Let's discuss Avengers: Infinity War -- a movie BOUND to make you feel so good!

March 30, 2015

So How Good Are the Marvel Movies, Really?

Am I the only one who’s starting to panic about Age of Ultron?

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been following the Avengers sequel that closely.  I saw that trailer from a while back that had Iron Man’s take on the Hulkbuster, and I’ve seen a few posters, and I kinda-sorta know who’s set to appear in it.  But the details are lost on me, and that’s the way I want it.  An air of mystery is still appreciable -- even if the movie does just ultimately boil down to “punch lots of bad guys”.

But man oh man, I can’t help but worry.  There’s a lot of hype (and money) riding on this thing, and it’d be way too easy for it to fall apart in any number of ways.  What if it’s just pure stupidity?  What if it’s just no fun?  What if it can’t deliver on the spectacle?  Yeah, the Marvel movies have had one crazy-long hot streak, but every streak has to come to an end.  When is it going to happen?  I don’t know.  But what if it’s this one?  The one movie that matters most?

More recently, there’s been something on my mind: have all the Marvel movies secretly sucked?

March 26, 2015

Let’s discuss Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae.

I know why you’re here.  And I don’t blame you for it.

It’s Final Fantasy.  You can’t turn away from it.  I can’t turn away from it.  Anyone who’s ever jumped on a Goomba can’t turn away for it.  The franchise keeps pulling in gamers across the board, whether they’re diehard fans or furious detractors.  And with FF15 -- formerly Versus 13 -- being an upcoming title for nearly a decade, all eyes are on Squeenix’s latest.

Not to generalize, but I’m guessing you’re here so you can see me deliver some bad news.  I don’t blame anyone for it; The Lightning Saga practically ran the franchise’s name into the ground, and it hasn’t exactly been soaring in the sky since…well, maybe as early as FF8.  Couple that with the slew of disappointments in the eighth-gen console/AAA space recently, and any given gamer has the right to suspect -- if not expect -- another debacle.  This spiffy new demo is going to be all the proof we need to skip the full game.  At least, that’s the fear.  People are just waiting for confirmation.

I know why you’re here.  And guess what?  I’m not here to tell you that the game -- Duscae or otherwise -- is terrible.  So breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, I’m here to give you some bad news.

March 16, 2015

Top 10(ish) Cool Video Game Ladies

Oh, hey, March is still Women’s History Month.  So, given what month it is, and what’s a legitimate issue in the gaming world, and what sort of site this is, and what’s in the title of the post, I think it’s about time for me to highlight some pretty cool ladies in gaming.  With some caveats, of course.

So let’s set some ground rules.  One: as I’ve said, and as you know, the treatment of fictional female characters in general tends to be pretty garbage; we should have way more of them in leading roles, in games or otherwise.  THAT SAID, I don’t want to devalue other female characters just because they don’t take top billing -- because if we start doing that, we give the cold shoulder to a lot of good ones.  As you’ll see shortly.  For your satisfaction.

March 12, 2015

Do We Need Resident Evil Anymore?

So my brother bought all the episodes of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 at once without knowing if even the first one was any good, because of course he did.  And then he tried to force me to play it with him, because of course he did.  And I had a crisis of faith in the franchise based on Capcom’s latest offering, because of course I did.

Well, let me back up a bit.  I should start by saying that the Resident Evil franchise has never, ever been my jam.  My first experience with it was the GameCube remake, and even then I only played it once in exchange for my brother’s multiple runs.  The first one I ever finished was -- grab your barf bags, superfans -- RE5.  And to date, it’s the only one I’ve finished; RE6 came next, and I don’t think I need to tell you that the “great game, great experience” touted by my dear old bro was less than ideal.

So lately, I’ve been wondering if RE is still even remotely relevant -- if it’s needed in this modern age of gaming.  As it so happens, there’s never been more evidence for my concerns.

March 9, 2015

So How Do You “Idealize” Female Characters?

So March is apparently Women’s History Month.  Let’s capitalize on that…with yet another ill-advised discussion on gender politics in video games!  Rejoice, sort of!  Or, alternatively, despair!

There was an article on The Escapist a while ago that discussed the controversy surrounding a cover for a Spider-Woman comic.  Put simply, the art is what you’d call “buttnomenal”.  With the emphasis on the butt.  It’s not exactly what I’d call the greatest art I’ve ever seen, but then again my comic book collection couldn’t even fill a shoebox.  All I know is that I can respect the apparently-famous artist, but the art itself isn’t exactly something I can get behind.  Apologies for the pun.

In any case, the article got me thinking.  It actually mirrored a sentiment brought up by (the great) Jim Sterling once upon a time: the portrayal of both genders kind of sucks in video games.  But the key idea is that there’s a difference: men in games -- and fiction in general, a lot of times -- tend to be idealized.  And of course, women (sometimes literally) tend to be objectified.  There’s a difference.

March 5, 2015

A Blithering Post on Power and Respect

So if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’ve been using the internet long enough to have heard the phrase “strong female character” -- and if you’ve been on even longer than that, then you’ll have seen rebuttals of the phrase so biting that you’d think they were straight outta Ace Attorney.  You’d think that given those arguments, the rest of this post would be about how video games need more strong female characters.    And you’re half-right.  All things considered, is there ever a time when we SHOULDN’T be asking for that?  Besides, you know, when it consistently happens in fiction?

But let me step back a bit.  Yes, women need better representation in fiction, including -- if not especially in -- video games.  It’d help if they appeared more often, but at this stage I’d take quality over quantity if it came down to it.  But you know what?  Male characters need better representation, too.  No matter the gender, any given hero or heroine could stand to get a boost in quality.  It’s more obvious with the ladies, yes, but I don’t think my demands are unreasonable.

Well, usually.  Maybe.  Possibly?  Well, that’s neither here nor there.

March 2, 2015

On the Pursuit of Next Gen -- ACT II

Have I mentioned that I don’t understand the games industry anymore?  I have?  Well, have I done it recently?  I haven’t?  All right, then.

I don’t understand this industry anymore.