The Death of a Community

The last few years have been a strange time for the gaming community at large — if such a thing even exists as a single entity any more — with one of the most surprising incidents being the apparent fall of NeoGAF.

I won’t be shedding any tears over the site’s possible demise, since its shift into heavily left-leaning progressive politics, the idolisation of women and minorities as infallible beings to be worshiped and unquestioningly protected (as opposed to regular human beings, the same as anyone else) and the immediate, uncompromising exclusion and demonisation of anyone who didn’t fall in line with these values had made the site a laughing-stock for anyone who just wanted to, you know, talk about games. Plus, most relevantly to us here at MoeGamer, many readers will know that the site had been unfriendly to discussion of many modern Japanese games for some time now, with threads on some titles such as Criminal Girls completely banned, and the entirety of the site’s substantial Senran Kagura community unceremoniously ejected one day without any prior warning or explanation.

But the fact remains that what was once a proud institution in gaming culture — one of the longest surviving gaming forums, and formerly a hangout for journalists, developers and gamers alike — now lies in ruins. And that’s significant to anyone who was ever part of it.

Continue reading The Death of a Community

Ridge Racer 7: The New “Revolution”

Almost exactly a year after its previous installment, Ridge Racer got another mainline entry — a title which marked the franchise’s return to Sony platforms after its temporary dalliance with Microsoft.

Ridge Racer 7 was an exclusive title for Sony’s new PlayStation 3 platform — and in keeping with series tradition, it was a launch title, too — but it represented a less radical reinvention of the series than some of the previous games. In fact, those who played Ridge Racer 6 might find an awful lot of it quite familiar.

Ridge Racer 7, you see, is largely a reinvention of Ridge Racer 6, similar to how Ridge Racer Revolution was a reinvention of the original game. But that doesn’t make it a game you should pass up. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Continue reading Ridge Racer 7: The New “Revolution”

Blogwarming Party!

Hi everyone, just a quickie for a now — a full article is coming later today, but I wanted to bring this up while it was fresh in my mind!

MoeGamer has kind of stood by itself for a while as I wanted it to be a self-contained site that people could refer to in order to find out information on Japanese games and visual novels. Indeed, that’s not going to change at all — the All Games page is growing on pretty much a daily basis and you’ll hopefully have noticed I have been very good about creating new Hub Pages for games as and when I bring them up!

However, just recently I’ve been making a bit more of an effort to engage with the broader WordPress community and have encountered some thoroughly lovely people, one of whom is Irina from the wonderfully titled I Drink and Watch Anime, a blog about, among other things, anime and drinking games you can play while enjoying it. Well, obviously.

Grisaia’s totally an anime that you could drink and watch. But you should really play the visual novels instead. You may need a full case of booze, though.

I bring up Irina and her blog specifically because she’s making efforts to help newer anime bloggers who are just getting started to meet the broader community and perhaps make some new friends, and that’s something I’d very much like to support — particularly as there’s a lot of crossover between enthusiasm for anime and a fondness for Japanese video games and visual novels. Also speaking purely selfishly, it may also be a great opportunity for me to meet some new people who share some interests, too — and I hope it doesn’t sound too arrogant of me to say that they may find something of interest here on MoeGamer too.

If you’re a new anime or manga blogger and want to take your first steps into a very friendly and welcoming community — or just want to find some cool new blogs to read! — I encourage you to stop by Irina’s post here and get your own personal Blogwarming Party started!

Thank you for your time, dear reader. Normal business will resume later today — and expect more Community posts like this alongside the site’s main articles in the near future!

You Can Keep Your “Games as a Service”, I’m Fine with Single-Player, Thanks

EA’s recent announcement that it was shuttering Visceral and “pivoting” (ugh) the Amy Hennig-fronted narrative-centric single-player Star Wars project it had been working on probably didn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

It did, however, rekindle a discussion that last cropped up back in 2010 — once again involving Visceral, interestingly enough, this time with regard to the addition of multiplayer to Dead Space — when EA Games’ Frank Gibeau commented that he believed “fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out” experiences were “finished” and that “online is where the innovation, and the action, is at”.

The “pivoting” of the new Star Wars project is based on many of the same principles as Gibeau’s arguments from 2010: indeed, EA’s executive vice-president Patrick Söderlund claimed that the decision was due to a perceived need to “deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come” — or, to put it another way, the oft-mooted idea of “games as a service”.

I don’t want that. And I’m certain I’m not the only one.

Continue reading You Can Keep Your “Games as a Service”, I’m Fine with Single-Player, Thanks

Ridge Racer 6: PlayStation Who?

It was a good five years between Ridge Racer V helping to launch the PlayStation 2 and the next mainline numbered installment in the series.

In the intervening years we had a couple of spinoff games that are a little beyond the scope of what we have time to cover this month: in 2003, there was series outlier R: Racing Evolution, the only installment to feature licensed cars and thus a game some don’t consider to be a Ridge Racer at all, and 2004 gave us a well-received title for PSP that, in true Ridge Racer tradition, helped to demonstrate what a new Sony platform was capable of at launch.

It was 2005 before the next “true” sequel, however, and once again the series helped to launch a console. This time, however, it wasn’t a showcase game for a Sony platform; it instead formed part of the launch lineup for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the first of the high-definition consoles to hit the market.

Continue reading Ridge Racer 6: PlayStation Who?

Waifu Wednesday: Ist

Dungeon Travelers 2 is one of the best dungeon-crawlers of all time — I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of my favourite RPGs I’ve ever played.

A significant part of the reason for why I regard it so fondly is its large cast of memorable female characters, each of whom offer something unique both in mechanical terms and in how they contribute to the overall “party dynamic” with their characterisation.

It’s hard to pick a favourite from such a consistently loveable cast, but somewhere near the top of the list for me is Ist.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Ist

Ridge Racer V: Back to Basics

Ridge Racer V was an important game for Namco.

Not only was it to be a follow-up to the incredibly well-received and popular Ridge Racer Type 4it would also be the first installment of the series on a new generation of consoles — and a launch title for that system, the PlayStation 2, to boot.

Expectations were high for the new game to be both an impressive showcase for the new format and another solid installment in what was, by now, a well-loved and much-respected arcade racing franchise. The reality didn’t quite match up to these expectations… but it was certainly a damn good effort.

Continue reading Ridge Racer V: Back to Basics

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