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Dokomi 2019

Wednesday, 30 October, 2019

This year again we went to the Dokomi Convention in Düsseldorf Germany. With more than 55.000 visitors the event keeps growing in size, but manages to not feel as crowded due to large spaced and big halls.

This year Dokomi team managed to invite the big J-Pop band fhána to perform on the big stage. They had their big debut in 2013 and over the years a lot of their music was featured in popular anime series such as: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, Haruchika, Gingitsune, Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, Sora no Method, Witch Craft Works, Comet Lucifer, Tales of Zestiria the X, Knights & Magic and Uchoten Kazoku. They delived a miraculous live performance.

The Japanese duo Yuko Matsumoto und Atsuko Ota also delivered a wonderful performance on stage, as they reimaging popular anime songs through a classical lens of violin and piano. The more quiet and emotional melodies were in stark contrast to fhána’s performance, yet a pleasant one at that.

As always there was a large offering of anime-related workshops, events, theatrical performances, a big hall of shops selling merchandise and plenty of food stalls for the quick hunger.

A big thanks to the Dokomi team.

Gamescom 2019

Thursday, 5 September, 2019

Gamescom in Germany is still the world’s biggest open gaming convention with 370.000 visitors and more than 1.000 exhibitors this year. Giants of the industry are presenting their newst developments in open booths, trailers and often hands-on gameplay. The following are some of the highlights we have seen this year.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a highly anticipated sci-fi FPS shooter by CD-Project RED, that is based on a tabletop RPG. It has been in development for quite some time now and is scheduled for release on April 16th 2020 for PC and consoles. Current gameplay fotage suggest Cyberpunk to be a very athmospheric and graphically advanced story driven open world FPS. We do have high hopes for this game, especially given the developer’s high reputation earned with their previous open world game Witcher 3.

Another much anticipated title we got to test is Final Fantasy 7 Remake by developer Square Enix. This game is a completely new and graphically stunning game based on the cult classic original from 1997. Many fans who grew up with the original have strong opinions about how much adjustments to the core story and combat gameplay are acceptable for this to be a worthy successor. From what little I got to test, I am very happy with with new combat mechanics that combine the old tactical turn based combat with a more modern real-time action-driven one. FF7 Remake is scheduled to release in March 3rd 2020 for PC and consoles.

We also got to see more of Death Stranding, a game by Japanese star developer Hideo Kojima. The main character is voiced and designed after The Walking Dead star actor Norman Reedus. He is tasked to deliver goods in a post-apocalyptical world plagued by invisible ghosts. We hope this mystery-horror game will come with an interesting story line, twists and a lot of cut-scnenes, as would be expected by Kojima’s games.

Japanese Developer Bandai Namco had seven titles to present this year, many of which including hands-on gameplay. These titles are Dragon Ball Z Kakarot (action RPG), Code Vein (a vampire Dark Sould type game in anime graphics), One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 (dynasty warrors type game), Rad, One Punch Man A Hero Nobody Knows, Disney Tsum Tsum Festival and The Dark Pictures Anthology Man of Medan (horror game). This is a big line-up with many titles anime fans will be happy to get once released.

Dying Light 2 by developer Techland is an open world zombie RPG with parkour elements. This year we got to see a gameplay demo and are very impressed with the dynamic physics and stunning graphics this game has to offer. This is probably the best iteration of the zombi-slashing gerne and we are eagerly awaiting the release on spring of 2020 for PC and consoles.

Borderlands 3 by developer Gearbox is the 4th installment of this gerne defining loot-and-shoot FPS classic. Hands-on gameplay at the booth was very promising and we are already eagerly awaiting the release on September 13th 2019 for PC and consoles.

Those were our highlights in terms of new titels for this year. Big thanks to the Gamescom organizers for bringing together developers and gamers on such a large scale!

Gamescom cosplay contest

Gamescom 2018

Monday, 10 September, 2018

This year again we were at Gamescom 2018 and were able to play some of the newest games the industry has to offer.

First of all, I can assure all Kenchiro fans that Fist of the North Star Paradise Lost will be all that you can expect of this franchise. Fast paced fighting with a lot of blood, over the top animations with trashy, funny but also epic finishing moves. Cool cut scenes on the flow while fighting, which we all know from the Yakuza franchise. It was built like a classic Yakuza game: you can take quests to unlock Kenchiros special finishers, play mini games or discover secret areas in the city. I had my fun with the game and recommend it to all Fist of the North Star fans out there.

On the same stage we were able to have a first look at Segas new turn based RTS Valkyria Chronicles 4, the highly anticipated sequel to the famous anime game from 2008. This game offers the same as the prequel but with better graphics and more tactical options. You have to look deep into the mechanic of the game to see some differences towards his predecessor. We may also be excited about the new story. The developers promised a very complex story with lots of plot twists and emotional moments between the crew members of your squad. The relationships between the characters matters on the battlefield, so they told us. If you are a fan of this franchise, you can look forward for a good game, and forget Valkyria chronicles Azure Revolution.

