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Virtual Journal #1: Tokyo Game Show VR 2023

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Made a (very long) report about exploring virtual TGS. Fun time!


A floating island. In its center, the entrance of a tall mountain with tree branches growing on top of it can be seen. The logo for Tokyo Game Show VR 2023 floats near the top. Figures of characters from various games are shown around the mountain.

I tried going around in this year’s virtual venue for Tokyo Game Show! I had a lot of fun, so I wanted to make a report.

You can still explore in it until October 1, 24:00 JST. It’s playable on PC, phones, and on VR. Most things are translated to English, except for some of the trailers around that you can watch.

(I didn’t even realize it until I was writing this, since I got used to listening to things in Japanese even if I only understand like half of it, haha.)

A stage where a Theatrhythm level being played is being shown. Onion Knight dances at the center stage. A few other Final Fantasy characters are also on the side.

It took me around 2 to 3 hours total to experience everything. Some events will only happen at certain times of the day, so I had to wait for the next day to get to those.

If you want to see most of it in one go, entering around 10 to 15 minutes before 15:00 JST should work. Just keep going straight to the event stage at the start, so you can watch some behind-the-scenes footage for the event. After that, you can go have fun in the various areas they prepared until 17:00 JST, where the special event happens on the same event stage as before. Only the beginning part was special in that event though, as the rest were all trailers from the booths you went to.

I’m not sure if the beginning part changes on each day, but what I saw was a Theatrhythm performance. If you’re not into that, then feel free to skip it maybe. There is fun in watching trailers with a few other people though!

There’s also a DJ booth with a unique event each day that can happen at 5:00, 11:00, and 21:00 JST. I didn’t get to try this one. Maybe you can eat first after watching the special performance and do other things, then come back to this later once you find it.

I’ll write about a few things that interest me below. There’s a few that didn’t make it in here, since it’ll be too long. Feel free to visit the venue on your own first before reading further. You can invite a few friends, too!

A 3D avatar wearing an Atelier Resleriana costume standing in front of a bench. A poster for Atelier Resleriana is in the background.

I played late at night for my first day. I thought there wouldn’t be that many people around anymore, especially since it’s already been a few days since the venue opened, but there surprisingly were quite a bit of people still.

It really felt like I was in a convention, which made me glad. I could even interact with other people more, due to things being digital and me having less anxiety levels. There’s even a sponsored refreshments booth where you can grab a drink and have lightning envelop you! A convention classic.

I haven’t been attending events physically since 2019 due to COVID still being a thing, and probably won’t attend one for a long while.

This will probably be the next best thing that I can experience, and it was very well worth the time. I wish there was more of this kind of thing, even more so for local events.

Anyways, you are given a stamp card as you enter the venue. Each of the stamps contain a simple mission for one of the three locations you can go to, with most of them telling you to either approach or take a picture of a certain part of an area.

Getting a stamp unlocks an avatar that you can change into as you walk around, show off, or take selfies with. Some avatars allow you to use a different action than your usual fireworks effect.

An example would be one that allows you to throw a bomb, or another that casts an ice spell. There’s also one where you… place a bike beside you and launch it forward? Fun actions.

(You can also use the chat or generic emotes to interact with other people, like a waving or a hearts emote.)

Once you get more than half of the stamps, you also get access to a mini secret area!

Atelier Resleriana’s booth. A floating trailer poster is at the side of the entrance. A few characters standing around can be seen inside the booth.

One of the booths that got most of my interest was the one for the latest Atelier game, Atelier Resleriana. You can watch a few of the characters move and talk when you approach them! Some of them were from the previous Atelier games that would reappear in the new one, I believe. I liked their designs.

You can also go into a room where the main characters for the new game are. When I went here, there were a few people with Cloud avatars hanging around. I got Cross Slash-ed while taking pictures of the room with a relaxing alchemist room kind of feel.

Watching the trailers and wandering around the area made me a lot more interested in the Atelier series. I haven’t tried them yet, but I heard there’s strict time management for the older games in the series. I wonder if it’s similar to how Harvest Moon’s time management was?

Maybe I’ll start by trying out Ryza sometime? I want to play an older one first though… I’ll have to look into it more. I really like the general atmosphere that the series brings.

A display for Momotetsu with a trailer accompanying it at its side.

The giant display for the new Momotetsu game, Momotaru Dentetsu World: Chikyuu wa Kibou de Mawatteru!, was very vibrant from afar, so I had to take a look inside the Konami booth.

