The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!
This award was inspired by a conversation on Twitter started by someone who is apparently unable to look beyond the big-budget triple-A mainstream — specifically that as depicted by the annual Game Awards — for representation in video games.
I am not a girl. However, for a good few years now, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to play as female characters in games. As I recall, the first time I ever did it was in Baldur’s Gate on PC (which is also where I dreamed up the name I give every female character where the option to customise exists: Amarysse) and it felt strange and exciting at the time.
Now, it’s a much more normal part of today’s gaming landscape, but some people appear to not recognise this fact. So today’s award rather passive-aggressively celebrates a game I covered this year that particularly emphasises the fact it tells an interesting story with its female lead — a story that is very much about femininity.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The “This Game Has An Excellent Female Lead And Is About Being A Girl, Stop Whingeing There Aren’t Any Games About Such Things” Award
Pharaoh’s Curse is legitimately one of my favourite games on the Atari 8-bit, and one I frequently revisit to unironically enjoy every so often.
Developed by Steve Coleman, who we last saw at the helm of Mastertronic’s Ninja, Pharaoh’s Curse is an early example of an open-world 2D action adventure, allowing players to explore 16 screens arranged in a 4×4 grid in an attempt to recover all the awkwardly positioned treasures before escaping.
16 rooms doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, you clearly haven’t counted on the intervention of the mummy. And the pharaoh. And all the traps. And that stupid bastard absolute penis of a flying thing that always shows up at the worst possible moment. Not that I’m bitter at all, no no no.
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And so we come to what is, at the time of writing, the grand finale to the Project Zero series: Maiden of Black Water on Wii U.
While the nature of the series means that it’s entirely possible we’ll see some more games in the future — and indeed unverified “my uncle works at Nintendo” rumours circulated earlier this year that a Switch installment was in development — Maiden of Black Water is an interesting game that acts as a suitable swansong for the series if, indeed, that is truly “it”.
But then Mio and Mayu from Deep Crimson Butterfly and Yuri from this game are putting in cameo appearances in the impending Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so you never know what might happen… Ahem. Anyway. Let’s look at Maiden of Black Water in detail.
Continue reading Project Zero 5: The Difference a Little Warmth Can Make
For me, a good horror game is hard work.
I don’t mean that it’s a chore to play or anything like that; I mean that engaging with it to the fullest is a genuinely taxing experience from at the very least a mental perspective… and possibly a physical one too.
As I sit here typing this, still somewhat breathless after the genuinely exhausting finale of Project Zero 3: The Tormented, I can confirm that the third installment in this series is emphatically a good horror game.
Continue reading Project Zero 3: Sleep, Priestess, Lie in Peace
How do you follow an impressively creepy horror game about ghosts in the Japanese tradition? With more of the same, but different and/or better, of course.
Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly began development shortly after its predecessor was completed, and eventually released for Japanese and North American PlayStation 2 players in late 2003, and for Europe the following April. This was then followed by an enhanced Xbox port, which released in Japan and North America in late 2004, with Europe once again bringing up the rear in February of 2005.
Interestingly, the game then got a complete remake for the Nintendo Wii in the summer of 2012; this released simultaneously in Japan, Australia and Europe, but skipped a North American release. It’s this latter version that we’re primarily concerned with today. But first, a bit of history…
Continue reading Project Zero 2: Float Like a Butterfly
I’d never heard the name “DAOKO” prior to today. After a few hours exploring Nintendo and Cygames’ new mobile offering, I can’t get her damn music out of my head.
Dragalia Lost, a much-awaited new RPG from two of the biggest names in both Japanese and mobile gaming — and featuring an extensive soundtrack mostly comprised of DAOKO tracks — launched its live service this week. While I haven’t really stuck with any mobile games for longer than a few weeks, I’ve had fun with several over the last couple of years — most notably Granblue Fantasy, Fate/Grand Order and Girls’ Frontline — so I thought it would be interesting to check this new one out.
While Dragalia Lost doesn’t do anything especially new and exciting for the genre, the whole thing is executed with such beautiful panache that it’s hard not to like it. So I’ll check it out for the next few weeks at the very least. Read on for some more detailed first impressions.
Continue reading Dragalia Lost: First Impressions
Exciting things have been happening in the world of Dragon Quest V, and I am thoroughly enraptured with this game.
I can’t remember the last RPG that managed to make one’s adventure feel so simultaneously personal and meaningful to the broader context in which the narrative unfolds. But Hand of the Heavenly Bride does a wonderful job at this — and now I’m into the game’s third (and, I believe, final) act, things are escalating considerably while still remaining tightly focused on the protagonist and his family.
Let’s take a closer look, then! Doubtless you’ve already figured out that spoilers likely abound in this series, but I’ll warn you once more just in case.
Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3