Tokyo Game Show 2018 Photo Report
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Tokyo Game Show is the biggest gaming expo in Japan. For many gamers over here, it's the first opportunity to try out the most anticipated upcoming titles before they hit the market - if they have patience and perseverance to wait hours in line, that is. Overall attendance for the event was 298,690, a 17.5% increase from last year. As you may imagine, the venue was absolutely packed to the brim, especially on the weekend when the event was open to the public.
The press and members of the game industry have access during the business days, but even then, Tokyo Game Show can be overwhelming. The Makuhari Messe venue is divided into roughly a dozen halls, each with a different focus. Here's a brief tour of the major booths and attractions:
As you may expect, Square Enix was pushing Kingdom Hearts III hard. There were roughly 50 demo booths in operation throughout the event, meaning that the line to play it was never too long even though the game was in high demand. There was also a photo area and a cabinet case full of brand new merchandise for the game.
Naturally, Square Enix took this opportunity to show off the Kingdom Hearts III-themed PlayStation 4.
Tucked away behind all the Kingdom Hearts was a row of demos for both the PlayStation and Switch versions of Dragon Quest Builders 2. On the other hand, there was barely any Final Fantasy to be seen at the booth, except for the iconic Moogle mascot hanging above the Square Enix area.
Fans of Final Fantasy were well served by the Square Enix shops, at least. One shop was dedicated solely to music; not only was it playing remixes of all the Final Fantasy music, it was displaying drawings of Chocobos by various celebrities in the business, such as the original Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and the Chocobo designer Koichi Ishii.
Capcom's biggest games this year were Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2 (titled Biohazard 2 in Japan), both of which had lavish displays. Devil May Cry 5 had a photo spot featuring a life-sized statue of Nero. The release date of the game (8 March 2019) is written on the display with graffiti.
The demo area itself recreates the set of the game.
The line for the Resident Evil demo also recreates part of the set of the game as well as some of the costumes.
Atlus certainly got creative with their booths this year. Players literally have to walk inside Rin's skirt to access the Catherine: Full Body demo area. Meanwhile, the mascot characters of Persona 3, 4, and 5 were standing outside the Persona Q2 and Catherine: Full Body demo areas all day throughout Tokyo Game Show.
Meanwhile on Sega's end, the biggest game was undoubtedly Judge Eyes, the game about a detective made by the developers of the Yakuza series. There was a mini-theater with a seating area showing the story trailer and footage from throughout the game.
The Bandai Namco area had some of the most lavish displays in the entire convention. The Aragami from God Eater 3 is shown here in all of its monstrous glory.
On the other side of the Bandai Namco area, promotion for the latest Tales of game, called Tales of Crestoria, was well underway. Throughout the event, staff members from Bandai Namco were handing out bags and other freebies to encourage people to pre-register to the game's online mobile service. It appears that Tales of Crestoria is getting the same kind of promotional push that a mainline Tales of game on a home console would get.
There were also displays for The Kotobuki Squadron in The Wilderness (Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai), which is a mobile game that is set to launch alongside the anime that will air next year.
As expected from a company best known for its rhythm games, music was a big feature of the KLab booth. Throughout the event, KLab's in-house music team would come onstage and perform the music they composed for their games, particularly for favorites like Yu Yu Hakusho.
One of the biggest game being showcased at KLab was Love Live! School Idol Festival. Not only were visitors able to play the rhythm game on a big screen available at the booth, a small part of the upcoming Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS was also available to try out. Players could tap all the main characters from µ's and Aqours to see their reactions in what Bushiroad calls the “communication feature.”
Klab was also giving visitors the opportunity to experience their upcoming mobile game Magatsu Wahrheit in VR. Interestingly, a virtual YouTuber named Ubiba is one of the playable characters. The horse man Youtuber is also shown in the promotional art.
The PlayStation area was showing off the PlayStation Mini. When you look at a physical version of it next to the original model, it really is amazingly small and compact.
Unlike the US, booth babes are still prominent in Japan. In the case of mobile game company 6Waves, their booth babes stood out more than their actual games.
Ah yes, modern Konami's brand in a nutshell.
Meanwhile, D3's booth encapsulates the duality of man.
Bushiroad was showing off the set of BanG Dream!, plus posters and other character goods.
Level-5 had an enormous booth with dozens of consoles set up just for the upcoming Yokai Watch mobile game. Jibanyan in his classic form was ushering people in to try the game, even though the game itself features the Shadowside form of the character.
Taito was giving attendees the opportunity to play the original Space Invaders arcade game. These machines will go on sale this December at a whopping price of 58,000 yen (not including tax), so Tokyo Game Show was probably one of the few occasions people of the general public will be able to play Space Invaders in its classic form.
This coupled with the continuing presence of VR games at TGS means that the event has come to offer some unique gaming experiences that's hard to find elsewhere. That may be one factor that explains why the attendance of TGS keeps climbing every year.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history