Category Archives: Cover Games

The major, feature-length articles of MoeGamer. Each month, a single game or series gets the Cover Game treatment and is explored over the course of at least four articles.

LAMUNATION!: Welcome to Youkoso Saint Aria

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LAMUNATION! is an absolute fever dream of a visual novel. It’s one of the most gleefully, joyfully chaotic narrative experiences I’ve ever sat through.

One thing I found particularly interesting about it was the fact that depending on the order in which you explore the three main narrative routes, you either start with material that is relatively easy to digest… or just throw yourself right in to the insanity.

The choices I made, as it happens, resulted in a gradual escalation of chaos — so that’s how we’ll take a look at things over the course of the next few articles.

Some NSFW content ahead.

Continue reading LAMUNATION!: Welcome to Youkoso Saint Aria

LAMUNATION!: Introduction

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One of the things I love about Japanese popular media is its willingness to create manga, anime and visual novels about all manner of subject matter — not just “safe”, predictable options that we see all the time.

As such, when the prospect of taking a look at LAMUNATION!, a visual novel that appeared to mostly be about fizzy pop, reared its head, I was more than happy to take a closer look — particularly given the track record of the localiser-publisher Love Lab, who we’ve previously seen here on MoeGamer with the beautifully presented, Ishikei-illustrated, polyamory-themed visual novel  Love³ -Love Cube- and Shade’s highly enjoyable (and exceedingly sexy) Bullet Girls Phantasia.

And with that in mind, I was particularly delighted to have the opportunity to chat with Meru and Blick from Love Lab and find out a bit more about the game, Love Lab’s approach to localisation and some of the challenges they encountered with this peculiar project! Grab a bottle, chug it down (don’t forget to go “Pwaaaahhh!!” afterwards, this is non-negotiable) and let’s get started.

Continue reading LAMUNATION!: Introduction

Pokémon Sword and Shield: The People of Galar

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One thing that it’s always quite easy to forget about Pokémon is the fact that it not only features tons of the eponymous monsters… it also has people in it, too. And they have plenty of their own stories to tell.

Pokémon Sword and Shield may not appear to be quite as overdramatic in terms of “stakes” as some previous installments in the series — at least, not until the delightfully over-the-top finale — but it definitely has something to say, and its setting is quite relevant to this, too.

Specifically, the games have quite a bit to say about the nature of fame, the cult of celebrity and what a struggle a life in the spotlight can really bring, as desirable as it might seem from an idealised perspective.

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: The People of Galar

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life

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When the original Pokémon games were announced, I didn’t initially realise that they were RPGs — at least partly because I wasn’t overly familiar with how RPGs worked myself at the time.

Nowadays, of course, I know much better. But “RPG” is such a broad term, particularly when you throw its tabletop counterpart into the mix. There are lots of different ways you can approach the idea of an “RPG” from a mechanical perspective, and lots of different games over the years — including Pokémon — have experimented with the formula.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are, of course, no exception. Let’s take a closer look at the game’s mechanical components and contemplate how these games approach the idea of you “role-playing” as a Pokémon Trainer.

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A Grand Tour of Galar

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As we’ve already seen, the first few Pokémon games were set in regions modelled after particular regions of Japan, but from the New York-inspired Black and White onwards, the series has looked more globally. And Sword and Shield is no exception.

Specifically, the Galar region that forms the setting for Pokémon Sword and Shield is modelled on the United Kingdom, particularly mainland England, Wales and Scotland.

As most regular readers will probably know, I am a British person, so who better to explore the locales of Sword and Shield and try to figure out if they have real-life counterparts on our grotty little island? Well, I’m sure you can name several, but you’re stuck with me for now, so read on…

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: A Grand Tour of Galar

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Introduction and History

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Pokémon is the biggest media franchise in the world at the time of writing. It’s certainly a far cry from being either overlooked or underappreciated. So why explore it in depth here on MoeGamer?

Because despite it being the world’s biggest media franchise, there’s not a ton of in-depth analysis out there. Sure, commercial sites will fill their frontpages with clickbait “How To Catch Shiny Pokémon” and “How To Evolve Farfetch’d to Sirfetch’d” guide articles, but actual in-depth looks at the game are surprisingly thin on the ground.

So I thought I’d do my bit to correct that. Beginning with an extensive look at the history of the series: where it came from, how it became such a global phenomenon, and what has led us to Sword and Shield. Let’s begin!

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: Introduction and History

Bullet Girls Phantasia: A Tale of Three Worlds

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One of the things I find endlessly fascinating about Japanese popular media is how it blends disparate, seemingly incompatible things together to produce something altogether unique.

That’s certainly the case with Shade’s Bullet Girls Phantasia, a game which pops elements of Cute Girls Doing Cute Things, military action, fantasy fiction and Norse mythology into a big bowl and then whizzes it all around into a fine, blended paste.

It works. It really works. So let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from the narrative, themes and characterisation of this unusual game.

Continue reading Bullet Girls Phantasia: A Tale of Three Worlds