It was my first major convention in Australia, and it didn’t disappoint. I’m talking of course about the Madman Anime Convention (or simply MadFest, for short) that was held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre downtown. A lot of cosplayers from a variety of anime showed up and there were some truly impressive costumes that really stood out, like a guy that was dressed as Cell’s imperfect form from Dragon Ball Z or another one who had a complete Red Ranger outfit from the Power Rangers.
One of the main reasons I even bought a ticket at all was the fact that Christopher Sabat was going to be attending the show this year. Sabat is a veteran voice actor who has given life to many different characters like Elfman from Fairy Tail, All Might from the ever-growing in popularity My Hero Academeia or Zoro from One Piece. Of course, everyone from my generation (including me of course) mainly recognize Sabat as the “Prince of all Saiyans”, Vegeta from Dragon Ball.
Sabat’s panel was very fun, he seemed like a great guy and the one-and-a-half hour just flew by. I wish I could’ve gotten an autograph or a picture with him or maybe he could’ve interacted some more with the audience, but even like this, it was fine.
Apart from everything anime, there were also video games at MadFest and quite a few interesting ones as well. I tried my hand on some and made my impressions on them. Starting of course with the genre-reshaping Octopath Traveler from Square Enix, that is only available in the Switch. This game seems to take all the stereotypes that we have about Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPG) and throw them out the window, letting you battle non-playable characters, attack with different weapons during battle and even throws difficult challenges your way from the word “go”. No matter how much of a veteran you think you are at JRPG’s, nothing is as it should be in this game, which is awesome in my opinion, plus it comes with a great story. The first hour or so I played as Olberic Eisenberg just made me want to delve deeper into his story.
A series of Kingdom Hearts novels by director Tetsuya Nomura
Next on the list was Jump Force, a game that I wasn’t expecting to see. Of course the new announcement that Yugi Muto from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise would be included in the game further invigorated interest and the lines to try out the game were quite long. From the small feel I got of it, it’s a little similar to the Naruto Storm saga in terms of game play, with two replacement characters available for you to choose from and ultimate attacks and “awakenings” of sorts (Susano’o for Sasuke, Super Saiyan for Vegeta and Ichigo’s final Bankai form from when he fought with Juha Bach were the ones I saw). It’s incredibly fast, the graphics are really detailed, bringing the anime characters into the real world and the stages are awesome (the variety here is strange, taking players from New York to planet Namek). I just wonder how they’re gonna dub all these characters, it’ll be weird for example if Vegeta fights Zoro and it’s all just Chris Sabat.
I also tried out another JRPG that was recently released, Dragon Quest XI. I hadn’t given it much thought at first, but now this is definitely on my list. It’s quick for its genre, the battle system seems to have great depth, letting you develop each character however you see fit, the story is captivating, enemies are visible on the map so you can avoid random battles all together if you want (which is something I loathe in these types of games) and you can see all different locations as you move along in the world (for example, I was looking for a castle and I saw it in the distance as I headed north). This place seems believable, it feels like an actual world and I got drawn into it immediately. The character designs by Akira Toriyama (the one behind Dragon Ball) are also something that work in its favour. I’m getting this.
Finally, and I’m very happy about this, I got the chance to play a game that many people have been waiting for for a long, long time: Devil May Cry V. I’m excited to say that it plays smoothly, the battle system is awesome, thrilling, fast and vivid, you can very easily string together a combo and knockdown enemies. Of course, Johnny Young Bosch as Nero, the main character, is a huge bonus for this title as he really gives him this “too cool for school” attitude. I didn’t get much time with it, so maybe I didn’t really have the opportunity to look into it, however I sincerely hope there’s a bit more variety to the battles because even though it looks good, after a while, it got a little tiresome and repetitive. Also, the difficulty level spiked all of a sudden; from fighting little bug-like creatures to a building-sized goliath, I had no idea how to handle him. I look forward to hearing more about this title in the future and trying it out again if I have the chance.
All in all, it was a great day full of games and anime and I look forward to many more to come in the future. Stay crazy MadFest!