Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore review – an enchanting world of wannabe idols | Games – Blog – 10 minute

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is an unlikely candidate for mainstream success in the western market. The convoluted name alludes to the fact that it was conceived as a crossover between two obscure Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) and was originally released for that most unloved of consoles, the Wii U. But it is so endearing and well constructed that, once you start playing, you may well develop a mild obsession.
The narrative plays out just like an anime, via beautifully designed cut-scenes and quirky dialogue sequences that offer countless insights into Tokyo street culture. It follows the development of a band of youngsters bidding to become idols, who have signed up to a showbiz agency called Fortuna.

Ripe for obsession … Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore. Photograph: Nintendo
The protagonists are 18-year-old Tsubasa, working to overcome her gaucheness as she bids to become a J-pop star and actor, and her childhood friend Itsuki, a heroic type who isn’t quite sure where his talents lie. During the game, they are joined by a large cast of nicely defined and interestingly written characters, including agency boss Maiko (an ex-model partial to a drink or two), Kiria, a pop idol with a hidden soft centre, and Mamori, a kid with a hilarious, popular microwave-cookery show.
All of them turn out to be Mirage Masters: able to battle demon-like Mirages that keep appearing from another dimension to cause enormous disruption in the game’s (recognisable) version of Tokyo. The bulk of the gameplay resides in epic traverses through labyrinthine dungeons battling ever more powerful Mirages and a string of bosses and mini-bosses.
Although turn-based and saddled with bizarre terminology (as is de rigueur for any JRPG), Tokyo Mirage Sessions’ battle system is exemplary. It’s easy to understand, hugely tactical and incredibly satisfying. Its key element is the so-called Sessions: pick the right element-based magic attack for specific enemies, and the other participants of your three-strong team will jump in with a chain of attacks.
As you work through each character’s side-story, they develop the ability to jump into Sessions even if they aren’t in the main battle team, rendering the beautifully depicted battles even more epic, and providing the means to overcome seemingly impregnable enemies.
The characters’ side-stories are great, often playing out like mini-soap operas and cleverly reusing game areas that you have already negotiated. And the character development, while convoluted, is also compelling, enabling you to power up characters you find yourself really caring about. The game cleverly encourages you to keep swapping between them, although Itsuki, as the leader, is ever-present.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions may be the meatiest Switch game since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: it has well over 30 hours of gameplay, and considerably more if you take your time and really look around – which you’re likely to do, since it immerses you in an utterly enchanting world. The chance vicariously to live the lives of a bunch of Tokyo teens and twentysomethings – depicted in a fantasy style but surprisingly believable, thanks to snappy writing – proves incredibly moreish. One design decision taken by the game helped that aspect: the dialogue is spoken in the original Japanese, rather than the customary brattish American voiceovers.
Graphical quality is variable: the cut-scenes and battles look superb, but the story element rather betrays its Wii U origins, with questionable texture work and a lack of resolution. But that barely detracts from the overall experience.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is one of those rare games that appears unappealing on paper yet turns out to be a triumph. It operates as a sort of digital ambassador for the entire JRPG genre – which often suffers from a perception that it is old-fashioned, saddled with obscure gameplay and of interest only to those obsessed with Japanese culture. Plus, it shines an irresistible light on the eccentric, cute but endlessly beguiling nature of Japanese pop culture.
If you have a Switch, Tokyo Mirage Sessions is an essential purchase – and if you harbour a fondness for anime and its aesthetic, it is worth buying a Switch for. This is, simply, the first cult-classic game of 2020.

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British Airways to fly the flag for Team GB and Paralympics GB at Tokyo 2020- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

British Airways has been named as the official airline partner for Team GB and Paralympics GB ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
The national flag carrier will jet athletes and their support staff half-way around the world for the tournament, extending a relationship with the sport that was first established during the 2008 Beijing Games.
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, commented: “We’re so proud to be the official airline of Team GB and ParalympicsGB for the fourth consecutive Games. The Olympic and Paralympics Games always instil a sense of national pride and it’s an honour to fly the best of British talent in sport and be part of their journey – from start to finish.”
Nick Webborn, chair of the British Paralympic Association, added: “We are delighted to be flying to and from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with British Airways and believe that, once again, the ParalympicsGB team couldn’t be in better hands.”
The partnership follows an agreement by Toyota and BP to sponsor Channel 4’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic coverage.

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Toyota and BP to sponsor Channel 4’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic coverage- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Toyota and BP will be joint headline sponsors of Channel 4’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games programming as the broadcaster looks to take its coverage of the event to “the next level”.
Allianz backed Channel 4’s 2016 Paralympics programming, but BP and Toyota will now split the sponsorship equally across Channel 4, More4 and All 4 – including all build-up shows, live slots, highlights and entertainment shows.
Channel 4’s agreement with Toyota follows on from a successful 2018 Paralympic Winter Games partnership. It also expands on another deal inked last year, in which the car marque was took on sponsorship of general Paralympic sports programming for the network, including the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming championships.
The BP agreement marks the oil and gas firm’s first TV sponsorship with the broadcaster.
Both advertisers will benefit from branding across the channel’s highly anticipated marketing around the games following 2012’s ‘Meet the Superhumans’ push (Tempemail’s campaign of the last decade) and 2016’s similarly acclaimed ‘We Are The Superhumans’ campaigns.
Channel 4 said it is aiming to deliver more hours of coverage of live sport than from any previous Paralympic Summer Games shown in the UK, including almost 200 hours on Channel 4 and More 4.
The partnerships will see dual sponsorship branding on All 4 and site sponsorship of the dedicated Channel 4 Paralympics website which will carry live streaming throughout the Games from Tokyo from 25 August to 6 September.
2020 marks the first time Paralympic content will carry sponsorship across linear, digital and social platforms.
On social, Channel 4 said there will be a “substantial presence” in the build-up to and during the Games, with exclusive behind the scenes content starting this month in the form of diary exerts from ParalympicsGB hopefuls across C4-owned social platforms.
Working in collaboration with Channel 4’s Sports Commissioning team, BP and Toyota will also co-develop and create editorial content to run across Channel 4 linear and digital platforms.
Toyota is already a longrunning official IPC partner. The Channel 4 partnership is a natural fit for the Japanese car giant, which since 2018 has been running a global campaign called ‘Start Your Impossible’ which aims to “reflect the Olympic and Paralympic spirit of encouragement, challenge and progress” by focusing on the stories of individual athletes.
Andrew Cullis, director of communications and product for Toyota (GB), said: “Tokyo 2020 is an extremely important and exciting time for the Toyota brand as our business begins its evolution from an automotive manufacturer to a mobility company and we look forward to bringing this to life through this partnership and beyond.”
The deal was negotiated by Channel 4’s sales house, 4 Sales, and Toyota and BP’s media agencies m/SIX and Mindshare respectively.
Advertisers such as Visa are already gearing up for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with Airbnb signing on as a multi-year sponsor ahead of the big event.

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