Welcome to Gaming.moe! (And please pardon the mess.)

We’re finally launching! I’ve had this site in the works for a while, and now we’re finally ready to go public. Yes, Gaming.moe is ready to take its first steps into that scary, uncharted wilderness we call the internet.

I’m planning on putting up something new every few days or so, work schedules permitting. If you want to know when the site updates or what’s in the works, follow the Gaming.Moe twitter!

Of course, there are probably a few things that will need adjusting as I ease out of the initial launch into establishing this site a bit more. You might see things like image and layout changes from time to time as some of the kinks are worked out to make this site look as attractive (dare I say… kawaii) as possible. Some of the functions might not be working 100%, either, so if you notice something amiss please drop me a line. Twitter is probably your best bet for reaching me quickly.

I hope you enjoy the site, and if you dig it, please do consider supporting the Gaming.moe Patreon campaign. Here’s to a bright future of pure gaming love!

Syvalion Extra Credits: Sybubblun for X68000

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While consoles were the dominant forms of at-home gaming in Japan, proprietary personal computers were also quite popular amongst the more tech-inclined and older players (in other words, people who could afford them). Before Windows and MacOS became the standard systems most folks across the globe used, Japan had a whole mess of fragmented PC platforms from manufacturers like Sharp, Fujitsu, and NEC. I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert on old Japanese PCs – it’s an area of gaming I’m still actively learning about and researching, but when I find interesting things about the systems and the games they played host to, I definitely want to share.

One such thing involves the port of Bubble Bobble for the Sharp X68000, a platform that played host to both a lot of amazing arcade ports and original titles. Bubble Bobble is an example of the former, a practically arcade perfect transplant which had creator Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji himself aiding in the port.

The porting team at DEMPA didn’t stop there, however. With MTJ’s aid, they added a hidden “expert mode” with 20 brand-new levels… and a facelift connected to one of MTJ’s other titles.

Thus, Syvalion and Bubble Bobble had a beautiful crossover baby, and they named it…

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Syvalion (Taito, arcade, 1988)

The first thing I said to myself when getting this site up and running was “oh boy, I can’t friggin’ WAIT to talk about old Japanese Taito games!” And the first of said Taito games I want to look at is one that is oft overlooked in the West: Syvalion.

Syvalion

Syvalion was another creation of the late Fukio “MTJ” Mitsuji, who is perhaps best known for Bubble Bobble but was responsible for numerous Taito masterpieces (though personally, I’ll confess to wanting to like Rainbow Islands a lot more than I actually do like it). Syvalion is the third game by the Taito “Bubble Team” and considered another one of MTJ’s great works.

You’ll be hard pressed to see any affection for it outside of Japan, though. Syvalion doesn’t seem to have received any international releases, though a prototype “world” set of ROMs for use with MAME is floating about online. This is the only English version available, though the localization is… rough, to say the least. (So about par for the course for Taito arcade titles of this era.) It’s a truly fascinating game, though, so a closer look is certainly in order! Continue reading

Book review: EVO Moment 37 by Glenn Cravens

There are lots of great publications out there about games and gaming, and yet, there’s not a whole lot of coverage or reviews of said publications in the gaming media. This is incredibly unfortunate, as there are some really great books on games that have been released, both from major book publishers and as small-press efforts. One thing I knew I wanted to do when I conceptualized gaming.moe was to review these books, making more people aware of their existence and letting folks know if they were worth their time and money.

I figured I’d start off with this title, which I obtained from the author himself at this year’s EVO. Seeing as how 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the “Daigo Parry” – and seeing the fighting game scene become far more internationally interconnected in the past few years – I figured this would be a good title to kick things off with.

evomoment37-bookcover

EVO Moment 37 by Glenn Cravens

Cover image: John Choi’s MAS stick looking like it hasn’t aged a day

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Game music highlight: Last Rebellion

Last Rebellion is one of those games that really deserves an in-depth dissection, mainly because pretty much everything that could go wrong with a PlayStation 3 RPG did manage to go wrong here. You don’t win a kusoge of the year award from Japanese players without screwing up royally somewhere along the line, after all. Hell, it released in January of that year (2010) and was bad enough that it stuck in everyone’s minds for that long!

There’s one thing going for it, at least: some of the music by Rei Kondoh is good. Like, really good. Especially the main battle music, which is phenomenal:

Bonus: the Hironobu Kageyama theme song, which I’m pretty sure has never been sung at a concert. (But I’d sure love to be proven wrong there!)

Moe Gaming Anime: Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls

I must admit, when I first heard the news that the KEI-designed Sega Hard Girls were getting an anime, I was not terribly enthused. Not because I didn’t like the designs – hell, when I met KEI and was offered a sketch, I requested Saturn instead of the obvious Hatsune Miku – but more because the quality track records of game-themed anime and corporate-made material featuring moe anthropomorphics are pretty abysmal. Strangely, when I heard later that the show was being made in Miku Miku Dance – an inexpensive piece of CG animation software used primarily to create visuals for short music pieces – I became a bit more intrigued. After all, the delightfully absurd show gdgd Fairies had put MMD’s low-budget glory to utterly spectacular use. I said something on Twitter (which I can’t find – thanks, terrible Twitter search engine!) to the effect of “I would be perfectly okay with it if the Sega Hard Girls anime was just gdgd Fairies with old game jokes.”

Little did I know that that’s exactly what Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls seems to want to be.

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Hitoshi Sakimoto Interview

(Notes: This interview is originally from GDC 2010. It was published in Russian in the magazine Strana Igr/GameLand. This is the first time this interview is available in English.)
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