Tag Archives: MMORPG

Waifu Wednesday: Shina Ninomiya

One of the more interesting things about Death end re;Quest, as we’ll discuss in more depth when we talk about its story in detail, is its dual-perspective narrative.

The “real world” unfolds from the perspective of main male protagonist Arata Mizunashi, while the “game” side of things is the domain of trapped director and lead heroine Shina Ninomiya, who initially has absolutely no recollection of how she found herself in a virtual reality game so realistic it’s difficult to distinguish from “reality”.

Shina is an excellent lead for the “in-game” side of things, for reasons that will become apparent shortly. Let’s take a closer look!

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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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Dragalia Lost: You Don’t Pay My Sub

A while back, I wrote about how Granblue Fantasy spreads out what would be the “endgame” experience of a more conventional MMO throughout its entire duration. And, unsurprisingly, given the developer the two games has in common, Dragalia Lost works in much the same way.

Dragalia Lost doesn’t have linear progression. Sure, you have a player level, but that’s more a measure of how long and how much you’ve played rather than anything else. And sure, you have character levels — but there are numerous ways to build these up, plus a strong emphasis on building a selection of teams and characters rather than just one “main” group.

The nice thing about the way Dragalia Lost does this — much like Granblue Fantasy also does — is that it provides the fun, mechanical, progression-based aspect of MMOs without one of their most irritating aspects. Let’s take a closer look at what I mean.

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Dragalia Lost: Kindness and Captivity

It’s event time again in Cygames and Nintendo’s Dragalia Lost! If you’ve not played a game like this before… get used to this endless and occasionally exhausting cycle!

The Kindness and Captivity event, which will be running until November 12, concerns a young Sylvan girl who seeks the aid of Euden and the gang in driving the Imperial forces out of her village.

Naturally, things aren’t quite as simple as they first appear, and, as these things tend to go, things culminate in a battle against a rather large and ferocious beastie.

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Dragalia Lost: Loyalty’s Requiem

One interesting difference between “conventional” MMOs such as Final Fantasy XIV and mobile games with MMO elements such as Dragalia Lost is how they handle side stories and multiplayer “raid” content.

In your average MMO, raid content — typically defined as a series of significant challenges that are dependent on a much larger group of players than the game’s usual multiplayer aspect — remains present in the game after its introduction, but gradually declines in “relevance” as time goes on. In cases like Final Fantasy XIV, where there’s a significant narrative component, it remains worth engaging with to enjoy the story, but the more time that elapses since its original launch, the less helpful it becomes to players in mechanical terms.

In mobile MMOs, however, raid content is typically a limited-time affair, confined to an event that offers special rewards to everyone who participates for a short period of time. And that’s exactly what’s going on in Dragalia Lost right now.

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Cyberdimension Neptunia: Action Neptunia’s Latest Evolution

While the Neptunia series is primarily known for being RPGs, developer Compile Heart’s frequent collaborator Tamsoft has had a number of shots at bringing the franchise into the real-time action realm.

Over time, the scale and ambition of these “action Neptunia” games has expanded considerably, with Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online marking the most convincing realisation of the formula to date at the time of writing, blending elements of the mainline Neptunia games with an appealing and enjoyable real-time combat system.

Let’s look at how “action Neptunia” has evolved over time, and how Cyberdimension Neptunia refines the formula.

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Stormblood: The MMO as Musical Theatre

“Video games aren’t movies.” That’s a line of criticism that those who prioritise mechanics over narrative like to level at cutscene-heavy games, particularly those by creators such as Hideo Kojima and David Cage.

And while it’s true that making effective use of games as a form of interactive media tends to emphasise actual interaction over passively watching cutscenes, one can hardly deny the spectacle offered by strongly movie-inspired titles, and the flexibility that entirely computer-generated scenes and characters can provide creators.

Which makes it all the more unusual that so many games focus on movies as their primary inspiration rather than other forms of media. Sure, some role-playing games might be rather operatic in tone, visual novels are effectively “Books Plus” and rhythm games provide a new way of experiencing pieces of music, but video games have never embraced the idea, of, say, musical theatre.

Or so you thought…

This article is also a video! Hit the jump to watch it, or catch it on YouTube.

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