Tag Archives: horror

Death end re;Quest: Where Does the Game End and the World Begin?

One of the most interesting things about Death end re;Quest is the fact that it gradually evolves over the course of its duration, with new mechanics and structural elements being continually introduced throughout the first distinct “part” of the game.

Today we’re going to take a look at part of the game’s overall mechanics and structure: specifically, the part of the experience that allows you to explore and advance the overall story. We won’t be discussing the narrative itself today — just how it’s presented and how the game hangs together.

It’s one of Compile Heart’s most interesting games, even before you’ve unlocked everything — so let’s take a closer look at one of its coolest aspects.

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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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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Most Terrifying Room

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!

Our first award is a celebration of that most primal of human emotions: fear. Specifically, it highlights a piece of master craftsmanship on the part of a game’s designers in evoking that feeling in the player with nothing more than a simple room. When everything comes together — visual style, environmental design, ambient sound — you don’t need anything to jump out and go “boo” at you to put you on edge, and such experiences tend to linger in the imagination for a lot longer, too.

And the winner is…

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Project Zero 5: The Difference a Little Warmth Can Make

And so we come to what is, at the time of writing, the grand finale to the Project Zero series: Maiden of Black Water on Wii U.

While the nature of the series means that it’s entirely possible we’ll see some more games in the future — and indeed unverified “my uncle works at Nintendo” rumours circulated earlier this year that a Switch installment was in development — Maiden of Black Water is an interesting game that acts as a suitable swansong for the series if, indeed, that is truly “it”.

But then Mio and Mayu from Deep Crimson Butterfly and Yuri from this game are putting in cameo appearances in the impending Super Smash Bros. Ultimateso you never know what might happen… Ahem. Anyway. Let’s look at Maiden of Black Water in detail.

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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.

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Project Zero 3: Sleep, Priestess, Lie in Peace

For me, a good horror game is hard work.

I don’t mean that it’s a chore to play or anything like that; I mean that engaging with it to the fullest is a genuinely taxing experience from at the very least a mental perspective… and possibly a physical one too.

As I sit here typing this, still somewhat breathless after the genuinely exhausting finale of Project Zero 3: The Tormented, I can confirm that the third installment in this series is emphatically a good horror game.

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Project Zero 2: Float Like a Butterfly

How do you follow an impressively creepy horror game about ghosts in the Japanese tradition? With more of the same, but different and/or better, of course.

Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly began development shortly after its predecessor was completed, and eventually released for Japanese and North American PlayStation 2 players in late 2003, and for Europe the following April. This was then followed by an enhanced Xbox port, which released in Japan and North America in late 2004, with Europe once again bringing up the rear in February of 2005.

Interestingly, the game then got a complete remake for the Nintendo Wii in the summer of 2012; this released simultaneously in Japan, Australia and Europe, but skipped a North American release. It’s this latter version that we’re primarily concerned with today. But first, a bit of history…

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