Those of you who have been following my work for a while may recall a good few years back now I was rather enthusiastic about a game called Magical Diary: Horse Hall.
This unusual game, developed by Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar, blended elements of visual novel, life sim and first-person dungeon crawler to create something very interesting indeed — and something that was clearly intended to be the start of a series.
That was back in 2012. Now, in 2019, we’re finally getting a follow-up — so let’s take a first look at what the sequel, Magical Diary: Wolf Hall, has to offer, and how Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar will be making use of crowdfunding to realise their goals.
Continue reading Magical Diary: Wolf Hall – A Wolf in Wizard’s Clothing
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 suggested by Toon Vandendries.
This is a topic Chris and I very much want to discuss on the podcast at some point in the near future, but I’ve also written about it in the past, too.
I’m talking about the idea of genre. And not genre as it is typically used when talking about games — to describe purely mechanical elements — but rather genre as it relates to the core subject matter in a game; its central themes, style and overall feel. In the early days of gaming, this was not really something we could discuss with much confidence, but as games have become more ambitious in terms of their storytelling and overall sense of worldbuilding, we most certainly can now.
So with that in mind, what was the best romantic comedy game I enjoyed over the course of the last year?
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Best Romantic Comedy
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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It’s almost time to say goodbye to Sakurazaki Academy — at least until our next visit — but I couldn’t leave without showing at least a bit of appreciation for some more of the extended cast.
As you’ll hopefully recall, Gal*Gun 2 includes a feature known as “Rendezvous”, where once you’ve acquired the phone numbers of any of the secondary cast (and, under certain conditions, the main cast of heroines) you can invite them to several places, chat with them, fill them with sugar, look up their skirts and stand uncomfortably close to them in an attempt to indicate that you might want a kiss. Wholesome!
Today I thought I’d focus specifically on the third-years of Sakurazaki Academy, as I feel they were a little under-represented last time around. So let’s contemplate further the age-old question of Who Is Best Girl?
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: A Fond Farewell
For many of you reading this, the words “erotic puzzle game-cum-dating sim with art by Sayori” will doubtless be enough to convince you that Tropical Liquor is worth a shot.
For those less familiar with Sayori’s work — or those who simply prefer to think very carefully about every £7.19 purchase they consider making — today is all about taking a look at this unusual game, and why it’s worth your time.
Before we go any further, let’s get two things out of the way. Firstly, no, it’s not a HuniePop clone. And second, yes, it does have 18+ content, available via a free official patch from publisher Denpasoft. With all that out of the way, let’s go on vacation!
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Tropical Liquor
HuniePop from Ryan Koons’ studio HuniePot was partly developed as a sort of “protest” game: an attempt to fight back against the growing trend of political correctness that was starting to take root in the games industry.
There was clearly demand for such a game, even back in late 2013; a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed those who were similarly frustrated with the situation to put their money where their mouth was and show their support for the kind of thing they wanted to see more of: something lewd, crude and rude — and unashamed of being any of those things.
The remarkable thing about HuniePop was that it ended up being a damn good game as well as a resounding middle finger to the “everything is problematic” crowd. Not only that, it also demonstrated that independent Western developers were more than capable of putting interesting new twists on Japanese-style aesthetics by combining anime-style artwork with a hilariously abrasive and distinctively modern, American script.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: HuniePop
Showcase PlayStation VR title Summer Lesson recently got a physical release in Asia with English subtitles, so I decided to grab a copy and investigate.
As you may recall, the idea of using VR to simulate interpersonal interactions and intimacy is something that I find very interesting indeed, so I was keen to try out this unusual title, and excited to have the opportunity to do so in English.
This morning I strapped on my PlayStation VR, sat comfortably and prepared to spend a virtual week in the company of Hikari Miyamoto. My headset didn’t come off until I’d finished an entire playthrough, at which point I was thoroughly convinced of the value of VR.
Continue reading Summer Lesson: First Impressions
I realize I’m being terribly unorthodox here, but after playing the subject of last week’s column a little more, I feel the urge to talk about it for the second week in a row.
And this time I’m going to get spoilery, so those of you who have not yet played Magical Diary and are intending to do so may wish to look away now.
Today we’re going to examine the character of Damien and the protagonist’s relationship with him, because this is by far one of the most interesting things about Magical Diary’s magical high school drama.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: Reading Deeper into Magical Diary