Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is the closest major gaming convention for us Malaysians to check out, especially as you don’t need to take a transatlantic flight across the world to try out the latest games. An 8 hour Air Asia flight is all that is standing between you and the latest Devil May Cry. It was a first time experience for a couple of the Gamehubs team members this year, and we think it’s good to share some of the lessons we learned from that experience, especially if you’re keen to attend TGS in the future.
TGS is an annual video game convention, happening in the month of September of every year. It takes place at the same spot every year, that being the Makuhari Messe, a convention hall located in Chiba, which is right outside of Tokyo. Ticket prices range from 1,000 to 1,200 yen, depending on if you buy an advance ticket or but the tickets on the day itself. With that out of the way, let’s get on to the things you should know:
1.Know The Trains
This is obvious to those who have been to Japan before. Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world, and thankfully it's connected by a whole system of trains. Knowing the best route in and out of Tokyo Game Show can save a lot of time for yourself. Once you familiarise yourself with the trains that pass through the Kaihimmakuhari Station, which is the closest train station to Makuhari Messe, going back to your hotel or any other hotspots in Tokyo after the show will be a breeze.
If you’re a fan of PC games, this may not be the event for you. You won’t see a lot of PC games on display during Tokyo Game Show. The prevalent consoles are definitely the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile phones. Not even the Xbox One is around to pick up the PC slack. In our experience, we found out that WASD controls are just alien to Japanese gamers, controllers and gamepads are the way to go for them.
Now this may be a no-brainer but it can’t be stressed enough, the lines get crazy here. You might be lucky enough to play an obscure title like the new Kamen Rider Zi-O game with no lines in front of you. But if you’re looking to try the new Resident Evil 2 remake, get ready to line-up for up to an hour at peak hours. So wear comfortable shoes, make friends, or read a book to pass some time before playing some upcoming games.
While yes Microsoft and the Xbox One did not have a major booth, some companies like Capcom and Bandai Namco had their demos readily playable on Xbox Ones at their booths. Since they have both Xbox Ones and PS4 stations, the lines will be split between the two. Here’s a tip: there’s less Xbox One players which means the lines have less people, thus more opportunity for you to play. Generally, the games you get to play on either console will look and play the same, so in the end it’s all up to your personal tastes. Unless you’re a Sony loyalist, look into the Xbox lines to get more time with the games you want to play.
Yes, everyone would like a great picture for their social medias, humble bragging the fact that you are the only person in your social circle who has played Kingdom Hearts 3. But be warned, you can’t take photos everywhere. The booth attendants will make sure of that. Be sure to ask permission first before taking a picture of the demo booth. In any case, there’s usually a photo op spot that you can line up for a picture or two.
The Indie Games Hall was in another building all together, which most people may miss out. It’s in another hall adjacent to the main hall and is worth the trip. Indie games from around the world are in full display, even Metronomik’s No Straight Roads. There you can definitely try out a wider range of games and even talk to the minds behind them personally.
The convention hall may have its own food court, but the food there is really expensive. If you were to walk back to Kaihimmakuhari Station, you’ll see a few places to eat at either the AEON Mall or Mitsui Outlet. There’s cheaper alternatives like a Burger King or Yoshinoya at the nearby Plena Mall, which also has a Halal ramen place for muslims to have a nice authentic Japanese meal.
Easier said than done, but a lot of Japanese celebrities make appearances in the show. Usually those pertaining to video games like Shinya Arino, host of Gamecenter CX making the rounds at TGS. If you’re a fan of the people behind the games, game directors and designers would also make appearances and are more than happy to take a quick photo with fans.
Goodie bags, posters, fans, stickers and more. You’re going to need to empty out your luggage bag to make space for all the free stuff available during the event. Sometimes they’re given out as you walk pass certain booths, other times you can get exclusive merch by playing certain demos. So walk around the entire hall and get yourself some great souvenirs.
The goodies may be great and free, but nothing beats official merchandise of your favourite games. Capcom was selling a bunch of Megaman 11 merch, and Square Enix was definitely running out of Kingdom Hearts 3 stuff the minute the convention started. They’re definitely on the pricier side, but it’ll definitely be worth it to have exclusive gear from a convention that only comes once a year.
So there you have it, our official tips and tricks for getting the most out of Tokyo Game Show. Hopefully it’ll help you out for surviving TGS 2019. Keep up with Gamehubs on Facebook and Twitter to be up to date on Tokyo Game Show 2018. Special thanks to Travel Recommends for providing us with Portable Wifis, check out their services here.