Archive for February, 2010

27
Feb
10

Everything’s better with bourbon.

I’m jumping back into Bioshock 2, Old Tom Whiskey in hand.

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26
Feb
10

All I want for Mass Effect 3 is plausible clothing

Game Informer’s Matt Miller posted an excellent Mass Effect 3 Wishlist today. I agree with most everything he said, but would like to add my biggest pet peeve about ME2 to the list:

I WANT THE FEMALE CHARACTERS TO WEAR SOME CLOTHING. Clothing that is flattering, that doesn’t look like it belongs at a fetish party.

In the first Mass Effect, the female characters’ costumes adhered to those guidelines. Yes, Ashley’s pink and white armor was silly-looking. Yes, it had boob compartments in the chest plate. Still, it looked like ARMOR. You had the option to change her into different armor, as well, so Ashley could wear green or blue or black instead of looking like Space Marine Barbie for the entire game.

Liara and other characters wore form-fitting bodysuits, but they looked like wetsuit-type garments that could fit inside armor when necessary, rather than ME2’s skintight latex. Continue reading ‘All I want for Mass Effect 3 is plausible clothing’

23
Feb
10

On a happier note…

I finished Mass Effect 2. All of my characters lived through the suicide mission, and I cannot WAIT for Mass Effect 3.

Doctor Chakwas lives to drink Serrice Ice Brandy another day!

23
Feb
10

Heavy Rain and exploitation in marketing

Today marks the release of Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream’s groundbreaking new game for the PS3.

Heavy Rain appears to be far more cinematic than your average game. The four main characters are connected only by their search for a serial killer known as the Origami Killer; the player directs their actions through a choose-your-own-adventure style control system, selecting options based on the situation each character finds him or herself in. The story each player experiences is unique, dependent on the order in which each character’s story is played and the various mundane actions undertaken by characters throughout. This is no alien shoot ’em up where the player can reload upon dying; the characters in Heavy Rain are “normal people who have landed in extraordinary situations.” These characters can die, lending the player a sense of vulnerability that leads to harrowing and emotionally charged situations.

My apprehension about Heavy Rain stems from its marketing of one particular emotionally charged situation involving the lone female of the lead characters, Madison Paige. TRIGGER WARNING. Continue reading ‘Heavy Rain and exploitation in marketing’

19
Feb
10

The cake is NOT a lie!

This has been a long week, so I’m going to write about a game that makes me exuberantly happy.

It’s short, but uh-mazing. My love for this game knows no bounds.

The premise is simple: you play from a first person view, with a portal gun. You make your way over, under, around, across, and through various obstacles by shooting portals and stepping into one and straight out the other. The portals don’t affect velocity, so if you find a way to hurl yourself through one at high speed (such as leaping into a portal from a high place) you’ll fly out of the other portal at high speed. This lends itself to all sorts of interesting scenarios. The puzzles are challenging, and the satisfaction of finishing each one is addictive.

Portal has received wildly positive reviews from myriad sources, so I’ll leave further straight-gameplay review to them and get onto things that I particularly like about it. SPOILERS AHOY! Continue reading ‘The cake is NOT a lie!’

17
Feb
10

Social game statistics and common sense

Articles about women and gaming tend to catch my eye, and I noticed this one tonight.

Here’s my experience with social gaming:

I went through a Pet Society-playing phase during my last semester of college. It was a fantastic, absolutely mindless distraction in times when I needed a break but was too tired to focus on anything more complicated. My interest waned, however, when my B.F.A. show was completed and I had time to sleep again. My boyfriend’s pet, Jean-Claude, became my pet Gerald’s sugar daddy for a while, sending him expensive gifts, but eventually grew disenchanted with Gerald’s lack of reciprocation and stopped calling. I occasionally receive a notification that someone’s pet went round to kiss, hug, or dance with Gerald, but for the most part he’s sadly neglected. If I logged back in I’d find him surrounded by a cloud of flies, moping around with his head hanging. Poor Gerald. He just couldn’t keep up once I had time to play my Xbox 360 again.

I'll give you a bath soon, Gerald. Promise.

Judging by my facebook feed alone, I could infer that many people enjoy social games. The statistics revealed in Popcap Games’ survey, namely, that more than 50 percent of social gamers are women and only 6% are under 21, don’t surprise me at all. Here’s my armchair psychology speculation: Continue reading ‘Social game statistics and common sense’

16
Feb
10

On Bayonetta and bullshit

In the March issue of Game Informer, there’s a one-page interview with director Hideki Kamiya about Platinum Games’ recently released Bayonetta. I haven’t yet played Bayonetta, and hadn’t planned to because I’m usually not attracted to games featuring sexed-up Sarah Palin lookalikes whose clothing is made of their own hair.

I often ignore tarted-up female game characters, because my blood pressure can only take so much, ya know? But I’m having trouble ignoring the firehose of piss Kamiya’s blasting down my leg in this interview.

Image courtesy the first row of Google image search "Bayonetta."

The article opens with the line, “In a medium dominated by Y chromosomes, it’s easy for a strong female lead like Bayonetta to stand out.” This is true. Outside of the Metroid series and roleplaying games that allow me to choose the main character’s sex, I’m having trouble instantly thinking of titles that feature a female lead. However, assuming a game will appeal to female players just because it features a woman is akin to McCain’s mistake of assuming female voters would flock to his ticket based on its inclusion of Bayonetta’s doppelg√§nger. Continue reading ‘On Bayonetta and bullshit’