Waifu Wednesday: Athena 2.0

A real highlight of Rance 5D is the amount of time you get to spend with Athena 2.0.

Utterly devoted to her master, but in a completely different way to the genuine feelings Sill holds for Rance, this rather peculiar artificial lifeform is a reliable source of comedy, cuteness and, more often than not, erotic scenes.

She’s definitely a memorable character for sure, and her interactions with Rance, Sill and the rest of the cast form an important part of Rance 5D as a whole.

(There’s a disappointing lack of Athena fanart around the Internet, so there’s a couple of mildly NSFW images from the games after the jump; consider yourself warned!)

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Athena 2.0

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Visual Novel Maker: The Breath of Life

Last time, we looked at how to get up and running with Visual Novel Maker as soon as possible using its built-in assets and template project.

Today we’re going to take a look at how you can use your own assets to create something unique to you! Because built-in assets are all well and good — and Visual Novel Maker certainly has some lovely default artwork and character designs — but if you’re serious about getting creative, you’ll want to take control of as much about your work as possible.

That means, among other things, creating your own characters with which to tell your story. So let’s take a look at that today!

Continue reading Visual Novel Maker: The Breath of Life

Shmup Essentials: Raiden V

It’s interesting to see how the Raiden series has evolved over time, what with it being one of the longest-running series of shoot ’em ups that is still relevant today.

Raiden V is probably the biggest “reinvention” the series has seen since its inception — and consequently may take a little adjusting to for series veterans in particular — but it’s still very much recognisable as an installment in this classic series.

For those less familiar with shoot ’em ups — or those interested in getting involved in the modern side of this challenging, fascinating genre — Raiden V is certainly something of a trial by fire, but it’s a very rewarding journey to take.

Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Raiden V

Microtransactions: The Battle Isn’t Over

The controversy over microtransactions in full-price triple-A games has been brewing for a few years now, but it finally came to a head with EA’s release of Star Wars Battlefront II.

To recap: Reddit poster “MBMMaverick” was frustrated to discover that he had paid $80 for the game only to find that a favourite character, Darth Vader, was locked behind either an extremely long grind or having to pay further real money for a chance of unlocking him through the game’s loot box system. And with the variable character abilities and other unlockables in the game, this meant that the game most definitely had an element of “pay to win” about it, since those with the cash could simply pay up and get better things with which to dominate other players.

EA’s response became one of the most downvoted Reddit comments of all time, sitting at a mighty -676k points — that’s minus six hundred and seventy-six thousand — at the time of writing. And things didn’t get any better from there.

Continue reading Microtransactions: The Battle Isn’t Over

Visual Novel Maker: First Steps

Now that we’ve had a whistle-stop tour of Visual Novel Maker’s main features, it’s time to delve into how it all works.

Today we’ll be taking a look at how you can get started with the application using its built-in resources. In subsequent articles we’ll look at importing custom resources and creating new characters, but for today we’ll primarily be focusing on the core functions of the program, getting a playable game up and running as soon as possible.

Let’s dive right in, then!

Continue reading Visual Novel Maker: First Steps

Waifu Wednesday: Shizuka Masou

This week’s waifu is once again drawn from the extensive cast of the Rance series, and is a character who has been part of the brutish hero’s saga almost since the very beginning.

First appearing as an antagonist in Rance II: The Rebellious Maidens, Shizuka has been a fixture in the series alongside her best friend Maria Custard ever since.

She’s an important figure to Rance’s complete narrative arc as well as one of the most consistently popular heroines in the series — evidently a clear case of “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen” in full effect so far as the audience is concerned!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Shizuka Masou

Games Awards Should Embrace a Broader Spectrum of Games

At the time of writing, the 2017 nominees for The Game Awards — referred to by some as “gaming’s Oscars” — have just been announced.

While it’s nice to see some high-profile Japanese games — most notably Persona 5, Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XV and Super Mario Odyssey — get some recognition, once again the overall lineup for the awards is a fairly predictable affair that primarily boils down to “which games were most popular and/or made most money this year”.

And while there’s some merit to celebrating those games that have performed well from a commercial perspective over the course of the year, it presents a rather narrow view of the industry that leaves a number of titles underrepresented and underappreciated.

Continue reading Games Awards Should Embrace a Broader Spectrum of Games

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