Category Archives: One-Shots

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

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!

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Happy Birthday to Me (38) and MoeGamer (5)!

April 29, for those unaware, is both my birthday and the anniversary of MoeGamer’s first post. This year I am thirty- (counts on fingers) eight? And MoeGamer is five.

Those who have been following me for a while will know that the last five years — and beyond — have been full of plenty of ups and downs, for sure, but I’m extremely happy with what MoeGamer has grown into over the course of that time, and what I, personally, get out of putting so much time and effort into this site and my other creative projects.

I covered the story of how MoeGamer came about in detail back on the site’s third birthday, so do please go and read that retrospective if you’d like to know a bit of background. Today I’d instead like to ponder things that have happened in the last year or so. This last year in particular has been a very exciting one, as I started experimenting with lots of new ways of doing things. And I have no intention of slowing down or stopping any time soon!

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Deluxe Mini Monster: Take Your Retro Gaming to a New Level

Although I tend to use emulation to record my Atari A to Z videos for the sake of convenience, when I actually want to sit down and play something on the Atari 8-bit or Atari ST, I prefer to use the original hardware.

There are myriad reasons for this, probably chief among them being that strange sense of nostalgia for things that used to be inconvenient, like disk loading times (and the noise of disk drives!), playing on a small CRT TV (or TV-monitor in my case, since we had — and I still have — a lovely Trinitron hybrid thing) and all those delightful compatibility issues we used to have to deal with.

There’s one aspect that can prove quite annoying, however, and that’s the tendency of old joysticks to fail. While games for many home computers of the ’80s offered keyboard control as an alternative, on Atari systems it was often joystick or nothing. So clearly the way was open for a company to put out a modern joystick that would work on an old system.

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Boom Boom Rocket: Classical (Exploding) Gas

Quick! Name three Bizarre Creations games! GO!

If your entire list consisted of Project Gotham Racing games, you just about scrape a passing grade. If you remembered to mention Metropolis Street Racer, take five bonus marks. Including any Geometry Wars games in there (except Geometry Wars 3, which wasn’t them) gets you an additional five marks. Remembering The Club exists gets you a gold star — and hold that thought, we’ll definitely come back to that one.

If Boom Boom Rocket was anywhere in your list, however, you get exclusive membership into the Cool People Club. Benefits include never being able to get a small selection of classical music out of your head, the constant desire to tap your foot any time you see a fireworks display, and optional free hugs. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read on…

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OMG Zombies: In The Middle of a Chain Reaction

Prejudice is an ugly thing, but it’s important to acknowledge it when you allow it to affect you.

Consequently, dear reader, I don’t mind admitting that when I was presented with the opportunity to take a look at a new Switch game called OMG Zombies that, at its launch, cost just 99p (it’s now £3.99 after the initial discount) I was… shall we say, a little skeptical about whether or not this would be a worthwhile experience.

Internet slang in the title? Check. Use of zombies, arguably the most overused foe in all of video gaming history? Check. A distinctly “mobile-tier” price point? Check. This game would certainly have an uphill struggle to impress me.

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SNK 40th Anniversary Collection: (Almost) Perfect Preservation

As the years advance and old gaming hardware and media gets more expensive, harder to find and even more difficult to maintain, the matter of gaming preservation is of increasing importance.

I’ve previously talked about how emulation and ROM archives have an important role to play in all this — in spite of interference from certain quarters — but of arguably greater importance are companies’ own efforts to preserve their respective histories and portfolios.

I picked up the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection for Nintendo Switch recently, and I’ll be covering the individual games in it over the next indefinite period of time in an “SNK Essentials” column (and perhaps some videos) — but today, I wanted to talk about this package as a whole, what it gets right, and what I wish it had done slightly better.

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Seven Arbitrarily Chosen Things You’re Missing Out On If You’ve Been Operating Under the Mistaken Belief that JRPGs are “Dead”

It seems that every time we get a new Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy or Persona release, we have the same old “we’re having a JRPG renaissance!” discussion.

Well, dear reader, with my coverage of Death End Re;Quest on the horizon at the time of writing and plenty more RPGs in our shared futures, I’m here to remind you that RPGs have been alive and well ever since what people think of as their “golden age” — the SNES and PS1 eras. This will not be a shock to some of you reading this, of course, but I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who have passed up some wonderful experiences for one reason or another.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a list of seven arbitrarily chosen things that you might have missed out on if you’ve been operating under the grossly mistaken assumption that the role-playing game genre has somehow been “dead” despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Here we go!

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