Tag Archives: themes

Death end re;Quest: Down the Rabbit Hole

Death end re;Quest, in keeping with the rest of Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG project, is an ambitious and rather unusual affair from a narrative perspective.

The setup for the game is pure isekai, but almost immediately after actually starting the game for the first time, you’ll come to realise that there’s much more going on here — a really interesting blend of genres and styles that makes good use of its medium to tell a story and raise some intriguing questions.

Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Death end re;Quest: Down the Rabbit Hole

428: Shibuya Scramble – A Question of Identity

Well, it’s time to unravel some of the mysteries at the core of 428: Shibuya Scramble. And there are plenty of them!

Not only that, but “beating” the game isn’t the end, either; once you’ve seen the “normal” or “true” endings, there are other, more deviously hidden scenarios to track down… but that’s a tale for another day. Today, we’re going to focus on the how the game explores its various protagonists and one of its most important core themes.

Let’s step back into Shibuya, then… the beating heart of one of the world’s busiest cities.

Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – A Question of Identity

Atelier Totori: Arland’s Middle Child

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, the second installment in Atelier’s Arland trilogy, is in that unenviable position that all “middle children” end up in — perhaps more so than most.

Originally offering considerable improvements over Atelier Rorona’s first incarnation — particularly in the graphical and mechanical departments — Gust’s tendency to put out “Plus” versions for its Atelier games means that Totori has ended up, in some respects, now being the most dated of the Arland trilogy even once it, in turn, got its own “Plus” and “DX” rereleases, the most recent of which is on PlayStation 4, Switch and PC.

This isn’t to say Totori is a bad game, mind you — far from it. Just… don’t take anything for granted! Let’s have a closer look.

Continue reading Atelier Totori: Arland’s Middle Child

The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Coolest Transportation Method

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 Krystallina.

What good is a massive game world if you can’t get around it in style?

No good at all, that’s what! So today’s award celebrates my favourite means of getting around a particular virtual locale without getting wet, dirty, injured or terrified.

Well, maybe not that last one.

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Coolest Transportation Method

Project Zero 5: The Difference a Little Warmth Can Make

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. Ultimateso 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

Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon

And so it is that we come to the fourth installment in the Project Zero series: a game that never came West in an official capacity.

Known as Zero: Tsukihame no Kamen in its native Japan and Mask of the Lunar Eclipse in the West following an ambitious (and successful) fan-translation project, this fourth game represented a number of “firsts” for the series.

It was the first installment to not be exclusively developed by Tecmo. It was the first installment to leave the series’ original host platforms of PlayStation 2 and Xbox. And it was the first installment to make a number of mechanical shakeups to the basic Project Zero formula, which would become fixtures in subsequent releases. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon

Project Zero: Scream for the Camera

Tecmo’s Project Zero — also known as Fatal Frame in the United States, and simply Zero in its native Japan — has always stood out.

“Survival horror” is most certainly not what it once was, but even during its heyday in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Project Zero set itself apart by eschewing the blood, gore and violent scenes people had come to associate with the genre.

Instead, it provided a rather more contemplative, supernatural tale with its roots in traditional Japanese spiritualism. And by golly has it held up really well since its original release nearly 20 years ago.

Continue reading Project Zero: Scream for the Camera