Author Archives: Rebecca
I’ve just been recently cycling back through some of the “classic” titles on the PS3 before the new console generation is upon us, and I’m about 44 hours into Dragon Age: Origins, rife with choices and consequences left and right. While this obviously adds an interactive element to both storytelling and player immersion, I must say that I felt slighted on several occasions once caught in crucial moments of the game. Least to say I raged pretty hard, so hard I thought my brain had exploded from the built-up pressure in my skull. Listen to this story, then you’ll see why DA:O and other similar choice-based RPGS really get on my nerves.
If I’m going to waste away two days of my life in front of my TV screen, mashing buttons and the like, there’s a good chance I probably will invest some personal attachment in most of the characters. Allistar—a mildly charming, yet buffoonish Templar who really is at the center of this controversy—wasn’t an exception as my female Warden swooned over him, coddling the man-child all whilst slaughtering the darkspawn. I expected the Landsmeet in Denerium to proceed without a hitch, though I had more than one surprise in store that made me want to slap a few, pixaled faces upside the head.
The generous and understanding members of the Landsmeet decided to screw me over, of course, and vote for the traitorous Loghain instead of your friendly, neighbor Warden. One skirmish later, I finally had the dialogue option to kill the stupid tin-can, a gory fantasy of mine conceived months back at Ostagar. I’m sure you can relate to this now: the game forced me into a duel with him. A duel…are you serious? That wasn’t what I choose. It might be hard to believe, but it gets even better than this. I refused to accept the terms of the duel with a smile of my face, thinking that I circumvented the whole situation and a horrible misunderstanding. Incorrect, so it seems.
Why Allistar felt a need to totally disregard my wishs and battle Loghain is beyond me! The royal bastard who I eventually put on the throne, in lieu of the wretched Anora, went to unbelievable lengths to scar me for life and to completely ruin this game file and possibly my future with the Dragon Age series. After a steaming relationship, through which he expressed his undying love for me, he suddenly realizes that he can’t marry a common Dalish elf like me and leaves me high and dry because of his “duty”. This blood-boiling decision was not well-received and, afterwards, he still whiningly upheld the fact that he would always have affection for me.
Oh, that was the final straw that broke the malificarum’s back! Had there been an option to totally disregard everyone, just outright slay Allistar, and either usurp the throne or leave the good Ferelden people to defend themselves from the Blight, you better believe I would’ve gone down that path.
The whole point of my anger-induced story is to highlight how RPGs constantly and consistently boast about having choices that actually affect various parts of the plot without delivering their promise. Don’t tell me I have hundreds of potentially game-altering decisions and dialogue options when I obviously do not. Only one stupid sentence separated me from the ending that I so sought after. This lingering issue has plagued more than one game, most notably the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3 and, in my opinion, the biased, stealth-favored gameplay of Dishonored. While I wholeheartedly realize a developer and his team can only do so much, I am spending sixty or more dollars and plenty of hours on their game. Let’s hope we see improvement with choice-based games in the future, although my hopes are not high.
Hell, I’d just be happy if Dragon Age 3 has more than four, unrepeated maps.
The roles of females in our culture, specifically in video games, has long been discussed and debated. There’s no denying the fact that Princess Peach sat up in a tower on her lonesome much like Helen of Troy, passing the time until a certain plumber would come to make a daring rescue.
I could count the numerous feminine characters who’ve been portrayed to be helpless, weak, merely a hazy silhouette stewing in the shadows of a shining male protagonist, though this article isn’t a rant about feminism more than it is an exposition, just some ramblings upon a subject others might rather push aside instead of pick apart. Strong women resonate deeply within gaming’s picturesque lineage, that’s not the point – where does this desire to save a victim stem from? Sure, it’s nice to parade around slicing and dicing as the ravishing Lara Croft…. the problem lies in the fact that this doesn’t always compare to the full-bodied thrill of unchaining your companion and exhuming him or her out of a dingy prison cell.
