Tag Archives: MangaGamer

Waifu Wednesday: Rin Takato

Before we leave The Expression: Amrilato behind, I wanted to show a particular bit of appreciation for its protagonist Rin.

Rin is the player’s eyes and ears over the course of the narrative, and as the game progresses you develop something of a mutually beneficial relationship with her as a player; she, more often than not, acts as the face of the game’s “study sessions” and as such becomes someone you associate with the act of learning the language of Esperanto… sorry, “Juliamo”.

But she’s a pretty great character in her own right, too. Let’s take a closer look at why she’s such a great central character.

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The Expression: Amrilato – Konversacio kun SukeraSparo

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One of my favourite aspects of being Someone Who Writes About Games is that you occasionally have the opportunity to sit down with the people who created these experiences and pick their brains… or at least exchange some questions with them via email and interpreter!

For me, there’s always been a certain amount of mystique surrounding both game development and the art of bringing a commercial product to market. I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember — even to this day. It’s an aspect of what is, I guess, childish innocence that I’m keen to never let go of; video games, visual novels and creative works are exciting, and the people who create them are magicians, and I don’t ever want to forget that.

With all that in mind, I was delighted when MangaGamer, localiser and publisher of The Expression: Amrilato’s Western release, agreed to let me have a chat with the developer SukeraSparo and find out a bit more about where this unusual, fascinating title came from.

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The Expression: Amrilato – Suddenly Voiceless

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The prospect of learning a new language is a daunting one for many people — particularly English speakers, who tend to take their language’s position as “default” for granted.

What this means, more often than not, is that if you’re not put in a position where you have to learn a new language, chances are you won’t. There are exceptions to this rule, of course — some people learn a new language to improve their career prospects, some learn to broaden the range of language-dependent arts and entertainment they can engage with and some just do it for fun — but for the most part we, as humans, are rather lazy when it comes to this sort of thing.

When The Expression: Amrilato’s protagonist Rin finds herself in a version of her hometown that seems to be all “wrong”, she soon finds herself learning firsthand what being in a position where you have to learn a new language is like.

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The Expression: Amrilato – Introduction

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Video games have been used as a means of helping people learn things pretty much since the early days of the medium; even the humble Atari 2600 played host to basic spelling and mathematics challenges.

As technology has advanced and creators have become more proficient at using interactive media to tell stories and express themselves, more and more ways to educate people have become readily accessible.

Best of all, people have realised once and for all that we don’t need a hard divide between “games” and “educational software”, so today we find ourselves with titles like SukeraSparo’s The Expression: Amrilato, a visual novel that provides its audience with both a romantic story of blossoming love between two girls, and the opportunity to learn some Esperanto.

Continue reading The Expression: Amrilato – Introduction

Educational Esperanto Visual Novel Struggles with Valve’s Amorphous Content Policies

[UPDATE 22/06/2019: The Expression: Amrilato is now available on Steam! See this blog post by MangaGamer for further details. I’m leaving this story up, as the discussion points it raised remain pertinent.]

I don’t normally cover “news” here on MoeGamer, but this is something I think it’s important to talk about right now.

Prolific publisher and localiser MangaGamer announced today that its thoroughly intriguing-sounding visual novel The Expression: Amrilato, a game that combines a romantic yuri narrative with educational, linguistic content approved by Japan’s National Esperanto Association, had been released on its own storefront and GOG.com.

The game was also intended to release on Valve’s popular Steam storefront but it, like many other Japanese games and visual novels, has fallen foul of the company’s ill-defined policies regarding acceptable game content. Let’s talk about that.

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Evenicle: Fighting to Keep the World the Same

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Eroge tend to find themselves in a difficult position, with their reputation of being “porn” being a largely contributing factor as to why they rarely get any mainstream recognition.

This is unfortunate, because as we’ve already seen with visual novels like Frontwing’s Grisaia series and the RPGs in AliceSoft’s Rance series, having 18+ content most certainly does not mean that a work has nothing to say.

On the contrary, the freedom to be as “adult” as you like brings with it the opportunity to explore interesting, mature and thought-provoking themes as well as just sexual content. And such is the case with Evenicle, one of AliceSoft’s strongest games to date, both from mechanical and story perspectives. Let’s take a closer look at its overall narrative.

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Evenicle: Introduction and First Impressions

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Alicesoft was a developer that wasn’t really on my radar before I played the English releases of Rance 5D and Rance VI, and chances are if you haven’t explored eroge in any great detail you may not be overly familiar with them either.

However, between the Rance games and my experiences with Evenicle so far, I’m very comfortable with saying that they are an excellent developer that any fans of high-quality enjoyable RPGs with interesting mechanics, solid narratives and extremely memorable characters would do well to check out. Particularly if you’re keen for your games to actually treat you like an adult — and I’m not just talking about sexual content here.

So what is Evenicle? Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Evenicle: Introduction and First Impressions

Supipara Chapter 2: With a Spring in Our Steps

[Editor’s note: as of February 2019, it appears that unfortunately minori is ceasing operations. This article has been left in its original form as published in June 2018 to preserve the original intention behind the series, even if it will likely never happen now.]

It’s wonderful to see that minori’s ambitious Supipara project is moving along nicely.

As you may recall from when we explored the first chapterSupipara is intended to ultimately become a series of five visual novels, all based around the same characters. Rather than taking the crowdfunding route a lot of current visual novel developers and localisers have been taking recently, developer minori has instead been ploughing its profits from sales of the existing Supipara chapters as well as its eden* project into development of the rest of Supipara.

It’s worth noting, however, that despite the series as it stands only consisting of two out of the five proposed chapters, each chapter stands very much by itself as a complete, self-contained story, and is well worth your time if you enjoy this sort of thing.

Continue reading Supipara Chapter 2: With a Spring in Our Steps

The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

I’m just back from holiday and my podcasting partner in crime Chris has just departed on a trip, so it’s a short episode this time around… but an important one.

If you’ve been paying attention to social media today, you’ll doubtless have seen that there has been some concern over Valve’s apparent change of policy over adult content… or at least titles that have ties to adult content.

Hit the jump for the full episode.

Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve

Rance VI: An Epic for Adults

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Whew. Sorry for the somewhat delayed appearance of this article, but as you will know if you’re a regular reader, I like to beat at the very least the main story of games before I write about them in detail.

Rance VI’s main story is a substantial, ambitious affair — and there’s a whole bunch of post-game stuff to do once you’ve cleared it, too, if you really want to ensure you’ve got the most out of the game. Beating it to my satisfaction before penning this article took a little longer than anticipated!

In fact, Rance VI as a complete package is a substantial, ambitious affair, not just from a narrative perspective. There’s a whole lot to talk about, so the best way to go about this is going to be to tackle it a bit at a time. Make sure you visit the toilet before we set off… this is going to be a long journey!

Continue reading Rance VI: An Epic for Adults