Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Little MadWorld In Your Life

A little bit of awesomeness, by the name of "MadWorld". It's on sale at Gamestop for $30. Check it out!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Check Me Out

I've been featured on! Pretty cool, eh?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Like Women. Really.

I've noticed that as of yet, there aren't too many good female mains in videogames. No, I don't mean "main" like love interest main, as is sadly the case with most games and movies nowadays; I mean lead character. Typically, your standard leading lady is a big-breasted, under-clothed strumpet who tries too hard to be sexy and badass and falls flat as a character because of it. Lara Croft, Ayumi, Nariko, Rachel, etc. All eye-candy with crap personalities and attitude.

However, there is one female character who is not only my favorite woman in videogames, she stands as one of my favorite videogame characters of all time, right up there with Zidane from Final Fantasy IX. This woman is Lenneth Valkyrie.

Lenneth is the central character in "Valkyrie Profile", an RPG developed by Tri-Ace, and published by Square-Enix. A lead in a genre dominated by males, Lenneth is a powerful character, being the Goddess and reaper of the souls of the slain. She is strong, proud and confident, possessing something of a superiority complex, but she is counter-balanced by her sealed humanity, the meek, shy and insecure girl she was during her life as a human.

As the story progresses, we see Lenneth grow emotionally and dynamically; she begins to doubt the will of the Gods, and develops a deep bond with the souls she encounters during her mission, until at last her humanity is awakened, and she faces down the threat to her world and her people.

What's really cool, aside from playing as a God, is that Lenneth doesn't have to whore herself to the player with skimpy outfits or giant tits to win any favor. Her character and story alone warmed me to her. She is badass because her personality is badass. No nonsense, a strong sense of right and wrong, and when she regains her humanity and memories, not even the Gods can stand in her way.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Sexy Bayonetta Goodness

As you probably already noticed, I'm pretty damned excited about Platinum Games' upcoming title "Bayonetta". It's being directed by Hideki Kamiya, the director from the first Devil May Cry. If you've played the first DMC, you'll know why I hold that game in such high regard, and why I'm expecting Bayonetta to be the Second Coming.

But even if you haven't played DMC, (and really, any action gamer worth his/ her salt should play it; it's like 6 bucks at Gamestop), Kamiya was also at the head of Viewtiful Joe and Okami. Platinum Games itself is comprised of many ex-employees from Capcom's studio "Clover", (they developed God Hand, by the way). Surely, you've at least heard of these critically acclaimed games, right?

Anyway, a few weeks back, Platinum Games released the third Bayonetta trailer, titled the "First Climax Trailer", (seen here). Yesterday, Hideki Kamiya did a commentary on the First Climax Trailer, walking us through the flashy preview's many scenes and gameplay segments.
Check it out!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Opinions are like Butt-Holes....

Yeah, yeah. You know the saying.

I post regularly on the GameFAQs forums, not only because of it's plethora of game news, but because it's such a great amalgam of voices, all shouting, debating, and speaking at once. I often find myself lost in thought, taking in all the opinions and ideas I pull from others there.

Anyway, a discussion regarding Star Ocean's story came up again. (Yes, I'm going to beat the dead horse). As you already know, I find S.O.'s story, it's overall presentation, and it's characters to be God-awful. Many in the forum agree, and drop a lengthy post about why they think so. Obviously, there are others who disagree, or find complaining about it pointless.

Some on the forum argue that gamers are not writers, and as such have no right or capacity to judge a games' story. Others argue that we don't need a degree in writing to judge a games' story, only our own extensive backgrounds in gaming. (I agree with the latter statement, though a degree is nice).

And, at the end of the day, I'm paying money for the game. It is a product. Why don't I have a right to complain about the product I'm purchasing, if it's flawed? If you ordered furniture, only to find the delivery service had broken a chair, would you suck it up and keep it? Of course not. Likewise, if I don't bitch, how will the developer know they shitted (shat?) in my case and called it a video game?

That's right, they won't. Bitch, gamers. It's your right.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Voice acting: The Gift and the Curse

The first video game I played was Super Mario Bros. on my Nintendo in 1988. I lived in a 2 family house, and our landlord lived below us on the first floor. He had two sons who were my first friends, through the passing of time has clouded their faces from me. Rondel and Ruel were their names. The two had a plethora of games, and they introduced me to the lot of them.

Back in those days, it was common for games to have stories. However, they were usually brief back stories to the game proper, and tucked away in the games User Manual, which gamers discarded the minute they opened their game. So in reality, imagination played a major part in the games story. We were given a name, place, and time, and essentially set free in the games' world. Voice acting was very, very uncommon, mostly because of the limitations of the hardware in those days.

The advent of the PlayStation introduced larger, meatier system specs., and the expansion into the world of voices really took hold. Voice acting added a new level of immersion to games that could only be achieved before through our imagination. In fact, there are plenty of die-hard fans out there who adamantly reject voice acting in their favorite series,simply because they feel voicework would ruin "how they imagined it would be". (I'm looking at you, Zelda fans).

The problem with video game voice-work is the same problem that Anime faces: the crappy Voice Actor (VA). I feel that voice work has gotten gradually better over the years. It is rare that you get games with really bad VA's. (Click here for hilarity). As you can see, there are instances where the VA's are genuinely bad, or miscast, or simply don't give their performance there "all". Voice acting then becomes one of those things you define by it's bad, instead of it's good.

Now, I'm not condoning crap voice work. Quite the contrary; I am very critical of games regarding both their stories and their VA's. However, unless the voice work is miserably bad, I don't let these criticisms interfere with me playing my game. It just doesn't get to me like it would the typical wapanese otaku. I do understand, though, that bad VA's can easily ruin the immersion aspect the game was trying to achieve in the first place.

Mediocre though many claim American VA's to be, I sure as hell don't want to listen to Japanese VA's, who follow nothing but archetypes. Added to the fact that I don't know a lick of Japanese, and you have an unfun-filled gaming experience.