Tokyo Game Show 2018 opens to the public on September 22, 2018. But starting on September 20th days, business attendees and press have had the chance to explore the conference halls, take part in meetings and purchase as much of the merchandise as possible before it all sells out.
This is the first year that I’ve attended the event, and as such I took as many pictures and visited as many booths as possible to soak in the atmosphere. While I will have more thoughts on the games I saw over the coming days, I’m going to take you on a trip though TGS, and show you what you can expect if you attend the event.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Outside of Makuhari Messe, Sega’s presence is already felt with a scaled robot from Border Break, an arcade game whose newest version was released for the PS4 in August in Japan.
Heading into the show floor from the closest entrance, the first booth you’ll encounter is the joint Sega/Atlus booth. A host of smaller titles are on display on this side, though the biggest attractions are on the opposite side.
Sega and Atlus’ booth featured three big titles. None had as interesting of an entrance as Catherine: Full Body however.
The largest section at Sega’s booth was reserved for Judge Eyes, known as Project Judge outside of Japan. A demo was available for play, and the game is set to launch in Japan this December.
The last of the three games featured at Sega’s booth was Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth for the 3DS. Attendees could play the game in a recreation of Cafe Leblanc from Persona 5.
The same exhibition hall also held the Square Enix booth. While several video screens advertised the latest games from the Japanese juggernaut, the booth itself featured demo’s for only three games: Kingdom Hearts 3, Dragon Quest Builders 2, and Final Fantasy XIV. Kingdom Hearts 3 was by far and away the most popular game on the show floor, and I had to wait 45 minutes in line to check it out when the line didn’t wrap around the booth.
Close by the Square Enix booth was Konami’s. A wide variety of games were on display there, but if I’m being honest, known were as impeccably named as Boys, be DANCING!. I have no idea what this game is about, but if I had to hazard a guess, it’s probably a gatcha game.
Sony had a huge presence at the Tokyo Game Show, with dozens of demo’s available to play. Here, visitors could take photos with the Corrupted Monk from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Elsewhere at Sony’s booth, a replica of Norman Reedus’ character Sam from Death Stranding was on the show floor for photo ops as well.
Moving over to Bandai Namco’s booth, the area is dominated by an Aragami statue from the upcoming God Eater 3. Jump Force, Soulcalibur 6, and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown were also present in force.
D3 Publisher may be best known for the Earth Defense Force series outside of Japan. At Tokyo Game Show, they’re advertising the next entry in the franchise with a statue of a monster that ‘breathes’ smoke when several people step on pressure pads.
Much like Sega, Capcom’s booth featured several smaller titles, but primarily focused on their biggest releases; in this case, Devil May Cry 5 and the Resident Evil 2 remake.
The setup for Resident Evil 2 was particularly impressive. Dead bodies lay outside the demo area, which was designed after the Racoon City Police Department. Further along, there was an airsoft shooting range done up like the gun shop from the game, where entrants could shoot at targets for small prizes.
Idol games were heavily advertised at Tokyo Game Show, such as Love Live!. Here, the highly anticipated Revue Starlight game is being promoted.
Separate from the first eight halls, where the larger booths were located, was the hall devoted to merchandise and indie games. Kojima Productions may not have had any new Death Stranding footage to showcase, but their merchandising arm was on hand for all of your shopping needs.
Capcom’s merchandise booth featured a ton of Monster Hunter goodies, which is understandable considering the success of Monster Hunter World. But no item compared to the franchise’s partnership with Japanese luxury fashion house Samantha Thasava, who developer a luxury bag that is valued at 29,000 yen.
Square Enix featured not one, but two different booths dedicated to merchandise. Some, like the Nier figures pictured above, were merely for show, while others, such as the plushies pictured below, were available for weak-willed journalists such as myself to spend their hard-earned money on.
Square Enix’s second merchandise booth was solely devoted to the company’s music. Over 80 soundtracks were available for purchase, and some, such as the Xenogears and Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood soundtracks, sold out very quickly.
One wall of the Square Enix Music booth featured Chocobo drawings from some of the creators of Final Fantasy. Composer Nobuo Uematsu’s attempt is featured prominently above, and below you can see Yoshitaka Amano’s and Koichi Isshi’s takes on the famous yellow bird.
SNK had a large selection of items for purchase. But none compared to these two Samurai Shodown and Metal Slug jackets, which stood out from the crowd.
Sega had arguably the widest selection of merchandise at TGS to choose from. Sonic the Hedgehog, Valkyria Chronicles, Persona, and even items from other companies such as Spike Chunsoft’s Danganronpa and Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes were all on display here.