Beyond Good and Evil Articles RSS Feed | Beyond Good and Evil RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Why Scanning in Mass Effect Andromeda Sucks (and How Bioshock Did It Better) Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

In Mass Effect Andromeda, you have a scanner on your omni-tool which you use to scan and learn about objects of interest in the environment, while also earning research currency towards one of three categories. In Bioshock, you have a camera that you use to take photographs of enemies while earning research points that eventually unlock powerful upgrades. The mechanic itself is not really all that unique; it’s been done in everything from the Batman Arkham games to Beyond Good and Evil. However, despite the similarities between the scanner and camera, some small differences make a significant impact.

Different, but the Same

First, I need to make sure we are on the same page: the camera and the scanner operate very similarly mechanically. This is in spite of them being aesthetically different. You pull both up, frame what you wish to scan/photograph, and press a button. You are then rewarded for researching new objects.

There are particular affordances to both of these, however. Everyone is familiar with a camera. We know what it means to take a good picture; we understand photography as an art form. There is an end result, a literal photograph that’s leftover. When you are able to review photos later it gives you an incentive to try to take better ones. Final Fantasy XV showed us that even photos taken in a videogame can make you reminisce. It’s a large part of what makes the screenshot feature so alluring on the PS4, or Steam.

A scan, although similar in many ways, feels different even when it physically requires similar inputs. We understand it within a different context, a scientific context. Mass Effect Andromeda specifically lists properties off to the side of your scans, such as the chemical composition and boring facts. Meanwhile, the Batman Arkham games gave useful info via its scanner -- for instance, enemy heart rate helped you understand what state of distress your prey was in.

The scan itself is not inherently important, unlike photography, which we view as an art form. Instead, the results, namely the data, is what’s important. Scans are beside the point, which inherently makes them less fun to take than photographs. For instance, scanning enemies in the Batman Arkham games was mostly passive. And despite scanning being an action in Mass Effect Andromeda, you still did not have a picture database.

Why it's Done

What is the purpose of mechanics like this? I would argue the designers want you to slow down and look at the world. As such, these mechanics work best when they incentivize you slowing down and smelling the roses, so to speak. Many games put a ton of effort into making things happen, but never really ask you to look at them. Photography is potentially a great way to engage players with that content. Knowing that their pictures matter, either in-game or on Reddit, makes them more valuable to the player. Similarly, learning about the world by scanning things encourages you to slow down and explore.

How its Done WELL...

Beyond Good and Evil literally had creatures that only existed for you to figure out how to photograph them. Creatures that would have felt like ambient visuals in other games were a fun challenge to take photos of in Beyond Good and Evil, such as the dolphin-like creatures -- it made me appreciate their existence more. Batman Arkham City tasked you with taking pictures of objects that were the answer to the Riddler’s riddles. I paid more attention to the game world knowing that the answer to a riddle could be around the next corner.

Bioshock did something spectacular in that they didn’t just ask you to take a picture of every type of enemy, like Beyond Good & Evil. Instead, it rated those pictures based on what was happening in the photo and how often you'd taken a photo of that kind. It wanted you to slow down and catch the splicers, big daddies, and little sisters as they interacted with one another, the world, and you. Each different enemy could be photographed in a variety of situations -- including bashing your brains in -- to reward even more experience. If you choose to sit and watch them in their maddened ramblings it forced you to empathize with your enemies’ plight, in a way that you normally wouldn’t have while mowing them down, setting them ablaze, shattering them, or.. well, you get the point. (Plasmids were really violent. When was a swarm of bees needed in civilian life exactly?) Trying to take pictures of a big daddy as he charged at you while you helplessly held a camera up to his face was a daunting task, to say the least.

 ... and How Mass Effect Andromeda did It

The act of scanning in Mass Effect provided none of these thrills. The other games I've talked about gave you very specific things to photograph or scan. But in this game, it was unclear exactly what objects should be scanned. The end result was the player opening the scanner, walking around, and waiting for something to light up. Moreover, even objects that seem interesting are often not scannable. Sure, I can scan the basic computer terminal that has been in all of the Mass Effect games, but that new alien species? Nah! Even when you did scan interesting things there was rarely anything interesting you learned about it. Because of this, it fails to re-contextualize the world.


On top of that, the rewards for scanning are very slow. Sure, research leads to blueprints which can create some of the best items in the game, but that is mostly meta-game content. I'm still not sure what weapons are useful to craft and resources take so long to gather I don't want to waste them.

Compare that to the fact that some of the best abilities in Bioshock were obtained early in your photography progression. In fact, one of the first upgrades you gained from this line of research allowed your character to turn invisible when they were immobile, which helped you observe enemies and take better pictures. It literally feeds back into the loop while still being a useful and interesting skill on its own. Moreover, your main source of income in Beyond Good & Evil was photography.

Bioshock Wins (But Who's Counting?)

Bioshock did the camera almost perfectly. It gave great in-game rewards while allowing you to take cool pictures, which is intrinsically rewarding. It made sure that good, varied pictures were rewarded so that you were constantly challenged to up your game instead of merely taking one photo of an enemy. It added a wrinkle to world exploration and to combat while deepening the purpose of the dangerous inhabitants of Rapture.

In contrast, Mass Effect Andromeda largely concentrates on scanning inanimate, mundane objects, like computer terminals and parked vehicles. The rewards are abstract and take long to bear any meaning. They added little to the world and didn’t ask you to see the world with a different lens (Pun intended. Pun always intended.). And that's why it sucked.

Top 11 Xbox Games We Want on Mobile Devices Right Now Wed, 21 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Unclepulky

While many decry the Xbox 360 and Xbox One as the worst consoles of their respective generations, it's impossible to deny the impact that the impact that the original Xbox had.

While many praise it simply for introducing Xbox Live and the Halo series, the truth is that the first Microsoft console brought in many gamers who'd stopping playing games after their childhood ended. And one way it did that was with an assortment of fantastic games.

While several of the console's best games, such as Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic have already gotten Mobile ports, there are tons of games that still need one.

These are the Top 11 Xbox Games We Want on Mobile Devices Right Now.

11. MechAssault

One of the first games to utilize Xbox Live, MechAssault is actually a licensed game set in the BattleTech universe.

While most people usually dismiss licensed games as lazy cash-ins, this one clearly had a lot of time and care put into it. The lore from the dozens of books is integrated into the story, acting as a great environment to surround the player as they blow stuff up in their giant robot. 

With the ease that now comes with downloading books, I could very well see the game giving Mobile players the ability to download certain books based on what parts of the game's lore interest them.

MechAssault is a fantastic game... even if it isn't the best licensed game on this list.

10. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge

Another game famous for its utilization of Xbox Live, the biggest reason this game should be ported to Mobile devices is just how unique it would be.

As far as arcade style flight games go, Crimson Skies is very fun. However, rather than being set in modern times, this game is set in the 1930's, a setting usually ignored by game devs.

With pick up and play controls, an abundance of customization for your planes and weapons, and enjoyable single player and multiplayer modes, Crimson Skies would make a great addition to the Mobile market.

9. Shenmue II

The Shenmue series is beloved by many, and with Shenmue III finally becoming a reality, now is the perfect time to add the Shenmue games to the Mobile scene.

These games are cinematic adventures, with stories which resemble the classic genre of the "Revenge Epic," which is especially popular in Chinese culture.

Something I've noticed that people ignore when talking about Shenmue is the gameplay itself. And having recently played the games for myself I can see why. There are no other games like them.

And while it may be hard to describe, millions of others and I, can assure you that the series provides a good time.

8. Panzer Dragoon Orta

 The fourth and final game in what should have been a long running series, Panzer Dragoon Otra deserves another shot.

Despite the high quality of every Panzer Dragoon game, the series was thrown into anonymity by the fact that the first three games were released on the Sega Saturn. For those unaware, the Sega Saturn was absolutely destroyed in sales by both the Nintendo 64 and the original Playstation.

However, the series's swan song was released on the Xbox. While it didn't do much better in sales, Panzer Dragoon Otra was one of the best rail-shooters of all time.

Although unlikely, a Mobile port of the game could result in a revival of the series.

7. Phantasy Star Online, Episodes 1 & 2

Full Discretion: I've never played this game.

However, the sheer popularity and impact of this game cannot be ignored, and as such, its been placed on the list.

The history of the Phantasy Star series is a long and great one, going all the way back to 1987. However, at the turn of the century, the series went "Online" and the games under this label are some of the most popular things Sega has ever produced.

The plots are complicated, are on a massive scale, and if you're a fan of other JRPG stories, you'll likely enjoy these as well. Unlike other action RPGs, it is NOT an action game with RPG elements. Despite its real time, hack 'n' slash gameplay, this is most definitely a full RPG.

People love this game so much, that private servers were created, and lasted long after Sega shut the main servers down. I think it's safe to say that fans would love a new way to experience this adventure.

6.Jet Set Radio: Future

Yes, this game is just a re-imagining of the Dreamcast classic. And yes, there is already a very cheap and accessible port of this game on Steam. Do you know why I don't care?

Because Jet Set Radio: Future rocks!

The gameplay is simple but addictive, as you skate around levels, performing tricks and tagging areas with graffiti. The plot is also much grander than the original, and while I think a simple story works best for this series, it's well told.

However, the best thing about this game is the style. From the art-style to the soundtrack, everything is just so vibrant and colorful. Some have even compared the game's style to that of the 2007 DS exclusive, The World Ends with You.

And anything which reminds me of my favorite game of all time must be great.

5. Ninja Gaiden Black

I'm proud to say that along with other notoriously challenging games such as Battletoads and Mega Man, I have beaten the original NES Ninja Gaiden.

What I have NOT beaten is the 2004 reboot of the series, specifically the game's remake Ninja Gaiden Black.

Like the original, this game follows the ninja Ryu Hayabusa as he goes on a quest, this time to recover a stolen sword, and avenge his slaughtered clan. While the original was a tough as nails platformer, this game is an even tougher hack 'n' slash.

However, despite the difficulty, it's still a boat load of fun, and the satisfaction you get from finally conquering a level is a real high. With the rebooted series still going, Ninja Gaiden Black has a rather strong chance of getting a Mobile port, at least compared to the other games on the list.


4. The Simpsons: Hit & Run

While many praise the arcade game based off The Simpsons, and for good reason, this is what I believe to be the greatest game ever made with the Simpsons label on it.

While essentially a kid friendly Grand Theft Auto clone with a Simpsons paint job, that's far from a bad thing. With the ability to play as Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and, for reasons only known to the creators, Apu, to drive around in an abundance of vehicles seen in the TV show, and to explore all of Springfield, this game has both solid gameplay and TONS of fan service.

Most importantly, this game is funny. If you're like me and you think the TV show hasn't been good since season nine, you'll be delighted to find that this game provides humor reminiscent of those early seasons. 

If any licensed game from the Xbox were to get a Mobile port, I'd want it to be this one.

3. Psychonauts

 Like Jet Set Radio: Future, this game is very cheap and accessible on Steam. However, also like JSR: F, I don't care because the idea of being able to play Psychonauts on the go is a very pleasant one.

From Grim Fandango to Brutal Legend, Tim Schafer's games are all masterpieces, and Psychonauts is no exception.

While the gameplay alone provides a fun experience, the setting, characters, and challenges you face are all unmatched in weirdness and imagination. And those who've read my articles before know my love for the strange and surreal.

Psychonauts 2 is coming in 2018, and it'd be great to see a Mobile port of the original before that happens. 

2. Beyond Good and Evil

Ah, Beyond Good and Evil.

Much like Psychonauts, this game is a cult classic from the early 2000's which is only now getting a continuation thanks to fan demand. Also like the previously discussed game, Beyond Good and Evil is a masterpiece.

This action-adventure title follows photographer and orphanage owner Jade, and her "uncle," a pig/human hybrid named Pey'j.

The story is fantastic, to the point of warranting critical analysis from some, and the focus on investigation in the gameplay over combat provides a very interesting experience.

1. Soul Calibur II

The greatest fighting game of all time!

Super Smash Bros? Please. Street Fighter? Literally a dimension away from being of this game's level. Tekken? Ha!

Clearly, these are the opinions of a journalist with a professional mindset, and not someone who played Soul Calibur II competitively for several years, beating people all across New York as Talim and Cassandra, and can't accept that his time has past.

In all seriousness, Soul Calibur II really is a marvel of the 3D fighting genre. Many fans still even think of this as the peak of the Soul Calibur series' greatness.

While it's original gameplay may not translate well to Mobile, at least for players who want to perform combos, Mobile versions of games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X have shown alternate ways for fighting games to appear on portable devices.

These have been my Top 11 Xbox Games We Want on Mobile Devices Right Now. Do you agree with this list? What classic Xbox games do you want on Mobile devices? And most importantly, who's your main in Soul Calibur II? Let me know in the comments!

2 Days Until Free Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon! Wed, 09 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Marcus_Jensen

This year, Ubisoft, one of the biggest video game publishers of all times, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. And what a celebration it is! Starting June 2016, they decided to give away 7 of their games for free. All you needed to do is register for Ubisoft club. Up until now, 5 games were free for download - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Splinter Cell, Rayman Origins, The Crew and Beyond Good and Evil. The last one on the list is still available for download, until the 11th of November. On that day, the baton is passed to Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.

October - Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond Good and Evil
Source: Ubisoft

First of all, let’s say a few words about Beyond Good and Evil. The game was released in November 2003, exactly 13 years ago. Though it was almost a complete commercial failure, this game endured the test of time and became one of the fans’ favorites.

The game itself is an action-adventure, featuring Jade, a female heroine, and her uncle, a pig-man, Pey’J, on a quest to defeat alien invaders known as “DomZ.” The gameplay includes fighting, racing and stealth missions. Mechanically, it resembles Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which was released in October the same Year. However, PoP was graphically more polished.

Being that it is quite old, the game doesn’t require you to have a beastly PC, not according to today's standards at least. Even if you download a re-released 2011 HD version, you should be able to play it on any newer PC. Moreover, it is available on all major gaming systems since 2003 onwards.

November - Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

Source: Flickr

Blood Dragon... well, this game... this game is something else. Far Cry itself is one of those ultra popular games that I never really enjoyed playing that much, except for the second one (I loved how the driving experience was realised). When FC3 was released 4 years ago, I didn’t hurry to get it, and when I eventually did, I was quick to get rid of it. It simply wasn’t to my taste. However, on April 30th 2013, Ubisoft released a FC3 spinoff called Blood Dragon.

Though people thought at first that it was an April 1st joke (since a teaser video and a website were launched on that date), it turned out Ubi was serious. Unlike Beyond Good and Evil, FC3 engine is quite more advanced and the requirements are much steeper, meaning you’ll need a good CPU and a good graphics card for gaming.

The game probably achieved bigger success than even Ubisoft could hope for. Even though it carries the feel of the 80’s, synthwave is becoming more and more popular among people who weren’t even born when it was originally created. So, it is only natural that a game which features soundtrack produced by Power Glove has good reception.

Glowing dinosaurs shooting lasers from their eyes, bazookas, explosions, neon glowing bright colors, laser miniguns, androids… the list can go on forever. All of that coated with TV scanlines and 80’s action movie punchlines is a recipe for a sleepless night! Or part of the night since the game lasts 5 hours, give or take.

Anyone who grew up watching classics like Terminator, RoboCop, Judge Dredd, Escape from New York and alike will surely appreciate a game like FC3 Blood Dragon, and if you haven’t already played it, use this chance and download it from Ubisoft until November 11th.

There is one month left until the last, and the 7th free game by Ubisoft is available. Just enough time to go over Beyond Good and Evil and two or three instances of FC3 Blood Dragon, because it is worth playing so many times.

Beyond Good and Evil Semi-Reboot Coming in 2018...Exclusively for NX Tue, 18 Oct 2016 09:26:46 -0400 Unclepulky

Ever since the release of several teaser trailers in 2008 and 2009, fans of Ubisoft's Beyond Good and Evil have been waiting for any news relating to the game's sequel. It was recently revealed that a new game in the series was in pre-production, and the project was being helmed by Michael Ancel. However, it turns out that this game will not be a sequel, but rather, a semi-reboot.

While long-time fans of the game may criticize Ubisoft for not making a direct continuation -- especially since the original game ended on a cliffhanger -- the truth of the matter is that Beyond Good and Evil came out in 2003, 13 years ago. By modernizing and fleshing out the original title, new life could be breathed into the franchise. And if it sells well, we will continue to see more of series' protagonists Jade and Pey'j.

Regarding the desire for resolution on the game's cliffhanger, reports say that in addition to retelling the first game's story and exploring Pey'j's back story, this game will grant closure to the plot of the first Beyond Good and Evil. A different source has revealed that a CG teaser trailer similar to the one released in 2008 will be shown alongside the reveal of the Nintendo NX.

Currently, the game is set to come out in the Summer of 2018, and it will be exclusive to the NX.

What do you think about this design decision and the NX-exclusive plan? Be sure to let me know in the comments what your thoughts are, and what direction you hope the series goes from here.

Get Beyond Good and Evil for free Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:33:14 -0400 David Fields

Ubisoft, in celebration of it's 30th anniversary, is giving away seven games. So far the list includes: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Splinter Cell, Rayman Origins and The Crew. These were given away between June and September of this year. This month, they are giving away Beyond Good and Evil.

The cult classic hit, directed by Michel Ancel, was considered a commercial failure when it was first released, in 2003. Even though it was praised at the time (it received a nomination for game of the year, in 2004), but when it was re-released for the Xbox 360 it did very well.

Here, a trailer for the HD edition.

Maybe one of the reasons they are giving it away, and perhaps a reason to play the game, is the fact that the sequel -- Beyond Good and Evil 2 is currently in pre-production.

The only catch is that you have to play it on Uplay, the online gaming platform of Ubisoft. 

It's important to keep in mind that each game is free for a limited time. There are still two games, currently unknown titles, scheduled to be given for free in November and December.

Beyond Good and Evil Designer Teases Sequel on Instagram Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:58:05 -0400 Jared Elliott

Michel Ancel is good at what he does. He has the distinction of being one of the first game developers to be knighted for his contributions to art, and is fondly remembered in the gaming community for the Rayman series. In the early 2000's, he led development of Beyond Good and Evil, a strange, charming, and memorable game which has become a cult classic, and often remembered as Ancel's best work. It's no surprise that excitement for a sequel is electric.

Since the sequel was last spoken of in 2011, lead designer Michel Ancel has remained frustratingly silent - until now. Ancel posted what is presumably concept art for Beyond Good and Evil 2 on his Instagram page yesterday, which you can see for yourself below:

Some fans have taken Ancel's post as confirmation that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is on its way - and they're probably right. Alongside his artwork, Ancel wrote a conspicuous "thank you" to Ubisoft "for making this possible." Buckle up - we may have a big announcement headed our way.

For those who missed the original game, you aren't alone. Beyond Good and Evil was a flop in terms of sales, yet it was critically acclaimed upon its release in 2003. It received numerous awards from critics, and has since become a cult classic - remembered for its gorgeous visuals, dark and captivating story, and innovative gameplay.

Xbox Games with Gold for August 2016! Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:12:20 -0400 Ryan Gulliford

With July coming to a close, we have a whole lot of gaming news to look back on! We witnessed Pokémon overtake our world, and continue to do so, with Pokémon Go being a gaming sensation. So, to end the month on a high, let's look at the next set of free games with Xbox's Games with Gold programme...