Our next destination was Bandai Namco the biggest publisher for anime games. The most prominent game was Jump Force, an anime fighting game with a roster of the most popular shounen characters like Goku from Dragonball, Naruto from Naruto Shipudden, Luffy from One Piece, Ichigo from Bleach and many more. Jump Force is basically the spirited successor of J Stars Victory Versus and has a similar fighting system. The gameplay is very tactical. While fighting, you can switch between three characters on the fly. Every character is classified into a combat class. You have range fighters and close combat fighters like most games in this genre. The gameplay is mostly based on dodge timing, parry and creating distance towards your opponents. Some attacks needs range and some attacks are close combos. Especially the special moves are very time intensive to cast but can unleash great damage. The most outstanding part of this game is its unique art style. The skin and clothe textures, as well as moves are extremely satisfying.

At Team Ninja we got to see the new Dead or Alive 6 with an improved engine. It allows for more realistic animations, sweat, clothes that take damage and weather animations. It looks very promising so far.

Last but not least, we need to tell you about THQ Nordic and two of their most anticipated games, Darksiders 3 and Biomutant. I‘ve got to say, look forward to Biomutant. It is THQ’s most ambitious game. From the former developers of Avalanche studio, the creator of Just Cause and Mad Max, comes a giant open world action RPG with kung-fu-like setting in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s similar to Zelda breath of the Wild, where you can manipulate the vast environment of this world to your own benefit. Like Just Cause, it has a heavy physic-based gameplay where your surroundings interact with your active mutant abilities. In the end we are very excited to get this game in our hands. The second big game in THQ’s pipeline is Darksiders 3. An action RPG based on a famous comic series about the four apocalyptic riders who want to cancel the apocalypse, which has been accidently triggered by one of the riders. We are very happy to see this game being developed at last. Darksiders 2 left fans with a great cliffhanger and after so many years, fans can look forward to see the epic story of the apocalyptic riders continue as we continue.

And as always, here are some pictures:

AnimagiC 2018

Saturday, 1 September, 2018

This year we were once again able to visit the AnimagiC Convention, which has moved to Mannheim Germany in 2017. This convention is most noticeable by the sheer number of high-profile music-acts and celebrities it manages to invite each year. This year’s perfomances included eufonius, Konomi Suzuki, ZWEI, Mika Kobayashi, MYTH & ROID as well as Yuna Shinohara und Ken Nakasako, who took a classical music approach to known anime theme songs.

In addition there are multiple viewing areas, where you are able to view most recent anime movies in German dub such as No Game No Life Zero, Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale and many more. Right outside there is also a beautiful part, perfect if you need to take a break. All in all it was a very worthwhile experience and we definitely recommend a visit.

Animagic Park

Dokomi 2018

Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Recently we were able to visit the 10th anniversary of the Dokomi Convention in Düsseldorf Germany. The 45.000 visitors got to enjoy a large merchandise area, multiple musical acts, two cosplay competitions, four stage plays and much more.

We particularly enjoyed the live performance by Eri Sasaki, who is the voice behind the Yuru Camp Opening and the Plastic Memories Ending song. In some of her slower songs she played a violin herself, being accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Those were especially amazing and really let her amazing voice shine.

Not to be outdone, Megumi Nakajima was also star guest and had an amazing performance. She is known for the main role in Macross Frontier and the opening song of Net Juu no Susume.

With all the acts, artists and workshops we of course were not able to see everything, but we definitely had an enjoyable time.

Gamescom 2017: Gaming and Cosplay

Friday, 29 September, 2017

This year we were able to visit Gamescom again to bring you some of the Japan related highlights.

Japanese published Bandai Namco offered gameplay for three of their new announced titles. What got us most interested of those was Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker. Unlike the Ninja Storm game series, here you are able to play matches with up to 4vs4 players. Jumping and moving through terrain as well as balancing you team seemed very importing and it looks rather promising. The second title Dragon Ball FighterZ is a new Beat ‘em up with a distinctly Japanese style and gameplay. The third title Ace Combat 7 is the newest installment of the famous air combat series and made for a very enjoyable VR experience for those who enjoy this genre.

Published Square Enix presented their new Title Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Similar to the new Naruto game, here you can engage in tactical team combat and chose from characters from all the different Final Fantasy titles. Another interesting presented game is the Online DLC for Final Fantasy XV. We are glad to see that DLC and Updates are still being released for this amazing title and still will be in 2018.

More than that, fans of the Cyber Punk genre should definitely look out for Detroit: Become Human, while fans of the classic RPG genre shouldn’t miss Divinity Original Sin 2.

We also enjoyed the Cosplay Village as well as the shopping area, which were even more prevalent this year. Below are some photos, enjoy:

Dokomi 2017

Saturday, 5 August, 2017

This year again we were able to visit the Dokomi Anime Convention in Dusseldorf Germany.

With this year’s 40.000 visitors, lots of show acts and workshops as well as amazing cosplayers, there was nothing left to be desired for anime fans in the region. As musical acts VII ARC and Shiroku have performed on stage. Another big plus was even bigger shopping area this year offering an amazing selection of anime and gaming related goodies.

As always, here are some of the cosplayers: