A Very Merry Christmas! 2020 Edition EX Plus Alpha

Hello everyone, and a very merry Christmas to you all, unless you celebrate something else around this time of year, in which case happy whatever that is.

2020 has been a big challenge for everyone, so I hope over this most festive of holidays you’re able to take a step back from the chaos in the world and have a day or two of pure relaxation and enjoyment — preferably with family and/or loved ones if you’re in a part of the world where that is something you’re allowed to do!

This week’s posting schedule is a bit wonky due to holidays and the like, but you can expect the next episode of the Atelier MegaFeature tomorrow! In the meantime, let’s do the obligatory Christmas Roundup Post! Join me after the jump for some festive funtimes.

The Year Just Passed

Last year, I was happy that MoeGamer at least remained consistent with a slight bit of growth. This year… well, I don’t know exactly what happened, but thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to such astronomical growth of the site. I’m honestly blown away by quite how many people stop by here every day at this point, and I’m grateful for every one of you. I hope you continue to find interesting and enjoyable things to read about here — or just some pretty pictures of anime girls to make you smile.

This year, as you know, I’ve been experimenting a little with formats to shake things up a bit. In lieu of the normal Cover Game features, I’ve been working on a long-term Atelier MegaFeature, where I explore all the mainline Western releases in Gust’s legendary series. At the time of writing, I still have a way to go so this is going to stretch on into 2021, but it’s an eminently worthwhile project that I’m having a lot of fun with, and that people seem to be enjoying.

Alongside that, I’m trying to constrain myself less to covering one thing at a time, and not feeling any sort of… I don’t know if “guilt” is the right word, but being happy to take multiple articles to cover something that is worth exploring in detail. Good examples include my in-depth exploration of the visual novel Nurse Love Addiction, and I’m currently in the process of doing the same with Warriors Orochi 3too. Essentially they’re getting the Cover Game treatment without the complete site takeover; I want to figure out a better way to highlight and showcase these in the coming year, but for now hopefully the current structure of the site at least allows people to find them.

I continue with my site philosophy of wanting to create something that remains relevant in the long-term, hence the fact I tend to avoid topical news and opinion pieces. That’s not to say that there’s none of those on the site, of course, but my priority with MoeGamer has always been showcasing games from over the years and building up a wealth of reading (and video) material on a variety of different subjects. I want the things I write to be relevant whether you read them as they are posted, or if you stumble across them in five years’ time. And I think I’m doing pretty well in that regard.

I’d like to say a hearty thank you to everyone who has reached out over the last year and offered interesting things for me to cover, or who has been receptive to review code requests. I am but one man so unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to get to everything in a completely timely manner, but where I make a commitment to cover something, I do my best to follow through as soon as I can! On that note, Sekai Project and Denpasoft were kind enough to provide a copy of Nekopara vol. 4 recently, so expect some coverage on that very soon — I’m off over the Christmas break so I actually have time to sit down and read it!

The Podcast

Chris and I continue to have a great time recording The MoeGamer Podcast; we’ve settled into a roughly monthly schedule, as that allows us both ample time to prepare, and for me to get on with the other things I’m doing for the site and for YouTube. We’ve had some great episodes this year, and I hope you’ve enjoyed them.

We’ll be continuing happy podcast funtimes in the year to come and beyond, so in the meantime please enjoy any of the episodes you might have missed via either YouTube or Soundcloud above! A special thanks, as always, to Chris for not only being a great co-host and someone I love chatting games with, but also a rock-solid friend I know I can always depend on.

Retro Gaming A to Z

This has expanded a little beyond the original three Atari A to Z series with the addition of the Evercade A to Z series, in which I take a game at a time from the available lineup of cartridges and give it some time to itself. Rather than going alphabetically, we’re going by cartridge, so one game from cart 1, one game from cart 2 and so on and so on. I know that makes the “A to Z” title not as accurate, but it’s catchy and no-one has complained.

As for the Atari series, all three of them are over a hundred episodes now, which makes me very pleased and happy every time I see it. When I commit myself to doing something, I damn well follow through on it, and I think these series act as some concrete evidence of that fact! They’ve also provided a great means for me to develop my confidence at appearing on camera, commentating on games and all manner of other benefits, so they’re as helpful for me as they are (hopefully) enjoyable to you. Thank you to those of you who take the time to watch these.

short;Play

Since I decided to call time on doing long playthroughs of things — at least temporarily — I wanted some means of doing video celebrations of stuff outside the specific Atari and Evercade niches. And so short;Play was born — a series in which there are no particularly hard or fast rules about what I cover; they’re just games that I like.

They’re deliberately not full playthroughs — they’re just a single video to show you what to expect from the game, where I explain what I understand about the game at the point I’m at in it. I hope these have provided some entertainment value for you, and perhaps showcased some games you were less familiar with — or which haven’t been mentioned for a few years. I certainly enjoy making them, even if viewing figures vary enormously between episodes! Gratifyingly, the more obscure games (Mad Rat Dead, Star Ixiom) seem to do the best, so I’ll try and focus on stuff like that as much as possible!

Once again, thank you to those who take the time to kindly watch these — particularly if you leave some thoughtful and articulate comments to have a nice discussion beneath them! My YouTube commenters are the best.

The Year to Come

2021 will see the continuation of the Atelier MegaFeature, since I’m making good progress on that and am excited about seeing it through. I will probably have to add Atelier Ryza 2 to it by the time I get there, but that’s fine by me — I’m having a blast so far.

There are lots of other things I want to cover — I made a start on doing some in-depth visual novel coverage this year, but want to make some more time for that in 2021. Expect the rest of the Nurse Love Syndrome coverage, along with plenty of other things. I have quite the backlog of stuff to write about in that regard!

In terms of video, I have some things that I would like to provide a distinct… “focus” on, but haven’t quite figured out how I want to tackle them yet. I picked up an Atari Jaguar and am keen to do something along the lines of an “Atari Jaguar A to Z” series, though I don’t know if I have the time or energy to add that to the current lineup. I also want to do something with the original Xbox, since I’ve recently picked up one of those, and it has a variety of interesting exclusives that rarely get talked about. Again, I’m not sure if that’s something I want to make a whole series of, or just incorporate into short;Play. We’ll see.

Aside from that, it will continue to be business as usual around here! I’m enormously grateful and extremely flattered that so many of you stop by to say hello on such a regular basis, and I’m honestly floored quite how much MoeGamer has grown in the last year specifically. Perhaps some of that growth can be attributed to lockdown blues, but whatever the reason, I’m very thankful and humbled by those numbers. I’m proud of what I’ve created here, and I’m super-glad that people are enjoying it as much as I enjoy making it.

As always, if there’s anything you’d like to see me cover on here or on YouTube at some point, do let me know. I can’t promise I’ll be able to get to it immediately, but it’s always interesting to hear what people would like to know more about — and at times when creative or inspirational block strikes, it’s nice to have some external ideas to explore!

An extra-special thank you to everyone who has supported the site on Patreon, Ko-Fi or via PayPal — your kind donations have been very well spent this year, particularly when I needed to replace some equipment such as my capture card! Every little bit of help you can provide helps make the site a better place by providing more potential for interesting things to cover, so a sincere thank you to everyone who believes in my work enough to contribute.

I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful festive season, and that you can take at least a day or two to unwind and decompress from the stresses of an enormously eventful year. I know that’s what I’m planning on doing; as I type these last words, my wife is just setting the table for a delicious Christmas meal, so I hope you have something similar in your very near future!

Take care of yourselves, and thank you again for all your support.

Love, Pete xx


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