February 2012


Common Game Elements is a feature where I talk about something that reoccurs a lot in video games. It may be something very prevalent or something that I noticed because it has come up a few times in recent memory. The first ever feature dealt with the protagonist, and this one shall be dealing with the role of the heroine (main supporting female character) in the story. As someone who primarily plays RPGs, most of these will only be applicable to them, but I do try and add other genres and do a bit of research when adding in games I haven’t played (although for the most part, these are games I have played).

Something I’ve noticed a lot when playing RPGs or games that try and tell a story is that the main female character tends to become the love interest of the male protagonist (the character the player plays as). It’s not as prevalent as last time’s feature on protagonists, but it’s still quite a common element and dates back from the earliest beginnings of the medium to the present. So it’s been around for awhile. I’m making a distinction here that it’s a male protagonist with a female heroine because the reverse phenomenon, while also present, comes up a lot less than this one. So for part 2, I’ll be looking at this phenomenon only:

If the protagonist is male, then the leading female (the girl that joins first and/or has the most plot relevance) will be his love interest.

Just a warning: Because of the nature of this topic, a lot of these examples will spoil endings and important parts of games listed below. I did try to be as spoiler free as possible but it’s kind of hard when you are trying to say why Character Y is in fact the love interest of Character X, especially since most games don’t quite make it apparent until the end of a game and in certain cases, in the sequels. (more…)

The second volume’s cover is hauntingly beautiful. The blue hue gives it a very lonely but beautiful look.

Summary


Clare and Raki continue their travels and this time Clare gets dispatched to Robona, the Holy City, to take out a Yoma. The only problem is that Yoma and half-breeds like Clare are not allowed inside the city, so Clare must take on this mission covertly by taking special medicine that restricts her Yoma powers and turns her eyes into a normal colour. Problem is, with her powers so restricted, she can’t pinpoint the Yoma. To make matters worse, two Robona guards, Galk and Cid, are interfering and making it more difficult for Clare to do her work.

After much trouble and some terrible wounds, Clare manages to find the Yoma and just as the fight is looking hopeless once more, Raki asks Galk to throw the statue he and Clare have brought with them to her. When the Yoma attacks the statue, it crumbles, revealing her Claymore just as volume two comes to an end. (more…)

So I heard about Katawa Shoujo and how a group of people from 4chan (yes that 4chan) got together and made a dating sim featuring disabled girls. My first reaction was to think this was going to be horrible horrible stuff. I mean 4chan isn’t exactly sensitivity and thoughtfulness central. Then I heard it wasn’t that bad and actually handled the topic with care from fellow online gamers. Yes, I was intrigued. However I only got around to trying it recently as I was waiting for the official site to post a direct download link (sorry I don’t trust torrents, I had enough problems using one before (¬__¬)). Hence the delay in my own post compared to the rest of the gaming blogosphere. But nonetheless I want to share my thoughts, so here they are~

Before I delve into Emi’s route though, I do want to point out to those unfamiliar with the game that each route had its own writer and artist so my thoughts here pertain exclusively to Emi’s route and do not extend to the rest of the routes (which I have yet to play). Also major spoilers from this point on. You have been warned.

Just a cute bubbly girl, right?

(more…)

So I was thinking of what sort of post I should do for Valentines Day and decided doing a top ten favourite couples would be ideal for the day of romance. Each one has a small blurb on why I like them and as usual, everything will have spoilers. It was hard to rate them because most of these I really do enjoy a lot and it was hard to say I liked one more than the other, but I did somehow manage to get them into a ranking, so here it is, my top 10 favourite (official) couples:

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Claymore 123

The fight with Hysteria continues this volume and it isn’t looking good. While I am still a little disappointed that we still don’t know anything about Clare, this chapter was much more interesting than the last. It’s still mainly about the fight, but a few panels of character interaction are interjected between the action, which helps to make the chapter feel more varied. Also I really like how much Deneve has matured since the beginning. She seems to have finally accepted her inability to save her family and being a defensive type as well as her inability to save her fellow Claymores (War in the North) as she gives Miria a much needed wake up speech pertaining to Miria’s desire to want to save everyone. I always liked Devene, so it’s nice to see her maturing through the story and taking on important roles both in the plot on the field of battle. :) (more…)

Recently, Nintendo’s Club Nintendo has started giving out digital games as rewards. Since I’m no longer living in Canada (but still plan to import North American games), this is very good news to me since I can now use my coins again. What’s even better is that most of these games are actually games I wanted/considered getting. While this month’s offerings aren’t as good (only two games this time as opposed to four and both are ones I don’t really care for), the other two months both had great offerings. In fact, I redeemed one game from each month: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again in December and Kirby’s Dream Land in January. If I played my Wii more, I would have gotten two of their Wii offerings as well.

A few quick thoughts on those two games:

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again – I read a really positive review about this game, but never having a DSi (just a Lite) I couldn’t give it a try. So when I saw it up for grabs on Club Nintendo, I happily redeemed it for my 3DS. The game is great. It packs a lot of modes and play time into such a small package. You have your regular mode, plus mode (which is totally different from regular mode and in fact a continuation of the game’s story), rooftop, and basement. Plus an editing feature that lets you make your own levels and share them online. I don’t play a lot of downloadable games, so I wasn’t aware that they could be this extensive. This game was definitely worth the 150 coins Nintendo was asking for it. I still haven’t finished all the modes and I’ve only dabbed in the edit mode. I’m very happy with this reward.

Kirby’s Dream Land – This is a re-release of the Gameboy game and is available on the 3DS’s Virtual Console. It’s also the first Kirby game ever made. For a while now I’ve been interested in Kirby as he’s pink and marketed at both boys and girls (which I always found really ahead of its time given that this still rarely happens). So when Club Nintendo offered me the chance to get acquainted with the franchise via it’s very first instalment, I immediately jumped aboard. While the game is quite short, I still had a lot of fun with it and I don’t regret getting it for those 100 coins. I have yet to play the hard mode, so I still have that to look forward to as well. It’s a very friendly platformer (with a continue feature) and I really regret that I wasn’t introduced to Kirby earlier. I would have really appreciated him when I was younger and really bad at platformers. He’s definitely charmed his way into my books and I can definitely see myself getting more of his games. :3

Can’t wait to see what games we have in March~

–SW

After a long break (due to the move of the blog and my real life move), it’s time to write my impressions of the next volume of Please Save My Earth, and boy was this one tense volume!

Summary


Shion’s recollections continue in this volume. Things now turn grim as the recollections reach the most tense moments of the scientists’ lives. (more…)

That's an ...interesting... replacement for Kalifa.

So the Straw Hats are now in the New World. Not much happens this chapter again, but I really liked it for a number of reasons. Luffy once again takes the Straw Hats on a detour. This time he picks up a distress signal from Punk Hazard and is determined to go there. Good old Luffy. It’s really nice to see he hasn’t changed after those super serious chapters involving Ace. Usopp as well. He’s back to his old antics of “I can’t set foot on New Island” Disease. The first few chapters of the post time skip suggested he grew a backbone and although I usually hate these sort of characters, I can’t bring myself to hate any of them (Usopp, Nami, Brook, and Chopper are all the “scaredy” pants brigade). Oda just makes them all so lovable~

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