For August of 2016, Xbox gold members will be hitting the ring with the launch of WWE 2K16 as a free game for the month! You'll be able to access your favourite WWE superstars as of August 16th on Xbox One. You'll also be experiencing high paced action with WARRIORS OROCHI 3 Ultimate as of the beginning of the month. With that being said, here's whats in store for the 360 players among you.

As of August 1stSpelunker will be free to 360 players, with Beyond Good & Evil HD coming August 16th. All in all, this represents some classic, pick up and play, 360 titles for gamers to enjoy. 

August should be a very exciting month for Games with Gold, particularly for Xbox One players, reliving their favourite matches from WWE with the widely popular game series.

Also as ever, the games available on 360 will be downloadable on Xbox One consoles as a part of backwards compatibility. 

Top 5 Favorite Drinking Buddies in Games Thu, 25 Jun 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Matt Amenda


1. Ayla

Chrono Trigger

Surprised that a girl beat out all those manly party-boys on this list? Don't be: Ayla is so bro-tastic she puts them all to shame.


Let me set the stage here: you and your party warp back to 65 Million B.C., and the first thing you see is a statuesque blonde cave girl pummeling a pack of velociraptor mutants with her bare hands. When the dust clears, she immediately throws a huge cave party in your honor, complete with crazy dancing, giant prehistoric grillables, and suspiciously intoxicating "soup". We see her drain about eight man-sized bowls of it.


Afterwards she spends all day helping you partially dismantle an evil dinosaur empire by--you guessed it--beating up more dinosaurs. Then she goes back to her village presumably to party some more. And tomorrow: more dinosaur ass-kicking.


That is her life, ladies and gentlemen. An endless cycle of having awesome cave feasts, killing dinosaurs, and repeat. She's a wild Triassic bombshell. She's a walking extinction event. She parties big, fights big, and she's got a big heart for friend and foe alike. She does nothing, absolutely nothing, halfway or halfhearted. She is generosity, courage, and adventure personified. In other words, the perfect drinking buddy.


I think I'm in love.




Pigsy, from Enslaved: Odyssey to the West


Conker the Squirrel, from Conker's Bad Fur Day


Augus, from Asura's Wrath


The Iron Bull, from Dragon Age: Inquisition


Zeke Dunbar, from Infamous 1 & 2


Sergeant Johnson, from the Halo series




2. Uncle Pey'j

Beyond Good and Evil

For those of you who don't remember the cult masterpiece that is Beyond Good and Evil, that crazy flying pig-man up there is the first and greatest sidekick in the game, good old Uncle Pey'j. That's him leaping through a third-story window to butt-slam an alien.


He's got boisterous personality, a mysterious space-outlaw past, he's a genius inventor and mechanic, and the branch leader of an inter-galactic rebel organization. But even as Chief of the Hillyan IRIS Network, he'll still a fun guy to hang around. He'll go treasure-hunting, he'll go hovercraft racing, he'll go alien-fighting, cop fighting, monster fighting, robot fighting, any kind of fighting from here to across the universe.  And he'll definitely take a load off with you at the Akuda Bar downtown. No matter what happens, Uncle Pey'j will have your back. I love this guy this so much.


3. Darunia

The Legend of Zelda series

That rock-hard barrel of awesome up there is one of the original video game party animals: Big Brother Darunia, Boss of the Gorons and King of all Dad Bods.


Since he's from a mostly E-Rated series there's only so much drinking and debauchery he can get away with on screen, but just look at that grinning mug of his; that's the face of a man who'll drain a few barrels of Hyrule beer and go smash a dragon's skull in as a weekend hobby. But the best part about Darunia isn't his own strength; brotherhood and friendship are pretty much his theme, for life. He's always looking out for others, making sure his people are safe and happy. He's a fantastic guy all around. I'm just not sure I could keep up with him.


4. Gray


How would any of you like to party with a space pirate?


Captain Grayson Hunt always pairs his drink with mayhem and mass carnage. He doesn't just get drunk before and/or after carving his way through a planet's-worth of bloodthirsty psychos; he'll toss back a few during. He's the kind of guy who enjoys the challenge of committing genocide while impaired.


If he sounds too intense to have a good time with without getting slaughtered, don't worry about it: under Gray's grizzled, violent exterior beats the heart of a man who cares deeply about his friends. He'll watch your back to hell and back, or at least let you borrow a neat gun. Murdering's always better with friends, after all. And lots of space booze.


5. Nate and Sully

Uncharted Series

Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan. Globe-trotting, swashbuckling, world-saving treasure hunters extraordinaire. If you're ever lucky enough to sit down with these two over a couple of cold ones, you're either planning the heist of the century of having a toast for the adventure of your lives.


And when things get hairy with the locals, boy do these fellas know their way around a bar fight. The first scene of Uncharted 3 features this scrappy pair in an epic bar brawl against pub full of London thugs. Well-used to fighting against impossible odds, these two lovable scoundrels are always up their eyeballs in adventure. 


Man, this list made me depressed. Know why? Because as long as I live, I'll never meet anybody cooler to drink with than some of my favorite video game characters. And chances are, neither will you. When will you clear out a goblin's nest and celebrate in a tavern with any of your friends? Or better yet, drink and kill goblins at the same time? Not going to happen, my friends.


But a guy can dream, can't we? That's why I put this list together in honor of the boys and girls of video gaming I'd love to share a brew with, whether in celebration of a quest well done or just fueling up on liquid courage for demon-slaying ahead. With drinking buddies like these, I'd say yes to anything. Anything.



Predicting Ubisoft's Upcoming AAA Game Sat, 06 Jun 2015 13:30:02 -0400 Curtis Dillon

In an investor report from Ubisoft last month, it was revealed that The Division would be coming in early 2016 as would a yet-unannounced AAA game.

The news of the unannounced game was somewhat lost in the shuffle, but it's a very interesting tidbit. It's becoming increasingly uncommon for a publisher to reveal a game and release it within a year, but that's exactly what will happen with this game if the report is to believed. So what could that game be? Let's postulate!

Watch Dogs 2

Let's start with the most obvious option for an upcoming Ubisoft game, Watch Dogs 2. Ubisoft hasn't shied away from the fact that there will be a sequel to the hugely successful Watch Dogs, with the dev discussing the flaws of the original and hopes for the sequel. Then they admitted that a sequel would take a lot less time to develop. And finally the sequel recently appeared on the CV of a Ubisoft employee. So it's very obvious the game is on its way, and if Assassin's Creed is the benchmark for Ubisoft series, then it could become annual.

Therefore, Watch Dogs 2 seems the most obvious choice for the unannounced game. The original was a good game with tons of potential, much like the original AC. Watch Dogs 2 could definitely be Ubisoft's big surprise announcement at the close of the show.

