All posts by Pete Davison

Former games journo (GamePro, USgamer) and expert on all those Japanese games and visual novels the mainstream press likes to go "ew, pretty girls" at. I write things at great length.

PS2 Essentials: Flipnic

One of my favourite things about video games is the possibility to simulate things that have their roots in “reality”, but then extend that simulation to something that would be physically impossible or at least impractical to do.

Flipnic, a 2003 release for PS2 that was originally developed by Sony but, oddly, localised and brought West by Ubi Soft, of all people, takes this approach with pinball. While your average real-world pinball table is… well, roughly table-sized, Flipnic’s “tables”, if it’s even accurate to call them that, are absolutely enormous, frequently gravity-defying and full of contraptions that would make Heath Robinson proud.

It’s a bizarre game and no mistake… but well worth giving a bit of time to, particularly if you reckon yourself as a bit of a pinball wizard.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Flipnic

Slipstream: The Road to ’80s Arcade Racing Nirvana

OutRun is consistently cited as one of the best, most influential arcade games of all time, so it’s surprising Sega hasn’t done more with it over the years.

And speaking more broadly, I’ve seen enough people bemoaning the lack of arcade-style racing games in today’s landscape that it’s even more surprising more developers haven’t attempted to capitalise on this apparent hunger for old-school, no-frills racing.

It was with this in mind that, on January 16 2016, when my friend Chris (of MoeGamer Podcast fame) noted that “here’s a Kickstarter worth $5“, I didn’t hesitate to fling the aforementioned five bucks in the direction of Slipstream, a humble project from solo Brazilian developer Sandro Luiz de Paula, aka ansdor — someone who seemingly wanted nothing more than to make a new OutRun.

Continue reading Slipstream: The Road to ’80s Arcade Racing Nirvana

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

I’m just back from holiday and my podcasting partner in crime Chris has just departed on a trip, so it’s a short episode this time around… but an important one.

If you’ve been paying attention to social media today, you’ll doubtless have seen that there has been some concern over Valve’s apparent change of policy over adult content… or at least titles that have ties to adult content.

Hit the jump for the full episode.

Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

Gal*Gun 2: Asking the Important Questions

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous | Next > | Latest >>


In any creative work involving a cast of more than one female character — particularly if said work is of Japanese origin — there is one question that is, to some people, seemingly of greater importance than any other.

I am, of course, talking about Who Is Best Girl, an eternally raging debate that no-one can ever agree on, and which you’re probably some sort of despicable idiot if you ever declare your opinion on as being some sort of universal truth.

With that in mind, then, I thought it a good time to look at Gal*Gun 2’s extended cast outside of its main heroines, and pick a few favourites from the mix! Join me! STANDARD DISCLAIMER: If you have different personal Best Girls… well, that’s great. Let me know who they are! This is not a definitive list by any means.

Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Asking the Important Questions

Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!

Moe anthropomorphism — aka “girls who are also [insert things that are very much not girls here]” — is a popular trend, particularly in the mobile and free-to-play gaming markets.

We’ve seen a number of success stories in this “genre” of popular entertainment over the last few years, with probably the most famous example being Kadokawa Games’ Kantai Collection, which went on to spawn anime, manga and all manner of other merchandise.

It’s unsurprising, then, that other developers remain keen to capitalise on the public’s apparent hunger for “girls who are also things that are not girls”. One of the latest games to cater to this demand is Girls’ Frontline by Chinese outfit MICA, brought West by Sunborn Games. Since a fair few people on my Twitter feed have been playing this recently, I thought I’d check it out for myself…

Continue reading Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!

Waifu Wednesday: Risu the Angel

Japanese games have a number of different ways of handling narratives from a first-person perspective.

The typical “visual novel” approach allows the player to ride along inside the protagonist’s head, being privy to their innermost thoughts as well as the things they say out loud. But in other instances where this approach has not been used for stylistic purposes — and particularly where a silent or quasi-silent protagonist takes the lead — a companion character is often employed to either speak “for” the protagonist, or to complement them in some way.

Gal*Gun Double Peace featured the delightful Ekoro, who beautifully complemented protagonist Houdai’s bafflement at the situation in which he found himself through dry wit and a touch of sarcasm. And Gal*Gun 2, which features the player themselves as the participant quasi-silent protagonist, has Risu; equally delightful, but in a rather different way.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Risu the Angel

Puzzler Essentials: Puzzle Labyrinth

I have a strange relationship with the Nintendo 3DS. I often find myself thinking of it as one of my least favourite gaming systems for numerous reasons… but every so often I’m reminded about the things that make it unique.

Sure, there’s the first-party Nintendo stuff that provides obvious uniqueness, but another aspect of the 3DS that is not discussed nearly as much as it deserves is the amount of interesting, creative and downright weird download-only games buried in the eShop.

Many of these games are published by a company called Circle Entertainment, and they run the gamut from retro-inspired arcade titles to highly creative puzzles and adventures. The subject of today’s piece very much falls into the latter category.

Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Puzzle Labyrinth

I Finally Beat Persona 5

Most of the time, gaming is a fairly solitary activity for me, but on occasion, there are games that my wife enjoys watching me play enough to drag her away from Final Fantasy XIV for an hour or two at a time.

Last year’s Persona 5 was one of those games, and thus rather than focusing on it as I do with the Cover Games for each month, “we’ve” been playing it rather casually over the course of the last year or so. The other night, we finally reached the end.

What better reason to reflect on a game that, according to some, represented a great renaissance for a Japanese games industry that had supposedly been “kind of bad” for years?

Continue reading I Finally Beat Persona 5

What’s in the Box: Megadimension Neptunia VIIR

If you were wondering, it’s pronounced “vee-two-arr”.

Yes indeed, a (kind of) new Neptunia game is here, which of course means I’ve picked up its limited edition, because I like both Neptunia and Idea Factory International’s approach to limited editions.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to cover VIIR here on MoeGamer as yet; the original Megadimension Neptunia V-II was one of the first Cover Games here and thus we’ve already explored certain aspects of it in great detail. While I mull over whether or not VIIR’s new bits — namely its virtual reality component and its completely overhauled mechanics — are worth another month of in-depth exploration at some point down the road, here’s a look inside the box of that limited edition.

Continue reading What’s in the Box: Megadimension Neptunia VIIR

Gal*Gun 2: A Strange and Sexy Little World

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
<< First | < Previous | Next > | Latest >>


A game where you blast cute girls to quasi-orgasmic ecstasy while attempting to fend off the mischief of a cheeky young demon might not sound like the sort of experience that would have good worldbuilding, but the Gal*Gun series as a whole is full of surprises.

It’s clear that developer Inti Creates has taken a great amount of care over the course of the Japan-only Gal*Gun, its sequel Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2 to make the series something more than a throwaway joke game. Yes, it’s amusing; yes, it’s silly; yes, it’s cheeky, fun and sexy; but none of those things mean that it can’t have some depth or be well-crafted.

So today, then, we’re going to take a closer look at how the series as a whole builds that sense of a coherent world, and where Gal*Gun 2 fits in with all that.

Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: A Strange and Sexy Little World