It wasn’t a series that I was familiar with until I saw it on a Nintendo Direct a few months ago. It feels like a board game that I could get into, but I don’t have friends to play with… and I can’t read Japanese well yet. Maybe someday…

A display for Super Bomberman R 2 was beside this one, too. The only game I played similar to Bomberman was The Bombing Islands for PS1, but this multiplayer game could be fun. You can even build your own levels with it, from what I’ve seen.

There’s also a game called Super Crazy Rhythm Castle a few steps outside the Konami booth. I’m usually interested in creative rhythm games, so I had to mention it. I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be a trailer in there, but only a poster for it was shown.

A spooky monitoring room, with 3D avatars wearing an Atelier costume showing up and fading away from a faraway doorway and the side alternately.

I… honestly didn’t remember what this booth was for until I started writing about it. I just saw a banner of Virtual Witch Phenomenon (VWP) which I liked, entered the building, then took pictures in it since it felt like a good scenery for spooky photos.

It was for a game called QuantanoID, where Isekaijoucho from VWP will be singing the theme song of. I do like mecha games visually (since I’m bad at them), but it might be for VR devices only, which I don’t have. I wonder how it plays?

I’d like to see more of their mech designs! That’s something that I don’t know how to do yet, and would need more research to do and learn from…

Godot Engine booth, playing a trailer of various games. A 3D avatar wearing an Atelier costume is standing beside it.

I had to take a picture of the Godot Engine booth. The recent game showcase video was being played on it.

Nothing much to see here, I just had a laugh since I didn’t expect to see Godot while I was walking around, thinking if the creators of this venue would stay with using Unity for the next year’s venue.

SEGA booth, with a trailer for Persona 5 Tactica playing in it. A Mona display is beside it.

I instantly rushed over to the SEGA booth when I saw the Atlus logo. It was only a small part of it, but the trailer for Persona 5 Tactica was playing in there, alongside a display of Mona.

I haven’t looked into it that much yet, but I’m looking forward to the game. I hope it doesn’t have another Alice in Wonderland theming, since a few of the Persona spin-off games already did that…

(I wanted to play Persona 5 Strikers after finishing Persona 5 Royal, but I instantly got blasted with that theme and got tired. Maybe I’ll try it again after resting for a while…)

Booth for Idolmaster Shiny Colors: Song for Prism. A 3D avatar with an Atelier costume is posing in front of a display of Straylight members.

This was the main attraction of the event for me. I took my time on the giant booth for Idolmaster Shiny Colors: Song for Prism, watching the trailers with the new 3D models for the characters, looking at the introduction displays for each idol group, and listening multiple times to the booth’s very good background music that felt like I was playing a romance simulation game.

I played the original game, but had to stop since it was taking too much of my time with the continuous events. I still listen to their music and watch the videos for new cards from time to time though.

I feel like this new game will also take a lot of my time once I can play it, but… I’ll still try it out for a bit. After a while, maybe I’ll just settle for the experience of watching the recently announced anime when that also releases.

If only Shiny Colors can have a standalone game…

I spent too much time hanging around the booth that I turned into a booth staff for a while and just helped and interacted with a few people do the mission on it, haha. The music in there’s just too good.

A bunch of yellow rabbit humanoids and people wearing yellow rabbit heads idling around. Trailers and advertisement posters are in the background.

I went into the venue again the next day to watch a behind-the-scenes video and experience the special event. This time, I went at a time where people would be awake, so there were more people around than before.

While I was doing my last round of walking through the locations, I somehow stumbled upon Suo Sango doing a stream for a virtual sports-related event.

There was a playground booth that’s filled with dancing rabbits, and now there’s a bunch of people with rabbit faces as well. It looked like you have to register for something, so I didn’t participate and just blended with the background.

Accidentally finding someone famous with a crowd in a convention: Another classic. A good and lucky way to end my Tokyo Game Show VR experience.

Suddenly hearing someone talk alongside a billion “Meiji Yasuda Seimei” voice clips will forever be etched into memory.

Starting island. Various other floating islands can be seen far into the distance. A 3D avatar wearing an Atelier costume is standing beside a warp point that looks like a glider.

…and that’s it! I had a ton of fun with this event, and I hope that virtual events become more of a thing in the future. It kind of reminded me of the 3D walking sections in Encarta, if anyone even remembers that, haha.

This honestly made me want to make something similar locally, but I barely have any good multiplayer-making experience. Maybe someday…

Making a mini museum for when you release a game could be a fun experiment, too. Hmm.

In any case, if you’ve read all of this, thank you so much! I don’t think I’ve written something this long in a while, so I apologize if it’s a bit hard to read.

(If you received a survey for the event after you played, it might be good to tell them to not have AI-generated dialogues, NFTs, and the like for next year’s event, since those are listed as options in the question where they ask what you’d like to see for next time. I’d rather not deal with those…)

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