Tag Archives: visual novel

428: Shibuya Scramble – The Mechanics of Storytelling

When we’re talking about conventional games — particularly today’s games — it’s important to consider them from a wide variety of perspectives.

Typically, we look at a game from several different angles: the way it’s presented through its sights and sounds; the way it plays through its mechanics; and, where applicable, how it handles its story.

When contemplating visual novels, the balance tends to be a little different. We tend to up the focus on narrative considerably, and in many cases mechanics don’t enter the picture at all — many visual novels simply don’t have any! That is, unless you’re 428: Shibuya Scramble, in which case your narrative and mechanics combine together to produce something exceedingly interesting…

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Waifu Wednesday: Aya Kamiki

We’ve had celebrities putting in appearances in video games for a good while now, mostly as voice actors, but it’s quite rare to see a performer appear in a game as themselves.

Japanese singer, actress and model Aya Kamiki evidently saw a good opportunity back in 2008, though, and played a part in Spike Chunsoft’s sound novel 428: Shibuya ScrambleQuite a substantial one, too, despite not being one of the main actors; her face is plastered all over billboards and electronic displays in the in-game rendition of Shibuya (which is represented entirely through photographs and full-motion video), her song Sekai wa Sore Demo Kawari wa Shinai is heard numerous times throughout the narrative and she even puts in an in-person appearance for one brief moment during the main story.

It’s an inventive way to promote yourself, for sure, and adds to the overall believable atmosphere of Spike Chunsoft’s game. But who, exactly, is Aya Kamiki?

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428: Shibuya Scramble – Introduction and History

Every so often a game comes along that really makes you sit up and pay attention.

Sometimes it’s because it features a beautiful refinement or evolution of some established mechanics. Sometimes it’s because it really pushes graphical technology forwards. Sometimes it has famous names attached to it.

And sometimes it’s 428: Shibuya Scramble, a title so far removed from what we traditionally think of as a “video game” that you can’t help but notice it.

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What’s in the Box: Song of Memories – Encore Edition

Is it Limited Edition time again? Why yes, yes it is!

I actually wasn’t expecting this one quite so soon; Song of Memories has been delayed so much from its originally anticipated release date that I was very surprised to get a shipping notification the other day, and find it showing up on my doorstep a day later. Still, I’m not complaining!

Song of Memories’ limited edition, known as the Encore Edition, is an exclusive to Funstock subsidiary Rice Digital, who have partnered with publisher and localiser PQube on a number of previous titles. Let’s take a closer look.

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Magical Diary: Wolf Hall – A Wolf in Wizard’s Clothing

Those of you who have been following my work for a while may recall a good few years back now I was rather enthusiastic about a game called Magical Diary: Horse Hall.

This unusual game, developed by Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar, blended elements of visual novel, life sim and first-person dungeon crawler to create something very interesting indeed — and something that was clearly intended to be the start of a series.

That was back in 2012. Now, in 2019, we’re finally getting a follow-up — so let’s take a first look at what the sequel, Magical Diary: Wolf Hall, has to offer, and how Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar will be making use of crowdfunding to realise their goals.

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Best H-Scene

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… well, me, but AK thought it was a good idea so I’m giving him credit.

We’ve explored a number of visual novels together here on MoeGamer, many of which include explicit sexual scenes.

This is not an aspect of these games that tends to get talked about all that much by gaming culture at large; some critics, outlets and even players sometimes seemingly go so far as to regard the H-scenes of a game as something of a “dirty little secret”, or simply outright ignore them altogether.

While there’s no denying that nukige exist purely to be mildly interactive pornography, true eroge make good use of their sexual scenes to further their narratives and show us another side of the main characters. Today’s award celebrates an excellent use of an H-scene for exactly these purposes. With that in mind, please be aware that there is extremely explicit text and images ahead. You have been warned!

And the winner is… no, seriously, there really is all manner of extremely NSFW filth ahead, are you ready? Okay. The winner is…

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Character I Learned to Love

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 AK.

A really interesting aspect of characterisation is when creators are able to put together a character who might initially seem obnoxious or odious in some way, then gradually bring the player to sympathise with them — or at least vaguely understand them –over the course of the complete narrative.

It’s a difficult thing to pull off, for sure; the most common approach taken to create this effect is to have an “anti-hero” main character, but in those instances it’s very easy to go overboard on the edginess and just create someone who is an unrelatable sociopath or psychopath.

But when it’s done right, it can make for some really interesting storytelling. So who fell into that category for me this year…?

And the winner is…

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