Steam has reinstated Bokuten after investigation confirmed the issue with the missed (and inaccessible) CGs mentioned below. This article remains relevant, however, because Steam’s treatment of MangaGamer in this incident was totally unacceptable. Original article follows.
Steam is the largest, most well-established PC gaming platform out there. For many gamers, “PC gaming” and “Steam” are pretty much synonymous.
To put it another way, in much the same way that Grandma thinks that Facebook is “the Internet”, there are many people out there who don’t look beyond Steam as a place to buy new games. And while there are perfectly valid reasons to favour Steam — its social features are pretty good, its frequent sales make gaming very affordable and it’s where you’ll find the largest communities for many online games — there are certain parts of the industry that are being treated extremely poorly by the platform.
One of those is the localised Japanese visual novel sector, which frequently finds itself the victim of Valve’s seemingly amorphous content policies. So it’s time we looked at what we, as a community, can perhaps do a bit differently.
Continue reading Steam’s Inconsistency is Hurting Visual Novels – How We Can Help
At the time of writing, a new independently developed game called “Helltaker” is all over social media, with all sorts of people sharing screenshots and fanart.
With that in mind, I decided to give it a look for myself. Turns out it’s a free download for PC, available via Steam. As such, there’s absolutely no risk involved in trying it out at the very least — and if you like it, you have a cool thing to add to your library; if, on the other hand, it’s not for you, you haven’t lost anything.
What did I think? Hmm, mixed feelings if I’m perfectly honest; let’s explore all that a little further, then.
Continue reading Helltaker: Hell is Sliding Block Puzzles
One of the things that has always been good about the indie sphere has been its many developers’ willingness to experiment.
One company that has always been at the forefront of experimental gameplay is Arcen Games, who are very fond of blending disparate genres together to create something wonderful — and of throwing a healthy dose of procedural generation into the mix, too.
A Valley Without Wind was my first encounter with them… and it’s a game I’ve loved since I first came across it back in 2012. Take a look at the video below to see how it plays — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
I have a major soft spot for single-screen “kill everything” platformers. Every day I mourn that Rod-Land isn’t more readily available to play on modern platforms… and it’s not just because I have a thing for Rit.
No, I’ve always been a fan of this kind of game, ever since Bubble Bobble, and if anyone was the absolute master of this subgenre, it was Taito. As such, the two Taito Legends collections on PlayStation 2 make frequent appearances in my game rotation, just so I can enjoy games like the aforementioned Bubble Bobble and its sequel Rainbow Islands at any time.
What if someone were to make a new game like this, though? How might that turn out? Well, wonder no longer!
Continue reading Whip! Whip!: Smells Like Taito
If you were to tell me a couple of weeks ago that one of the most addictive, satisfying games of the summer would be a peculiar combination of venerable (but largely forgotten) Sega arcade title Pengo and ’90s Japanese arcade eroge I’d… have probably believed you, to be honest, but here we are anyway.
Yes, the aptly named Crawlco Block Knockers is a deliberate homage to dank, smoky, sleazy Japanese arcades in the ’90s and the games you would find therein. Drawing particular inspiration from Kaneko’s Gals Panic series and Mitchell Corporation’s Gonta the Diver duology, the game combines strategic thinking, arcade action, ’80s inspired vaporwave music and the opportunity to gradually reveal images of attractive, curvy women not wearing very much.
Sounds like a party, right? Let’s take a look. Some mildly NSFW shenanigans after the jump!
Continue reading Crawlco Block Knockers: A Game That Indeed Contains Both Blocks and Knockers
[UPDATE 22/06/2019: The Expression: Amrilato is now available on Steam! See this blog post by MangaGamer for further details. I’m leaving this story up, as the discussion points it raised remain pertinent.]
I don’t normally cover “news” here on MoeGamer, but this is something I think it’s important to talk about right now.
Prolific publisher and localiser MangaGamer announced today that its thoroughly intriguing-sounding visual novel The Expression: Amrilato, a game that combines a romantic yuri narrative with educational, linguistic content approved by Japan’s National Esperanto Association, had been released on its own storefront and GOG.com.
The game was also intended to release on Valve’s popular Steam storefront but it, like many other Japanese games and visual novels, has fallen foul of the company’s ill-defined policies regarding acceptable game content. Let’s talk about that.
Continue reading Educational Esperanto Visual Novel Struggles with Valve’s Amorphous Content Policies
As we’ve discussed on numerous previous occasions, the shoot ’em up genre is a lot more diverse than you might think.
Over the years, we’ve seen this initially straightforward genre blossom into something that encompasses a wide variety of distinct mechanics: the precise navigation of danmaku games, the pattern recognition and twitch reflexes of twin-stick shooters, the emphasis on memorisation and “risk versus reward” of Gradius-style games and plenty more besides.
One of the most interesting ways in which developers have experimented with the genre as a whole is through combining it with other genres. To date we’ve seen attempts to blend it with fighting games (such as the Suguri series), platform games (such as Rabi-Ribi) and even puzzle games. Murasaki, a 2014 release from Japanese doujin circle Katatema, falls into the latter category.
Continue reading Shmup Essentials: Murasaki
I’m just back from holiday and my podcasting partner in crime Chris has just departed on a trip, so it’s a short episode this time around… but an important one.
If you’ve been paying attention to social media today, you’ll doubtless have seen that there has been some concern over Valve’s apparent change of policy over adult content… or at least titles that have ties to adult content.
Hit the jump for the full episode.
Continue reading The MoeGamer Podcast: Episode 2 – No Sex Please, We’re Valve
For many of you reading this, the words “erotic puzzle game-cum-dating sim with art by Sayori” will doubtless be enough to convince you that Tropical Liquor is worth a shot.
For those less familiar with Sayori’s work — or those who simply prefer to think very carefully about every £7.19 purchase they consider making — today is all about taking a look at this unusual game, and why it’s worth your time.
Before we go any further, let’s get two things out of the way. Firstly, no, it’s not a HuniePop clone. And second, yes, it does have 18+ content, available via a free official patch from publisher Denpasoft. With all that out of the way, let’s go on vacation!
Continue reading Puzzler Essentials: Tropical Liquor
This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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As we’ve already seen, one of Inti Creates’ biggest strengths as a developer is its ability to understand what made the games of the past great while simultaneously updating them with modern conveniences and conventions.
Azure Striker Gunvolt, a relatively new series from the company but one which has already gone on to be popular and well-received, is a great example of this philosophy at work. Adopting a pleasingly chunky but detailed late 16-bit pixel art look and combining it with delicious 2D art, excellent storytelling and a well-crafted world, the game provides a wonderful experience, whether you enjoy it on its original host platform of the 3DS, its port to PC or its most recent incarnation on Nintendo Switch as part of the Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack alongside its sequel.
Let’s take a closer look at where this game from and what makes it tick… or rather buzz, perhaps.
Continue reading Azure Striker Gunvolt: An Electrifying Action Platformer