Tag Archives: Atlus

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 7 – Touching is Good

It’s a slightly belated new episode of the MoeGamer Podcast!

Both Chris and I had some unfortunate technical issues with our previous attempt to record this podcast, so we ended up having to do it all over again. We present to you the Definitive Edition of this particular episode!

I’m also pleased to announce that there is now an audio-only version of the podcast available on Soundcloud, and it’s been submitted to iTunes and a few other places. The show will continue to be presented in video format here and on YouTube as well, so if you enjoy watching as well as listening, never fear.

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I Finally Beat Persona 5

Most of the time, gaming is a fairly solitary activity for me, but on occasion, there are games that my wife enjoys watching me play enough to drag her away from Final Fantasy XIV for an hour or two at a time.

Last year’s Persona 5 was one of those games, and thus rather than focusing on it as I do with the Cover Games for each month, “we’ve” been playing it rather casually over the course of the last year or so. The other night, we finally reached the end.

What better reason to reflect on a game that, according to some, represented a great renaissance for a Japanese games industry that had supposedly been “kind of bad” for years?

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The MoeGamer Awards: Best Game I Haven’t Covered

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!

Today’s award, as you might expect, gives me an excuse to bring up a game that I haven’t really talked about this year, despite it being something that is eminently worth talking about. The reason I haven’t talked about it is pretty simple: I haven’t finished playing it, and as regular readers know I prefer not to write in detail about something without having a thorough understanding of it, usually by at the very least beating its main story.

The other reason I held fire is that there were a flurry of articles about it around the period of its release earlier in the year, and I didn’t want to add to that noise at the time. I do want to acknowledge it before the year is out, however, so that’s what today’s award is all about.

And the winner is…

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From the Archives: Battle Systems I Have Loved

Given the amount of time you spend kicking the crap out of everything from small woodland creatures to skyscraper-sized giant robots in JRPGs, it’s fair to say that the battle system is one of the most important aspects of the game.

It’s also one of the most commonly-cited reasons for the genre’s supposed stagnation, as many assume that modern JRPGs still make use of the old Final Fantasy/Dragon Quest-style “Attack, Magic, Item” menu systems rather than doing something a bit more interesting.

While many JRPGs certainly do still make use of simple turn-based menu systems, there are just as many out there that either put an interesting twist on this basic formula or mix things up entirely with something completely wild.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

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From the Archives: Bonds of People are the True Power

One of my favorite things about Japanese role-playing games is their focus on camaraderie and friendship.

In fact, you can extend this outwards to a large amount of Japanese media in general — take a look at manga and anime and you’ll find a very similar situation.

The concept of nakama, or the trope of “true companions”, is very commonly seen — party members don’t necessarily always get along with one another, but they can count on one another and trust each other to do the right thing in a pinch.

The Persona series takes this concept considerably further than most other JRPGs by emphasizing not only the bonds between party members, but also the bonds between the protagonist and the people whose lives he passes through fleetingly.

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Sights and Sounds

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A big draw of Dungeon Travelers 2 is its gorgeous presentation. This shouldn’t be surprising, given its heritage, but it really does have a distinctive look and feel to it.

Its visual aesthetic also proved to be the most controversial aspect of the game, with commentators such as Polygon’s Phil Kollar refusing to take the game seriously due to its appearance. This is particularly sad, as the game has some lovely art, some distinctive character designs and a very strong sense of style to it.

Let’s take a look at the art and sound of Dungeon Travelers 2, then.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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The dungeon crawler genre isn’t particularly renowned for its storytelling, though this isn’t necessarily a criticism.

The genre grew out of tabletop adventures where the players just wanted to hack and slash their way through some monsters and take their treasure, after all, so it’s understandable that a computerised version of this type of adventure would emphasise mechanics — particularly combat — over narrative.

That doesn’t mean that your average dungeon crawler is completely devoid of plot, however, and in recent years Japanese developers in particular have shown how to strike a good balance between narrative, characterisation and satisfying mechanics. Dungeon Travelers 2 is a prime example.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Historical Context and Mechanics

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The dungeon crawler subgenre of role-playing games has a long and proud history that stretches right back to the dawn of gaming.

Dungeon Travelers 2 perhaps doesn’t deviate particularly significantly from the more well established conventions of the genre, but it executes them with such polished competence that it becomes clear shortly after starting to play that it is a game that has had a great deal of thought put into its mechanics.

But how did we get to this point? Let’s take a look back at the history of the genre, and how it relates to Dungeon Travelers 2 in particular.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Introduction

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You’ve probably heard of Vita RPG Dungeon Travelers 2, even if you haven’t played it — but for all the wrong reasons.

You may well recall that around May of 2015, Polygon’s Phil Kollar incited the wrath of Western Japanese game fans by reporting on the impending localisation of Dungeon Travelers 2 with the provocative headline “Atlus can do better than this creepy, porn-lite dungeon crawler”.

Kollar’s impressions of the game were primarily based on the trailer that Atlus released after announcing the localisation of the game, and on the preorder incentives, which included a calendar featuring various illustrations of the game’s characters. The game was not available in English at that point — though it had been out in Japan for a while — but it was pretty apparent Kollar hadn’t played it, nor did he have any intention to.

Which is unfortunate for him, really, because Dungeon Travelers 2 is probably one of the finest dungeon crawlers ever created. Your loss, Kollar.

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Let’s Talk About Dungeon Travelers 2 and “Ecchi” Content

The story so far: In the beginning, Polygon’s Phil Kollar posted an article called “Atlus can do better than this creepy, porn-lite dungeon crawler“. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

With apologies to the late, great Douglas Adams for the bastardisation of his quotation, it’s worth exploring this subject a little further, if only to counter the extreme negativity of Kollar’s article — negativity which, frankly, appears to come from a position of ignorance as to what games such as Dungeon Travelers 2, the game under scrutiny in the article, actually involve.

You see, it’s okay to like ecchi or even hentai content. It’s also okay to not like ecchi and hentai content. Where it stops being okay is when someone who doesn’t like these things starts calling for publishers to stop catering to people who do like these things.

Why? Because if these games continue to exist, people who don’t like them have the option of not buying and supporting them with no harm done. If they don’t exist, meanwhile, the people who do like them have no option — they simply have to go without. And that doesn’t strike me as terribly fair; it would be a case of certain individuals having the power to act as the “morality police” on behalf of people who may not share their ideological viewpoint.

Is that a problem? You’re damn straight it is; let’s explore it in a little more detail.

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