The shoot ’em up genre, having been around pretty much as long as the concept of “video games”, is relatively set in its ways.
When you think about it, this isn’t all that surprising. When the core concept of your game is as simple as “shoot everything, don’t get shot and don’t crash into anything”, there’s only so much you can do to iterate on that concept. And so most modern shmups distinguish themselves primarily through carefully choreographed enemy and bullet patterns, unique audio-visual design and a sense of “spectacle”. In other words, it’s relatively rare to find a modern shmup that does things a little differently in mechanical terms.
Japanese doujin circle Astro Port is one of a few developers that likes to regularly mix things up in the genre. And its latest release Zangeki Warp is just one such example.
Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Zangeki Warp
You have to respect a game that is up-front about what it is; one that says to you “we both know why you’re here.”
Japanese developers and localisers — particularly in the visual novel sector, and especially when it comes to nukige, or games where the main point is sexual content rather than narrative — are good at this sort of frank honesty; browsing, for example, MangaGamer’s (emphatically not safe for work) front page reveals titles such as Boob Wars: Big Breasts vs Flat Chests, Busty Maid: Creampie Heaven and the gloriously self-aware Eroge: Sex and Games Makes Sexy Games.
Devleoper-publisher Zoo Corporation is no stranger to this practice, either, with its various labels Norn, Cybele, Miel and Yumesta each putting out a variety of games with fairly self-explanatory titles. Prior to 2015, the only Zoo title we’d seen in the West was 1994 puzzler BreakThru! — which Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov had his name attached to despite having very little to do with — but all that changed with the release of Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle in January of that year.
A new series was born, with Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire being its latest installment. And, you know, it’s pretty good, particularly considering its ludicrously cheap price at the time of writing.
Continue reading Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire: Exactly What it Sounds Like
Although Gal*Gun Double Peace has the trappings of an arcade-style light-gun shooter, there’s a lot more going on in the game than simply pointing and shooting.
We no longer live in an age where a release like Namco’s original PlayStation port of Time Crisis is acceptable to modern consumers, at least at full retail price; players need more than just a basic game that takes 20 minutes to play through from start to finish and doesn’t vary significantly each time you play.
Fortunately, Gal*Gun Double Peace has plenty to offer those who are willing to put some time in, and it’s a fine example of Inti Creates’ talent for creating games that are simple to pick up but tricky to master completely.
Continue reading Gal*Gun: Dating on Rails
With the advent of HDTVs and their different method of producing an image compared to old-school CRTs, one genre of game has largely fallen by the wayside: the light-gun shooter.
With that said, however, there are a number of developers out there keeping the soul — if not the exact execution — of this classic arcade genre alive, and with most gamers tending to demand more than a simple 20-minute arcade-style game for their money these days, they often have a ton of hidden depth behind the traditional “point and shoot” gameplay.
Gal*Gun: Double Peace is one of the most potent examples of a developer taking what is, at heart, a very simple, straightforward style of game and adding a ton of depth, replayability and longevity to it. We’ve certainly come a long way since Operation Wolf, that’s for sure.
Continue reading Gal*Gun: Introduction and History
Steam’s running another Summer Comiket sale full of Japanese doujin games goodness — they’ve actually remembered to promote it this time, though! Here’s a selection of games that are worth exploring.
Check out the articles from last year for more on some of the other games available in the sale:
And so we come to the final part of our exploration of Steam’s Comiket sale — a well-hidden set of discounts on a wide selection of Japanese doujin titles in celebration of the biannual Comiket doujinshi fair.
The games available in the sale run the gamut from danmaku (“bullet hell”) shooters to visual novels and represent a fine selection of what the growing Japanese indie scene has to offer. Thanks to partnerships with publishers such as Nyu Media and Playism, Japanese games are a growing market on Valve’s platform — it’s a shame that this sale was not given wider visibility through a front-page promo slot, however, meaning that it may well have passed more than a few people by, and missed a great opportunity to introduce more Western-centric gamers to the cultural output of our friends in the Far East.
Never fear, though, as you’ve got until August 18 to discover some new favourites from among the available titles. Today’s selection presents the last few titles we haven’t covered as yet. You can check out the previous three posts here on MoeGamer to find out more about the titles we haven’t covered today.
Let’s get started!
Continue reading Treasures of Steam’s Secret Comiket Sale, Part IV
By now, if you’ve been following MoeGamer this week, you’re hopefully aware of Steam’s Comiket sale, in which a selection of Japanese doujin titles are available for significantly reduced prices in celebration of Japan’s famous biannual doujinshi fair.
It’s a sale that, despite there being a dedicated page for it, Valve has seen fit to all but ignore so far as promotion is concerned — there’s not a whiff of it on the store’s front page. We’re not going to let that stand, though! The doujin titles on Steam represent some great examples of the burgeoning Japanese indie development scene, and supporting them sends a great message both to the doujin circles responsible for developing the games in the first place, and the localisation companies who have brought these titles to the West.
Today, we’re going to take a look at another selection of games available in the sale. Hold on to your wallets!
Continue reading Treasures of Steam’s Secret Comiket Sale, Part III