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
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
Much like its predecessor, Gal*Gun 2 has a surprising amount going on its story — much more so than its seemingly fanservice-laden premise might lead you to believe.
While the previous game Gal*Gun Double Peace explored the idea of fallibility, and the fact that no two people cope with the knowledge that they are not and can never be “perfect” in quite the same way, Gal*Gun 2 takes something of a sidestep into a related, but slightly different theme: the idea of understanding oneself, and being honest about that “self” with others.
The various characters involved in the narrative all embody this theme in one form or another. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what’s going on in more detail!
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
A good mainstay of any slice-of-life love story is the “childhood friend” character. And while Gal*Gun 2 isn’t exactly your typical slice-of-life in many ways, heroine Nanako certainly fulfils this role very pleasingly.
Introduced right from the outset as the girl who sits next to you in class, and someone with whom you have a pre-existing friendship, Nanako is a comforting presence for much of the game — but, of course, she has her own interesting narrative arc to follow, too.
Will true love blossom between you and this charming young lady, or is your relationship forever confined to, as Risu puts it, “the childhood friend-zone”? That’s for you to decide!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Nanako Tamasaki
In any creative work involving a cast of more than one female character — particularly if said work is of Japanese origin — there is one question that is, to some people, seemingly of greater importance than any other.
I am, of course, talking about Who Is Best Girl, an eternally raging debate that no-one can ever agree on, and which you’re probably some sort of despicable idiot if you ever declare your opinion on as being some sort of universal truth.
With that in mind, then, I thought it a good time to look at Gal*Gun 2’s extended cast outside of its main heroines, and pick a few favourites from the mix! Join me! STANDARD DISCLAIMER: If you have different personal Best Girls… well, that’s great. Let me know who they are! This is not a definitive list by any means.
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Asking the Important Questions
Japanese games have a number of different ways of handling narratives from a first-person perspective.
The typical “visual novel” approach allows the player to ride along inside the protagonist’s head, being privy to their innermost thoughts as well as the things they say out loud. But in other instances where this approach has not been used for stylistic purposes — and particularly where a silent or quasi-silent protagonist takes the lead — a companion character is often employed to either speak “for” the protagonist, or to complement them in some way.
Gal*Gun Double Peace featured the delightful Ekoro, who beautifully complemented protagonist Houdai’s bafflement at the situation in which he found himself through dry wit and a touch of sarcasm. And Gal*Gun 2, which features the player themselves as the participant quasi-silent protagonist, has Risu; equally delightful, but in a rather different way.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Risu the Angel
A game where you blast cute girls to quasi-orgasmic ecstasy while attempting to fend off the mischief of a cheeky young demon might not sound like the sort of experience that would have good worldbuilding, but the Gal*Gun series as a whole is full of surprises.
It’s clear that developer Inti Creates has taken a great amount of care over the course of the Japan-only Gal*Gun, its sequel Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2 to make the series something more than a throwaway joke game. Yes, it’s amusing; yes, it’s silly; yes, it’s cheeky, fun and sexy; but none of those things mean that it can’t have some depth or be well-crafted.
So today, then, we’re going to take a closer look at how the series as a whole builds that sense of a coherent world, and where Gal*Gun 2 fits in with all that.
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: A Strange and Sexy Little World