London MCM Comic Con – October 2013: Experience & Thoughts

2013-10-26 10.11.49 Sup guys, JST here. So the London MCM Comic Con day 2 comes to an end, and I’ve got a decent amount of pictures to show you and a couple of things to talk about. Admittedly I wish I could have taken more pictures but sadly my phone battery ran out pretty quickly. I was only able to take a couple of cosplay pics and pics of the sections I visited. I’ll detail my experience and overall thoughts about what happened bit by bit, and I’ll include all the images in different sections in this post.

So the day began with getting on the DLR from Woolwich to get off at Canning Town, then switch for a DLR to Excel Centre. Put the mask on before I got on and got some, unsurprising, stares from a couple of middle aged people, however there were way more bizzare cosplays about so I wasn’t sticking out too much. Didn’t want to go overboard with cosplay items this year so I stuck to just the mask. Interestingly enough, I had a couple of people take pictures of me, even though this wasn’t the full Ghost cosplay. Cool to get some appreciation for Ghost and COD, if just a little.

 

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Annoyingly enough, the DLR to Excel wasn’t running, so I joined the big cosplayer migration to the centre. It was really awesome seeing all the cosplayers and Expo goers heading towards the centre. The weather was nice, the breeze was cool, and there was a very fun atmosphere. Since I haven’t been to the Expo in years, it was refreshing to be amongst this crowd once again. The walk didn’t take too long, and before it got tiring I saw the Expo in the distance and immediately got hype for what would happen in the next few hours.

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After an absurdly long wait in line that was complimented by listening to loads of Tekken tracks on my iPod, I finally got my ticket and headed inside. Of course, there were hundreds of people everywhere and I had to wade my way through to find anything interesting to do. As usual there was a lot to buy, a lot to play and a lot to see. While normally you’d see a mountain of Bleach and Naruto cosplayers, this year there was quite a few Adventure Time cosplayers, MLP cosplayers (as in, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) and a staggering amount of Attack on Titan cosplayers, which wasn’t surprising. I’ll show you the few pictures I got in a bit, but for now I’ll talk about the games I got to play.

Unfortunately, the line for Batman: Arkham Origins was incredibly long, and so was the line for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on PS4, so I didn’t get to play either. However, where the lines were either short or non-existent, I immediately hopped on to try some stuff out. I’ll write in-depth thoughts about each game on 6aming.com later this week, but for now I’ll give some general impressions.

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z

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Even though the trailer for Yaiba is one of my favorite game trailers this year (trust me, it’s hilarious, and sick rap song in it too), I haven’t been too impressed with the gameplay of Yaiba from watching videos. Nor am I a fan of how you have to fight zombies now. However, upon playing Yaiba I found that it’s actually really fun, better than I thought it’d be even. It’s much easier and simpler than normal Ninja Gaiden games, but it’s meant to be an over-the-top, comedic game where you just go crazy on a couple of zombies. Though it’s easier than NG games, the difficulty did ramp up towards the end and it took some strategic thinking and good dodging to figure out how to beat the enemies, I even died a few times trying to complete the demo. Overall I’d say it was really good.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

2013-10-26 14.03.56I was SUPER excited to see that LoS 2 was at the Expo. I immediately hopped in the line and watched as people already there were playing the demo. For whatever reason, there were a couple of kids there, one aged 14 and the other 10, talking about how they think Battlefield is better than COD and how they were excited to play LoS 2. Of course there’s a lot wrong with all of the above, but I was in no position to criticize them, so I just moved on. The demo itself was FANTASTIC. It was everything I expected it to be from watching the trailers. I played on a PS3, with a headset hooked to the TV to hear the game. The sound design and graphics were amazing, even better than LoS 1. The gameplay was fluid and exciting, with the ability to play Dracula (who used to be Gabriel from LoS 1, and he plays like Gabriel) and fight against different enemies. I’d definitely say that was the best demo I played there; very long, very detailed and very fun. I imagine that this is the same demo that will be included with the Lords of Shadow Collection which comes out next month, and they’ll probably put the demo on the marketplace publicly before the game comes out. Still, it was great fun and I’m glad I got to play it. There was also this awesome Dracula statue in front of the section, which I took a picture of.