Rayman Legends Sequel

A new Rayman is the second most likely choice. The sequel to the amazing reboot (Rayman Origins), Rayman Legends, was released in 2013. But not much has been said about the series since. Both games were critical and commercial smashes, reinvigorating the Rayman brand. So now seems like a good time for a sequel.

There's no evidence to back this up, especially considering Rayman creator Michel Ancel is hard at work on PS4 exclusive WiLD and another game that you will read about later. That being said, I still think a third installment is likely and fits the quick turnaround between announcement and release.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

Which brings us to the other game Michel Ancel is toiling away on. Or so we think. Actually, at this point we have no idea.

The original Beyond Good and Evil came out in 2003, 12 years ago. The cult classic warranted a sequel that was finally revealed in 2008, but hasn't been seen since. Rumors swirled that Ancel had left Ubisoft Montipelier and Beyond Good and Evil 2 was on-hold. And yet, as recently as 2013, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told Kotaku:

"I don't give comments anymore on BG&E2, because I think ... the next time next time we communicate we have to have something new. Not specific to the PS4 or any other platform.

He went on to confirm the status of the game:

"It's coming. Yep. I know some folks who are waiting."

It seems likely that we will see the return of Jade and Pey'j, but whether or not that happens this year is anyone's guess.

Prince of Persia Reboot

As much as I enjoyed Watch Dogs and Rayman, a rebooted Prince of Persia is the prospect that excites me most. It's easy to forget how popular and successful this series was, but the original trilogy was fantastic and inspired a movie in 2010. Also, lest we forget that Assassin's Creed was originally a Prince of Persia game. The last AAA Prince of Persia game came in 2010, so the series is ripe for a comeback.

The only evidence we have that Prince of Persia is even still alive, somewhere deep in the depths of Ubisoft, was a series of leaked images that were said to be a reboot of the franchise. Ubisoft has reportedly tried on a few occasions to start fresh with the series, which obviously never came to fruition, but maybe the game from which the above screenshot was taken will be the one. This one is the most left-field but also the most exciting.

Unknown IP

And of course, just to round out the bases, we have the potential for a brand new IP. When Watch Dogs was announced, it blew everyone away, due to the brand new concept and how amazing it looked. This started an E3 tradition for Ubisoft in which they now close out every show with a brand new game demo. They struck oil again when they showed Tom Clancy's: The Division for the first time and melted minds. Then last year they revealed the next Rainbow Six game, which was somewhat expected, but still a surprising concept. So what they will show this year is back to being a mystery.

Watch_Dogs 2 seems the obvious, safe bet. A new Rayman is also a possibility, but whether that series is AAA is debatable. Then we have the more unlikely choices of Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Prince of Persia. However, Ubisoft could easily be working on something brand new altogether. They are one of the biggest developers in the industry and are constantly working on multiple diverse games, so it's very easy to imagine another new IP being revealed and blowing our socks off.

So what do you think Ubisoft is going to unveil? What game do you want it to be? Will it be revealed at E3 or Gamescom? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Console Game on a Budget Sun, 10 May 2015 08:47:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord


There you have it! While some of the tips might seem surprisingly simple, I promise they can work for you too. The trick is to apply all of these and to be tenacious. Don’t be discouraged and press on for the deals! We fellow frugal gamers can reap the benefits of being thrifty.


Use these tips and let me know of the deals you manage to find! Can you think of tips I misses? Sound off below. Happy hunting!


Combine These Tips


While each tip works individually, combining them all can lead to great success. Being patient while prowling Ebay or bargaining with a friend can lead to massive dividends for you, dear reader. By combining the tips presented here, you will be well on your way to finding plenty of budget-priced games.


Know Your Budget and Stick to It


When game-hunting, make sure you know your limits and stick to them. While it may be tempting to grab that copy now for $50 despite your $40 budget, being patient and looking elsewhere can lead to a better price and money left over for you to do with as you please. Instant gas money!


Your Friends Can Hide Deals


We all have that friend who seems to buy every major release. They always have the newest games and usually within a week of release or sooner. Why not use those friends to maybe land some deals? Now this tip is not guaranteed to work as much as the others. This one relies heavily on your relationship with these people and your communication skills.


I had a friend who purchased Mass Effect 2 on day one. Having the beat the game within two weeks, he was bored of it and was seeking to trade it. He offered to sell it to me for $20. I accepted. He was perhaps more desperate for money and willing to deal, but the principle still applies.


Gamestop gives cash, but at a reduced price, and credit can only be used to buy things in Gamestop. So by making an offer or being approached by a friend like this, you can offer cold, hard cash or maybe even trade titles. Never underestimate a gamer who has grown bored of their purchase. 




Once upon a time, Ebay was a questionable place to search for games for a number of reasons. I am happy to report this is no longer the case. Gamers have taken to Ebay to find all sorts of great games for less. Ebay is where I found a pristine copy of Silent Hill 2 for only $5 on top of other bargains. Ebay is also a great place to get those Collector’s Editions you may have missed. I managed to find a Limited Edition of Mass Effect for $20 thanks to Ebay.


The trick to successful Ebaying is to know exactly what you are looking for and to keep tabs on multiple auctions at once. Did that copy of Metroid Prime Collection get too high for your tastes? I guarantee you there are other auctions where the price has not hit that point yet. Keep a close eye on several auctions and their end times to ensure you are the highest bidder.


Watch for Missing Price Tags


In keeping with the retail theme, always check for price tags. Sometimes a store may not have a game labeled, due to it being so low or someone simply overlooking the title. Back when Circuit City had stores, I picked up a copy of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction with a price of $20 and a copy of Beyond Good & Evil which was missing a price tag. I had money to spare, so I went to the checkout. My total?


$23! BG&E was only $2!!!


If a game piques your interest, but has no price tag, do not be deterred. You may just be onto a monster deal!


Be Patient


Wolfenstein: The New Order was released on May 20, 2014. In March of this year, I saw a copy in Target with a price tag of $15. While I would prefer the PC version, such a low price was too tempting to resist. So I asked the clerk to confirm the price for me. To my surprise, the clerk informed me the game was actually only $8! Needless to say, I walked out of the store as a very happy gamer that was eager to slay some Nazis!


While gamers are no strangers to waiting for Game of the Year or Complete Editions, it is easy to forget just how quickly and drastically game prices can reduce. Restrain yourself from buying that game you so desperately want. Your wallet will thank you later.


Look Often


As I mentioned, I nabbed a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 from a local Walmart. However, I didn’t buy it the first time I found it. My initial discovery revealed an asking price of $55 - more than I was willing to pay. Over the next month, I checked on the game every time I was in the area. When the price was in my limits, I snatched it faster than a child nabs a cookie.


