Hyper Japan Games: Summer 2018

Hyper Japan Games: Summer 2018

Gaming at London's J-culture festival

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Features on

The super-cool semi-annual Japanese-themed exhibition just wrapped up in London and there were plenty of fantastic games on display. I just got back from the UK and stopped by Hyper Japan while I was there so allow me to tell you all about it.

Hyper Japan Summer 2018 photo: Nintendo's showcase
Nintendo's presence at the festival was definitely the most prominent

Nintendo headlines the festival

As one of Hyper Japan's biggest sponsors, Nintendo had a strong presence at the exhibition. There were three main attractions: a station for creating and playing with Labo, a couple of booths set up just for Splatoon 2 complete with a cosplay Marina who helped gamers play, and a bunch of stations where gamers could try out recently released and upcoming games.

I was surprised to see the collection of games at Nintendo's showcase. For starters, there were demos of some incredible upcoming games such as the No More Heroes reboot Travis Strikes Again, the My Hero Academia game My Hero One's Justice, the 3DS to Switch remake Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, and the fighter SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. There was also an opportunity to play Dragon Ball FighterZ and Okami HD for Switch which don't release for a short while although they're already available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For those who have yet to play the recent hits Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido and Octopath Traveler; they were both available to try as well. Finally, attendees could try out Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with the Toy-Con Motorbike. How cool is that?

Hyper Japan Summer 2018 photo: gamers play Jump Force
Jump Force is great so far but let's hope it ends up better than J-Stars Victory VS

Bandai Namco puts up a fight

Beside the Nintendo portion, Bandai Namco had a dozen TVs set up with bean bag chairs in front so festival goers could try out their upcoming crossover fighter Jump Force featuring various characters from Shonen Jump manga. I must say, its visuals look absolutely amazing. It could quite possibly be the most detailed 3D renderings of Naruto and Luffy to date. The gameplay reminded me a lot of Ultimate Ninja Storm but it's different enough to set itself apart and its controls seem a lot more intuitive and streamlined.

Everyone loves retro games

One feature at Hyper Japan that stood out was the retro gaming section. Before arriving at the monitors complete with plenty of retro gaming consoles that anyone could pick up and play, there was a stand that sold loads of classic games. I wasn't entirely sure which ones would work in my North American consoles but I definitely considered purchasing Castlevania Legends for 65 pounds as it's one of the few games in the series that I'm missing. Anyway, it was great fun to see games like Super Bomberman 3 and Pac-Land set up and ready to go. Games like that are much more fun to play than the same old stereotypical retro classics that you usually see everywhere.

Hyper Japan Summer 2018 photo: gamers play SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
Nintendo showed off many third-party games like the very cool SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy

Hyper Japan has a lot more than just games but the gaming presence at the exhibition is definitely worth checking out, especially for gamers who are into niche Japanese titles. Did you attend this year's festival? What do you think of all the featured games?

Official trailer for Hyper Japan 2018 1:00
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