This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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We’ve previously seen how the other games in the Arland series have tended towards being “coming of age” stories; Rorona learned how to respect the balance between tradition and modernity while learning to believe in herself, while Totori endured a more gruelling journey to adulthood than most!
With Meruru’s inherent position of privilege at the outset of the story, she’s obviously coming to her adolescence from a rather different starting point than her two predecessors did. But she’s still got plenty to learn about herself, the things she believes in, the things important to her and, of course, her place in the big, wide world.
Will she grow into the role of a “proper” princess by the time she hits twenty years old? Of course not, she’s got far too much work to be getting on with between now and then…
Continue reading Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland – Royal Responsibilities
It’s often fun to think about your favourite “bad games” — games which were received poorly either critically or commercially — and exactly why you like them.
Today, I wanted to talk a little about an interesting related consideration: why would you ever want to play a “bad” game, and how should you handle the experience?
MoeGamer was, right from the beginning, built around the idea that those games commonly considered to be “bad” by press and/or public usually have some redeeming features to someone out there — and there’s actually some solid critical theory to back it up. So let’s explore the matter further!
Continue reading From the Archives: Seeing the Good Within
With this week’s podcast celebrating the wonder that is the PlayStation 2, it’s only fitting that for Waifu Wednesday this week we look back on a classic character who made her first appearance in a PS2 game.
Yes, this week it’s the turn of Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3, the game that established the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff’s current format. She’s a consistently popular character from Persona 3’s core cast, and has put in appearances in several other games from the series over the years, too — including Persona 4, Persona Q, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight.
Better get your grades up, though; Mitsuru doesn’t hang out with anyone who isn’t a Genius, remember…
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mitsuru Kirijo
Midway’s 1983 title Spy Hunter is a fairly well-loved title from the golden age of arcade games. While some would argue it’s not quite as well-known as the Pac-Men and the Space Invaderses of the world, it’s still a game a lot of people have fond memories of.
Its top-down combat racing action provided an interesting blend of different genres to enjoy; there was the high-speed skilful manoeuvring of racers, coupled with the focus on high-score chasing typically associated with shoot ’em ups. And it had a distinct sense of style, too; originally intended to be a licensed James Bond game, the game ended up becoming iconic for its use of Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme as its in-game music. And early example of a video game being genuinely “cool”.
When a mechanical reboot and narrative sequel showed up for PlayStation 2 in 2001, then, it had quite the shoes to fill. How well did it pay homage to the original while providing an up-to-date experience for the early 21st century gamer? Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading SpyHunter: Who Needs Stealth?
Many installments in the Atelier series involve getting to know the shopkeepers of the realm as friends and confidants, not just people who sell you stuff.
After all, a good alchemist always needs plenty of ingredients — and if you have a good buddy happy to slip you a few freebies now and again, then everyone’s a winner, right? Particularly if your alchemy is making life better for the kingdom as a whole.
Such is the relationship between the titular princess from Atelier Meruru and her good friend Hanna, the latter of whom lives a fruitful life alternating between picking any old crap up off the side of the road, and selling said crap to any passing mug.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hanna Olses
Every self-respecting princess needs a good maid to tend to her needs — even when the princess in question is as determined to do things her own way as Merurulince Rede Arls is.
In such situations, it pays for the maid in question to have a longstanding relationship with the princess in question, as that means the princess might actually listen to the maid at those times when she finds herself frustrated enough to accidentally call a parent a “poopyhead” to their face.
Keina knows how to handle Meruru, in other words. And witnessing their relationship with one another is one of the most heartwarming parts of Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Keina Swaya
Good horror, as we’ve previously talked about on The MoeGamer Podcast, is about more than just spooky scary skeletons and gallons of gore. And good modern horror games tend to be a natural evolution of the narrative-centric adventure game genre.
A good example of this is The Coma from Korean developer Devespresso games, which originally released for PC in 2015 before getting a “Recut” version for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch two years later. This is a game that challenges players to solve a seemingly supernatural mystery while on the run from a ruthless killer — and without any means of fighting back.
At the same time, there’s some interesting narrative content designed to get you thinking, too. It’s a fine use of your time this spooky season — so let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading The Coma: Recut – Extracurricular Horror
It’s not until next week that we’re starting to explore Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland in earnest, but it doesn’t hurt to get ahead of the game with a celebration of its protagonist!
Merurulince Rede Arls, better known simply as Meruru, is the princess of the tiny kingdom of Arls. But this girl is not your average fantasy fiction “stand around looking pretty but being quiet” sort of princess. Nope; Meruru is a thoroughly modern young lady who likes to Get Things Done, and absolutely will not stand for petty inconveniences like her father’s disapproval getting in her way.
She’s a delightful leading lady for a fondly regarded installment in the series as a whole, and a joy to be around. Let’s take a closer look at who she is and where she came from.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Merurulince Rede Arls
This post is one chapter of a MegaFeature!
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Most of the Atelier games that unfold over a clearly defined time period are “coming of age” stories, where the protagonist comes to understand the sort of person they really are, and the place they have in the world.
This is especially apparent in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, a game whose broader scale and scope than its immediate predecessor makes it ripe for exploring its lead character’s growing sense of maturity, responsibility and self-confidence.
Totori grows up a great deal over the course of her journey — so let’s take a look at some of the trials and tribulations she has to face along her path. Spoilers ahead!
Continue reading Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland – A Journey to Adulthood
One of the nice things about the Atelier subseries whose installments unfold in the same setting over the course of several years is that we get to see characters grow and change.
An interesting example of this is Filly, sister of Esty. She’s completely off-screen in Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, puts in her first public appearance in Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland and really comes into her own throughout Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland. (At the time of writing, I don’t know if she appears in Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see her show up.)
Let’s take a closer look at this character and her role in the ongoing saga of Arland.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Filly