Armored Core Verdict Day

2013-10-26 13.12.15I got to briefly play Armored Core Verdict Day, which is the expansion to Armored Core V, using the same mechanics and gameplay but with a different story. The game is actually out now, but it was cool to give it a try since I LOVED ACV. It was good fun, played it on PS3 and got used to the controls which were similar to ACV. The two missions I played were ok, standard Armored Core style assault missions, however the mech customization wasn’t very suited to the enemy types and it made fighting them next to impossible. I died several times on both missions and decided to move on since it’d take a long time to customize a good enough mech for the missions. The game is fun though, since it’s pretty much just ACV. Whether or not I’d like to buy it though, I dunno. I did enjoy the demo and I do like ACV, but never completed it. It’s probably one of those type of games that I’d pick up for a bargain someday, once I’ve bought every other game I want to get. If you like mech games and/or Armored Core then you should definitely get it.

Bayonetta 2

2013-10-26 14.08.47To my surprise, Bayonetta 2 was available to play on the Wii U, and it was the demo from the last gameplay videos that have been released for it. Suffice to say, it definitely feels like Bayonetta and it’s got the same over-the-top Platinum games style. Bayonetta herself was extremely fun to play, and after getting used to the Wii U control pad and remembering the Bayonetta controls (which were exactly the same, just now with Wii U buttons) I immediately hopped into the demo and began trying out new combos. There’s a lot going on and sometimes with all the on-screen commands such as torture attack and Umbran Climax it became a bit messy, but nothing I’ve not seen in a hectic action game. Bayonetta’s new look is nice and even nicer are her new weapons, which were simple and fun to use. I wasn’t allowed to play the full demo since it was long and the line was long behind me, but I got to fight a couple of enemies and a boss. It’s really fun, and it made me even saltier that it’s not gonna be on Xbox 360 (or PS3 for that matter). I do hope that this game makes Bayonetta herself more relatable/ likeable cause (in my opinion) the first game is an awesome game but Bayonetta herself was hard to relate to, mainly cause she didn’t even care that much about her own story, haha. Story or not, y’know what’s up with Bayonetta 2; just like the first game, there’s gonna be angel enemies, absurdly powerful attacks and a TON of fanservice 😉

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

After walking around for an annoying amount of time, I found out that there was no Zen United stand this time, but all the Arc System Works stuff was now being handled by Rice Digital. After finding the section sometime near the end of the Expo day, I was relieved to see the ArcSys stuff. Sadly there were no t shrits or necklaces to buy, but they were selling some of the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear games for hella cheap. They were also selling the limited edition of Persona 4 Arena for £20, which seemed cool considering all the extras you’d get with the game, but I thought I’d pass since I was on a budget. To the left of the games stand was, to my surprise, a set-up for BlazBlue: Chronophantasma!! Finally seeing it up close was cool, and the normal attack sound effects are more bearable once you hear them in real life. The game looks really fast and cool, though the actual sprites aren’t too different from the previous games on closer inspection. Not that I minded, cause after a, unfortunately, good Terumi player hopped off (after beating myself and some other guy into the ground) I got to play and try out stuff. Didn’t go too well considering it was a fightstick, which I’m not good with, but I was able to try out a few moves and hit one or two combos. I played Ragna, who felt amazing to use, then I played Hakumen and then tried out Izayoi. It was hardly a perfect test run since I was fighting someone else, who was a novice but my skills with a fightstick brought me to his level, yet it was still fun to get to play BBCP for probably the only time ever, haha.

Cosplay

Let’s move on to the cosplay. Compared to other Expos I definitely didn’t take as many pics as I wish I could have, but I definitely took some cool ones that came out well. Here are the cosplayers that I managed to get pics of:

1. Kenji (Katawa Shoujo) – 2. Mikasa (Attack on Titan) – 3. Carmilla (Lords of Shadow 2) – 4. Master Chief (Halo) – 5. Mistral (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance) – 6. Booker & Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite).

