Tag Archives: history

Death end re;Quest: Introduction

Although Idea Factory and Compile Heart will likely always be known as “the Neptunia people” thanks to the success of their flagship franchise, this cult favourite collective has been becoming more and more adventurous and creative as the years have advanced.

A big part of this experimentation comes in the form of Compile Heart’s “Galapagos RPG” project. Originally set up in 2013 with the mission to “develop RPGs specifically for Japanese customers”, the intention behind the studio was to eschew the growing trend for Japanese developers to change their style in a specific attempt to court a wider Western audience, and instead to focus primarily on that core audience. This wouldn’t rule Galapagos games out of being localised, mind you — it just meant they’d be unapologetically Japanese.

Sounds good to me. And going by the strength of past games put out by the project — including Fairy Fencer F and Omega Quintet — it seems to be a winning formula for the studio. Let’s take a first look at their latest, and where it came from.

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Dedicated to the Backlog

On Monday, LightningEllen from Livid Lightning and Kim from Later Levels revealed the first #LoveYourBacklog Week: seven days devoted to showing your backlog some love, rather than the fear and guilt it usually engenders.

I’ve never seen the backlog as a particularly negative thing. As Kim argues in her post on the subject, having a backlog means that you always have something to play — something new to experience, something new to explore. And since starting MoeGamer I’ve really relished having this huge library of titles just waiting for me to delve into in detail and write, make videos and otherwise enthuse about them.

So what is going on with this whole #LoveYourBacklog thing? Well, for starters, people are proudly displaying the size of their backlog via badges on their blogs — if you’re reading this on desktop or tablet, you should see that over on the left. And from there? Well, read on.

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Atelier Arland: Introduction and History

Atelier is one of the more long-running, prolific series in the canon of Japanese gaming.

First launching in 1997, the franchise has seen 19 mainline releases since its inception (with a 20th on the way at the time of writing), plus a variety of spin-offs, side stories, ports, expanded adaptations and guest appearances from its characters in various other games over the years. Although we didn’t see our first Western localisation of the series until its sixth mainline game (Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana for PlayStation 2) in 2005, it is, by this point, firmly established as a mainstay of Japanese role-playing games — and, in the nicest possible way, developer Gust’s cash cow.

With that in mind, before we delve into the Arland trilogy in detail, let’s take a look at the history of the series as a whole up until Atelier Rorona’s initial release in 2009. Join me on a trip into totally-not-Renaissance-Germany, and let’s get crafting!

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Reflections on PlayStation Vita

At the time of writing, Sony has just announced that production of the PlayStation Vita will be ending in 2019, with no plans for a successor.

This follows news from earlier this year that we’re counting down the days until the last Western physical Vita release, with many of the last releases coming in limited form from boutique publishers such as Limited Run Games and Special Reserve.

With all that in mind, I think it’s about time we looked back over this remarkable and vastly underappreciated system’s life… and celebrated the things it did really, really well.

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The Importance of Preservation

In case you missed the news, one of the biggest and most long-running sources for emulators and ROM files on the Internet, EmuParadise, has announced that it is undergoing some changes.

Specifically, the site will no longer be providing games for people to download free of charge; it will be continuing to maintain its database of emulators and hosting its community features, but the main draw for many — the extensive catalogue of ROMs for a variety of systems — has gone away, with every download link now leading to a page which states “this game is unavailable”.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is emphatically a bad thing. But let’s talk about it anyway.

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Hyrule Warriors: Introduction and History

Omega Force’s Warriors (or Musou, if you prefer) is one of the longest-running, most prolific series in all of gaming. And yet it is also one of the most commonly misunderstood and misrepresented in terms of its gameplay.

Often dismissed by critics as being little more than mindless button-mashers, the Warriors series has, over time and the course of more than 50 individual releases for various platforms, continued to evolve and experiment to bring us to where we are today. Not only that, it has proven to be a great way to get people interested in a number of real-world historical events such as the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history (Dynasty Warriors) and the Sengoku period of Japanese history (Samurai Warriors) — as well as providing its developers the opportunity to explore more creative, fantastic stories that involve large-scale conflict.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (just Hyrule Warriors hereafter), of course, falls into the latter category… but before we dive into it in detail, let’s take a look at the series as a whole and see exactly how we got here.

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Blue Reflection: Introduction, and a Brief History of Magical Girls

This month’s Cover Game is a Gust title I’ve been intrigued about ever since it was first announced: Blue Reflection.

Featuring a combination of Mel Kishida’s wonderfully soft-edged artwork translated beautifully into 3D polygonal graphics, a highly stylised soundtrack by Hayato Asano and an intriguing story about empathy and emotion, I always knew this was going to be an experience that was right up my alley.

So let’s begin our exploration with an overview of what the game is all about, and a look back at the “magical girl” genre that inspired it.

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