The last time I went to an Expo was for KOF XIII, supporting RSG at the MCM Expo in London, where we drove the crowd insane with my crackhead commentary on the Gamespot Stage and introduced the ON championship belt. Over in Paris, the Japan Expo is actually half an expo with Comic-con. So it’s Manga, Anime, Cult, Scifi and comics and some other random bits like car bodyworks (?) all under one roof…
Koch Media / Tecmo Koei were present with stands for Dead or Alive 5 and Persona 4 Arena. There was quite a lot of competition for attention in the form of Nintendo stands with Mario Party 9 and Super Mario Brothers 2 – don’t you just hate those game companies that just churn out the same game with more tweaks? :p And there was that massive One Piece and Naruto stand… woah.
DOA5 had a strong presence at the show with one central stand containing several pods giving people the chance to play the 50% complete version; they also had a tournament on another stand with NoLife, who drew a big crowd with their lively commentary. The game seems pretty much the same as previous series, just with new characters and moves. It’s the same old “make the right counter” gameplay with lots of jiggling and wrestling to keep the good man happy. One thing I did notice was that there seemed to be a lack of impact between scene transitions. Who can forget performing Hayabusa’s spinning head drop through the Church window in DOA3? DOA5 tries to re-live that magic in new ways like dropping down the side of a building but hmmmm…. well, I may get a beta copy for closer inspection.
Had the pleasure of meeting Xavier, Paul and Anne from Koch Media plus Chin and Marlena from Tecmo Koei. Anne and Chin are community managers for Koch Media and Tecmo Koei respectively. Anne is lovely and we had a good discussion about future events and possibilities. Chin is … larger than life? As a community manager, he’s certainly more rock and roll than anything I’ve been accustomed to! He’s never heard of KOF, but that’s about to change – he told me his name might be hard to remember. Guess what I told him….
VS Dojo was there staging the 3S EU qualifiers for Tougeki. Big stage and a packed audience, the photo is there to prove it, have to say I was impressed. People still playing that old game!
It makes me wonder if KOF XIII could reach the same status – people are very happy with this system and only want new characters. We don’t want strikers to come back in or anything like that. Let’s not talk about KOF 98….
Well, DOA5 is nice and all but I came to see how Persona was developing. The general consensus has been positive, judging by the fact that I couldn’t get a go and the stand was pretty packed out and there were a few anime heads giving it a go. That’s quite important because the Persona brand is new and niche in the fighting games market. If it doesn’t make a good impression with the FGC, it’s going to have to rely on its RPG and anime fanbase for initial sales. You may have seen the side tournament streams at EVO. So far, so good! Good reactions and you should all know by now, the game is EASY to play, but at a high level, gets CRAZY!
The Future of Orochinagi
I had a chat with some fans about 3D games. Generally 2D fans don’t like 3D, however I know this to be a bit of a lie because I don’t know anyone who didn’t at least try Dead or Alive. Boobies ftw. Now as you know we’ve been covering P4A but if you really want KOF to take off, we need to make it the focus within the coverage of other games. This might be too big a job to handle, but it’s a gamble I’m willing to take. Orochinagi is going to expand… But whatever the case, whatever you see on ON.com, KOF will always remain the priority.
The gallery below contains around 50 images of anime, toys, cosplay, crowd shots, the usual stuff.
The Expo is still open today until 7pm, so you still have a chance (if you are in Paris) to check out DOA5 and Persona Arena.
Photo Gallery has now been archived here.