Waifu Wednesday: Nanako Tamasaki

A good mainstay of any slice-of-life love story is the “childhood friend” character. And while Gal*Gun 2 isn’t exactly your typical slice-of-life in many ways, heroine Nanako certainly fulfils this role very pleasingly.

Introduced right from the outset as the girl who sits next to you in class, and someone with whom you have a pre-existing friendship, Nanako is a comforting presence for much of the game — but, of course, she has her own interesting narrative arc to follow, too.

Will true love blossom between you and this charming young lady, or is your relationship forever confined to, as Risu puts it, “the childhood friend-zone”? That’s for you to decide!

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nanako Tamasaki

PS2 Essentials: Flipnic

One of my favourite things about video games is the possibility to simulate things that have their roots in “reality”, but then extend that simulation to something that would be physically impossible or at least impractical to do.

Flipnic, a 2003 release for PS2 that was originally developed by Sony but, oddly, localised and brought West by Ubi Soft, of all people, takes this approach with pinball. While your average real-world pinball table is… well, roughly table-sized, Flipnic’s “tables”, if it’s even accurate to call them that, are absolutely enormous, frequently gravity-defying and full of contraptions that would make Heath Robinson proud.

It’s a bizarre game and no mistake… but well worth giving a bit of time to, particularly if you reckon yourself as a bit of a pinball wizard.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Flipnic

Slipstream: The Road to ’80s Arcade Racing Nirvana

OutRun is consistently cited as one of the best, most influential arcade games of all time, so it’s surprising Sega hasn’t done more with it over the years.

And speaking more broadly, I’ve seen enough people bemoaning the lack of arcade-style racing games in today’s landscape that it’s even more surprising more developers haven’t attempted to capitalise on this apparent hunger for old-school, no-frills racing.

It was with this in mind that, on January 16 2016, when my friend Chris (of MoeGamer Podcast fame) noted that “here’s a Kickstarter worth $5“, I didn’t hesitate to fling the aforementioned five bucks in the direction of Slipstream, a humble project from solo Brazilian developer Sandro Luiz de Paula, aka ansdor — someone who seemingly wanted nothing more than to make a new OutRun.

Continue reading Slipstream: The Road to ’80s Arcade Racing Nirvana

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

I’m just back from holiday and my podcasting partner in crime Chris has just departed on a trip, so it’s a short episode this time around… but an important one.

If you’ve been paying attention to social media today, you’ll doubtless have seen that there has been some concern over Valve’s apparent change of policy over adult content… or at least titles that have ties to adult content.

Hit the jump for the full episode.

Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

Gal*Gun 2: Asking the Important Questions

In any creative work involving a cast of more than one female character — particularly if said work is of Japanese origin — there is one question that is, to some people, seemingly of greater importance than any other.

I am, of course, talking about Who Is Best Girl, an eternally raging debate that no-one can ever agree on, and which you’re probably some sort of despicable idiot if you ever declare your opinion on as being some sort of universal truth.

With that in mind, then, I thought it a good time to look at Gal*Gun 2’s extended cast outside of its main heroines, and pick a few favourites from the mix! Join me! STANDARD DISCLAIMER: If you have different personal Best Girls… well, that’s great. Let me know who they are! This is not a definitive list by any means.

Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Asking the Important Questions

Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!

Moe anthropomorphism — aka “girls who are also [insert things that are very much not girls here]” — is a popular trend, particularly in the mobile and free-to-play gaming markets.

We’ve seen a number of success stories in this “genre” of popular entertainment over the last few years, with probably the most famous example being Kadokawa Games’ Kantai Collection, which went on to spawn anime, manga and all manner of other merchandise.

It’s unsurprising, then, that other developers remain keen to capitalise on the public’s apparent hunger for “girls who are also things that are not girls”. One of the latest games to cater to this demand is Girls’ Frontline by Chinese outfit MICA, brought West by Sunborn Games. Since a fair few people on my Twitter feed have been playing this recently, I thought I’d check it out for myself…

Continue reading Girls’ Frontline: Moe Anthropomorphism Goes Bang-Bang!

Waifu Wednesday: Risu the Angel

Japanese games have a number of different ways of handling narratives from a first-person perspective.

The typical “visual novel” approach allows the player to ride along inside the protagonist’s head, being privy to their innermost thoughts as well as the things they say out loud. But in other instances where this approach has not been used for stylistic purposes — and particularly where a silent or quasi-silent protagonist takes the lead — a companion character is often employed to either speak “for” the protagonist, or to complement them in some way.

Gal*Gun Double Peace featured the delightful Ekoro, who beautifully complemented protagonist Houdai’s bafflement at the situation in which he found himself through dry wit and a touch of sarcasm. And Gal*Gun 2, which features the player themselves as the participant quasi-silent protagonist, has Risu; equally delightful, but in a rather different way.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Risu the Angel

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