JAEPO 2016, an arcade game convention

Since I’ve arrived in Japan I stopped most of my expensive hobbies to start drawing again because it doesn’t take too much money (no job) or space (suitcase is already full and heavy enough) but there’s still something I can’t resist: arcade games. Good thing it doesn’t take space but I know there’s a number I don’t want to see on my Chunithm game history, the number of games played, too easy to convert in yen.

 

Y'a du monde

I’m not alone

JAEPO, which stands for Japan Amusement ExPO, was being held on february 19 & 20. It was a convention about arcade games, from family friendly crane games to otaku aimed vocaloid loaded music games. They also had some shooting and fighting games if it’s more your thing, medal games (it’s probably not your thing), a space to showcase new prize lineups and a space for professionals.

JAEPO07

pretty colorful buttons to build your own arcade style pad

My motivation for that day was completely rhythm-games centric. Check list included:

  • The Groove Coaster 3 demonstration with funny guests (11:00)
  • Playing Nostalgia, the new piano game from Konami
  • SEGA’s “Party all night” concert (14:00)
  • Bemani’s concert
  • Kantai Collection Arcade

    KanColle Arcade attracted a lot of people but I really wonder if it will be popular

Taito’s Groove Coaster demonstration was only one hour after the opening so I had to wake up early. Pierre and me were at 10:00 at the doors, waiting in a perfectly organized line, and we got in just on time. Perfect timing.

JAEPO08

Taito having the brillant idea of putting a touch screen on his hostesses’ breasts #classy

Taito’s big event was the release of Groove Coaster 3 Link Fever, new version of their rhythm game coming out in march. Groove Coaster 2 allowed local matches and Taito decided to go further by allowing online matches. Perfect for me, when I want to be crushed by some japanese dude from the other side of the country who played 200 hours of that game.
They also decided that GC wasn’t moe enough for a game aimed at otaku (I’m not lying, look at the tracklist) and added a character to the game, because you obviously need a high school girl with a ridiculously high pitched voice to help you go through the tutorial. If you were playing Groove Coaster because the Taiko no Tatsujin voices were annoying you’ll have to find a new game (may I suggest Chunithm).

The character’s voice actress and the game’s producer introduced all these more or less exciting things before letting the first guest go on stage. They invited Dempagumi’s Furukawa Mirin (arcade game maniac girl in red) and Shinsei Kamattechan’s vocalist, keyboardist and bassist. Mirin was a pretty logical choice because Dempagumi has several songs in the game and she did some advertisement for the game before but inviting Shinsei Kamattechan was a really funny idea. I know one of their songs will be in the game but Taito-san, do you really want to have Noko doing whatever he wants because he’s insane instead of playing your game on stage?
If you don’t know Shinsei Kamattechan they sometimes do some really clean things with Warner Music Japan because Major pressure but even after their major debut they kept releasing their own stuff on an independent label, with home made MVs, and Noko, their excentric vocalist, is internet famous for his live streams on niconico.
As expected, Noko was being himself (自分らしく) and did a lot of random things like falling on the floor, singing while playing, hitting his bandmates and switching machines with them.
Taito actually made the best decision by inviting them to make sure the demonstration won’t be boring.

After the intense multiplayer game they announced new songs (yay for Passepied and SEKAI NO OWARI) and the next ingame events. March will have a Dempagumi one and after that, a Necrodancer one! It’s actually Necrodancer/DanganRompa at the same time, but it doesn’t make me less excited. Can’t wait to see how cool the Necrodancer maps will look.
Naoki Maeda went on stage for a short announcement about a collaboration event between Groove Coaster and his game, Crossbeats REV, but it’s Crossbeats REV so not really exciting (unless it means we’ll have more Yonezu Kenshi songs on Groove Coaster)

JAEPO01

High level competition

After Taito’s stage event we had some time to visit the rest of the convention and see if we could play Nostalgia, the ney piano game by Konami. We actually should have taken tickets at the opening sooooo no Nostalgia for us. (it’s probably not as good as Chunithm)

Once again we should have taken tickets at the opeing for the SEGA live so we ended really far from the stage but they were nice enough to put a screen. The whole concert felt a bit unorganized but it was nice to see the artists behind Chunithm and maimai’s songs. If I remember well we got t+pazolite, 40mP & Shano (who weren’t filmed I don’t know why, I’m not even sure Shano was really there), Cranky & Pico, Butaotome and Irodorimidori’s voice actresses. That last thing was a pretty interesting experience because it was an idol-ish group doing the voice acting for a fictional JK band from a video game. Barely real. And one of them was the actress for Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger’s Gokai Yellow.

They did some live music but also some music + game performances and that was probably my favorite part, especially with 40mP’s acoustic guitar on Chunithm. They didn’t really have big news to announce for Chunithm because the new version just came out but we got a demonstration for a new t+pazolite song and I will never be able to clear it. 

JAEPO09

SEGA had a small “museum” wall (still a better museum than Chuni/maimai’s one in Gamers Akihabara imo)

The day finished with the Konami live. I didn’t really know any of the music (Except DJ Yoshitaka for the usual reason of me playing that game called Chunithm) since I haven’t played any of their games for ages but it looked way more organized and cooler than SEGA’s one. I suppose Bemani has more money to put in that kind of stuff than Team Maimai (but they have something like 10 games VS 2).
The last 10 minutes felt super weird because we could hear some strange piano thing on top of the live but we didn’t really know where it was coming from? It took us 5 good minutes to realize it was the hall’s music to tell people the event is over please go. Thank you Makuhari Messe for ruining the few songs I knew.

You can watch the live on Konami’s Youtube channel and because it was recorded properly you don’t have the hall’s music to ruin DJ Yoshitaka’s songs:

We came out from Makuhari Messe at 5, and after 6 hours watching people play arcade games without being able to do the same we decided to drop by the closest arcade.
Everyone had the same idea so once again, no playing; it was time to go home under the rain.

More pictures

Les salles d'arcades c'est aussi les Crane Games et leurs mascottes trop mignonnes

Because it’s Japan have some cute prize games mascots

JAEPO05

Let’s do all the tournaments at the same time, no one really cares about the music after all

JAEPO06

the Shingeki no Kyojin game  looks like a Gunslinger Stratos-like cooperative action game

Pazudora waifu special, because Awoken Sakuya and Haku looked amazing and you never have too many Valkyries:

JAEPO10 JAEPO11 JAEPO12 JAEPO13 JAEPO14 JAEPO15 JAEPO16

About the Author

Chloé

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *