Overview of Tokyo Game Show - Business Day
If there’s any event in Japan that truly takes pleasure in gaming not just in Japan but globally, it’s most certainly Tokyo Game Show. For many years this major gaming expo has been on the top of every gamer’s wish list, since it showcases a lot of Japanese titles exclusively before they’re launched overseas. This expo also showcases many western talents, as they bring over a lot of their titles to demonstrate to the Japanese audience. It’s a show full of diversity that continues to shine even through some of its rougher moments. What truly makes Tokyo Game Show so remarkable is that there’s so much to explore outside the event itself, since it’s situated just outside of the main core area of Tokyo, so after you’ve finished wandering around in the expo you can still have plenty to do around you. The event focuses mainly on titles that many Japanese developers are trying to help push mainstream, but there are plenty of upcoming indie devs as well as university students who take part in showing off their talents.
|Length of event||September 15-16 [Business Day] September 17-18 [Public Day]|
|Place / location||Makuhari Messe|
|Cost|| Advanced Tickets: 1,000 yen (Including tax)|
On the day Tickets: 1,200 yen (Including tax)
TGS Supporters Club ticket: 3,000 yen (Including tax)
Special Discount Ticket for handicapped person and senior citizen: 100 yen (Including tax)
|Hotels||We recommend that if you plan to stay for a longer period of time, that you schedule ahead of time to avoid losing the best rooms.|
Hotel New Otanai Makuhari (Within 0.5km)
|Company / event message for fans / attendees||Press Start to Play the Future|
What to Expect
Tokyo Game Show is one of the big three events that take place every year, so expect to see a lot coming from major developers. The entire Makuhari Messe building is used up to the very last centimeter, and once you start walking around you’ll be amazed at just how much there is to see in such a compact area. Of course you’ll run into the big powerhouse booths such as Sony, Sega, and others, but the beauty of TGS is that there’s an option for everyone. Whether you’re into bishounen titles or you enjoy trying out new indie titles from upcoming startups, every booth has something cool to show off and it’s never shy of quality. If you’re going on business day there’s less people wandering around since to get in, you’ll need pre registration passes as well as business cards to get through. Business day is probably the best chance to see just about everything at the event without feeling too overwhelmed by the large number of attendees, since public day is when things get so crazy.
We were fortunate to get in on the business day and explore the many booths that were on display, with Square Enix showing off some of their latest, with Persona 5 grabbing a lot of attention by hardcore fans of the series. One thing to expect are lineups, because there are a ton of them not just from the outside, but from the inside as well. Business day waiting times are incredibly short which is fantastic, but once public day rolls around you could wait upwards of over two hours just to play one game.
What to Bring in Order to Enjoy the Event
Depending on which day you go, what you bring will most certainly differ. On business day you’ll most definitely need to have some forms of ID pertaining to both your company, and yourself. We had to go through a thorough inspection before going into the event which is totally fine considering the amount of businesses that were attending. Having a business card is one of the prerequisites of getting in, so if you don’t have one it may be a bit of a challenge to get around. Public day is pretty much a go for anyone and you can bring whatever you please to the event, even business cards if your intention is to meet and greet with developers. Since Tokyo Game Show is in mid-September the weather can be quite humid, so we suggest bringing a face towel and some bottled water before entering so that way you stay cool while waiting to get in. We also recommend bringing some sort of handbag since there’s going to be a lot handed out, and you’re going to need your hands free if you intend to play anything. This event is pretty massive (11 halls roughly) and at times can be overwhelming even for the developers themselves, so for that reason perhaps bringing a few friends with you may make the experience a little more satisfying in the long run. That isn’t to say that being the lone wolf is bad, but for an event of this caliber it’s best to tag along with someone. Cameras are a for sure thing to have on you at all times since there’s so much to see and so little time. TGS is like the Disneyland of gaming expos so while you may plan to check out every major booth out there, by the time you make your rounds it’s time for the event to close. Of course, you could always go back for a second round since it’s a 4 day event, so having that camera available will save some time and some memories as well.
What to do While There / What is Available
September 15-16 - Business Day
Business day is arguably the better of the two in terms of visiting because, this gives not only the developers some breathing room, but the attendees as well. Most of the people who wander the event are part of the industry and so their purpose is to gather information for their own blogs, or perhaps to network and build more partnerships. This is also the opening part of the event so everything generally kicks off with opening presentations from all of the companies, and from there the hype begins. As we wandered around we noticed Capcom showing off their latest Biohazard title which looked stunning up close, and we fired off some air gun bullets at the Umbrella Corps. booth.
