Oh yes! Momentum is a lovely thing. When I first went to Hyper Japan in 2014 Nintendo ruled the roost with Mario Kart, I want to say 7, and lots of DS games. Not a retro game, to buy or play, anywhere. Fast forward to 2017 and Hyper Japan almost doubles up as a celebration of retro gaming, which is much welcomed given the lack of retro events in the capital.
What is Hyper Japan? I hear some of you ask. It is a celebration of all things Japanese and served as a more than adequate nicotine patch before I got my full fix by going to Tokyo. You name it, you can buy it at one of the hundreds of stalls. OK, I might have exaggerated slightly there but there’s a whole lot of excellent stalls ranging from clothing, confectionery, food stands, plushies, Croydon’s very own Quick Attack, you’ll need all day to get through it all.
There’s even live events! Super rock band The Sixth Lie proved rather popular, with the meet and greet queue way too long for this retro gamer. We had the opportunity to check out the excellent Kaien – a female version of the excellent Siro-A, using similar light effects and pumping dance choons. All for £16 entry!
December 2015, Hyper Japan’s Christmas market, was the first time I ever had the pleasure of sampling some of the Heart of Gaming’s retro goodness. Now the godfather of Croydon gaming, the Mark Starkey brought all HoG’s finest rhythm games to the party. Wondering where Into the Groove is? It’s in East London somewhere being trampled all over (but for a good cause).
An arcade fit for Tokyo, in our very own backyard. As with most exhibitions, Hyper Japan starts on a Friday and rolls onto the Sunday. The Saturday session is so popular it’s divided into two sessions. One of the guards asked us if we were here for the whole three days. Er, if I could afford it I think I would be!
So that’s it for the retro gaming… Just kidding! One of my favourite events of the year is the London Gaming Market – which is actually next Sunday (the 23rd) if you’re wondering. Some of its stores popped up in this year’s Hyper Japan so here’s a picture of Dave with Sonic 2!
I want to say I bought lots of games but due to the hordes I only came away with Project Gotham Racing on the Xbox for the princely sum of £3. Sunday here we come…
Just when you think you’ve had your fill, your £16 keeps on giving. Having not been at the last couple, Nintendo came back with a bang. And several loud clunks if you’ve ever played ARMS!
Super Mario Odyssey is the main attraction. I must be the only gamer in the world who’s thinking “meh”. The excitement of seeing Super Mario 64 for the first time, it will never be able to match. Kingdom Battles looked quite interesting but gamers didn’t seem to stick with it very long. Will gamers stick with the Switch for very long? Who knows.
What all of you will want to do is visit Nintendo’s retro corner. I said it. They did it. Feast your eyes on these badboys…
I’d never seen a Twin Famicom in the flesh. The red masterpiece is truly a thing of beauty. The cart in it, and in fact with all of the Famicoms/Super Famicoms/N64s that were in attendance, were in Japanese. Good job for me and Dave that I knew Super Mario Kart off by heart. No Rainbow Road thank you.
The Godfather would agree that the lack of CRTs equals minus points but given how heavy they are we’ll forgive the LCDs! So, three or four hours later you’re finally ready to check out the rest of the exhibition. At the time of writing there were still tickets for all remaining Saturday sessions and Sunday. So what are you waiting for!