It’s been a while everyone! Sorry for not posting in a (very) long time, life has been keeping me busy with graduation, starting work, and moving to Japan!! I was actually scheduled to leave Japan soon after I got here for a business trip, but that got pushed off… giving me the opportunity to take the train up to Chiba and go to Tokyo Game Show for a day!
There were a lot of exhibitions and booths up; they were all pretty big and the only comparison I can make based on my own experiences is that it was similar to Anime Expo but the exhibitor section was double the size. A lot of big name companies were there but the ones I’ll be focusing on in this post are related to (of course) otome games 🙂
Utano☆Princesama Shining Live
KLab had a huge booth and I was happy to see Utano☆Princesama Shining Live was prominently displayed on a huge screen on one side for many people to see 🙂 The main attraction for Shining Live was life sized screens of the boys you could interact with. You got to spend some quality time with them in these individual booths:
This was the only time I could get a clear picture of the booths (near closing time). The lines for them were full the entire time I was at TGS!
One of the staff at the KLab booth told me that they actually had to hand out time tickets for people to come back and stand in line because they were afraid of the line getting out of hand; the tickets were completely gone within the first hour of the hall opening!
Luckily I was able to get some time in one of the booths :’) Once inside you put on a pair of nice headphones and got to choose one member of either STARISH or Quartet Night to spend time with. After spending what felt like the longest minute of my life deliberating between Tokiya (the original Best Boy™) and Ren (Suave Suwabe enough said) I went with Ren (sorry Tokiya… I still love you I promise)
Yours truly smiling like an idiot taking a selfie with Ren
Unfortunately you couldn’t change their outfits from the Shining Live ones so I couldn’t see Ren’s abs in life-sized glory based on the outfit from his Seaside Summer Live gacha card 😦 On the bright side, the affection levels for the boys were maxed so they would blush and say cute things when you interacted *cough* touched them. After listening to Ren say 「ダメダメ～くすぐったいよ～」 and other things while winking and trying not to suffer cardiac arrest in the booth I came out a happier person than I was going in ^^
After you finished your Shining Live experience you got a random calendar card from a staff member standing by the exit line. I didn’t get Ren or Tokiya but I got Masato (my third favorite in STARISH). There were a lot of girls standing near the booths looking to trade for their favorite characters but seeing a lot of them were looking for Tokiya and Ren I decided not to wait around as I probably wasn’t going to get either of them 😦
A bit too small to frame but just the right size to keep in your wallet 😉
Luckily some of the staff were kind enough to invite me into their break room to give me a quick interview about a couple questions I had about the international release of the game! It was really fun talking to them because they were so excited about talking about Shining Live and it honestly felt like I was talking to fellow fans instead of developers!
One of the biggest complaints that I’ve been hearing from the fandom in general was the game being released in separate versions (Japanese and International) instead of one version like Granblue Fantasy and Fire Emblem Heroes. They explained to me KLab may be a bit smaller than people think it is; while it has a big reputation because of Love Live! School idol festival, the company actually isn’t really that big and most of the employees don’t speak English (because it’s a Japanese company). Instead of of relying on other publishers to publish their games internationally, KLab does it mostly in-house themselves, which takes a lot of manpower. They didn’t want to delay the release of Shining Live more than they had to, and released the Japanese version first. However, they are working very hard on localizing the international version! Words can’t express how much I appreciate that they don’t want to compromise quality for a quicker release; quite honestly, the Japanese release of Shining Live was smooth and I didn’t experience any bugs at the release, which is something I can’t say for most (if not all) mobage I’ve played so far (eyes another idol game that was released earlier this summer). My expectations for the localization of the story and events were set high after the staff’s assurance that they’re taking care to quality check everything so international fans can have an enjoyable experience playing the game 🙂
I got the feeling that Shining Live will follow a similar formula as KLab’s approach to Love Live! Both are based on idol series from other forms of media with a large following, and the games are another form for fans to enjoy content from and also a means to introduce new people to the game. A concern that I and a couple of friends shared was that events for the international version of Shining Love wouldn’t follow the same schedule as the Japanese version (story would be altered or some events would be dropped altogether). When I asked KLab staff about it, they replied that while everything hasn’t been fully decided, they assured me they plan to carry over virtually all of the content in the Japanese version to the international one.
It’s been a while since I’ve stopped playing Love Live! (Maki and Eli were my best girls) but while playing the Japanese version of Shining Live I’ve noticed similarities between the two games. One feature that I’m sure most of you will enjoy are the intimacy levels! By including cards into your teams and using them in lives, you can increase the intimacy level of the idols, which unlocks more voiced lines you can hear when you tap the character when he’s set as the one who greets you on your home screen!
Idol page where you can view intimacy levels as well as change their clothes and backgrounds
Another way to increase intimacy with the boys is to touch them on the home screen! Doing so will increase your intimacy with the character by five points instead of just one!
Currently on a beach date with Ren 🙂
One of the staff members let me know that you can increase intimacy by seven points if you use the handy full screen mode! She also told me when your intimacy gets to a high enough level the characters will actually walk towards you! So every little point counts 😉
I am guilty of using this feature too often to touch Ren’s abs 😉
As I mentioned early, there is still no release date for the international version of Shining Live, but KLab is working very hard to prepare it for the rest of the world to enjoy! You can currently view more information about the game on the website here and view the PV for the game here. If you’re feeling impatient, you can download the Japanese version from the Japanese Play Store and App Store.
