Happy new year, everyone! I hope you all had a suitably tolerable New Year’s Eve. I spent most of mine editing and preparing videos, but to be honest, this is the sort of thing I’d rather do these days anyway!
Today I thought I’d take a moment to look forward to 2019, make a few plans and inform you of what my intentions for MoeGamer and my other projects are for the coming year. None of said projects are going anywhere, I hasten to add — I am, however, expanding on or rethinking a few things here and there.
Let’s get right into it then!
There will be a slight shift to MoeGamer’s core format in that the Cover Game features will no longer be tied to a strict monthly schedule. With the last few projects of 2018 I found myself either having to rush through things to squeeze stuff in before the arbitrary “deadlines” I’d set for myself, or simply not being able to cover everything I wanted to. By the time I got to the Project Zero features, I figured “fuck it, it’s done when it’s done” — and that seemed to work out well for me. I’ll still try and keep the features roughly a month long, but if I need to take more time, I’ll take more time.
I’m also going to try not to get too ambitious with each individual Cover Game feature by attempting to avoid covering whole series at once, particularly if said series are expansive. I am making an exception to this with the first Cover Game feature of the new year, which we’ll come onto in a moment, but for the most part I’m going to try and keep each Cover Game to focusing on a single game, explored in depth.
The intention of the format has always been to give a relatively unknown or under-explored game the same treatment a big-name triple-A game would (or should) get from a mainstream site — lots of articles about different aspects of it, including its historical context — rather than a scattershot exploration of a whole series.
The first Cover Game of the new year will be the Atelier Arland series, which I’ve been meaning to get onto for several years now. This encompasses three games — Atelier Rorona, Atelier Totori and Atelier Meruru, and Koei Tecmo were kind enough to provide me with review copies of the new “DX” versions for Switch, so in this instance I have a certain degree of obligation to check out the entire series. In many respects, the three Arland games are intended to be considered as a single “work” anyway, so this is why I’m making an exception to my “one game per feature” rule.
I have an absolute ton of games on my shelves that are as-yet unplayed because I have them earmarked for detailed Cover Game features, but the ones that spring immediately to mind that I’d like to try and prioritise this year are the following:
- 428: Shibuya Scramble – this will likely follow the Arland feature.
- Mary Skelter: Nightmares – It’s been a while since we had a good dungeon crawler here on MoeGamer, and this is supposed to be one of the best.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country – Since this has been released as a separate standalone physical release in its own right, I feel it’s only proper to cover it separately to its source material.
- Punch Line – There’s some interesting pedigree behind this entertaining-looking game, so I’m keen to explore it.
- Yumina the Ethereal – One of many games that have been on my shelf for literally years now, and I’m very keen to give it a shot.
- Utawarerumono – There are two games here, with possibly a third to follow if it gets a Western release — and said “third” game will actually be the first chronologically, so I’m tempted to wait and see if that happens. But I know these games are supremely well-regarded among people in the know so I’m very interested in them.
- Unlimited SaGa – Hated this growing up. Love the concept of it now, and my podcasting partner Chris is also keen to explore it, too, so this is definitely on the list.
- Several NIS PS2 releases – La Pucelle Tactics, Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom and even the Disgaea games are all ripe for some sort of coverage, though NIS’ signature sprawling game structure may make them a challenge!
- Nights of Azure 2 – Loved the first one, very interested to see how it is followed up.
- Final Fantasy XII – I know it’s hardly an “unknown” game, but I think this is particularly ripe for some in-depth exploration. I didn’t want to cover it too close to other Final Fantasy games such as XIV and XV, though. Perhaps this is the year for it, particularly with it supposedly getting a Switch release!
There are probably literally hundreds more on my list (and doubtless some games that haven’t released yet that I’d like to incorporate into the schedule) but these are some games that spring immediately to mind when I ponder what I’d like to cover in depth this year.
Alongside all this, I plan to get back on board with my Delving Into series and make some progress through Dragon Quest, and the regular video series I have on the go will continue, too, since they’re simply good fun to make.
One addition to the video format is that I’d like to do more “readings” of articles as well as Let’s Play-style videos. I’m going to aim to put one of these out per week on Mondays, and they’ll probably be pulled from the MoeGamer archives rather than simply being a different way of consuming more current content. The Essentials articles in particular are ripe for making videos out of; I’ve previously done a few of these and they’ve worked out well, but I’m not ruling out video versions of full Cover Game features, either.
Atari A to Z
I’m happy with how this is going. The site itself doesn’t get many views but the videos on YouTube get consistently some of the best numbers on my channel (which isn’t saying much at this point, no, but it’s statistically significant at present) so I’d like to continue this.
My original intention for what was previously known as AtariXL was to incorporate more in-depth features on hardware, accessories and non-gaming software, too. I’d like to do that, but I need to figure out the best way of doing this. It’d be cool to do it all with video, but I don’t have a lot of the equipment I need to make that a reality at present; when it comes to hardware accessories in particular, you can’t just fire up an emulator to make a satisfactory video, you really need some footage of the device actually being used. I may settle for written articles on these subjects; that way the dedicated Atari A to Z site will have some unique content besides reposting the YouTube videos.
Also my Atari 8-bit needs a new 1050 (or, drool, XF551) disk drive before I can do too much with the actual hardware, but I’ll set aside some funds for that at some point in the near future. I’d also like to acquire an Atari 1040 STFM as a “middle ground” between the 520ST and the 1040 STE I currently have; there are some games that will only work or will have specific enhancements on the STFM.
I’ve completely neglected this project for a few months, but I’m going to get back on this starting this week. I have a dream of collecting a complete library of European releases for this console, and it’s quite attainable — it’s only the weird “board game” releases that are really all that expensive, so if I take it a bit at a time it’s very much within my reach.
The site will continue to be structured in the way it is, as a static “catalogue” of games, but I’ll make more of the “blog” part of the site to get people interested and engaged rather than simply providing news updates.
For now, I’m going to set a conservative goal of adding one new game per week to the site, perhaps more if I have a bit of free time. Obviously if I run out of games I physically own I’ll have to hold fire on this for a bit, but I still have a number in my current collection I haven’t written about yet.
I’m happy with this for now. My revitalised “#oneaday” project has given me something I’m happy to provide to my $1 patrons, and I always enjoy putting together the special wallpapers for $5 patrons. I doubt I’ll be making any significant changes to this in the near future; while I do like to do something nice for the people who are kind enough to support me and my work, my priority will always be on the “main” sites, particularly MoeGamer, which I think of as my “flagship” site.
Once again, I’d like to thank everyone kind enough to take the time to read MoeGamer, watch my videos or listen to the podcast, and say an extra-special thank you to those who support my work on Patreon and Ko-Fi. Your generosity really does spur me on to do my best with these projects, and I hope you continue to enjoy them in 2019.
Happy new year, everyone. Let’s make it a good one.
Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this article. I’ve been writing about games in one form or another since the days of the old Atari computers, with work published in Page 6/New Atari User, PC Zone, the UK Official Nintendo Magazine, GamePro, IGN, USgamer, Glixel and more over the years, and I love what I do.
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