The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas! We’re out of time for this year, but leave a suggestion anyway and I might use it next year!
In the five-and-a-bit years since MoeGamer has been a thing — and, indeed, pretty much since the beginning of the decade, when I chose to specialise my gaming in the things I personally found interesting rather than that which was critically well-received by the mainstream — I’ve come across a lot of wonderful developers.
Some of these are new companies just getting started; some have undergone radical changes since their formation; some have a long and fascinating history. Some have put out just a few games that are worthy of note; others have been incredibly prolific. All of them are worthy of respect and attention; a disappointing number of them don’t get either of those things!
When I think back over the decade just gone by, one developer in particular stands out as not only being an absolutely defining influence on my modern gaming tastes and approach to exploring media in general, but also as being a group of passionate individuals who are more than happy to learn new lessons from each and every title they ship in the name of gradual, constant improvement. And that’s why they’re my choice for Developer of the Decade.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Developer of the Decade
Good morning, everyone! Today I wanted to share a very special announcement with you.
I made a book! Yes, for those who would like to remove the “always-online” DRM requirement from MoeGamer’s Cover Game features, I now present to you the ideal solution for all your reading needs: The MoeGamer Compendium, Volume 1, collecting together all of the Cover Game features originally published on the site in 2016.
Hit the jump for some more details, photos and links.
Continue reading Special Announcement: The MoeGamer Compendium, Volume 1
Time for a Community tag post! This one looked like a particularly fun one, and after the lovely Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime specifically requested me to do one about games, who was I to refuse?
The original tag came from The Awkward Book Blogger and was based around, as you might expect, books — but it has since expanded to encompass anime and now, thanks to my contribution, games as well.
So let’s jump right in. After the jump. Jumpy jumpy jump.
Continue reading The One-Liner Challenge
Fairy Fencer F and its Advent Dark Force counterpart represent an interesting melting pot of influences.
We’ve already talked about how the gameplay includes influences from Compile Heart’s own Neptunia series, and how the narrative includes influences from classic JRPGs of yore, but Fairy Fencer F’s diverse background is perhaps most apparent when it comes to its audio-visual aesthetic.
Featuring concept art by Yoshitaka Amano of Final Fantasy fame, character designs by Tsunako of Neptunia fame and contributions to the soundtrack from longtime Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and his band Earthbound Papas, Fairy Fencer F certainly has some impressively heavyweight talent behind it.
Continue reading Fairy Fencer F ADF: Sights and Sounds
Compile Heart games, as we’ve previously discussed, don’t exactly follow the mould of the stereotypical JRPG. However, this doesn’t stop them from having a strong sense of worldbuilding.
You may not be able to freely wander the whole world in a Compile Heart game as you can do in a more open-world adventure, but physically representing something isn’t the only way to give the player a feeling of time and place. You can also do it through the writing.
And this is exactly how Compile Heart builds its worlds, both in its popular Neptunia series and in its outlier titles such as Omega Quintet and Fairy Fencer F. The latter, in particular, demonstrates that the company is more than capable of building a convincing world with an interesting mythology using relatively minimal resources.
Continue reading Fairy Fencer F ADF: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Compile Heart RPGs have a very clear sense of identity; they’re instantly recognisable.
Everything from their overall aesthetic to the structure of the game contributes to this distinctive identity, and it’s a formula that’s been working for them for a number of years now. Unsurprisingly, Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force is no exception to this rule, albeit with a few twists here and there to make it distinct from the company’s flagship Neptunia series.
Today we’re going to look at just how Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force works as a game, and how it differs from what people might regard as more “conventional” role-playing games.
Continue reading Fairy Fencer F ADF: Anatomy of an RPG
Idea Factory’s label Compile Heart has repeatedly proven over the years that they’re not afraid to look back on their past work and try to improve it.
As a result of this highly iterative development process, we’ve seen a significant and dramatic improvement in the overall quality of their games over the course of the last five or six years.
The poster child for Compile Heart’s improvement over time is the prolific Neptunia series, which has gone from being niche-interest to a highly successful, well-regarded franchise with instantly recognisable characters.
But the Neptunia games aren’t the only ones Compile Heart wants to improve. They’ve also gone back to revisit their PlayStation 3 title Fairy Fencer F for a new generation of consoles, and the results are impressive, with Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force being arguably Compile Heart’s most significant revamp to date.
Continue reading Fairy Fencer F ADF: Introduction and History