TGS 2017: A Preview of my TGS


It’s Tokyo Game Show week! I have my press pass, business cards and a vague idea of what I’m going to check out. I’ve picked out a t-shirt, selected a pair of fairly comfortable shoes and charged all my electronic devices. I’ve pre-warned my family that they’ll barely see me for two days – they seemed indifferent – and told my work to shove it until Monday.

I say it every year, but I fucking love TGS. I shall play new games, meet interesting people, drink lots of beer and write a few thousand words about “robust multiplayer”, “stylish UI”, “stunning graphics” and “immersive gameplay”. I will claim that something is the Dark Souls of something else and will have to re-Google the definition of “Rogue-like” for the umpteenth time. I shall moonlight as a video game industry man, wear my lanyard to bed and nod knowingly at other people wearing lanyards. I shall make the most of my two days at TGS.

This will be my fifth TGS with a press pass, and eighth overall, so I have a fairly good idea of how my days will pan out. I reckon they’ll go a little something like this.

Day One

First Thing
Get up on time, leave the house on time, get my daughter to nursery on time and then get on the wrong Keio Line train because no one knows which one goes to Makuhari Messe. Ultimately it won’t matter, because whoever I’m meeting will be later than me anyway.

I will check my bag precisely seventeen times, to make sure that my paperwork is all in order. We’ll hurry excitedly from the station to the exhibition hall and then spend a good ten minutes trying to figure out whether we should join the Japanese press line, because we live in Japan, or the foreign media line, because we’re covering the show for a British website.

Doors Open
The queue at the main entrance will already be massive, so there's no point in rushing. I'll wonder around like a headless chicken, unsure which game to play and which line to join. Yoshinori Ono will be posing for pictures with his mini Blanka, and Toshihiro Nagoshi will be sitting on a golden throne, flanked by hostesses, his tan resplendent. Hideo Kojima will be wandering around with his massive entourage.

I'll probably strike up a conversation with a Scandinavian games journalist.

Lunchtime
I will have successfully played one game. I’ll have queued for another, but gave up because VIPs are constantly cutting in line. Don't these PR people know I have a blog with a readership in the tens?! I will console myself with an over-priced, Katsu curry bento and will finally take a breather.

Early Afternoon
At this point, the exhibition hall starts to acquire an unpleasant odour. It's so loud that I won’t be able to hear myself think; I'll have accumulated a bag full of worthless junk and will be fast losing patience with people who have zero spatial awareness. Also, I’ve pulled a hamstring. I’ll still be really enjoying myself though.

Realising that I've hardly played anything and that I need to write some previews, I'll start settling for some lesser known games. After a couple of demos, I'll sit down for thirty minutes and start banging out a few nonsensical phrases that I'll turn into fully formed previews once I start to write proper. For example:

This game - good?
Graphics were nice
Gameplay - is it?
The booth attendant was lovely
Buy bread on the way home

I can stretch that out into a 500 word preview, no problem.

Mid-afternoon
At this point, I will finally commit to one of the massive lines at the Sony booth. Going by the ridiculous wait times, this will likely be my last game of the day. After about an hour, I'll start to question if I even like video games and wonder if my feet are going to fall off. In an effort to give one leg a rest, I'll resort to standing like a flamingo.

I still won’t have played the latest hotness (PSP Go, Kinect, Vita, VR in previous years), which is bad. On the plus side, my evening plans should be starting to take shape at this point. I can taste the booze, but mostly I'm looking forward to sitting down and taking my shoes off.

Late Afternoon
They’re shutting down the lines and wiping down the germ splattered controllers. I’ll do one last circuit of the souvenir shops and post some pictures on Twitter, because grainy photos of overpriced tat is all that anyone really cares about. On my way out, I’ll start staring disapprovingly at the guys taking pictures of the scantily clad booth ladies, who are doing their goodbye line-ups. It’s all a bit sleazy and I’m pretty sure the guy in the corner has his hand down his trousers.

Evening
On the train to central Tokyo for food, drinks and a half-arsed, half-cut attempt at knocking out a preview or two. I’ll stay out too late, drink a little too much, and then post a semi coherent blog once I get home, where I'll gush about some game where you shoot the clothes off schoolgirl zombies.

It’s 2am. Brush my teeth, down some water, go to bed.

Day Two

It's basically the same as Day One, only I'm guaranteed to have a hangover. On the plus side, I'll know exactly where to head once the doors open. By lunchtime, I'll be considering playing mobile games; by mid-afternoon my mind will have already turned to post-show drinks. I'll do one last circuit of the merchandise booths and buy that Game Gear pencil case that I definitely don't need.

And that’ll be the end of my Tokyo Game Show.

***

As you've probably gathered, I’ll be attending TGS on Thursday and Friday. I’m hoping to check out Monster Hunter World, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Code Vein, Skyrim VR, Metal Gear Survive (sue me!), The Evil Within 2, Lost Sphear, City Shrouded in Shadow and other games that I don’t yet know about.

I’ll be posting here at Toomanywires as well as over at Critical Gamer. I’ll also be tweeting away at @toomanywires_

I hope you’ll join me.

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