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 hope everyone had a great Easter (if you celebrate). It’s a little late, but I wanted to do an Easter themed post and what better way than a top 5/10 list~ These seem to be the to do thing for me for celebrations, so let’s not break the tradition! It’s not cause I’m lazy, I swear! Since there aren’t all that many bunny characters (that I’ve come across), I’ve narrowed this list to a top five encompassing both manga/anime and video games. Here goes:

yarne
5. Yarne ~ Fire Emblem: Awakening (game) (more…)

“Mini Mendacious Moments” is a feature about small moments (a page, an opening sequence, a character design, or something a character said) in manga, anime, or games that simply makes me pause and just wonder why something so silly, bad, demeaning, or pertaining to a double standard was even mentioned or briefly touched upon. Being such a small and blatant moment, in-dept analysis will not be given, rather, this is more for snarky me to share my snarky commentary.

We all know the silliness of the female wardrobe in the gaming industry. There are so many stupid design choices and double standards that it isn’t hard to find something to talk about, especially if one likes to keep up to date with all the newest games that are coming out and is constantly flooded with these “interesting” design choices. Nevertheless, there is one design choice that I loath quite a bit (maybe not the most but definitely in my top 5 worst female design choices) and that I not so recently came across an example of it on an article about a game called Dungeon Fighter Online. Yes, I refer none other than to the infamous Inner Thigh Cut-Off Pants (my name for them) that this game’s lone female character wears:

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Common Game Elements is a feature where I talk about something that reoccurs a lot in video games. It may be something very prevalent or something that I noticed because it has come up a few times in recent memory. Since the last few features have been about characters, I decided to do something different this time. Once again, as primarily someone who plays a lot of RPGs, I’ve noticed that most games in this genre tend to have a legendary city dedicated to either magic or technology. The city is legendary either because it’s highly advanced, the final surviving pocket of an ancient civilization, or the place to go to learn magic or other scholarly pursuits.

This isn’t necessarily a bad trend, in fact, I quite like it because these cities/towns are always something I look forward to seeing and getting absorbed in the magic of the place. It’s also not exclusive to games either. Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, which deals with a group travelling to different worlds, had a world dedicated to the scholarly pursuit of magic as well. One could say this is one of my favourite tropes and if I were to make a general rule about it, it would sound something like this:

“There will be one city renown for its magic or technology.”

Examples:

  • The magical kingdom of Zeal from Chrono Trigger. It is probably the best example of this element.

    Zeal (Chrono Trigger) – The Kingdom of Zeal was a floating island above the clouds that was renown for its magic, scholarly pursuits (3 Wise Sages), and technological advancements (Mammoth Machine, Dark Omen, Blackbird, etc). Its magic was so advanced that individuals on Zeal comment how “weak” your characters own magic is compared to theirs.

  • Lufenia (Final Fantasy) – The city of an ancient technologically advanced people. It is also worth noting that the best magic spells can only be purchased in Lufenia. (more…)

FE Awakening logo

It is no secret that I’m a huge Fire Emblem fangirl. I’ve enjoyed each entry I’ve played so far (some more than others of course). So I already knew I would be picking this game up (and in fact I still waiting for my copy to arrive). But curious what sort of demo Nintendo gave the newest game and wanting to have a taste before the real deal arrives, I decided to play the demo anyway. Sufficient to say, I cannot wait to get my hands on the game now. (more…)

style savvy trendsetters logo

I always wanted to try the original Style Savvy for Nintendo DS, but I never got around to it unfortunately. Curious about the franchise, I decided to try the demo for the latest game up on the Nintendo 3DS’ eshop. Unfortunately, I was not able to try the demo that requires you to save it on system data since I didn’t have enough space, but I did try the second demo that could be saved on a memory card, so this mini impression pertains only to this one demo.

The demo I was able to try dealt with the fashion show part of the game. In the demo, I was given a specific look I was supposed to demonstrate and I had to pick the model I felt would best help me, then her make up and hair, and finally I had to pick out the outfit. Being someone who is pretty crazy about customization, I had a lot of fun picking out the outfit. I tried my best and I managed to win the fashion show too, after which the demo ended. It was a short demo, but it gave me a taste of how addictive Style Savvy can be. Sufficient to say, I will definitely be picking up the 3DS game at some point. It’s great to see a “girly” game done with such effort and dedication. The sheer amount of clothing the game boosts along with the very pretty graphics tells me that Nintendo and syn Sophia took their female customers seriously and put a lot of work into this game. And I can totally get behind supporting that!

style savvy trendsetters fashion show

The fashion show part of the game, which the second demo allows you to try out.

But that’s not to say only girls can enjoy this game. It’s clear based on the marketing that Nintendo is aiming this at women, but the game is so well made that anyone, who likes games with extensive clothing customization, would probably enjoy it. In fact, I’ve seen a few guys online say they enjoyed the game too!

–SW

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…)