And so we come to what is, at the time of writing, the grand finale to the Project Zero series: Maiden of Black Water on Wii U.
While the nature of the series means that it’s entirely possible we’ll see some more games in the future — and indeed unverified “my uncle works at Nintendo” rumours circulated earlier this year that a Switch installment was in development — Maiden of Black Water is an interesting game that acts as a suitable swansong for the series if, indeed, that is truly “it”.
But then Mio and Mayu from Deep Crimson Butterfly and Yuri from this game are putting in cameo appearances in the impending Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so you never know what might happen… Ahem. Anyway. Let’s look at Maiden of Black Water in detail.
Continue reading Project Zero 5: The Difference a Little Warmth Can Make
Between the ten different waifus in Evenicle, there’s someone who will appeal to everyone.
Hell, there’s pretty much someone who will appeal to everyone even within the core playable cast of four. And even if someone isn’t your “type”, there are still plenty of interesting and compelling things to discover about them.
As a loud, noisy loli, Gurigura isn’t the type of girl who usually pushes my buttons. But she definitely grew on me over the course of the game, and I came to regard her with a great deal of affection.
NSFW images after the jump!
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Gurigura
A game where you blast cute girls to quasi-orgasmic ecstasy while attempting to fend off the mischief of a cheeky young demon might not sound like the sort of experience that would have good worldbuilding, but the Gal*Gun series as a whole is full of surprises.
It’s clear that developer Inti Creates has taken a great amount of care over the course of the Japan-only Gal*Gun, its sequel Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2 to make the series something more than a throwaway joke game. Yes, it’s amusing; yes, it’s silly; yes, it’s cheeky, fun and sexy; but none of those things mean that it can’t have some depth or be well-crafted.
So today, then, we’re going to take a closer look at how the series as a whole builds that sense of a coherent world, and where Gal*Gun 2 fits in with all that.
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: A Strange and Sexy Little World
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
Yes, that was entirely a cheap trick to get your attention, but it’s also the subject of today’s column.
There are some interesting and varied thoughts about sex in games out there, but it’s a subject that still remains largely taboo for many developers, publishers and even critics. It’s also a subject in which Eastern and Western approaches and philosophies differ greatly, and it makes for some fascinating discussions.
So let’s talk about sex, specifically with regard to visual novels.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular READ.ME column on visual novels. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: Embracing the “H”
The arrival of relatively affordable virtual reality solutions has the potential to allow us to explore narrative and characterisation in all-new ways — and I’m especially excited to see what Japan comes up with.
An oft-cited strength of narrative-centric Japanese interactive entertainment is the sense of “intimacy” it engenders between the player, the protagonist and the core cast. Visual novels in particular are noteworthy for their in-depth explorations of characters and in allowing the player to “ride along” inside the protagonist’s head as they encounter various situations.
So what might virtual reality bring to this kind of experience? It’s an interesting question to ponder, and an exciting prospect to imagine.
Continue reading Virtual Intimacy