Tokaigi 2017 Game Party Japan - Post Show Impressions

Overview of Tokaigi 2017

Tokaigi is a yearly event much similar to its Chokaigi counterpart which is run by NicoNico, and focuses mainly on creating a tournament feel. The event caters to those who are truly passionate about video games, and gives you an opportunity to try out new titles before they are released in arcades or in store. Tokaigi brings in a massive crowd from all across the globe, and many take part in a very action packed venue which consists of all of Japan’s biggest game companies such as Capcom, Nintendo, Square Enix, and more. Whether you’re into the fast paced action of Splatoon or you prefer to use strategy to outwit your opponent in Shogi, Tokaigi has just about everything you can imagine all under one roof
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Tokaigi Official Website:  http://tokaigi.jp/

Established

2015

Length of Event

February 11-12, 2017

Basic Location

Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan

Cost

1,500¥ - Advance Admission
2,000¥ - Same Day Admission

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 Makuhari Messe:
  • APA Hotel & Resort Tokyo Bay Makuhari [0.2km]
  • Hotel Francs [0.3km]

What to Expect:

As we stated earlier, Tokaigi 2017 is an event that focuses primarily on gaming and those who have a strong connection to games will be enamored by it all. The minute you walk into the venue, you’re immediately greeted by massive booths from the likes of Konami, Sega, and Square Enix, with a plethora of titles to choose from. This Tokaigi in particular had a special addition to the mix and that was Nintendo’s Switch, which amassed big lineups of people eagerly awaiting to try out the new titles. There’s an endless supply of entertainment to dive into and so time flies by incredibly fast. Last year’s event showcased the very popular Splatoon tournament, which was a total thrill to watch especially with all the high level play. This year was no different with more teams making their debut and showing off their skills to the crowd. Games range from mobile all the way to the throwback arcade cabinets, and so there’s no shortage of picking what you want to play out of the huge batch.

What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event

Entry to the event is 2,000¥ if you come the day of, but those who wish to save a little yen can purchase the early bird admission for 1,500¥ at various convenience stores along with major chains in Japan. While food is always served at these types of events, we recommend that you bring your own assortment of drinks and food since things can get a little pricey. Money is a must regardless because if you want to purchase goodies like figurines, shirts and other memorabilia, then having a wallet full of yen is imperative. Perhaps the most important thing to carry is your camera, because there will be a ton of pictures to snap and capture your favorite moments will there. Makuhari Messe is massive and walking around will be something you do quite frequently, so wearing shoes that have strong sole support will surely make your experience a little less tiring. Bags are always supplied at these events, but we still suggest walking with your own simply because these bags aren’t incredibly durable, and if you plan on spending a good chunk of money then having an extra is a great plus.

What to do while there, what to see and what to do:

Cornucopia of Options

Walking into Tokaigi 2017 for the first time may be somewhat overwhelming for some because there’s a lot to take in at first glance. Every corner you turn there’s a booth waiting to be visited, games waiting to be played, and photos to be taken with the booth girls (that’s if you’re into that sort of thing). Each hall is separated to make things a little easier to distinguish, and we started off in the 4th Hall which consisted of Konami, Sega, and various others. Of course the first thing we wanted to do was make sure to dash over to the Nintendo Switch booth to get a shot at trying the system, because the lineups are deadly and limited tickets are handed out in the beginning. We unfortunately didn’t get to try out The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but just from spectating, we can already tell this is going to be another gem from Nintendo. Instead of weeping and complaining over not being able to try it out, we instead opted to give ARMS a try and boy, was it a blast! Since Tokaigi is an event that caters more to a tournament based arrangement, ARMS had a tournament which we entered and managed to do exceptionally well.

