Ah, con season. The 'season' that is year-round depends on how determined you are as a cosplayer, content creator, or just a fan of a gathering of pop culture fans. Historically, "con weekend" in New York begins in Autumn, with New York Comic Con kicking things off under the chilly early October weather. It was a last-minute venture for us at 1 UP Infinite, but when opportunity knocks, I'm not above unlocking the door and letting them in for a few hours.
This year's NYCC is the second year since the original convention opened its doors following 2020's lockdown. Much like Anime NYC last year, seeing the hustle, bustle, and liveliness of attendees all over again was a sight to see. Despite the name, New York Comic Con was always a "pop culture" event first and foremost. Comics are indeed the major attraction here, with many local comic stores having personal booths to sell and trade. Many cosplays included Scarlet Witches, Wolverines, Homelanders, and many popular American superheroes.
Just as there were many Rouges, there were just as many Kitanas, Urakas, Spider-Men, and other gaming and anime heroes. The same can be said for the booths. Depending on whether you came from the East or West section, Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Yu-Gi-Oh all had major booths showing different attractions. The Dragon Ball booth had several props, allowing fans to pose as they're powering up their ki and another where they ride on Nimbus. The former was pretty cool as there was a fan in the distance to give fans the illusion of their clothes swaying.
The Dragon Ball booth also featured hands-on gameplay for Dragon Ball The Breakers, releasing on October 14, 2022. The Breakers is compared by many to be Dead By Daylight in the Dragon Ball Z universe. Players will have to team up with others as civilians within the DBZ universe as one player takes the role of Cell, Frieza, and many other villains. Whether or not the civilians survive or the villains commit destruction is all up to the players and their coordination skills.
In the Bandai Namco booth, playable demos for One Piece Odyssey were available for attendees, letting players go through a scenario where Nami is captured by a large gorilla. The starting cast of the Straw Hat Pirates includes Luffy, Robin, Usopp, Chopper, Sanji, and Franky. Later on, Zoro and Nami are also included. Odyssey's gameplay is fairly unique as it feels like everything One Piece has to offer. Players control Luffy who has the ability to use "Gomu Gomu" and leap across gaps, much like Valkrie Elysium.
Each character has a skill trait that makes them strong and/or weak against enemies. Power is stronger than Technique, which is stronger than Speed, which is stronger than Power, like rock paper scissors. The skills associated with each character are unique and well-animated, allowing players to use their favorite when the time comes. It's an RPG that follows simple rules for all fans of One Piece and Japanese RPGs to enjoy without hassle.
One Piece Odyssey also captures the personality of the characters from the series, with the Straw Hat Pirates getting themselves into predicaments that require addressing. One example is when Usopp gets ahead of himself and is paralyzed by large penguins. The penguins, although non-hostile, are hungry and see him as food. This is an example of a "dynamic mission" where saving Usopp takes priority to gain the party buffs. Likewise, when Nami is saved, the party will also receive buffs as well.
As someone who isn't the biggest One Piece fan, this was a really good introduction for someone who has always been intimidated by the series' length. There are many "anime video games," but I hadn't felt hooked onto one, much less a demo, since then. From the two games I've played during this year's NYCC, I took a gander at the Game Room which was held downstairs. One game caught my eye, Kick Through Racers, which is something I can best describe as a scooter arcade game where you use your free leg to "kick" the pedal and keep moving. It's a really weird, niche, and obscure arcade title from Taito in 2011, but it was an interesting gimmicky game.
Most of the games featured are those I've covered in our Anime NYC roundup, with a TableTop RPG section right next door to the arcade machines. What I enjoyed about this year's NYCC was that there was something to do outside of the "Comics," something that has been an improvement since the last time I went in 2015. It's been over half a decade since I attended Comic Con and I'm glad to see that things have been taking a turn for the best. Although we were only able to go for a day, it was a very busy day indeed. As always, there's a mix of cosplays and other screencaps that I wish to share with our readers and they are all wonderful. Until next time!