hate plus

Back in 2012, Christine Love, a Toronto-based game developer released her first commercial game in the form of Analogue: A Hate Story.1 She had made some games before then, like don’t take it personally, babe, it just ain’t your story and Digital: A Love Story, but these were free to download. You may remember me mentioning Analogue before. Indeed I enjoyed it quite a lot. It seems like a lot of people, who enjoyed Analogue, were also curious to learn the story of how the society on the Mugungwha had degraded to such an extend, which sparked the sequel, Hate Plus. The sequel delivered on that front and it was definitely an interesting ride seeing how Love envisioned the erosion would go.

I won’t, however, linger on how I found the game nor my thoughts on said erosion. Maybe I will at some point write a review of it to discuss those elements. For now, though, I wish to discuss a very specific part in the game that takes place during Hyun-ae’s route. During the third and final day of the game, when the player boots up the computer again to continue his or her journey with Hyun-ae through the newly discovered logs, Hyun-ae begins by asking whether the player will bake a cake to share with her. The previous day had ended with the player and Hyun-ae discovering the ultimate fate of *Mute during Year 0. Hyun-ae wishes to lighten the atmosphere with cake as she is still in shock over what she had learned. (more…)

I’m not sure if everyone has heard, but Steam has started up a greenlight project where fans can vote on what sorts of games they would like to see on Steam. Some of the games I’ve seen in the greenlight section include a few Japanese Visual Novels and unfortunately, browsing a few comments, I noticed a few people still held common misconceptions about these very misunderstood game/novel hybrids. As a fan of the genre, I feel like doing my little part here by addressing common misconceptions about Visual Novels that I personally have come across.

1. Japanese VNs are glorified porn games

This is probably the most common misconception I’ve seen people have against the genre and I’m sure anime fans are very much aware of this as well since it wasn’t so long ago that anime fans had to wrestle with the same sort of misconception. Just like with anime, there is a subsections of Visual Novels that are just porn. But, and this is what most people unfamiliar with the genre fail to understand, that doesn’t mean all Visual Novels are porn, just like not all anime is porn. This is especially frustrating because everyone should know that Steam does not allow any adult games onto the service, so any visual novel in the greenlight program has no pornographic scenes. Yet still people have called Go Go Nippon “this porn game” on it’s Steam greenlight page. (more…)

Continuing the tradition I started last year, I’m doing another Year End Reflection for all the games I’ve played in 2012. Not to worry though, I haven’t finished very many (just 22), so this won’t be too long. That said, I’ve managed to out-do myself this year: I’ve beaten 18 games and completed 6 versus 2011’s 17 beaten and 4 completed. It’s not much, but it’s still something~ Last year I just listed the games I’ve finished with my thoughts, but I think that’s a little boring, so I’ll be trying something different this year. It’s not a top whatever list and I will still be listing all the games, but I thought adding little titles to them would make things more fun. Every spiel is spoiler free too. :)

BoFII mini banner

The Game that Took too Long to Finish
Breath of Fire II (SNES)

This game wasn’t particularly long nor did I end up clocking many hours in it (about 30 or so), but it took me forever to finish it because I kept playing it off and on for over a year! The fact that it was on my old laptop may have had something to do with it… Either way, BoFII was a fun game overall. The localization was pretty bad by today’s standards, but even then I managed to find a few characters I liked and got interested in the world and story of the game. There were definitely some very interesting concepts in this game for its time; like customizing your own town, and fusions that power-up and change the character’s appearance. For a sequel, it is one of the best, I feel, because it took what was good about the first game and strengthened the first game’s weak points; namely, story and characters were more complex and it added a few unique (for its time) features. I would say barring the translation, the game aged very well. (more…)