Tag Archives: Wii

428: Shibuya Scramble – In Search of the Truth

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Many games these days make a point of providing some sort of “added value” over and above their base experience. Be it a postgame chapter with stiff challenges, post-launch DLC or a New Game Plus mode, these features are typically there to keep you playing even after you see the credits roll.

Visual novels, as an offshoot of video games, aren’t typically known for having substantial postgame content other than the “metagame” that multi-route titles have: seeing all the possible narrative routes and collecting all the CG illustrations. But, as we’ve already established fairly comprehensively in this feature already, Spike Chunsoft’s 428: Shibuya Scramble isn’t a game to do things… “conventionally”.

Oh, sure, the base game has 85 “bad ends” to collect (with a series of trophies and achievements attached to these, encouraging you to seek them out rather than avoid them — and it’s worth doing so because several are very odd indeed!) as well as a “normal” and a “true” ending, but once you’ve seen the main narrative through to a satisfactory conclusion, you’re not done. Not by a surprisingly long shot.

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428: Shibuya Scramble – A Question of Identity

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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.

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428: Shibuya Scramble – Introduction and History

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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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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: The Shutterbug Award

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 here, but you’re out of time to leave suggestions, I’m afraid!

Any time you have experience with an entire series of something and people are aware of your experience with said series, someone, somewhere is going to ask you the dreaded question: “which [insert series name here] is best?”

Given my recent coverage of Tecmo’s consistently excellent survival horror series Project Zero (not to mention the presently ongoing video series playing through its postgame!), I thought I’d pre-empt that question and attempt to give a definitive answer.

Well, definitive insofar as “this one was my favourite” anyway. You do not have to agree. But this was my favourite Project Zero game this year.

And the winner is…

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The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Best System to Collect For in 2018

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!

Over the last couple of years, I’ve become very enthusiastic and passionate about my gaming collection, and my infinitely patient and wonderful wife has done a fantastic job of configuring two of the rooms in our house to display said collection — the living room contains all the reasonably current stuff (basically PS1 onwards) while the upstairs study is a “retro room”, consisting of Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and Philips G7000 Videopac games.

I’ve been adding to my collection from all angles over the course of the last few years. But if I had to pick one system that I’ve enjoyed collecting for the most this year? Not necessarily the cheapest, but one that is enjoyable to collect for? That’s what this award is about.

And the winner is…

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Seasonal Smashing

I like Super Smash Bros. I think. I’m never quite 100% sure.

I do know for a fact I’ve purchased each and every one at launch (with the exception of the N64 original) and, in fact, still own my copies of both Brawl on Wii and …for Wii U on, uh, Wii U. Melee? No, unfortunately; while I’m rebuilding my GameCube collection now I’ve got my original (GameCube-compatible) Wii hooked up to my TV once again, Melee is not a title I’ve particularly prioritised re-acquiring.

Anyway, fact is, I’ve always at least made an honest-to-goodness attempt to like Super Smash Bros. And I’m very much looking forward to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Switch, which, at the time of writing, is launching in just over a week. And I intend to spend most of the holiday period playing it!

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Wii Essentials: Ghost Squad

One of the things I find kind of interesting about how gaming culture in general has developed over time is how people feel about “arcade games”.

Back in the 8- and 16-bit eras of computers and consoles that I grew up with, the seemingly unattainable dream was to have “the arcade experience at home” — or, well, more accurately, an authentic arcade experience at home. This was kind of strange when you think about it, because a lot of home computer and console games already offered experiences of greater complexity, depth and duration than your average quarter-muncher, but still the dream persisted.

Once we got to a stage where our home gaming hardware was more than up to the job of providing an “arcade-perfect” experience, however, many people had become so accustomed to those longer, deeper experiences that the dream of “arcade games” kind of fell by the wayside for a significant proportion of the gaming audience. And consequently, I suspect a fair few people missed out on highly enjoyable cheese like Sega’s Ghost Squad.

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Wii Essentials: Wii Play: Motion

The poor ol’ Wii gets a lot of crap for its numerous minigame compilations, when in fact these releases were a significant part of the system’s appeal.

Minigame compilations provided accessible ways for people less accustomed to games to get accustomed to the Wii’s unusual control scheme, great packages to entertain groups of friends on social occasions… and brilliant opportunities for developers to get a bit weird and creative.

One of the best examples I’ve come across is 2011’s Wii Play: Motion, one of the lesser-known entries in Nintendo’s Wii [x] series, and a game that most people know as “the game you got free with a Wii Remote Plus for a while”.

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Project Zero 4: Touched by the Moon

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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.

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Project Zero 2: Float Like a Butterfly

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How do you follow an impressively creepy horror game about ghosts in the Japanese tradition? With more of the same, but different and/or better, of course.

Project Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly began development shortly after its predecessor was completed, and eventually released for Japanese and North American PlayStation 2 players in late 2003, and for Europe the following April. This was then followed by an enhanced Xbox port, which released in Japan and North America in late 2004, with Europe once again bringing up the rear in February of 2005.

Interestingly, the game then got a complete remake for the Nintendo Wii in the summer of 2012; this released simultaneously in Japan, Australia and Europe, but skipped a North American release. It’s this latter version that we’re primarily concerned with today. But first, a bit of history…

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