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
One of the biggest strengths of the Senran Kagura series as a whole is its comprehensive lore, consisting of numerous intertwining character backstories and its own take on Japanese mythology.
Interestingly, the complete series doesn’t take a linear approach to exploring its narrative, instead breaking itself into three main branches: the “main” plot, the Versus plot, and the spin-off stories. Each of the individual installments stand by themselves as a complete story in their own right, but taken in context with all the other companion pieces, it’s clear that Senran Kagura is a franchise that has been thoroughly planned from start to finish — and it’s very likely we haven’t seen the last of it with Estival Versus, not by a long shot.
So where does Estival Versus itself fit in to the grand scheme of the complete series? Read on and let’s find out.
Continue reading Senran Kagura Estival Versus: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Senran Kagura is one of the most consistently misunderstood series in the entire Japanese gaming canon.
At least part of this is due to the outspoken nature of series creator Kenichiro Takaki who, legend has it, only created the series in the first place because he wanted to see breasts popping out of the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D screen of the Nintendo 3DS, and who is credited with “Righteous Boobage” in every installment’s credit roll.
In a way, this is kind of unfortunate, since it causes a significant number of people — and press outlets — to write the series off as nothing more than cheap fanservice. In reality, however, although the game does include a significant amount of cheeky, overtly sexualised content, it’s a great deal more than titillation, featuring a strong ensemble cast, gameplay mechanics that have evolved, changed and improved between installments — and between different host platforms — and an intriguing unfolding story that draws together elements of Japanese mythology and a more creative, fantastic element of what life as a shinobi might be like in modern-day Japan.
Continue reading Senran Kagura Estival Versus: Introduction