Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is back, marking the end of its in-person events hiatus. Hailed as one of the largest video game-centered events in the world, the expo takes place inside the expansive halls of Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Within is everything and everyone from the video game world, from household names and indie gaming studios to higher education institutions and B2B technology solutions companies. Not to mention the many official merchandise vendors. Here’s a look at what we saw on the first day, exclusive to industry attendees and media.
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1. Sega’s Giant Homage to Sonic the Hedgehog
With nearby Shinagawa as its stomping ground, it’s no wonder that Sega brought in the big guns for TGS. Its rockstar booth took up significant floor space, complete with a massive inflatable Sonic the Hedgehog and photo spot with the iconic golden rings. Crowds gathered for a glimpse of the trailer for the upcoming Sonic Frontiers game, which featured music by famed Japanese rock band, One OK Rock.
2. Atlus’ Royal Treatment
The Sega subsidiary’s most notable franchise was a commanding presence with its larger-than-life figure display of Thanatos from Persona 3 Portable, Izanagi from Persona 4 Golden and Arsène from the soon-to-be-released, Persona 5 Royal. A mascot version of Morgana was also present and was seen posing and waving to fans who captured the moment on their phones and cameras. Also announced the night before at a private Sega TGS party was the commencement of digital pre-orders for Persona 5 Royal.
3. Square Enix, Square Enix, Square Enix
The fantasy never ends with Square Enix. The JRPG conglomerate had not one but three spacious booths to accommodate upcoming games, merchandise and music. Adorning its biggest booth there were posters, banners and special figurines belonging to Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion, an upcoming remake of the critically acclaimed 2007 action role-playing game.
The merchandise stand already saw coveted items selling out on the first day including Dragon Quest memorabilia and Final Fantasy XIV plushies of the loveable Cactuar. The popularity of the music booth, where limited edition CD game soundtracks are purchasable, is a testament to the franchise’s composers, especially Nobuo Uematsu who has composed scores for over 30 titles of which the majority are under the Final Fantasy anthology.
4. Bandai Namco Bares it All
Not one to be bested was Bandai Namco, whose space was less like a booth and more like a gaming utopia. On show was the multiplayer fighting game Lego Brawls, which was ported to consoles this month, plus the latest in the cult classic Monster Rancher series, Ultra Kaiju Monster Farm (a crossover between the Ultraman series and Monster Rancher) to be released in October.
Anime and manga fans rejoiced at the opportunity to snap a photo with Doraemon and his famous dokodemo door in celebration of the new Doraemon game, Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom, out in November 2022. Bandai Namco also had a gander at One Piece Odyssey, a new turn-based role-playing game featuring Monkey D. Luffy and The Straw Hat Pirates, set for release in January 2023.
5. Konami’s Nostalgic Deck of Games
Konami laid its cards out for the new Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duels mobile game with the premiere of its live-action promotional video at TGS. Also featured was the adorably decked-out Bomberman-themed area for Super Bomberman R 2, a game that promises the same strategic bomb detonation that we remember plus some new exciting battle modes.
6. Capcom’s Chinatown-inspired Corner
Chun-li cut an intimidating figure in a Chinatown-esque setting over at Capcom’s booth, promoting Street Fighter 6 which is set to drop sometime in 2023. The only figure that might have been more fearsome was the moving Tyrannosaurus rex for the upcoming third-person shooter, Exoprimal. To commemorate TGS, a Capcom sale is also happening online for fans of the respective franchises. Pick up old and new titles at up to 85 percent off.
A special mention goes out to all the indie gaming studios and publishers from all across the globe who came to showcase their titles. Japan’s deeply rooted history in video games was prevalent with many independent titles referencing Japanese culture, history or classic Japanese games as reference points for their craft.
GigaBash by Passion Republic Games represented Malaysia with its four-way action brawler featuring a roster of Japanese mythical kaiju to choose from. Re:Legend by Magnus Games Studio is a simulation role-playing game that combines game mechanics found in classic Japanese sim games such as Rune Factory, Digimon World and the Monster Rancher series.
World of Horror by Polish developer, Panstasz and published by Ysbryd Games is a horror game done in one-bit pixel art style, inspired by the nightmarish figures of H.P. Lovecraft and Japanese master of horrors, Junji Ito. Toge Production’s from Indonesia gave a sneak preview of Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly, a visual novel that takes place in a café that was largely influenced by the Japanese show Midnight Diner.