And what about the lovely painted and decorated men who save these women? I think I can vouch for the collective whole of our society when I say how much people adore not only heroic characters, but drool over the idea of a superhero. Good looks, amazing abilities, indisputable vitality and stamina, these are the fictional gods that conduct our universe. What’s curious is how, even if we step back in history, maybe to Ancient Greece or Rome, the notion of heroes and damsels still conjured much affection in the populous, mere mortals in awe of Hercules, Persues, and, but of course, Achilles.
Is there something biological that draws us to this complex, a carnal chromosome woven into our DNA, or do we just enjoy watching a normal human suddenly find themselves shoulders-deep in power and immortality? It’s a very interesting theme, one clearly visible in some of the most popular IPs of the generation.
Bioshock gave us the remarkable opportunity to explore Rapture and the possibilities of either becoming a hero or a villain through various plot-driven choices; Infamous put us in the shoes of Cole MacGrath, a man who valiantly saved Empire City in some playthroughs, while in others, did not; finally, we come to Corvo Attano, a bodyguard turned juggernaut caught between a lethal or stealth-driven journey through Dunwall. Although each of these entries are different in a number of ways, they all meander back to one common thread: morality. Do I take the life of this Little Sister to make myself stronger? Do I forgo the shadows to massacre everyone in my path?
Heroes, damsels, and morality are like scalding tea, tar, and feathers from revolutionary times; even if you have one, it’s just not the same without the other two.
I implore you to post any comments, concerns, thoughts, and questions down below in the comment section. Mostly importantly, have an oh-so-Happy Easter!
I’m not too fond of flash games–many lack the basic necessities that eventually will congeal into a hearty experience, the most prevalent being character development, storyline, and creativity. Often times my high expectations fall so very short after playing through a level or two, and I, usually, quit barely half-way into the vexing journey. This time I was surprised with a pleasant tale, one magically told of a girl lost within the confines of a fantastical art gallery.
A lass, none other than our protagonist, Ib, graces the gloomy opening screen; however, the mood isn’t so much damper as it is eerie and hauntingly beautiful, due much in part to the background music. This inaugural tune sets the standard for the remainder of the game’s soundtrack indefinitely.
Without revealing too much right off the bat, this young lady stumbles into another, bizarre world via the exhibits on display, only to find herself alone, frightened, and completely helpless to the guile of the creatures and objects around her. Think of it like Night at the Museum, except, well, the wandering sculptures vie for your blood and the odd paintings have a knack for spitting at you. Yes! Just like that!
While the hype over motion detection software has died down a bit, the most recent technology–besides next-generation consoles coming out in the following years– behind both the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360′s Kinect is rather impressive. It was only a decade ago when the GameCube, PS2, and original Xbox graced the forefront of the gaming dynasty, as well as marked the birth of many of our favorite titles. I’ll first dissect the innermost workings within the Wii, then move onto the Kinect.
There are numerous ways to discover “underground” or perhaps mildly underrated games throughout the web–many sites are available for potential players to find their next pixellated adventure. In addition to the wonderful vastness of the internet, social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, are frequented by hundreds upon hundreds, acting as the perfect hotspot for the next forthcoming title.
What I’ve found in the past month is that youtube has become rather popular in the videogame department, filled with diverse offerings of videos to please a universal gaming community. I, curious enough, stumbled upon a game I wasn’t too familiar with, a terrifying, though insanely plain staple most people now recognize immediately: Slender. It may be hard to believe, but, after watching Pewdiepie’s dramatic playthrough some four weeks ago, who can deny the amount of popularity the game has garnered? Should this sudden recognition be attributed to youtube and those who lay its creative foundation? I’d say yes!
It took me a while to bolster up my strength to take on the game renowned for an unbelievable amount of difficulty, Dark Souls. After my experience with its challenging predecessor, Demon’s Souls, I was more than hesitant to pick up Bandai’s next installment of the epic saga. I ignored the onset of fear as I stared at the ominous figure on the front of the box just before I started my descent into darkness by purchasing it