Tag Archives: NIS America

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The “That Was Unexpected” Award

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!

One of my favourite things about deviating significantly from what can be considered “mainstream tastes” is that you have a vastly increased chance of accidentally stumbling across absolutely wonderful experiences that you promptly want to tell everyone about.

Today’s award, suggested by Kharne83, celebrates one of these games from this year. A game that I initially didn’t really feel anything about… until I played it. And I was absolutely hooked. And I think you should partake, too.

After all, news of these games is best spread by word of mouth — because heaven knows press and marketing alike are inevitably terrible about letting people know they exist!

And the winner is…

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Happy Birthdays: Someone Still Makes ‘Em Like They Used To

Do you remember the “god game” genre? Distinct from the few management sims we still have today, which tend to focus on financial and ministerial affairs, the god game, popular throughout the late ’90s and early ’00s, put you in the role of a supreme being with literally world-altering powers.

It’s a genre we don’t really see a lot of these days, with most strategy gamers tending to gravitate towards experiences with more board game-like mechanics such as Civilization and its numerous imitators, or the aformentioned fiscal frolics such as Cities Skylines, Two Point Hospital and the like.

Releasing a new god game is a brave step, then, but Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada has never been about taking the easy option. And so it was that his company Toybox came to bring us Happy Birthdays, an expanded, rebalanced and enhanced version of the earlier Birthdays: The Beginning, and a game in which you get to play God on your own little cube-shaped world.

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Lapis x Labyrinth: Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango Daikazoku

Genre blends can make for some interesting experiences, and over the years developers have tried all sorts of things.

We’ve had racing games with RPG elements, dating sims with strategy games attached, first-person shooters combined with adventure games… at this point most things have been tried, you might think.

What about dungeon crawler, platform game, action RPG, shoot ’em up and pachinko? I bet I have your attention now, hmm? Let’s look at Lapis x Labyrinth from Nippon Ichi Software — one of the company’s best games for a long time, and a title which looks distressingly set to pass by an awful lot of people unnoticed.

Continue reading Lapis x Labyrinth: Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango Daikazoku

New Game Plus: Pepped Up – Atelier Rorona DX #18

Rorona’s trials and tribulations will be coming to an end within the next episode or so, but in the meantime there’s still plenty to be getting on with!

Specifically, as we’re getting towards the end of the game, I wanted to look at making some top-notch healing items. One of the best things you can make is an Elixir with the “Pepped Up” effect — this means that whenever Rorona’s HP drops below 50%, it automatically activates, saving you a turn and keeping your party up and running.

It’s a bit of a struggle and the final product isn’t the best it could be, but it’s not bad for a first attempt…

New Game Plus: Truth and Acceptance – Atelier Rorona DX #17

After an in-depth exploration of Night’s Domain, Rorona gets busy on some miscellaneous tasks before reaching the deadline for her latest assignment.

This time around, she discovers the truth about Lionela and her puppets; learning that someone isn’t all they might initially seem, and that they might sometimes need your help in ways you don’t expect is an important part of growing up, and a lesson that Rorona is quick to learn by virtue of her very nature — despite (or perhaps because of!) her upbringing by Astrid.

After this, there are just two more assignments to go before we complete this New Game Plus run! Will we achieve any or all of the endings I’ve been after…?

New Game Plus: Night’s Domain – Atelier Rorona DX #16

How tough is our girl Rorona? Only tough enough to fell both a dragon and a demon in a single expedition, that’s how tough!

In this week’s installment of our New Game Plus run through Atelier Rorona DX, we find ourselves exploring Night’s Domain, a dungeon at the northernmost tip of Arland that is somewhat… mysterious and otherworldly in nature. It’s full of some of the most valuable, high-quality ingredients in the game, though, so it’s well worth taking your time to explore… if you’re up to the challenge, that is!

Meanwhile, there’s a final bit of intrigue with Lionela… could she have finally found some peace in her life…?

New Game Plus: King and Knight – Atelier Rorona DX #15

We’re into the third and final year of Rorona’s assignments in our New Game Plus run through Atelier Rorona DX, and some interesting mysteries are starting to be revealed about a bunch of characters.

I’m really enjoying this run, as I’m seeing some scenes I’ve never seen before; the additional “free” time I have available thanks to all the stuff I’ve carried over from my previous playthrough is making it much easier to build up everyone’s friendship values and see all their events.

I’m not sure if I’m on track for any of the “special” endings right now, but I’m certainly going to do my best in this final year to see what we can achieve!