Tokyo Game Show 2018 brought in a record-breaking 298,690 attendees over the course of its four-day run. There were rumblings that TGS popularity was in a decline after last year’s slightly disappointing crowd numbers, but whether because of a strong game lineup, a shift in focus away from mobile games, or something else, TGS was more popular than ever.
The Breaker team made it to Makuhari Messe, the annual home of TGS just outside of Tokyo proper, on the first press and public days. We saw a lot of things that made us hyped and a lot of things that had us asking, “why?” This is our Tokyo Game Show 2018 roundup.
What We Liked
This is probably going to sound a bit elitist but being press is the absolute best way to go about TGS. Have you ever been to Disneyland on a Saturday afternoon? Public day at TGS is a lot like that. Only instead of lining up for 160 minutes to ride Space Mountain you’re lining up for 160 minutes to play the tutorial level of a videogame currently in its beta build.
The floor is a lot less congested with 100,000 fewer people. The longest wait times to play the biggest titles were around 50 minutes on press day. During the public days, lines were closed by noon. Even just trying to use the bathroom becomes a pain. It’s also a lot less humid and gross on press day. If you’re going to wait in line for two hours to play the opening stage of the latest Earth Defense Force it would be nice to also not be covered in another man’s sweat.
Sony / Capcom
The clear winners of Tokyo Game Show 2018 were Sony and Capcom. Not only did they bring the best games, but they also brought the coolest booths to the show. Sony appeared to have the most demos running than any other booth— giving attendees plenty of opportunities to play titles like Resident Evil 2 Remake and Kingdom Hearts III (at least on press day). Capcom, on the other hand, brought an actual zombie-infested Raccoon City.
Overall, you could really see which developers were relying entirely on booth babes (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and who was there to show off something they were really proud of. ToBut let’s be real, it doesn’t actually take that much to “win” Tokyo Game Show. Just listen to fans and bring good games. Basically, just don’t be Konami. More on that later.
In the past, there was very little love given to indie games and developers at Tokyo Game Show. It often felt like Tokyo Mobile Game Show more than anything else. Thankfully, more and more indie developers are getting love.
The indie booth had some of the most fun and unique games of the convention. Check out our Top Six Indie Games to what we really loved. It’s also nice to talk directly to developers and ask questions instead of having a booth babe silently hover over you for 15 minutes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Everything is Coming Up VR
It’s hard to believe how far gaming has come. VR gaming used to be something we dreamed about or was something you’d only see on Saturday morning cartoon shows. Today, VR gaming is not only a reality, but it’s also more accessible than ever, and it’s only going to get better. Nearly half of the convention was dedicated to VR in some way or another.
We were already excited for Playstation VR titles like Déraciné and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, but JPPVR technology’s Tron-inspired light-cycle left us the most impressed. Of course, for every awesome VR game coming out, there are about 20 additional flaming turds coming out along with them. In a way, VR is a lot like the Wii. Great games utilizing new and innovative technology hidden behind piles and piles of shovelware. Whether your opinion on it is good or bad, if the demos showed off at TGS are anything to go by, VR is the future of gaming.
What We All Feel Really Differently About
Booth companions, also known as booth babes, are a really controversial topic in the West. In Japan, it’s not an issue at all. Foreigners coming to Tokyo Game Show might actually be surprised by just how much on the forefront developers push booth companions. Half the time you won’t even know what they’re showing off.
To this day, I have no idea what Xperia does. I have never seen an attendee actually trying whatever Xperia demos. I just see people taking pictures of their booth babes. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Truthfully, there is probably something at least just a little bit sexist about hiring beautiful women to peddle your technology to a bunch of nerds, but at the same time— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Regardless of how you feel about them, they’re a staple of Tokyo Game Show, and for most, if not all booth companions, this is their actual full-time job. They’re working. The last thing they need is some weirdo not respecting boundaries.
What We Didn’t Like
This is hell.
The fans demanded it, and Konami listened. More Bomberman and party games!
Really Bad VR
Everything I said about VR is a lie. We have to stop it. We have to stop it now.
What a great way to advertise your games on press day.
Hey, thanks for the free Monster Energy Drink, PUBG. What? Oh, I’m just going to check out Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. No. It’s ok. I don’t want to wait in line for an hour for a picture wearing camo.
The one time I tried to find out what Xperia actually did, they strapped a display to my head so I could experience the convenience of playing a crappy mobile game directly 2 inches from my face.
This is stupid.
And that’s it for now. We’ll see you again next year, Tokyo Game Show.