Tag Archives: development

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Introduction and History

Pokémon is the biggest media franchise in the world at the time of writing. It’s certainly a far cry from being either overlooked or underappreciated. So why explore it in depth here on MoeGamer?

Because despite it being the world’s biggest media franchise, there’s not a ton of in-depth analysis out there. Sure, commercial sites will fill their frontpages with clickbait “How To Catch Shiny Pokémon” and “How To Evolve Farfetch’d to Sirfetch’d” guide articles, but actual in-depth looks at the game are surprisingly thin on the ground.

So I thought I’d do my bit to correct that. Beginning with an extensive look at the history of the series: where it came from, how it became such a global phenomenon, and what has led us to Sword and Shield. Let’s begin!

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: Introduction and History

Senran Kagura: Introduction

Senran Kagura. Now there’s a series we’re no strangers to here on MoeGamer, but it’s been a long time since it graced the Cover Game feature. With the recent release of Peach Ball at the time of writing, I thought it was about time we fixed that.

This Cover Game feature is, as much as anything, me fulfilling a promise to myself; I absolutely love the Senran Kagura series, yet I’ve been falling very behind with it, so I’ve been promising myself for… probably a couple of years now that I’d get caught up!

Since Estival Versus was the first ever Cover Game feature here on MoeGamer back in April of 2016, we’ve had Peach Beach Splash, Burst Re;Newal, Reflexions and Peach Ball, plus a lovely Limited Run Games packaged release of Bon Appetit, a former digital-only title. And, with the exception of Reflexions and a bit of Bon Appetit, I haven’t played (or covered) any of these yet. This leaves me with a fair amount of work to do, but I’m looking forward to it; I hope you enjoy it too.

Continue reading Senran Kagura: Introduction

Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything Old is New Again

If one thing has become apparent over the course of exploring the complete Sonic the Hedgehog series, it’s that no-one seems to be able to agree on how to handle it “best”.

We have Sonic Team’s attempts to move the franchise forward with various gameplay styles, new narrative components and a somewhat coherent, consistent narrative that ties in with other forms of media. We have Sonic Lost World’s much-maligned but utterly joyful jaunt into Super Mario-esque territory. And we have probably the most disappointingly “mainstream” opinion: that “Sonic hasn’t been good since the Mega Drive”.

Among other things, the perhaps vain hope of shutting this latter group up is the reason Sonic Mania exists.

Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything Old is New Again

The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Most Satisfying Sequel

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 Riobravo79.

While it’s nice to get brand-new, all-original games when we can, sometimes it’s a pleasure to see an old friend again… perhaps in a slightly different form.

The sequel has been part of video game culture pretty much since the beginning, and the fine art of recycling, refining and/or reimagining is way more prevalent in gaming than in pretty much any other creative medium. Developers have experimented with a lot of different ways of putting together follow-ups for well-received titles over the years… but what makes for the most satisfying successors?

Do you provide more of the same with minor refinements? Do you provide some sort of obvious “upgrade” while remaining true to the original game’s format? Or do you completely reinvent the formula, potentially bringing new players on board but also possibly alienating your original fanbase?

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Most Satisfying Sequel

Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon

And so it is that we come to the fourth installment in the Project Zero series: a game that never came West in an official capacity.

Known as Zero: Tsukihame no Kamen in its native Japan and Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in the West following an ambitious (and successful) fan-translation project, this fourth game represented a number of “firsts” for the series.

It was the first installment to not be exclusively developed by Tecmo. It was the first installment to leave the series’ original host platforms of PlayStation 2 and Xbox. And it was the first installment to make a number of mechanical shakeups to the basic Project Zero formula, which would become fixtures in subsequent releases. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

After the success of the Sonic games on the Mega Drive, what was next?

Sega had a difficult time ahead of it, since there was a certain amount of confusion over what the real successor to the 16-bit console would be. On the one hand, there was the American-developed, cartridge-based 32X, which would act as an add-on for the Mega Drive rather than a standalone unit. And on the other, there was the CD-based Saturn system, developed by Sega of Japan.

Clearly, in order to be a success, at least one of these new systems needed a Sonic game. But that turned out to be a rather more difficult undertaking than anyone anticipated. Continue reading Sonic the Hedgehog: The Lost Game

Shantae: You Stay

The Shantae series as a whole is a wonderful symbol of endurance, and of holding on to the things you believe in.

I’m not talking about the narratives of the games themselves — though for sure this theme certainly makes an appearance numerous times throughout Shantae’s career to date — but rather the fact that series creator Matt Bozon and the team at WayForward have always believed in the quality of these games, even during difficult times.

It’s gratifying to see that, at the time of writing, the Shantae series as a whole is finally coming to see some mainstream acceptance and appreciation with its latest installment 1/2 Genie Hero. But this doesn’t mean the earlier games aren’t worth checking out. Quite the opposite, in fact… so let’s go right back to the beginning.

Continue reading Shantae: You Stay