When you find a game you want, check on it often. You may not always be the person who gets the deal, but looking often and waiting will do you more good than harm. Speaking of patience…


Leave No Stone Unturned


When I say look everywhere, I mean it. Don’t neglect your neighborhood chain retailers in favor of smaller shops - although those deserve your attention too. You never know what you'll find at the large stores.


I managed to find a Special Edition of Bioshock 2 at a local Walmart and a Limited Edition of Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway at a Best Buy for $25 apiece. Many larger places order special editions of games, yet don’t always manage to sell them. Those stores are usually stuck with the ones which they don’t initially sell, which can lead to some great price reductions.


If you ever go out of town or on a vacation, make sure to check the stores in the area there as well, both large and small. You never know you'll find. Also, never neglect your local thrift stores or salvage stores (such as Hudson's). While more of a shot in the dark, deals can occasionally be found. Just keep your expectations tempered.   


Looking at the picture above, how much do you think I paid for everything in it?


$300? $250? $200?


Actually, everything shown cost me $135 total. Yep - these tips actually work. Before you know it, you’ll be finding great deals yourself! (Yes, that Bioshock 2 is still unopened!)


Who doesn't like to get great things for less money? We all know the digital realm leads to some dirt cheap prices on games (here’s a guide from Elijah to tell you just that). However, I've noticed that most of these guides to cheap games focus almost exclusively on digital content.


So today, I want to share my tips with you on how to get console and handheld games at rock-bottom prices! These tips are general and apply to all systems, for all time. So please make use of them.


Now grasshopper, shall we begin? 

50 Games Everyone Should Play: 50 - 41 Tue, 27 Jan 2015 18:38:30 -0500 Death Metal Hero


Part 1: 50 - 41


Part 2: 40 - 31


Part 3: 30 - 21


Part 4: 20 - 11


Part 5: 10 - 1


41.) Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time


Developed and published by Ubisoft

Why should you play it?

Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time had amazing graphics for its time, excellent and tight controls, and a unique time controlling mechanic that allowed players to reverse time up to a certain point. Any fan of wall running, acrobatics, and excellent third-person adventure games should not miss Prince of Persia.


Originally released on PS2, Xbox, GameCube and PC back in 2003, since then there has been a PS3 port.


42.) The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker 


Developed and published by Nintendo

Why should you play it?

Walking in the footsteps of Ocarina of Time in terms of gameplay, Wind Waker had beautiful cel shaded graphics, and returned to the franchises roots with a bit more exploration being involved. An instant classic and must play for any fan of the Legend Of Zelda franchise.


Originally released on the GameCube back in 2003, since then there has been an HD Port for the Wii U.


43.) Super Smash Bros. Melee 


Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo

Why should you play it?

The second installment of the Super Smash Bros franchise brought more of everything, characters, levels, items, and features. Super Smash Bros Melee is an excellent fighting game for anyone who is an expert at fighting games or is looking to get into fighting games. As well as being a must have party game for anyone with a taste for a little friendly competition.


Originally released on the GameCube back in 2001. Although there has been a Wii sequel and a Wii U sequel, Super Smash Bros Melee has not been ported to current Nintendo consoles.


44.) Metroid Prime 




Developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo

Why should you play it?

Before Metroid Prime, every Metroid game had been a 2-D side-scroller. Metroid Prime brought the franchise into the first person shooter genre, while still holding on to the iconic atmosphere, exploration and general game play of the previous titles. Metroid Prime is also widely recognized as one of the best Metroid games of all time.


Originally released on the GameCube back in 2002, since then it has been ported to the Wii and has a Wii U release on January 29th, 2015


45.) Luigi’s Mansion


Developed and published by Nintendo

Why should you play it?

One of the very few games in the Super Mario franchise where the main character is not Mario. Players take control of Mario’s brother, Luigi who has just won his own mansion. The only problem is that the mansion is filled with ghosts! Luigi’s Mansion featured some refreshing new game play for the franchise, and a great new perspective in the Mario universe.


Originally released on the GameCube back in 2001, since then there has been no ports to current Nintendo consoles.


46.) Beyond Good And Evil


Developed and published by Ubisoft

Why should you play it?

This cult classic third-person adventure game has an amazing story, and a cast of loveable and unique characters. Not to mention the main character is female, which is a rarity in video games.


Released on PS2, PC, Xbox, and Gamecube back in 2003. An HD port has since been released on XBLA and PSN.


47.) Final Fantasy 7 


Developed and published by Square (Now Square Enix)

Why should you play it?

Final Fantasy 7 helped popularize the JRPG genre here in the USA. The game is also widely accepted as one of the best RPG’s of all time, with an amazing cast of characters, a rich and deep story, and ground breaking graphics at the time. Many will say that if you ever want to get into the RPG genre, playing Final Fantasy 7 should be your first choice.




Originally released on the Playstation 1 back in 1997, since then it has been ported to Steam, PSN and is scheduled for a spring 2015 release on the PS4


49.) Diablo 


Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment

Why should you play it?

Diablo was the pinnacle of classic dungeon crawlers. With its dark and nihilistic world, and unrelenting difficulty, Diablo is a force not to be trifled with. Some might even say that Diablo was quite terrifying, especially when fighting The Butcher for the first time. Very few games have done such an amazing job of turning the main character into the main villain. And delving into the very depths of Hell is well worth the price of admission.


Originally released on the NES back in 1989, since then there has been a PC port and has been made available on Nintendo's virtual console for the Wii, 3DS and Wii U


49.) Diablo 


Developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment

Why should you play it?

Diablo was the pinnacle of classic dungeon crawlers. With its dark and nihilistic world, and unrelenting difficulty, Diablo is a force not to be trifled with. Some might even say that Diablo was quite terrifying, especially when fighting The Butcher for the first time. Very few games have done such an amazing job of turning the main character into the main villain. And delving into the very depths of Hell is well worth the price of admission.


Originally released on PC back in 1996, it was later made available for Mac OS and received a Playstation 1 port.


50.) Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars


Developed by Square (Now Square Enix) and published by Nintendo

Why should you play it?

Super Mario RPG is what would happen if you combined Final Fantasy and Super Mario together and then dumped a bunch of awesome sauce over it. Super Mario RPG brought the popularity of Super Mario to the RPG genre. With a memorable and excellent ensemble cast of characters, some who have never been in another Super Mario game since, and a refreshing new take on the mushroom kingdom.


Originally released on the Super Nintendo back in 1996, you can now purchase this classic on the Wii virtual console.


