Category Archives: One-Shots

One-off articles about games, cultural phenomena, anime and anything else that isn’t getting the Cover Game treatment.

Super Mario Maker 2: In Praise of “Normal”

Now Super Mario Maker 2 has been out for a little while, we can consider certain aspects of it in greater detail — something of a necessity when contemplating an online-centric title like this!

There’s already a huge variety of levels out there for you to enjoy, with new ones being added all the time. I’ve even got in on the action with two of my own at the time of writing and more to come — check the game’s Hub Page for the codes if you want to try them!

And, of course, the game is flavour of the month for streamers and YouTubers. But I have a bit of a concern about this side of things in particular; let’s talk about that.

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Super Mario Maker 2: Nintendo Hands Over the Keys… Again

Super Mario Maker was a noteworthy title in that it managed to be extremely popular and culturally relevant despite being on a console considered to be a high-profile “failure”.

Now Nintendo has well and truly picked itself up, dusted itself off and raised a hearty middle finger to its competition with the Switch, many people would have doubtless been happy with a simple port of the original Super Mario Maker, opening up the possibilities that package offered to a whole new audience.

But what Nintendo has actually given us is something much, much greater. Let’s dive in and see what Super Mario Maker 2 brings to the creators’ table.

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Kotodama – The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa: Stripping Away Deceit

Over the last few years, UK-based outfit PQube Games has become a force to be reckoned with in the localisation and publishing space.

Since its inception in 2009, PQube has brought Western fans a variety of games that might otherwise have never made it out of Japan, including Inti Creates’ Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2Kadokawa Games’ Root Letter and Red Entertainment’s Our World is Endedthey also played a key role in popularising and expanding the audiences of titles such as Nitroplus’ classic visual novel Steins;Gate and Arc System Works’ anime fighting series BlazBlue.

It’s a company serious about what it does, in other words — and so when I heard it was developing its own game for the first time, I couldn’t help but take notice. That game, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, is finally here, so let’s take a closer look.

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Educational Esperanto Visual Novel Struggles with Valve’s Amorphous Content Policies

[UPDATE 22/06/2019: The Expression: Amrilato is now available on Steam! See this blog post by MangaGamer for further details. I’m leaving this story up, as the discussion points it raised remain pertinent.]

I don’t normally cover “news” here on MoeGamer, but this is something I think it’s important to talk about right now.

Prolific publisher and localiser MangaGamer announced today that its thoroughly intriguing-sounding visual novel The Expression: Amrilato, a game that combines a romantic yuri narrative with educational, linguistic content approved by Japan’s National Esperanto Association, had been released on its own storefront and GOG.com.

The game was also intended to release on Valve’s popular Steam storefront but it, like many other Japanese games and visual novels, has fallen foul of the company’s ill-defined policies regarding acceptable game content. Let’s talk about that.

Continue reading Educational Esperanto Visual Novel Struggles with Valve’s Amorphous Content Policies

Team Sonic Racing: Always Better Together

One of the most interesting success stories of the last couple of console generations is the series of Sonic-themed racing games.

While the blue blur’s mainline adventures have had a somewhat mixed reception over the years, Sumo Digital’s Sonic Racing series (to date consisting of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and Team Sonic Racing) has been very positively received by press and public alike.

So how is the latest installment? Let’s take a look!

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Bluemoonpark: The Most Precious Wings

It’s always a pleasure when a developer, publisher or localiser reaches out to me and asks if I’ll take a look at their project, because it tends to expose me to things that I might otherwise have been unaware of.

In turn, I can then share those things with you, and you can check them out as well! Everyone wins.

The latest title I’ve encountered in this manner is Bluemoonpark, an upcoming Kickstarter-funded visual novel by LA-based startup Amateras Inc and Korean developers Archive Factory Creative Group and Project Team Heimdallr. Let’s take a first look!

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First Look: Neverinth

Something I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of sooner is the combination of heavy-hitting, stamina-management combat, randomly generated dungeons and a long-term unlockable-based metagame.

These mechanics and structures have proven themselves to be pretty consistently popular at this point over the course of a variety of well-received games, so it makes sense that someone would finally take the plunge and try to mash them all together into one coherent lump.

The result looks something like CreAct’s Neverinth, an action RPG for PC that just entered its public Early Access period at the time of writing, and which a few people I know have been making excited noises about for a while. Let’s take a look!

Continue reading First Look: Neverinth