The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more here, but you’re out of time to leave me suggestions, I’m afraid!
One interesting thing about modern gaming — and, to be honest, something I’m not all that thrilled with as an aspiring gaming archivist and historian — is the fact that we’re increasingly starting to see aspects of the hobby with in-built “expiry dates”.
Whether it’s games with multiplayer servers that shut down after it’s no longer viable for the publisher to keep them running, games that are patched beyond recognition from their physical releases via online storefronts or games that are straight-up no longer available to buy anywhere due to the closure of their digital distributors, it’s going to be a strange and difficult period to accurately preserve for the future. Today’s award celebrates one deeply fascinating aspect of modern gaming that we’ve already lost, only five years after it appeared.
And the “winner” is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards: The Fond Farewell Award
The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more and suggest some categories here!
The first thing I’d like to celebrate is something that I feel is rather important: community. Over the last few years in particular, the concept of “gaming culture” in general has become rather fractured, leading to a variety of groups with different priorities in terms of what they’re looking for from their interactive entertainment.
Some of these communities, it’s fair to say, are pretty toxic, unwelcoming to outsiders and incredibly intolerant of differing viewpoints; I’m sure many of you know which community in particular I’m referring to here. And others… well, they set a magnificent example that others would do well to follow.
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards: Best Community
We’ve already discussed how, despite its massively multiplayer online nature, Final Fantasy XIV as a whole is very much an authentic Final Fantasy experience in its own right. But is the opposite true?
If you’ve read the headline you’ll already know that yes, of course it is. But one of the most interesting things about the game as a whole as it has developed from its disastrous 1.0 incarnation through A Realm Reborn and Heavensward into Stormblood is how well it has managed to balance these two seemingly disparate aspects: the strong narrative of the Final Fantasy series, and the sheer amount of things to do and quality of life features that a hardcore MMO player expects from a game like this.
Today we’re going to examine that latter aspect in detail.
Continue reading Stormblood: It’s a Great MMO, Too
Final Fantasy XIV and its long-running spiritual predecessor Final Fantasy XI are in an interesting and slightly awkward position.
They’re numbered mainline installments of the long-running Final Fantasy series, which, in theory, should attract series veterans, but they’re also massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The latter is a genre typically (and not necessarily correctly or fairly) associated with being time-consuming, challenging and dependent on playing alongside other people — and thus not especially attractive to those who prefer to play games solo, concentrate on story or take things at their own pace.
What we’re going to talk about today is how Final Fantasy XIV is as much a good Final Fantasy as it is a good MMO — and why you shouldn’t sleep on it if you’re a Final Fantasy fan who doesn’t typically go in for online games.
Continue reading Stormblood: Yes, It’s a Great Final Fantasy
Square Enix’s second Final Fantasy MMORPG is a big success now, having just enjoyed the release of its second expansion pack, but things weren’t always so rosy.
In fact, the story of how Final Fantasy XIV came to be what it is now is one of the most interesting in all of gaming — and certainly an inspiring example that demonstrates even if you release a completely broken mess of a game, it’s not necessarily beyond redemption.
Today, then, let’s take a look at the history of Final Fantasy XIV as a whole, and in particular how it’s developed since the release of A Realm Reborn in 2013.
Continue reading Stormblood: Introduction
Last time, we looked at where Cygames’ mobile hit Granblue Fantasy came from, and how it’s become such a phenomenon.
Today, we’re going to look in more detail at the game itself: how it works, how it plays, its similarities and differences from other popular mobile games, and what newcomers can expect from its early hours.
Given that it’s effectively an MMO of sorts, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the game has become a surprisingly sprawling, complex and somewhat daunting affair after three years of active development. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely inaccessible — nor does it suffer from the common MMO problem of new players being too weak to be able to participate in anything.
Let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: First Steps in Phantagrande
Nier creator Taro Yoko has some strong opinions about how to keep games interesting.
Last time, we heard how he felt that modern triple-A games were often fun for the first twenty minutes, but that he frequently became concerned these initially impressive titles would become tiresome after twenty or more hours. It was this mindset that caused him to design the original Nier with so many unusual features to it, and many of these — and more — have carried across to Nier: Automata.
Today, then, we’ll take a look at Nier: Automata’s mechanical aspects — and how Yoko’s collaboration with Platinum Games has helped him to realise his vision better than ever before.
Continue reading Nier Automata: Creating a Game That is “Unexpected”, That “Keeps Changing Form”