Category Archives: 2019

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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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.

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Bullet Girls Phantasia: The Art of Erotica

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There’s a distinct lack of nuance in a lot of modern video game analysis when it comes to anything even the slightest bit erotic, and, as we’ve previously discussed, this is something we could all stand to be a bit better at.

With this in mind, Bullet Girls Phantasia seems like an ideal candidate to look at closely from this angle: without tittering childishly, without knowing nudge-nudge-wink-winks, and, of course, without censure or shame for either what it is doing or the people who might enjoy it.

The reason for this is that Bullet Girls Phantasia represents a solid example of erotica done right: it stops short of being outright explicit pornography — partly for stylistic reasons and partly out of necessity due to its host platforms — but anyone playing it will be left in little doubt that a particular, specific side of the game is very much intended to provoke an intense sexual reaction in anyone engaging with it fully. And there’s nothing to be ashamed of there. So let’s explore it further!

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Bullet Girls Phantasia: Enlisting for Duty

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When I started this Cover Game feature, I figured that these two games by Shade would be fairly similar to one another.

After all, they’re both third-person shooters featuring cute girls and a certain amount of fanservice to enjoy. Taking games with what I assumed to be a similar “feel” to them as a guideline, I estimated that they’d both be reasonably short affairs that I could romp through quickly.

After 45 hours of pursuing all of Gun Gun Pixies’ endings, I realised that I might have been wrong. After starting the rather more mechanics-centric Bullet Girls Phantasia, I confirmed that yes, indeed, I was very wrong. And, as such, because I want to do a proper job of this… it’s going to take a few articles to do the latter justice. So let’s begin today with a look at how it plays.

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Gun Gun Pixies: Tiny Girls, Huge Hearts

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One thing I always like to see is when developers get a bit experimental.

Idea Factory and Compile Heart have always been good at this, and their numerous experiments over the last ten years or so have really allowed them to hone their craft, showing marked improvements from their earlier PS3 titles up until today. And when you partner up with an ensemble like Shade, who, as we’ve already seen, are certainly not averse to doing things a bit differently from the norm, the results can be very interesting indeed.

One such result is Gun Gun Pixies. So let’s take a closer look at what’s going on with this unusual game.

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Shade: A Brief History

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This time around, we’re taking a close look at a couple of games from a specific company. The two games aren’t directly related to one another, but they’re both from the same rough “era” of gaming, and I thought they both looked interesting.

The two games are Gun Gun Pixies and Bullet Girls Phantasia from Shade Inc, and I wanted to explore these games not only because they were appealing to me, but because I found the fact that they were developed by Shade to be fascinating.

Not sure who Shade is? That’s what today’s all about. Let’s have a little history lesson.

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Senran Kagura Peach Ball: Bump ‘n’ Bounce

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There’s a convincing argument to be made that a long-running video game franchise has only seen true success when it’s had a video pinball spinoff on a Nintendo platform.

I jest, obviously, but there are a number of fun examples from over the years — primarily direct from Nintendo, it has to be said, what with Metroid, Kirby, Pokémon and Super Mario all getting the bouncing balls treatment.

Senran Kagura is a series about ninja girls, though, so how on Earth could that possibly… oh, you know they’ll find a way. Let’s take a closer look.

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