As time goes on I have noticed that there is a growing number of gamer's out there who have missed out on some truly amazing gaming experiences. Although some old games are getting HD remakes and ports to current and new-gen consoles, there are still plenty of games being left in the sands of time. I highly suggest you play these 50 games anyway you can.

Women are Playing More Video Games and Here's Why Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:26:31 -0400 Chris_Lemus

A new annual report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) on the video game industry includes a vast amount of figures and numbers, but one set of data is shaking up the gaming culture. The trade association found women are now becoming a more significant group of gamers, being closer than ever to overtaking males.

After taking a slight dip in 2013, the report states 48 percent of all U.S gamers are women, an eight percent increase from four years ago. There are several reasons that explain this increase in female gamers.

One reason for women playing more games is the advancement in mobile technology. The use of devices and smartphones are increasing, with females leading the use of games on these formats. According to a report by Flurry, an analytics company, the biggest group that spends time and money on mobile games such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga are women. These types of social and puzzle games combine for 77 percent of all types of mobile games played according to the ESA. With digital format sales surpassing physical format purchases in 2013, women are becoming bigger spenders in the gaming industry.

Then there is the shift away from consoles focusing only on playing game discs and accessing downloaded titles. The idea of streaming videos and music on the same system which access video games broadens the audience of potential buyers, especially to women  since survey research company Nielsen found more females stream videos than men. If video streaming is a draw to women, they would also purchase video games to play in addition to owning a console, which increases the amount of female gamers.

In addition to streaming content, consoles also offer new ways to play games through features such as motion sensors and cameras. These input devices make titles such as Just Dance possible, games great for any occasion or setting such as a party or dorm (or party in a dorm).

But women are not just playing motion-based games. Nielsen also found women were playing games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band in 2009, titles with masculine images and social constructions.

How could the female gaming market grow? Now that women have strength in numbers, the answer lies with whether the video game industry wants to finally recognize them. Regardless of how developers and publishers feel, It is time they finally acknowledge them and represent them in the virtual world.

Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment game producer Fredrik Rundquist revealed to the Wall Street Journal that his group acknowledges the growth in female players. While producers recognize the shift, Ubisoft has landed in controversy for their stance on female characters in their games.

Earlier this year, Ubisoft decided to remove the option to have a playable female character in it’s forthcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity game. After they received backlash for their decision, they introduced a non-playable character named Elise to the story.

Gaming content matters, as the ESA found that 48 percent of gamers “said the quality of game graphics, an interesting storyline…was the most important factor in their decision to purchase a computer or video game.” Not all heroes have to be men, and males are not the only sex with a gene granting them the ability to save the universe from demise by foreign invaders. Females kick butt too, and not only in video games.

Fictional characters such as Jade from Beyond Good & Evil fought for justice against an entire fictional government, while Samus of Metroid actually did save entire universes from their ultimate demise.

Then there are great historical figures such as ancient Egypt’s Hatshepsut who restored her kingdom after invaders attacked and England’s Queen Victoria who not only abolished slavery in British colonies but also shortened factory workdays. With the popularity of historical fiction growing when developing games, figures such as these could easily become major characters in future titles.

To only depict men in video games changing history and saving thousands of people at a time does not recognize all of history. Focusing on one demographic erases the existence of tapping into bringing the personal lives of gamers into a realm of entertainment. Girls want to have fun, and gaming couples want to enjoy a nice date in playing video games with each other. There’s no need to create more Barbie titles like it is a PC flash game made for second graders, but women can certainly share the battlefield with men on their favorite titles.

Top 5 Underrated Heroes in Video Games Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:20:54 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Heroes aren’t born, they are made. This a common phrase we hear throughout our media today. Characters in video games aren’t that much different - the majority of heroes come into being because some sort of calamity forces them to become gladiators for good. The problem is that not every hero gets the credit he or she is due. While there are characters who save galaxies and worlds from multi-million dollar franchises, there are some who inevitably get left in the dust.

This is certainly not all of them, and most of these are my personal picks, but these are my top 5 underrated heroes in gaming.

5. Luigi - Super Mario Bros

Luigi has been the second fiddle to Mario for quite some time, and while he has gotten his own games before, they always seemed to get a luke-warm reaction from fans and critics rather than being the best-selling juggernaut his brother is. The big difference is Luigi has more of a personality than Mario, he’s dynamic and interesting. He shows a full range of emotions in Luigi’s Mansion, and out of the two Mario Bros, he always tends to get the least amount of praise for what he does. He goes and saves the princess just as often as Mario - and what does he get in return? Not much, most of the time. Luigi is the unsung hero of the franchise and for me, the green plumber is the better hero.

4. Ness - Earthbound

Ness is a character that has gained popularity in recent years, and his game is considered a Super Nintendo classic. Still, there are still quite a few people that don’t know about Ness in comparison to other RPG characters. Ness started his journey by going out of his way to help a friend (Porky) who didn’t really deserve his help. Later, when going to fight the final boss, Ness sacrificed his  own body for a chance to defeat him. His group had no idea if they were going to come back alive, but they decided to risk their own lives in order to try to prevent Gigyas’ destruction of the world. I could have always put the entire cast of Earthbound on this list including Lucas from Mother 3 due to his heroism, but Ness was the one that started it all for his one selfless act.

3. Lee Everett - Walking Dead Season 1

Lee is one of those characters that you don’t consider a hero until you really think about his actions. His actions were almost never black and white morally except for one time: when he chose to take Clementine with him. While characters like Joel and Booker take on their young lady charges as part of a job or mission, Lee does it without even thinking. All three of those characters are well-developed protagonists, but the fact that Lee decided to take on a little girl, a child that would be a burden to anyone else in the zombie apocalypse, without a second thought is what makes him a hero.  Lee needed to save the world, break a curse, or even solve a crime to be a hero. The only person Lee ever wanted to be a hero for was Clementine.

2. Raz - Psychonauts

Raz started out as a boy with a dream, a dream to become a well-trained psychic with the ability to control his supernatural powers. After the camp he went to is plunged into chaos, Raz is sent on psychic adventures in order to try to return the brains to the ailing campers and save the world from the evils that lurk within the mind.  Raz has some great development with his own problems and issues, being very well-written for what appears to be just a platformer at first. Raz is a fun, smart-aleck character. He's fun to play and a great hero for this platforming, psychic-powers-wielding game.

1. Jade - Beyond Good and Evil

Among video games, Beyond Good and Evil still ranks up there as one of the most underrated gems of its time, as does its main heroine Jade. The story starts out with Jade saving the lives of the orphans she takes care of at the lighthouse, then later on she goes out on dangerous missions in order to get money to support them. Her actions at first are only for the orphans, but later on, when she realizes what’s really going on in her home planet, Jade helps find the truth to to show everyone.  Jade is selfless, and even when she is at her lowest, she picks herself up to go save the day.  Jade is a well-developed, fully realized character from a game that more people should play.


