Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Videogame of MCM Birmingham Comic Con

It seems as if it were only yesterday that I embarked on that fateful, hour long bus trip from one side of Birmingham to the other in order to attend MCM Birmingham Comic Con. Oh the things I saw, the money I parted with and the smells of overexcited armpits I... smelt. And in addition to these wonderful wonders, I actually played a videogame!

Sarcasm aside, my trip to MCM Birmingham with my lovely girlfriend and two of my diddy brothers was a fun one. It lacked the corporate presence of the numerous videogame publishers that MCM London featured, reducing MCM Birmingham to nothing more than a glorified car boot sale, but I had a laugh.

The only videogame publisher that did turn up was Rising Star Games -- a publisher that focuses on bringing Japanese videogames to the West. The small amount of floor space they had was spent on their fabulous back catalogue sale, and the promotion of four Nintendo 3DS games. 

Read on to see what I thought of the games on display.

Hometown Story

Yet another variation on the "inexperienced youngster inherits shop" JRPG scenario that I seem to have come into contact with a lot lately, Hometown Story sees players take control of their cute little anime avatar as they try to make a profit from their Grandmother's shop with the help from a cute, little, round anime blob thing that looks like a smiley potato with wings.

Players can place items in their shop, walk around town, talk to people to find out which items are hot and which are not, and pick up wares from the ground to sell later. Actually selling shop items involves players standing around in their shop and waiting for people to turn up and buy things. As I couldn't sell anything unless my cash register was manned, Hometown Story -- or at least the slice of gameplay that was on offer at MCM Birmingham -- bored me out of my mind.

Looking at Rising Star Games' official Hometown Story webpage, the game boasts direction from Harvest Moon mastermind Yasuhiro Wada, character design by Atsuko Nishida and music from the legendary Nobuo Uematsu. Despite these big names, the playable demo Rising Star Games had on display was far from extraordinary and didn't do much more than I had already experienced with the likes of Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale.
After watching my girlfriend spend over five minutes skipping through text, I realised that Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi was a visual novel. I found the idea of playing such a game in a huge hall full of thousands of noisy people preposterous and immediately lost interest. That says nothing of the game itself, which I still know absolutely nothing about aside from the fact that features extremely talkative samurai.

Girls' Fashion Shoot

The funky fashion game Girls' Fashion Shoot was being shown off on a television screen set above Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi, which I watched for most of the aforementioned five minutes of dialogue skipping. It looks like it'd be fun for those who enjoy dressing up slender anime ladies with an assortment of different clothes. As someone who found themselves surprisingly drawn into the dress up aspect of Dress To Play: Magical Bubbles!, I can see the appeal.

BEYBLADE: Evolution

I'm just as shocked as the next twenty-something year old to find that Beyblade -- a toy, anime and game series based off spinning tops -- is still going strong. Even so, BEYBLADE: Evolution for the Nintendo 3DS looked kinda fun. I didn't actually get to play it as it was the most busy of Rising Star Games' three playable Nintendo 3DS games on offer -- and I simply wasn't interested enough to wait.

Fear not, as my little brother George -- who totally bought into the fad roughly a decade ago -- played the demo of BEYBLADE: Evolution game at MCM Birmingham. Once I've contacted George and recorded what he can remember of his initial impressions of the game, I'll be sure to post it up right here on MegaWestgarth. So keep your eyes pealed for that guaranteed chestnut of an article!

Release Dates

Hometown Story -- Q1 2014
Girls' Fashion Shoot -- Q3 2013
BEYBLADE: Evolution -- 25 Oct, 2013
Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi -- 8 Nov, 2013

All release dates have been taken from the official Rising Star Games website.


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