Tag Archives: mechanics

Hyrule Warriors: The Real Game Starts Here

You know how dedicated MMO players say that the game is “just beginning” when you reach the level cap? Hyrule Warriors is a bit like that in some respects; completing the main story mode is far from the end of the game.

In fact, one might argue that the “endgame” of Hyrule Warriors, if you choose to look at it in that way, is in fact the most substantial meat of the package. Eschewing the narrative focus of the main story mode in favour of a non-linear, mechanics-centric experience that is all about just having fun as you see fit, this part of the game will keep you busy for a long, long time.

And, moreover, it will do this not by forcing you to grind the same things over and over again, but instead by offering you a huge variety of different, highly replayable challenges that each put their own fascinating twists on the core mechanics of the game.

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Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge

The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.

This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.

Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.

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Girls’ Frontline: A Closer Look

Last week, we took a first look at the latest moe anthropomorphism mobile game, Girls’ Frontline (or “Gun Ladies”, as my wife calls it).

Since then, the game has officially launched out of open beta and got well underway, so I figured it was worth taking a closer look. With that in mind, I’ve been playing it a whole bunch over the course of the last week or so.

Short version: it’s really fun, it has interesting mechanics and great art and it is fair and generous. Sounds like a winning formula to me!

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I Finally Beat Persona 5

Most of the time, gaming is a fairly solitary activity for me, but on occasion, there are games that my wife enjoys watching me play enough to drag her away from Final Fantasy XIV for an hour or two at a time.

Last year’s Persona 5 was one of those games, and thus rather than focusing on it as I do with the Cover Games for each month, “we’ve” been playing it rather casually over the course of the last year or so. The other night, we finally reached the end.

What better reason to reflect on a game that, according to some, represented a great renaissance for a Japanese games industry that had supposedly been “kind of bad” for years?

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Gal*Gun 2: Introduction

Gal*Gun Double Peace was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in my gaming career.

Going into it, I already knew I was going to enjoy the inherently silly concept of “shooting” cute girls with pheromones until they collapsed in a quasi-orgasmic state, but what I wasn’t quite prepared for was the fact that besides the absurd premise, the game was actually both very solid indeed from both mechanical and narrative perspectives. In retrospect, given the developer, this should never have been in any doubt, of course, but it was still nice to discover.

Now, two years later, we’re presented with a sequel: Gal*Gun 2, the third game in the franchise after the Japan-only original and Double Peace, our first encounter with the series in the West. How do you follow those? Well, read on.

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Namco Essentials: Galaga ’88

Arcade-era Namco was good at sequels. Not from a story perspective, mind — the sequel to “shoot the aliens” tended to be “shoot more aliens” — but definitely from a mechanical perspective.

One of the best things about arcade-era Namco’s handling of sequels was that they remained recognisably true to their source material while innovating in their own right. Galaga ’88 (also known as Galaga ’90, Galaga ’91 and Galaga 2 depending on where and how you played it back in the day) is one of the best examples of this, as the fourth installment in the Galaxian series.

Galaxian built on the basic premise of Taito’s Space Invaders by featuring a more dynamic arrangement of enemies. Galaga built further on this format with more dramatic enemy formations and movements. Gaplus — one of the few games in the series to not get many home ports, particularly back in the day — added powerups and vertical movement. And Galaga ’88 well, read on.

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Blue Reflection: Everyday Life with Magical Girls

Blue Reflection is an unusual game in terms of its overall tone and how it “feels” to play, and a big part of this is due to its mechanics and structure.

If you had to pigeon-hole it into a specific mechanical genre, most people would describe it as a “JRPG”. But in many ways this isn’t a particularly accurate description, since although it features a number of common elements of the genre, it draws just as many influences from other types of game such as adventures and visual novels.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s certainly a pretty intriguing game from a mechanical and structural perspective. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on today.

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