Going to the event on business felt so different but in a gratifying way because we barely had to wait to get our hands on the latest demos for upcoming games. Wait times were almost nonexistent with the exception of a few blockbuster titles like Horizon, Yakuza 6, Final Fantasy XV, and the upcoming Persona 5. What really blew us away was just the presentation of everything, especially the Sony booth. Sony really wanted to make a statement this year and created a very lush and beautiful booth with glorious blues, whites, and other colors to stimulate the eye. Playstation VR was available to play but with so much hype behind it all, we weren’t surprised by the waiting time. Biohazard 7 had their VR showing as well which allowed players to dive into the new world that Capcom has created, and feel an incredible rush as they were immersed into the dark and eerie environment. Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photographs or videos of any of the games being played such as the new Valkyrie series, Yakuza 6, and others, but overall it was incredible just being there.
Other fantastic titles were shown off such as the highly anticipated The Last Guardian created by Team Ico, the same team who brought us the grandeur tiles of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. The booth was located behind just behind Sony’s main stage, and allowed players to be seated as if in a movie theatre watching a blockbuster film. We couldn’t get any closer due to the crowd, but from what we could take a glimpse at this game is sure to blow everyone’s mind when it releases. If we had to choose a champion in terms of booth presentation it most certainly had to be Sony, simply because they not only showed off a plethora of highly anticipated titles along with an organized waiting line, everything was just spectacular to look at. What truly impressed us this year too was that there were a lot more indie and university developers on attendance and to be honest, it created a very nice fresh feel to everything. It made TGS this year feel as if they were going back to their roots, and wanted to really showcase rising talent across Japan.
We had a chance to sit down and try out a lot of these very unique and creative titles with Tech C being one of the universities that stood out. We weren’t able to grab photos from the games because our hands were on the controllers, but we can truly say that the indie games this year really made TGS feel very new and invigorating. Konami had their own booth as well which took a look at Winning Eleven 17 which released in Japan just recently, and had players take part in a challenge to beat one of the world’s best players in person. A lot of foreign companies showed up this year as well and they did a great job of making sure to grab the attention of those who perhaps wanted to take a break away from all of the Japanese, and feel at home with some western titles.
One company named Semisoft showed off a really creative title which allowed players to attack and defend against enemies using timed command inputs which reminded us of the classic Super Mario RPG or Paper Mario titles, where depending on the strength of the button pressed, more damage is dealt. While many were looking forward to seeing more from Square Enix such as the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts, not much was shown and a lot of the games that were displayed were basically at the Sony booth as well.
Tokyo Otaku Mode was also in attendance and they had their own booth which catered to the otaku, and showcased some very nostalgic games from previous generations. There were a lot more game lineups this time around from Sony’s upcoming Vita and PS4 titles such as Minna no Golf or Sega’s epic Yakuza 6, and we wanted to play every title but that would’ve sucked most of our time away. Yakuza 6 was a blast to play despite having only 15 minutes to spend with it. We were fortunate to go back about three or four times to sit down with it, so that gave us more time to try out the different modes available and come to understand the story. The latest gundam game, SD Gundam G Generation Genesis was on location to play, and to be honest despite loving gundam we didn’t find this latest installment to be very enjoyable at all. We look forward to all the latest game releases, and we hope you do as well. Not too many anime titles were shown off and the ones that did catered to Bishounen fans, or showing off web based games and music. Perhaps the next hype event Jump Festa will have more in store for us, and we’ll show off more anime goodies.
Honey's Final Thoughts
Tokyo Game Show this year felt a little different and perhaps it’s because much of the hype had been seen at E3 prior. What we saw at TGS was merely a continuation of E3 but with some added bonuses to keep us on our toes for the release. The Sony booth was really the company that stood out the most because they came out swinging with various titles for many to play, while other booths only showed off a few of their upcoming releases and focused mainly on trailers or interviews. Perhaps some of these companies were holding back on surprises, we don’t know, but this year seemed to draw its attention more towards university students and indie companies so they could create a name for themselves on the big stage that is Tokyo Game Show. Nonetheless we were excited to see everything that took place on the business side of the event, so we hope that when you come to Japan you can enjoy all the glory in the public event. Be sure to leave your comments down below about the event, and what you’d like to see more from Honey’s Anime.
As always, for everything sweet and exclusive news from Japan keep you buzzing, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey's Anime!