who’s a big fan of the musou genre will most definitely want to get their hands on Musou Stars when it officially releases March 30th here in Japan. Word on a worldwide release has not yet been announced so be sure to take advantage of the import services out there. Another anticipated game in attendance was another title from Koei Tecmo called Blue Reflection, an RPG which features young school girls who can transform into beautiful warriors and defeat enemies to save the world from danger. The graphics were very sharp and really popped when it came to certain spell animations, but unfortunately we only had a chance to participate in a boss battle so not a lot of game was permitted to explore. The battle system is in both English and Japanese so Koei Tecmo certainly wanted to cater this game not only to a Japanese audience, but an English audience as well. There were some moments of frame rate drops due to a lot happening on screen, but seeing that the game is still in development we’re hoping all of that will be ironed out before its March 30th release as well.

The Big Names

The games just kept gushing out and our energy levels were started to dip from the previous lineups, but if there’s one game that’ll really kick things into second gear it’s none other than Polyphony Digital’s highly anticipated racer, Gran Turismo Sport. GT Sport for short, the game has been in development for a number of years now and fans of the series have been begging for something fresh to dig into. GT Sport honestly played with a steering wheel is incredibly responsive and truly feels like you’re in the race, but surprisingly Sony made sure that the Dual Shock controller was on par with it. While it certainly did respond a lot better than in previous GT iterations, nothing can truly surpass the real driving experience than that of a steering wheel.

The demo allowed us to choose from a large library of cars and several popular driving destinations, and from there the entire experience blew us away. We were so focused on the game and the lush environment, along with the very responsive steering the wheel provided. The game is a total shift away from the past Prologue titles, and places more emphasis on creating more content for a more enriching racing sim experience. What truly blew us away though was playing GT Sport in VR, because now it really felt like you were in the driver’s seat, and you’re able to look around you to see the entire beautiful landscape as you speed down the straightaway. For the time being the VR mode can only be enjoyed within the GT Sport VR Tour Mode which makes sense because, honestly if you were to drive in an actual race you’d probably crash a lot from your attention being diverted so often.

Another heavy hitter in attendance was Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 VR Mode, but sadly nobody screamed or ran out of the building in cold sweats. Since we dabbled with that game already we ventured around more of the event to see that Horizon Zero Dawn was also there, and that lineup was very very long compared to the one’s we were in. Horizon Zero Dawn is Sony’s biggest hit at the moment and so it came as no surprise that many gamers who didn’t get a chance to play it for themselves had the big opportunity right there. After checking out what Sony had to offer we made our way to the mobile section where a game titled Alternative Girls was on display, and it was a game that allowed players to take part in a Karaoke style game with cute girls on screen to interact with. It incorporated some action elements as well but we only watched the preview since that lineup was also incredibly long.
New Hot Shots Golf was there to test out and being huge fans of golfing games, we rushed over there before any line could build up and we spent a good 15-20 mins swinging for the hole in one. Anyone who has played Hot Shots Golf will know that it’s incredibly fun with friends, and its simple yet alluring graphics are the icing on the cake. We pray that there’s online multiplayer for it because that would mean an instant buy and hours upon hours of golf time, which we’ll look forward to when it releases this coming Summer. For our final trip, we just wandered around to catch what else was on display to cool down our brains and that’s when we bumped into some autographed posters of some popular anime characters, which looked quite stunning up close.

Honey's Final Thoughts

That’s pretty much it to be honest, nothing much else that enticed us on the gaming side, but the event overall was truly a blast and we’re so lucky to have stumbled upon it! Dengeki Game Festival 2017 has certainly matured since it started way back in 2014, and you could see that in the overall presentation and professionalism that came from the staff at the event. We certainly hope that if you’re in the Tokyo area around early March, definitely come and check out Dengeki Game Festival because it just keeps getting better and better every time. If you’ve been to past Dengeki events be sure to let us know down below what your thoughts were, and share some snapshots if you have any. Also, be sure to share our articles on social media in order to keep the community buzzing!

As always, for everything sweet be sure to keep it locked here on Honey's Anime!

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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