There are many more heroes that could have been on this list, all are not given the attention that they deserve. Feel free to comment with your own choices for some of the most underrated characters in video games.

Women in Gaming: Anita Sarkeesian Goes too Far and an Insidious, Power Fantasy-Loving Man's Point of View Thu, 30 May 2013 12:53:41 -0400 Max Jay

Recently Anita Sarkeesian has been making some videos that have people all up in arms.

Sarkeesian is making a lot of noise by heavily criticizing games for misrepresenting women and forcing them to be “insidious plot devices that are only used to move the male power fantasy along on his journey of manliness." As mentioned on this site, people legitimately hate her for this. Like in the same way that people hate Hitler and every season of Heroes after the first one. Sarkeesian is combative, yes; I’d even go as far to say that she is even accusatory, but what people are missing is that she’s right about some of this.

**What're you lookin' at...? It's creepy, stop. Seriously.**

Misguided Marketing

Playing games with my girlfriend is hard. Not hard in the way that I don’t want to spend time with her playing games, but hard in the way that she is not a gamer. She doesn’t really like the mainstream titles; first person games give her motion sickness and she detests gratuitous violence. Both of which I happen to love (in games, I’m not a crazy person… I think).

The other night we decided to go into Best Buy, (to be clear: I love Best Buy, and she puts up with because she thinks I’m cute). We eventually moseyed over to the game section to poke around and something crazy happened; I started walking to the Xbox section and she bee-lined for the Wii as if a magnet were implanted in her brain. She looked at the covers for Fortune Street and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, saying they looked “fun” and “cute” respectively. I tried to explain to her that Fortune Street was an abortion of a game that deserved to be stockpiled and send to a landfill to be burned, but to no avail. She liked the cover; the “little blue guy” (a.k.a. Slime from Dragon Quest) and Mario giving her thumbs up had her sold. Several hours later I said to myself: this is a problem.

**I wonder how much Mario got paid to do this game. Must have owed someone a favor.**

The marketing of AAA titles has become all about the sense of the 18-34 male demographic. I recently read an article surrounding some controversy with Capcom’s new title, Remember Me. Jean-Max Morris, creative director of Remember Me told ‘The Penny Arcade’ that many publishers denied the game funding based solely on the fact that the main character was a female, and as a result the game would be a complete failure.  Saying something like this is akin to a movie studio refusing to cast a woman as a main character, and forcing a script to be completely changed in order to market, thereby crushing creativity and progress. Just imagine how terrible it would be if we never got movies like Million Dollar Baby.

Women make up a little over 50% of this planet, and I maintain that women are better than men at most things, except for maybe weightlifting and having penises. Companies cannot continue the blatant sexism raging throughout the industry because they think an entire gender is not marketable; it may make for a quick buck but in the long run it’s hurting them. Women buy stuff all the time, I’ve worked retail – I’ve seen it literally thousands of times. I’m not saying that the developers need to change their games and make them cutesy or anything, but I do think that an entire medium is being looked over by the fairer sex entirely due to accusations of sexism  (sometimes justified, sometimes unfounded) and perceived differences between genders that have no legitimate existence in this specific culture.

**That battle attire is both ineffective and inappropriate... There are children here!**

Portrayal of Women Versus Portrayal of Men

There are few games in the history of time that give woman a good spotlight in a game. I honestly don’t care what gender I’m playing as providing it’s a good game with a decent story, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some more Alyx Vance-type women in games. If you break it down there are far more Lollipop Chainsaw type games in the world than there are Beyond Good and Evil’s, and that is a damn shame because Jade was a really deep, cool character that I (a straight man--GASP) loved playing as.

For example: if my girlfriend saw any trailer for ANY DOA Extreme Beach Volleyball (or any Dead or Alive game really…) she would likely be disgusted by its mere existence, which I believe is valid as it's borderline exploitation, and some pretty bizarre exploitation at that. Furthermore, this could cause her to completely write off “sports” games (which I happen to hate anyway), or all fighting games. See where I’m going with this?

**I want to be Nathan Drake when I grow up.**

Companies design leading men to reflect the kind of person that they think the gamer may want to be. Nearly all of them have similar build and facial structure; they’re supposed to be all handsome and witty and yadda, yadda, yadda. Women, however, are designed to be the kind of character that men want to… “hang out” with at bedtime. It’s smart marketing and I would probably do the same thing in similar situations where massive amounts of money are at stake, but wouldn’t it be just as easy to make realistic looking woman the main character and flip those rolls? A dedicated gamer wouldn’t care, and it could potentially make women feel like total badasses and by extension bring in more women that have misconceptions about games.

**I don't have a joke for this one, it's just messed up.**

Within the Industry too!

Beyond the blatant disregard for women’s taste within games, there is also a major problem with how women are treated in the industry itself. In November 2012 Kotaku reveled a very interesting story surrounding women in the gaming industry. Females in the industry flocked to twitter using the hashtag “#1reasonwhy” to say what they think their #1 reason is that more women are not in the industry. The accounts are sobering, and the spread to every corner of the industry; even in the games we all love and play.  One woman said that she is mistaken for receptionist, and often assumed to be a booth babe at conventions. This is sickening, and it’s a legitimate flashback to the 1920’s.

To clarify: I’m FULLY aware that women play games. Many even play first person shooters, and probably laugh just as loud as I do when someone’s head blows up in the coolest possible way. But numbers don’t lie, and they say that far fewer women play than men do, and the fault of that lies partially on the marketing of the games and partially on the execution within developers and publishers. In order to be respected as an art form, let alone a viable medium women need to be included and respected in both the marketing ad production of games.

**This happens a lot, but I want it to happen more.**

Anita Sarkeesian is not completely wrong, but she is misguided in her efforts. She’s making people talk, which is great, but she’s making people talk about how much they hate her for ripping on games that they love. Hey Anita, if you’re listening: you’ll make more friends with a handshake than you will with a fist! This community as a whole will respond more favorably to less use of the word “insidious” (which literally made my blood boil) and more talking to people like human beings. You can guilt an industry into change, no matter how necessary it is.

**Fair is fair, right?**

Do you think Sarkeesian is pioneering women’s rights in gaming, or is she just making a lot of loud noises? Do you think I’m totally off base and women are represented well in the industry? Sound off in the comments and maybe I’ll fly or bus to wherever you are and take you out to a nice seafood dinner!