MCM London Comic Con 2017: Part 1

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , , , ,

Greetings and salutations once I again I return from MCM London with mixed but mostly positive results, for you long time readers you may remember that last year was my first time attending.

For those of you unaware of MCM, the MCM London Comic Con is a multi-genre fan convention held in the London Borough of Newham twice yearly, usually on the last weekend in May and October. Interests range from Anime to video Games, tabletop roleplay games to cinema it really is a varied event with talk panels, video game previews, various celebrations of eastern culture and more cosplayers than you can shake a stick at.

 A quieter moment of  MCM
Let me say now that I had intended to post this a little earlier in the month but upon my return home from the comic con left me wiped out and the growing stress on the election was a distraction to say the least.

Arriving at London unable to secure our previous hotel our group was staying at a shared apartment which in all honest turned out to be not only cheaper but also far nicer and closer to ExCeL London.
Now it must be stated that after the Manchester Bombing things were a little more tense on arrival this year with additional security everywhere but to their credit this did little to interrupt travel through the London.

Travelling to the ExCel via DLR on the Friday did come with its own set of problems with works under way at the Custom House stop, thankfully the organisers had foreseen this and arranged staff and directions at the following stop Prince Regent. While this was highly effective there was some confusion in staff instructions regarding allowing visitors to "Swipe Out" at the station causing issues with travel payments resulting in some overcharging costs for many people initially myself included.

This was thankfully rectified by some very kind and helpful people at Transport For London who had a brilliant support number and we highlighted the issue on the MCM facebook page with advice for others in the same predicament.

 The bag checking queue...

The security staff inside the ExCel were organised extremely well, courteous and generally well humoured to those in costume, even with hundreds of people streaming in the queues were kept short and were no more than 15 minutes. Later we discovered that initially there was intended backpack ban but with the hot weather the health risk of people not carrying bottled water and the general inconvenience to the public it was decided against. 

and the rest of it on the quiet Friday start.

Now to avoid simply reiterating my post from last year I am going to make a few comparisons to my previous experience:

The Map
Just to highlight what I said last year: 
I found the map near useless apart from from a general gist of the layout, just look below to see what I mean:

Front with map
 Back with panels and events
Now the astute amongst you may already notice something important missing from this map, that's right there is no key referring to the numbers listed on the stalls apart from the big name logos. In addition there is no reference to the ExCeL London own hall numbers or the entrance area so it is extremely easy to get turned around and disorientated due to the similarity of the stalls and lack of directions posted about.

There is a key but its inside the 140 page advert and article event magazine which also has a copy of the map located between pages 62 and 65, after another advert the key is listed BY ALPHABETICAL ORDER OF THE STALLS which is bloody useless unless you already know what stall your wanting to find beforehand. I'm looking at the damn key to find out what 471 is not the other way round. The panel event program is also a nightmare to find and read through in the magazine with information scattered between articles so at least the map was an improvement in this regard.
 In short just as bloody useless this year with all the same problems.


Thankfully far more variety this year, only a single major stall focused in Pop Figures much to my relief and while many of the stalls of the previous year returned there was far more variation between their stock. A few stalls did earn my ire however with blatant absurd pricing and lets just say if I was selling my PS1 game collection for the amounts they were charging  I would be a few thousands pounds better off.

 Pokemon plush were everywhere this year

CEX also didn't make a reappearance this year which was for the better, last year they had annoyed me with their loud music blaring out over the hall drowning out the various talks and panels and while GAME was there they didn't take up nearly as much space this year. Unfortunately also missing were table top roleplay stands as not a single one was available this year, but in their place the Lincoln Steam Punk Society had turned up much to my surprise and were advertising The Asylum Steampunk Festival later this year.   

All in all a major improvement from the year before especially since more of the hall was available this year there was far more space between the stalls so the horrible overcrowding of last year wasn't an issue at all much to my delight.

 Just a small amount of the manga on offer

I also ran into some old acquaintance from the Sheffield Space Centre, this was my main source of anime and manga growing up 15 years ago and it was great to see them still going strong today as they always stocked a large variety of comics, manga, anime, even figures, model kits and table top roleplaying games. It was great to see them with a stall at MCM London this year and I discovered yet another niche manga series through them Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter.
I highly recommend popping to their store if in Sheffield or checking out their website.

Video Games:

This year there were no major video game talk panels though a smaller stage had been set up by Rice Digital covering a handful of games, when generally this layout worked well the sound team really dropped the ball on the Saturday and a lot of the commentators were inaudible.

It would of also been easier to hear if the esports commentator just behind the panel had shut up for 5 minutes.
With this said there were two games there were two games covered that stood out to me:

Akiba's Beat:
Akiba's Beat is an action role-playing video game for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 video game consoles, a spiritual successor to Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed and the third game in the Akiba series its focus is to highlight the music culture of Akiba during its story.
In all honesty after the highly quirky arcade action and self acknowledging parody humour of the second game Akiba's Beat just came across as dull, slow paced and honestly rather boring in it mechanics, with very little originality that the series had previously been know for.
It seems that many other reviews agree with this observation.

      Advised Strong Language.

Project Rap Rabbit

Project Rap Rabbit is a global collaboration between Japanese developers NanaOn-Sha (PaRappa The Rapper, Vib-Ribbon) and iNiS Corporation (Gitaroo Man, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan), and UK-based publisher PQube Ltd.

Having developed some of the most revered music games of all time, they're committed to creating the greatest rhythm-action videogame in history with a new rapping adventure than infuses the best ideas from their past with innovative mechanics that  they hope will go on to shape the genre's future forevermore.

However not everything is going as planned as the Kickstarter for the project is woefully underfunded even with 2,549 backers only £129,806 of £855,000 goal has been reached and with only 10 days to go they have finally releasing a gameplay video of Rap Rabbit which is too little too late.

As one backer states:
Here's how this will go.
There will be this big unveiling of the gameplay video tomorrow. People from all over show up on this KS page as a result. They'll immediately notice that, after 3 weeks, the game is not even 20% funded, and that there's only a week and a half left to raise the remaining 80%. Maybe they'll hit that Remind Me button, but at the end of the day, they aren't gonna pledge.
Building up the Thunderclap, and hyping up the unveiling of the video, are both things that should have begun weeks before the campaign launched. Matsuura-san, Yano-san: PLEASE relaunch this campaign. Suspend it early so whatever resources you allocated to this one can be reallocated to the next one. But unless you have a massive E3 presence planned, there is no way this game is being funded with this particular campaign.

As a backer myself I totally agree with this prediction, there has been a complete failure to market the game to the community or the gaming media, I MYSELF have made seeming the only post on Reddit about the project (at the time of my posting) and I can help but feel that somewhere along the line the PR just flopped.

Just behind the Digital Rice Panel

Other than Digital Rice the Esports community really were making a hit with Tekken 7 with a massive set-up and tournament over the weekend and Guilty Gear XRD Rev 2 was making its own impact on its admittedly much smaller collection of consoles. The halls also boasted various arcade machine set ups with a one company selling the cabinets it was displaying, though I think the real moment that stole it was the Gandalf V.s. Gimli on the dance machines.


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