Friday, 15 December 2017

Games from 2017 I played in 100 words or less each.

I've never bothered writing a TOP TEN GAMES OF THE YEAR list and I don't feel like doing one now. I do, however, have a brevity issue. Thus, I've tried to put my key thoughts on games I played this year up here in under 100 words a pop. The order is roughly what I played them in. Here you go!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cool moments in... Visual Novel Design?! Let's Perspective!

The modern visual novel is a curious beast. At times it's the computerised version of a Choose Your Own Adventure game book. At others it's a tool to provide dialogue in an entirely different game genre that can't fit such things in more smoothly. SRPGs for example basically alternate between pure gameplay and visual novel intermissions.
Silly Intelligent Systems. You do the family console release after the PC version with awkwardly placed sex scenes!

Friday, 6 October 2017

Questionable Moments in Game Design: Cuphead and Accessibility

I've intentionally chosen a rather loaded title for this piece in the event that I get more than 10 clicks so I can see who's actually paid attention to what I'm talking about. Sadly, the toxicity in certain communities regarding this game makes viewing it critically a minefield at the moment.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

I Don't Care About 僕の vs My for Hero Academia

The official title of My Hero Academia is... exactly the words I just said. Given how heavy the influence of American superhero comics is on the work, it's not that surprising to have a Japanese text with an official title in English. Since it's published in a magazine primarily targeting kids, there's a Japanese translation of the title in the logo, as we can see below.

tl note: Boku no Hero Academia means My (casual male singular pronoun) Hero Academia

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Katsuki Bakugo Post

Over the last three years,  My Hero Academia has been on a continual rise in sales, positioning in the magazine it's published in and mainstream attention. It's a pretty darn great superhero comic for all sorts of reasons. It touches on the ethical concerns of a late-stage capitalist society making Heroics a profession. It looks at the cultural and sociological impacts of a world where over 80% of the populace is an X-men mutant.  It's a tale of privilege and its impact on personal development. It tells a passionate story that reminds boys that real men are in touch with their feelings, aren't afraid to accept help from others when it's offered and can put others first without being a doormat in the process. I could bang on all day about its themes, its impressive subtleties for a text aimed at early teens and how dang good the art direction is at conveying all the ideas.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Quick Comments on the Super Robot Wars OG line

Good ol' Ted asked in the last post's comments about games to play and my answer was the inevitable "play OG1 and 2". So I don't have a big weird reply sitting at the bottom of that piece I'll make some quick comments about those games here.

Cool Game Design Moments: Super Robot Taisen Original Generation 2 and New Game+

Ever since Bubble Bobble first shocked players with its announcement that THIS  IS  NOT  A  TRUE  ENDING!computer games have had the option to provide content and goals beyond reaching a staff roll for the first time. Arcade games, particularly scrolling shooters by Toaplan and its progeny at CAVE began all sorts of experimentation around additional loops of games with higher difficulty and adjusted placement of hazards. The aim was to provide a greater challenge and fresh experience for players who had become skillful enough that they could complete a game without spending very much money. This gave greater shelf life to arcade titles and a prolonged sense of discovery about them.

Doing what Taito says doesn't even give you the true ending...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Comments on the SNES Classic

I wrote about the NES Classic when it was still being called the Mini NES. Since that time we've seen the device launch with too few units produced to artificially drive up demand then get cancelled before it ever could. I once wrote about how this was a brillaint tactic with the launch of the Wii but it's one that you can't use too often. Nintendo has gone from gaining up-sells off a killer app to, with the endless supply blocks the Amiibo line had, a basic part of their business approach.

Nintendo markets itself on being fun for the whole family while surreptitiously appealing to obsessive collectors. As a result, intentionally under-supplying key products has moved from making more appealing products to children to instead giving power to the secondary market. That is, people who grab up the few available stocks then re-sell them at a hefty markup. This makes children sad, parents frustrated, fans despondent and all around it hurts the brand. Nintendo really needs to stop doing this.

It's all the more important they stop doing this as they're releasing another pesudo-console. This time based on the SNES.