Waifu Wednesday: Nia

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game practically overflowing with top-tier waifus, so it’s almost impossible to know where to start celebrating them.

While it might seem obvious to immediately focus on leading ladies Pyra and Mythra (aka Homura and Hikari in the Japanese version) these characters are, in many ways, “the face of Xenoblade Chronicles 2” and as such are already pretty well-known.

So, just to be a bit different — and much to the delight of many of my Twitter followers, if my call for requests earlier is anything to go by — I thought we’d instead look at the other woman in protagonist Rex’s life: the cat-like Gormotti, Nia.

Note that there are some Xenoblade Chronicles 2 spoilers ahead! You have been warned.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nia

Taito Essentials: Continental Circus

Ah yes, Continental Circus, the game which UK magazine Sinclair User declared “Cock-Up of the Year” in 1988 for the assumption that its peculiar title had rather prominently misspelled “Circuit”, only for it to become apparent sometime later that this was, in fact, deliberate.

The term “Circus” has been used over the years in both French and Japanese motorsports, and indeed there was even a 1972 French documentary called Continental Circus, which Taito’s 1987 arcade racer rather cheekily lifted a voice sample from to mark the beginning of each race. Although you can see how Sinclair User might have got confused; many of the original arcade machines for Continental Circus were actually branded with the title “Continental Circuit”.

The game itself is a “vanishing point” racer that attempts to build on what Namco had been doing with its Pole Position and Final Lap series since 1982. And, despite appearing superficially similar to those classic titles, it remains, to this day, a unique take on the racing genre with some very interesting ideas.

Continue reading Taito Essentials: Continental Circus

Honey Select Unlimited and Illusion’s Quest for Immersive Adult Entertainment

There have been quite a few “sex games” from Japanese developers over the years, but outside of visual novels that incorporate erotic elements to varying degrees, relatively few of them make it West in an official capacity.

This is a bit of a shame, really, since although the most immediately obvious appeal factor of them is the fact that they are interactive pornography (and many of the most modern ones have virtual reality headset support), for many, the most enjoyable aspect of these games is a creative one: the fact you can use a detailed set of tools to design a character of your choosing.

Those who are interested in such things will doubtless be delighted to hear that renowned hentai publisher and localiser Fakku has picked up Honey Select Unlimited for official Western release. And those who have no clue what I’m talking about… read on.

Continue reading Honey Select Unlimited and Illusion’s Quest for Immersive Adult Entertainment

Switch Essentials: Splatoon 2 (Part 1 – Single Player)

Splatoon was not only a great game, it represented Nintendo successfully giving a rather pointed middle finger to everyone who thought it relied too much on its old franchises.

Despite being on the Wii U, one of Nintendo’s least successful pieces of hardware, the game went on to perform extremely well worldwide, proving popular in both its native Japan and the rest of the world. By the end of December 2017, it had sold around 4.91 million copies — a pretty healthy proportion of the console’s entire user base, which stood at a little under 14 million as of December 2016. That means approximately one in every three Wii U owners had a copy.

A new generation of hardware was an ideal opportunity to explore the franchise further. And with the Switch performing much better in terms of sales than its predecessor pretty much from launch onwards, more people than ever before would be able to enjoy the experience of being a kid, then a squid, then a kid, then…

Continue reading Switch Essentials: Splatoon 2 (Part 1 – Single Player)

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Introduction and History

The fact that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 exists and, moreover, has been treated as a distinctly high-profile title for Nintendo’s Switch platform is nothing short of remarkable.

The Xeno series as a whole has been around for quite some time now and has been fairly consistently well-received by those who have played its various installments. But it’s been a long road for it to achieve the mainstream levels of acceptance and awareness it now enjoys. And a pretty interesting story, to boot.

So, before we dive into the game proper over the course of the next month, let’s look back at what it means to be a Xeno game, and how we got to where we are now.

Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Introduction and History

Waifu Wednesday: Uni

We’ve already covered quite a few Neptunia waifus in our weekly Waifu Wednesday celebrations, but there are still plenty more where those came from.

And with today being the six-year anniversary of the release of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk. 2 in North America, I figured it’s only fitting we show our appreciation for one of the CPU Candidates, the “younger sister” characters who were introduced in this second installment-cum-reboot to the then-fledgling Neptunia series.

We’ve already covered my all-time favourite Neptunia waifu Nepgear, so today it’s all about Uni.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Uni

On the Age-Old Question of Video Game Violence

Over at The Well-Red Mage, which you should really be reading if you enjoy thoughtful and well-considered writing about games without sociopolitical showboating, the Mage posed an interesting question.

It’s one we’ve been over many times since the medium’s inception, and yet at the time of writing, it’s once again a hot topic thanks to recent gun-related atrocities and the surrounding discussions.

So let’s talk about it a bit. I am, of course, no expert on psychology, so I’m not going to speak for anyone else; instead, I’m primarily going to focus on my own experiences here, and contemplate how they perhaps came to be. Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments, and be sure to drop by the Mage’s site to see some other takes on the matter.

Continue reading On the Age-Old Question of Video Game Violence

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