Tag Archives: Persona 5

From the Archives: A Life Less Ordinary – Living a Virtual Life

Video games tend to be regarded as an escapist form of entertainment, allowing us to switch off from the annoyances of everyday life and immerse ourselves in fantastic other cultures. So why, then, would you ever want to play a game that simulates the mundanity of a “normal” existence, whatever that is?

That’s because “mundane” doesn’t necessarily have to mean “boring,” of course. And the types of games collectively known as “life sims” prove this fairly aptly, as anyone who has ever enjoyed any of the games we’re going to talk about today will attest. Although the term “life sim” is used as an umbrella description, it’s actually a fairly misleading one, as there are a diverse array of different interactive experiences that fall into that category — some of which are more well-known than others.

Broadly speaking, “life sims” tend to be one of two different types: freeform sandbox simulators, and stat-centric life sims with a degree of “direction” about them, though there’s a degree of overlap in many cases. Let’s have a look at both categories, including some prominent (and not-so-prominent) examples of both.

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Seven Arbitrarily Chosen Things You’re Missing Out On If You’ve Been Operating Under the Mistaken Belief that JRPGs are “Dead”

It seems that every time we get a new Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy or Persona release, we have the same old “we’re having a JRPG renaissance!” discussion.

Well, dear reader, with my coverage of Death End Re;Quest on the horizon at the time of writing and plenty more RPGs in our shared futures, I’m here to remind you that RPGs have been alive and well ever since what people think of as their “golden age” — the SNES and PS1 eras. This will not be a shock to some of you reading this, of course, but I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who have passed up some wonderful experiences for one reason or another.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a list of seven arbitrarily chosen things that you might have missed out on if you’ve been operating under the grossly mistaken assumption that the role-playing game genre has somehow been “dead” despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Here we go!

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The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 5 – GRAPHICS!!!

It’s that time again! No, not THAT time, podcast time. Jeez.

I’m once again joined by my good friend and longtime supporter Chris Caskie to discuss a subject that is close to both our hearts: graphics.

Hit the jump to watch the full video episode… and I’m working on getting audio-only versions set up now that we’ve established a good formula for these.

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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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The MoeGamer Awards: Best Game I Haven’t Covered

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!

Today’s award, as you might expect, gives me an excuse to bring up a game that I haven’t really talked about this year, despite it being something that is eminently worth talking about. The reason I haven’t talked about it is pretty simple: I haven’t finished playing it, and as regular readers know I prefer not to write in detail about something without having a thorough understanding of it, usually by at the very least beating its main story.

The other reason I held fire is that there were a flurry of articles about it around the period of its release earlier in the year, and I didn’t want to add to that noise at the time. I do want to acknowledge it before the year is out, however, so that’s what today’s award is all about.

And the winner is…

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Games Awards Should Embrace a Broader Spectrum of Games

At the time of writing, the 2017 nominees for The Game Awards — referred to by some as “gaming’s Oscars” — have just been announced.

While it’s nice to see some high-profile Japanese games — most notably Persona 5, Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XV and Super Mario Odyssey — get some recognition, once again the overall lineup for the awards is a fairly predictable affair that primarily boils down to “which games were most popular and/or made most money this year”.

And while there’s some merit to celebrating those games that have performed well from a commercial perspective over the course of the year, it presents a rather narrow view of the industry that leaves a number of titles underrepresented and underappreciated.

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Some Thoughts on Localisation

Localisation is, it seems, a somewhat thorny issue these days — but it’s one worth discussing.

Before I begin today, I’d like to emphasise that by no means am I attempting to present a “definitive” opinion here. By its very nature, this is a topic that is highly subjective and a matter of opinion, and that means you may not agree with my views. And that is, of course, fine; all I’m attempting to do here is to highlight one possible perspective and provide some food for thought on a complex issue with no “right” answers.

Preamble over and done with, then; let’s talk about localisation, beginning with a little personal context that may go some distance towards explaining why I feel the way I do about all this.

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Japanese Games Didn’t Just Suddenly “Get Good”

MoeGamer’s mission statement, which you’ll find over on the right, is “to provide comprehensive, interesting, positive and well-researched coverage of niche-interest and overlooked, underappreciated titles that tend to get a raw deal from the mainstream press”.

This has been my stated goal with the site from its inception in April 2014 — yes, we’re coming up on MoeGamer’s third birthday! — but my strong feelings towards it actually extend further back than that: to my JPgamer column and regular JRPG reviews at USgamer, to the visual novel and JRPG columns I hosted on the now-defunct Games Are Evil… in fact, my love of Japanese games can be traced all the way back to the 16- and 32-bit console eras in particular. (In the 8-bit era I was largely gaming on Atari computers!)

I’m not alone in my love of Japanese games and the feeling that they tend to get rough treatment at the hands of both the mainstream press and an ill-informed public — though to be fair to the latter, one tends to lead to another. Over the last few years in particular, there’s been great growth in “alternative” gaming sites aiming to specifically cater to niches underserved by the mainstream press. Friends of MoeGamer like Operation RainfallDigitally Downloaded and the recently launched j-ga.me/s/ all carry the desire to celebrate underappreciated titles — titles that, in many cases, have strong followings and communities surrounding them that are at best ignored and at worst ostracised and ridiculed by the mainstream press — and all go about this task slightly differently.

One thing that brings us all together, though, is the sense of exasperation when a Japanese game that, for some reason, it is “acceptable” to enjoy comes along and even mainstream critics are forced to admit the things that sites like us have been arguing for literally years. And with 2017 being such a strong year for such games already, that has been happening quite a bit lately.

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The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 3

In this episode, Midori, Yumi, Penelope and I talk about why so many modern JRPGs are flat-out ignored, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and more.

Midori also has a quiz for you if you want to try and prove you know more than your average Western games journalist about the JRPG genre in general.

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The original music, as before, is by watson of MusMus, and the font is the work of Style64. Pieces of music from the various games and shows used in this episode remain the copyright of their respective owners.

Download for Windows (126MB)
Download for Mac (130MB)
Download for browser (98MB)

“Yamato” pointed out in the comments that the game window had the incorrect episode number. This should now be fixed. Please let me know if you encounter any other bugs, this episode was a lot more complex under the hood than the previous ones!

If you’re having trouble running the browser version, take a look at the TyranoBuilder FAQ, which explains how to run browser games locally — though be aware there can be some security risks involved, so only follow its recommendations when you want to run a browser-based episode of the GameCast.

When I have a bit more money floating around, I’ll sort out some proper hosting for browser versions so you don’t have to go through this process. If you’d like to help out with that, please consider making a pledge to my Patreon!

If you’re new to the GameCast, start from the beginning.