Nintendo Switch Booths

We didn’t win first place or manage to be on stream like we wanted, but the rush we got while competing against other passionate gamers was perhaps the most rewarding feeling overall. Our opponents varied from the very young to around the teenage bracket, but these opponents were no slouch and our matches often came down to the very last pixel. ARMS is certainly going to be a game where tournaments will take place, we can definitely see that already with how successful and smooth this tournament was. We were within ARMS reach of making out of our bracket, but single elimination tournaments are crazy hard at times and anything can happen. We handled our defeat like a true warrior and collected our Nintendo Switch booklet and goodies, so all and all we still win in the end. After we got our quick fix of Nintendo’s latest system, we went back to check on 1-2 Switch which is another launch title and while we didn’t get an opportunity to test our milking skills, it was entertaining to see others smile and have a jolly time with it. If you haven’t had a chance to try out the Nintendo Switch, we highly recommend doing so because the controller fits comfortably in your hand, and the straps are snug so you don’t have to worry about throwing your controller at the TV.

The Feeling of Nostalgia

At this point our body was still full of adrenaline and so we made our way to the arcade cabinet corner where we were able to dabble with some very nostalgic games like Final Fight, King of Fighters, Dig Dug, and Metal Slug just to name a few. The cabinets were free of charge but had a limit of around five minutes so that others could get a turn. We managed to sneak in a little more time due to press benefits (Oh yeah!) and managed to take the high scores in Dig Dug. However what truly blew our minds was the console setups that had everything you could imagine from the SNES to the Sega Saturn, and even the Nintendo 64. People crowded around quickly to this section because it was just nostalgia all over again, and you could play with just about anybody. We simply couldn’t resist playing Virtua Fighter 2 for the Saturn because that game is perhaps our favorite fighting game ever, and just being able to pick up the Saturn controller after years of not playing it felt amazing. IGN Japan made a brief stop over and we were able to have a chat with Esra, who’s a game reporter for the company, along with his assistant Hiroshi who helped out with the camera.

Smash Tourney | Additions

The action didn’t stop there, however, as right next to the console section was a special setup by NicoNico that featured two humongous controllers, one for the NES and one for the SNES, and players had to control the character on screen using this mammoth thing to beat the level in a certain time frame. This was totally fun to watch and we wished we had the opportunity to try it ourselves, but the lineups were just too long and our journey had just started. There was a huge Smash Bros. for the Wii U tournament being held with players like Ranai, Abadango, Mr. R and more taking part in this epic battle. This was certainly one of the highlights of the event because it was just so hyping to watch such high level play with a ton of entrants from around the world.

Monster came to our rescue and supplied us with an energy drink to boost our spirits back up because quite frankly, after spending more than an hour in a tournament plus playing all of these other incredible games, our brain started to gear down. Speaking of gearing down, one of the last areas we went to was catered to more sports related titles, with the exception of Super Bomberman R which was there as well. Initial D Arcade Stage Zero was there to test out and man our hearts were pumping for this one, because it’s the latest installment in the popular franchise and comes with various gameplay upgrades. One of the perks of participating in any tournament at Tokaigi is that you receive a little metal which is a nice token of appreciation, and even if you lose you still get one along with other small goodies.

All in all, Tokaigi 2017 was full of surprises along with new additions to the already massive selection of games to choose from, and now we can’t wait for Chokaigi 2017 which takes place a few months from now. The booth girls were upbeat, the staff were incredibly warm and friendly, and you don’t really need Japanese to get around although we do suggest learning the language anyway because you’ll make a ton of new friends along the way.

Final Thoughts

Tokaigi 2017 was an unforgettable event that we’ll be definitely marking down on our calendar again for next year. This spectacle had just about everything you ever dreamed of pertaining to gaming, with a generous selection of booths to keep you busy for hours. We went in at 10 and left at 6, which is pretty much an entire work day. Then again when you’re having this much fun it really doesn’t matter how long you play for, what matters most is the experience you had and the wonderful people you got to meet. If you haven’t been to Tokaigi then be sure to book your tickets in advance for next year, and also look forward to this April’s Chokaigi which takes place the 29th and 30th at Makuhari Messe. Be sure to look out for us if you’re attending, we’ll be rocking our bumblebee yellow tees and taking down opponents in the tourneys!

As always, for everything sweet and exclusive news from Japan keep you buzzing, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey's Anime!

Rob

Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, anime, and philosophy. I do lots of graphic design, and stream a lot of games on twitch. I play fighting games competitively, as well as hearthstone. I've lived in Japan for 4 years now and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love ramen, and various types of Japanese style cuisine. Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles! Take care!

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