There is currently no online wikia for translations, but this twitter account is currently translating in-game announcements for those of you don’t understand Japanese!
Unfortunately, there are currently no localizations of the UtaPri otome games (but with Vita versions being released recently in Japan, I’m staying hopeful). However, the anime is available to watch subbed on Crunchyroll! This is a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously so be prepared to get an ab workout laughing (and yelling) over hot idol boys. There are currently three seasons and a fourth on the way so plenty of content to get familiar with the boys if you’ve yet to be introduced to UtaPri 🙂
Next up is Voltage! Voltage has been a presence at TGS for a couple years now and this was my first time visiting their booth. The booth was a little smaller (and crowded) than I was expecting but I think it’s because they tried to include a lot of things at their booth this year. They had four “attractions” at the booth: an otome game romance situation with one of two actors dressed up as either Nobunaga or Sakuya from Samurai Love Ballad, a chance to marry Yamato from My Forged Wedding through a VR experience, a chance to marry a model (a living one, not VR lol), and a interview (or interrogation, depending on how you want to look at it lol) with one of two models dressed up from Voltage’s FTP game Fake ~ All celebrities are liars? ~ (a game very similar to Doubt, but with celebrities instead of potential boyfriends; currently only available in Japanese). They were also promoting their new game Anidol Colors, an idol game with a lot of elements similar to Ensemble Stars and A3! except the idols can turn into… animals lol
The wait for all the attractions were at least an hour long throughout the entire time, sometimes stretching to two. The line for the VR experience with Yamato wasn’t that long, but moved very slowly due to the scenario being a bit lengthy; I never saw the time estimate go under two hours. I didn’t stand in line for the Fake interview because I wasn’t confident in my Japanese to go through with it (RIP me) and wasn’t interested in marrying the model either. I did really want the marriage certificate you got from the latter and luckily a couple of the staff members at the Voltage booth were nice and gave me one stamped with Yamato’s signature (yay!) at the end of the day.
Marriage certificate with Yamato’s signature! Look at his cute chibi face
The main attraction of the booth (and the one I stood in line twice for) was definitely the SLB situation experience. The actors dressed as Nobunaga and Sakuya took turns taking shifts so you had to line up twice at different times if you wanted to take pictures with both. They had a small area put together to look like a traditional Japanese-style room; upon getting there they made you choose one of a couple items lined up against the wall. Each item would get a different response from the actor to emulate choosing from different choices within an otome game. Not all of them are good though! Some of them would result in you getting “scolded” by the actor. They didn’t tell you which items did what though so you had to choose wisely (or stand in line again later if you didn’t get the situation you wanted lol)
I sacrificed the puppy to get kabedoned by Sakuya 😂
The actors were both very in character and even accommodated for my lack of knowledge in Japanese! Sakuya simplified his lines for me (a bit too much, but I appreciated the gesture lol) and Nobunaga actually spoke to me in English! I think I got lucky with Nobunaga because he asked me to marry him but my friend who chose the same item as I did said he didn’t ask you that in Japanese. Part of the reason why I enjoyed this so much is because the actors didn’t act like they were here for Voltage; they really acted out their characters well and stayed in character the entire time until the end when they handed you a ticket to vote for them in the popularity contest Voltage was holding for all the actors who were at the booth. Sakuya was quiet and tsun (though his smile after you were done with the situation was adorably dere) and Nobunaga was very commanding and would occasionally yell 「遅い！」 while people were choosing their objects 😂 (the fan was the most popular by far, and for good reason).
This was probably when Nobunaga proposed to me and I suddenly couldn’t English either lol
You can view more pictures of the Sakuya experience here and the Nobunaga one here. Samurai Love Ballad is available to play in English! You can find the download links below. Unfortunately, the ninja part of the story is only available in the Japanese version so far, so hot ninjas will have to wait until then 😦 (or you can choose Saizo from the currently available stories and not be disappointed because he is a hot ninja lol)
There are two versions of My Forged Wedding! Voltage offers a novel app version where you can purchase stories individually and play without waiting for tickets (available in the play store and app store) and a social app version with the ticket systems that also incorporates avatar costumes and events (available in the play store and app store).
Stand My Heroes
While not mentioned in the title, Coly Inc was also there with Stand My Heroes in collaboration with cosmetic company Carousel. You would get seated and a makeup artist would apply one of Carousel’s products on you; once you were done, one of the models dressed as a character from the game would escort you out of the booth.
The booth was so pretty I didn’t want to leave… The models were hot too 😉
You could get pictures taken as well, but it wasn’t as immersive of an experience as KLab and Voltage’s booths. However, their booth was very pretty! I think aesthetically it was my favorite. I don’t play the game but I have a couple friends who do and they seem to love it; those familiar with Coly Inc’s game Drug Prince and Narcotic Girl (ドラッグ王子とマトリ姫) will recognize the characters in Stand My Heroes as well as the game features them in it. You can view the website here and the PV here, and download links to the game are available below (currently only available in Japanese).
And that concludes my Tokyo Game Show experience! I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to view the booths due to the long commute up there but it was definitely worth it and I enjoyed it a lot! I don’t know when the next time I’ll be able to go to TGS is (I’m scheduled to leave for a business trip around the same time next year as well orz) but I hope I’ll be able to get the opportunity to come again! Hopefully the romance simulation corner will be bigger by then, as this year they only had two booths (KLab was in the smartphone game section), but until then, I’ll just forward to the international version of Utano☆Princesama Shining Live and more hot ninjas instead 🙂