Gamescom is Europe’s biggest gaming convention and was able to attract 877 companies and 500.000 visitors this year. We were very happy to attend this year again and fill you in on our impressions as gaming and Japanese pop-culture fans.
In this sense it is fitting to first start with the Japanese game producer powerhouse Square Enix. The upcoming Final Fantasy XV game was omnipresent as Square Enix spent a lot of money in advertising their new title. From what I was able to see and play so far I am looking forward to this one very much. The story and graphics are amazing so far and a related full length CGI movie called Kingsglaive can already be watched as early access. However, the official release of the game was postponed to the end of November. Other notable titles new were Nier Automata and Deus Ex Human Mankind Devided.
Namco Bandai presented their 2 new Beat-’em-up franchises Tekken 7 and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2. We were able to play both and they seem rather promising. Xenoverse 2 is implemented a lot of suggestions of the gaming community and is trying to deliver a more engaging multiplayer experience.
Personally I am looking forward to the new Kickstarted sequel of Divinity Original Sin 2. Fans of classic story and character driver turn based RPGs will get their money’s worth. There have been a lot of interesting improvements to the first game, which was already a fan favorite for many. The multiplayer campaign can now be played with 4 friends and each player can choose a unique character background story which will be highly relevant to the plot. They are even times when those backgrounds can demand conflicting decisions from the 4 players forcing them to make difficult decisions and enriching the role-play aspect of the game.
Another promising Kickstarter story driven RPG to come is Torment Tides of Numenera. The developers are trying to capture the spirit of the classic original Torment RPG and seem to do a pretty good job from what I was able to see. In addition, the story is written by my favorite fantasy book author Patrick Rothfuss, who is known for the Kingslayer Chronicles books.
The cosplayers this year also outdid themselves as can be seen in the pictures above. All in all Ganescom was a very enriching experience and I will be certainly attend again next year.
With 4 anime cinema rooms, an outdoor stage and a big theater stage, this year the AnimagiC convention again was able to provide a proper stage for numerous anime screening and the live performance of many show groups and j-pop/j-rock bands. While we were most amazed by the live performance of GARNiDELiA, Kanako Ito and ZWEI also put up a decent performance. Screening highlights were a dubbed version of the successful new movie “The boy and the Beast”, but also an amazing 15 minutes long preview for the Final Fantasy XV Kingsglaive movie.
While the convention itself was a big highlight again, there was a sad announcement at the end of it: Next year’s hosting location will switch from the move from the highest populated union state in Germany to a smaller more distant union state (Baden-Württemberg). While the new location certainly seems large and beautiful, we fear that many fans will now no longer be able to afford the long and expensive travel. We hope that many fans in the area will take this opportunity and visit next year’s AnimagiC convention.
With that out of the way, here are some of the beautiful cosplayers we’ve met:
fate stay night saber cosplay
Last week we were able to visit this year’s Dokomi anime convention in Duesseldorf Germany. More than 400 Shops and exhibitors were present and more than 31.000 fans visited the convention over two days. On the big stage visitors could watch theatric performances, two different cosplay contests and a live performance by J-Pop sensation Shiena Nishizawa, who is known to us for the ED theme of Kentai Collection and the OP theme of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk. We welcome the announced plans to possibly add a third day to next year’s convention.
And as always, here are some pictures:
here are still some pictures I wanted to share of last years Gamescom. As you can see it is still one of the biggest gaming conventions worldwide. Enjoy:
Last week we visited the AnimagiC anime convention in Bonn (Germany) together with a friend and owner of this German blog. For me AnimagiC is always a highlight because of its rich program and famous guests. This year 8 different groups were performing plays of their own invention; in 4 cinemas visitors could watch the newest anime releases and premieres; and there was live music by Japanese artists Aimer, AiRI, ZWEI and Mashiro Ayano. Especially Aimer has made a very convincing live performance and is known for her music in Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Zankyou no Terror, Bleach and many other animes.
And as always, here are some of the cosplayers we met there.
This year as well we found the time to visit the Japan Day street festival in Düsseldorf/Germany. It is an open street festival celebrating Japanese culture, including pop-culture, music and material arts. It is a great opportunity for fans of Anime, Manga and Japanese culture in general to meet up and have fun. More than 600,000 visitors took this opportunity this year. Here are some pictures:
Kaiser and Favaro are both bounty hunters within a world shared by humans, angels and demons. They were close friends in their childhood but turned into enemies after the events in which both of their fathers were killed. Being of fundamentally different character they now once again have to cooperate as they both promised to help the mysterious demon girl Amira on her journey to Helheim. Things get even more complicated when word spreads that the first half of the key to the seal of Bahamut, a monster that laid waste to the world 2000 years ago, was stolen.
Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis is set in a quite interesting medieval fantasy world. The dispute between angels and demons is overshadowed by the fear of the possibility of Bahamut’s return, while there are different fractions that each has their own agenda that is slowly revealed to the viewer. Humorous characters are used to lighten up the mood within the story, which otherwise could have been more dark and epic. If this is for better or worse is for the viewer to decide. There clearly went a lot of work into the design of the different characters, races and costumes, yet a 12 episode series can only offer a small glimpse into such a rich and interesting universe. Many things that are introduced to the story are only briefly glossed over or are left unexplained. More episodes or a second season would have offered more opportunities to delve deeper into this world and its characters.
This year we attended Gamescom again, which is the world’s biggest games convention held annually in Cologne, Germany. There we could test and/or got a first glimpse at exciting new announced games such as Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Dragon Age Inquisition, Borderlands PreSequel, The Wicher 3, Dying Light, Dead Island 2 and many more. In addition to that, it was interesting to get in touch with developers and designers in the Business Area.
And as always, there were some beautiful cosplayers we got to meet. Enjoy.