Tag Archives: Katawa Shoujo

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Ten Years, Ten VNs

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!

It’s nearly the end of a decade, and you know what that means: looking back over the last ten years to arbitrarily decide what was “best” from that equally arbitrary length of time.

I was just going to do a “games of the decade” sort of affair, but I realised while putting my provisional lists together that I had enough visual novels to do them in their own dedicated, separate list. So the “Ten Years, Ten Games” award will be following next week, and for now let’s talk visual novels!

For each year of (English language) release, I’m picking a visual novel that I found personally significant. This doesn’t mean that it was necessarily the “best” that year had to offer — whatever that means — but it was important to me. So let’s delve in… and note that at the time of writing, there are holiday sales going on all over the Internet, so you can pick up many of these for pretty cheap right now!

And the winners are…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: Ten Years, Ten VNs

The Three Ages of Visual Novels

With this month’s Cover Game being one of the most influential, well-regarded visual novels of all time, it seems only right and proper to take a look at the history of the medium as a whole.

To date, there have been three main “eras” of visual novels that can be clearly distinguished through a combination of their visual style, thematic content, gameplay elements (if any) and breadth of appeal. Of course, things aren’t quite as neat and simple as that might suggest, with some modern works deliberately channeling older styles, or some older works being ahead of their time, but it’s a working hypothesis to start from.

And, since visual novels form an extremely important part of both Japanese gaming and Japanese popular media in general, it’s worth tracing the route things have taken to get to where we are today.

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Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa

In this new weekly series, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most memorable, interesting, attractive, sexy, badass and just plain awesome female characters in Japanese gaming, as well as highlighting some great fanart.

And what better place to begin than with Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo, my favourite character from the game that truly got me into visual novels and the Japanese style of interactive storytelling once and for all — even if the game in question itself was actually developed as something of a worldwide collaborative effort.

Hanako is a character that I found to be deeply relatable, enormously sympathetic  and highly memorable; she’ll always occupy a very special place in my heart, and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa

The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 8 – Garden of Memories, Part 1

The search for Penelope is on as Midori, Yumi and I find ourselves in the “Garden of Memories”, attempting to hunt down our elusive cat-eared friend.

This is a fairly short episode as I’ve been horribly ill over the last few days and barely able to get out of bed! Hopefully you’ll still enjoy what’s there, though, and this narrative thread will continue over the course of the next few episodes to add a bit of variety.

Original music, as ever, is the work of MusMus, and the awesome retro font is by Style64. Other music in this episode remains the copyright of its respective owners; you’ll also hear a theme from the wonderful Katawa Shoujo by NicolArmarfi and CplCrud as part of this episode.

If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.

Download for Windows (125MB)
Download for Mac (129MB)
Download for Browser (97MB)

Please consider showing your support for MoeGamer via Patreon so I can pay for some proper hosting for the browser versions, allowing people (including Linux users) to play the GameCast online.

If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning to find out more about the characters and what this is all about!

From the Archives: Culture Shock

One of the things video games are particularly good at as an entire medium is allowing you to immerse yourself in… things.

Exactly what you’re able to immerse yourself in depends entirely on the game — in Microsoft Flight Simulator you can immerse yourself in a realistic depiction of what it is like to fly a real aircraft, for example, while in Xenoblade Chronicles you can immerse yourself in a well-realized fantasy world.

One interesting possibility that this immersiveness allows for is the ability to “live” in another culture. For Westerners, it’s particularly intriguing to be able to immerse oneself into Japanese culture, for example, which is in many ways rather alien to the societal norms we see in America and Europe. Of course, said societal norms vary even between America and Europe, but not quite so drastically as the divergence in culture between “East” and “West.”

This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2012 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.

Continue reading From the Archives: Culture Shock

The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 4

In this episode of the GameCast, Midori, Yumi, Penelope and I discuss the use of language in characterisation and localisation, Gabriel Dropout and much more.

No quiz this week as that JRPG monstrosity took a whole lot of time to put together! Expect more in the near future though. If you didn’t get a perfect 20 last week, you might want to go back and try again for Midori’s grand prize, by the way… I won’t tell anyone if you looked the answers up. Why should you try again? Well, I’ll leave that for you to discover.

Screenshot 2017-02-27 13.00.24.png

The original music, as before, is by watson of MusMus, and the font is the work of Style64. Other music used in this episode remains the copyright of its respective owners.

If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.

Download for Windows (111MB)
Download for Mac (114MB)
Download for Browser (83MB)

As I said last week, if/when I have a bit more money floating around, I’ll sort out some proper hosting for browser versions so you don’t have to go through this process. If you’d like to help out with that — or if you just want to show your support for what I’m doing on the site in general — please consider making a pledge to my Patreon.

If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning to find out more about the characters and what this is all about!