The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!
This award was suggested by AK.
A really interesting aspect of characterisation is when creators are able to put together a character who might initially seem obnoxious or odious in some way, then gradually bring the player to sympathise with them — or at least vaguely understand them –over the course of the complete narrative.
It’s a difficult thing to pull off, for sure; the most common approach taken to create this effect is to have an “anti-hero” main character, but in those instances it’s very easy to go overboard on the edginess and just create someone who is an unrelatable sociopath or psychopath.
But when it’s done right, it can make for some really interesting storytelling. So who fell into that category for me this year…?
And the winner is…
Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Character I Learned to Love
It’s strange how certain memories — or fragments of memories, at least — stick with you, long after you’ve forgotten the original context. And yet they continue to be lodged in your brain somewhere, perhaps even colouring your own attitudes.
For me, one such memory is from — I believe, anyway — a childhood trip to the United States, and a TV show I happened to catch a snippet of shortly before I was supposed to be going to bed in the hotel room. I don’t precisely remember what the TV show was; I want to say it was LA Law, but I can’t find any reliable record of the scene I believe I remember to check.
The context doesn’t really matter. The thing that stuck with me was a single line that was part of a heated exchange between a man and a woman. “We had sex; we’re bonded for life.” And that’s a concept that’s very much come to the forefront of my mind since starting Evenicle.
This post contains some mildly NSFW images.
Continue reading Evenicle: Sex is Power
Much like its predecessor, Gal*Gun 2 has a surprising amount going on its story — much more so than its seemingly fanservice-laden premise might lead you to believe.
While the previous game Gal*Gun Double Peace explored the idea of fallibility, and the fact that no two people cope with the knowledge that they are not and can never be “perfect” in quite the same way, Gal*Gun 2 takes something of a sidestep into a related, but slightly different theme: the idea of understanding oneself, and being honest about that “self” with others.
The various characters involved in the narrative all embody this theme in one form or another. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what’s going on in more detail!
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Ayako Orihara is frustrated, in more ways than one.
She’s frustrated at the fact her school’s Occult Research Club, of which she is the only member and current president, is likely to be dissolved if she doesn’t find some new members. She’s frustrated at her relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother. And by God, is she sexually frustrated.
Little did she know how much taking matters into her own hands would change her life over the course of just one week…
This article has some mildly NSFW content after the jump.
Continue reading Seven Days with the Ghost: Fragile, Frustrated and Female
As the Nekopara series has progressed, it’s clear that Sayori and the rest of the team at Nekoworks have become more comfortable and confident with these characters.
With each new installment, the series steps further away from the admittedly appealing initial novelty value of the main cast being catgirls, and further into stronger characterisation, including deeper exploration of the girls’ personalities, backgrounds and attitudes towards one another.
Nekopara vol. 3, the latest installment to be released at the time of writing (though a vol. 4 has already been confirmed), is the strongest episode to date, featuring some truly touching scenes, wonderful characterisation and, if you’re playing the 18+ version, it has to be said, some of the absolute hottest H-scenes in the series.
Continue reading Nekopara: Staying True to Yourself
Honesty is the best policy, as the idiom has it. And the further you delve into the Nekopara series, the more it becomes clear that this enjoyable series of visual novels is designed with this philosophy at their core.
Several of the Minaduki catgirls describe themselves as inherently honest (albeit whimsical) creatures, preferring to rely on their natural instincts and desires rather than indulging the distinctly human tendency to say one thing and mean another… though it comes more easily to some than others.
The rather deadpan Vanilla, who is explored in detail in the first volume of the series in particular, finds it very easy both to be honest — to an abrasive fault at times — and to encourage her peers to be honest with themselves.
Others such as Azuki and Coconut have a tougher time, however, and it’s this latter pair’s struggles with this concept that forms the backdrop to Nekopara vol. 2.
Continue reading Nekopara: Honesty is the Best Policy
HuniePop from Ryan Koons’ studio HuniePot was partly developed as a sort of “protest” game: an attempt to fight back against the growing trend of political correctness that was starting to take root in the games industry.
There was clearly demand for such a game, even back in late 2013; a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed those who were similarly frustrated with the situation to put their money where their mouth was and show their support for the kind of thing they wanted to see more of: something lewd, crude and rude — and unashamed of being any of those things.
The remarkable thing about HuniePop was that it ended up being a damn good game as well as a resounding middle finger to the “everything is problematic” crowd. Not only that, it also demonstrated that independent Western developers were more than capable of putting interesting new twists on Japanese-style aesthetics by combining anime-style artwork with a hilariously abrasive and distinctively modern, American script.
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: HuniePop