So there’s only a few photos, unfortunately. Some pics were lost to oblivion since my phone was bugging up as it was running out of battery. I promise, next Expo I’ll take my other phone and be sure to take way more photos >_<

The Troy Baker & Roger Craig Smith exhibition

I managed to catch a glimpse of the stage where Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith were doing an interview panel!! Troy Baker is a HELLA famous voice actor who’s done voices such as Snow from FFXIII, Joel from The Last of Us, and more recently, Joker from Batman: Arkham Origins. Roger Craig Smith is just as popular, having done Chris Redfield from the Resident Evil Games, Ezio from the Assassin Creed games and recently, Batman: Arkham Origins as Batman. I didn’t know it was going on, but luckily I managed to get a good look from the side of the stage and take a few pictures. Sadly, I couldn’t get a perfect picture since they never turned to this side, but it was awesome seeing Troy Baker and RG Smith in person and even more awesome hearing them do voices. Troy Baker actually read out some Joker lines which the crowd LOVED, and RG Smith was poking fun at Troy every so often, such as doing an ‘impersonation’ where all he did was pretend to flick his hair around. Got a couple of pics from the side of the stage for you to check out below.

Loot/ Purchases

Of course, what is a Comic Con without getting free stuff and buying anime/game related merch? Finally having my own money meant I could go CRAZY and buy whatever I wanted. But since this is the real world, I had to budget T_T So I decided to get only a few items, actually only 2 items, since it was very hard to decide what was worth buying. In terms or free stuff though, I sadly got very little, and I’ve noticed that as Expos go on each year there’s even less free stuff, haha. Perhaps it might have been that I went for the normal entry time, not early entry, cause usually early entry/advanced ticket people get free stuff as they go in. Still, here’s a pic of the stuff I got from MCM overall:

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From left to right: A Casltevania: Lords of Shadow 2 mini poster. A Kill la Kill mini poster. A signed picture collage by a hot cosplayer, she cosplayed Cammy at the time but sadly the picture I took didn’t save. A Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z mini poster. A small card for the anime ‘Samurai Flamenco’. A Recon Corps emblem necklace, based on the emblem from Attack on TItan. A guide book for the event itself. And finally, and most importantly, a Saber figurine, from Fate/ Zero.

The figurine was the only thing I could think to buy since everything else there was either too expensive or something I’d probably not need too badly. Of course there were hundreds of t shirts, DVDs, games, figurines and cosplay items there to choose from, but perhaps it’s that overwhelming amount of choice that made it harder to pick something. I wanted to buy a nendoroid, since you know I’m a HUGE fan of them, but all the cheap nendoroids were characters I didn’t care too much for, and all the good ones were hella expensive. The figurines were all cool, but none were any that I wanted too badly and I didn’t feel like spending the last of my money on a game or DVD. That’s when I came across this amazing Saber figurine, for a decent price too. It cost £25 and the detail is great. There was a slightly larger version with Saber in a fighting pose, but that cost £40 so I settled for this one. I’m a big fan of the Type Moon universe and Saber is one of my favorite characters from Fate/ Stay Night and Fate/ Zero. Check out pics of the figurine below.

Final Thoughts

So finally the day came to and end and I made my way out of the center after trying out BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. It was good to be amongst cosplayers again, it was good to try out new games again and it was just awesome to be at the Excel center again. The experience wasn’t perfect since my phone ran out before I could take the ton of pics I wanted to, and I didn’t manage to meet up with any of my friends because of my phone running out. It was nice seeing all the awesome cosplay and it was cool having a few pics taken of me, even just walking around and seeing the attractions was great. Finding the section with the Arc System Works merchandise was a pain, haha, but after finding it I felt relieved. If I had budgeted better in advance I could’ve got even more stuff, but to be honest now that I’m working all of that sorta stuff is available online anyway, for when I have the money. So while I didn’t get as much free stuff as I had hoped and it was unfortunate that I went alone, it was still a great Comic Con and I’m glad I have enough to show for it. If you’ve read this far then thanks for sticking with this post, I hope to visit the next MCM Expo and take way more pictures and hopefully buy more stuff too =D JST out.

 

 

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