Video Games / Platform

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

The last few years has seen a huge push for more female representation in video games. A number of video game journalists, pop culture critics (still not sure what that exactly entails) and industry figures demanded to see well rounded female characters leading video games. It’s a admirable stance, but the issue of practicing what you preach quickly reared it’s head. A small Brazilian indie developer, named Swordtale, recently released a game by the name of Toren, a puzzle adventure that explores gender roles and the concept of growing up. Toren was reviewed on this very site, and slated for it’s poor mechanics and dated gameplay…but not it’s attempts at exploring a female character. Toren’s main character is a young girl named Moonchild, her role throughout the game is the find her place in the world. Moonchild is neither objectified, sexualised or portrayed as weak. Moonchild, for all intents and purposes, is exactly what a number of people have been asking for…so why have they ignored the game? It’s hard to pin down exactly why Toren was ignored. Press releases were sent out, both big names and little names were offered review codes along with a link to the trailer. From the small site that is PixelGate.co.uk, to James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd), Toren’s PR did a good job of offering codes for review across the board. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and that certainly seems true in Toren’s case. For a game that provided what many were asking for, there sure wasn’t a whole lot of support from the people you’d expect. Toren may not be packing the ‘big’ names behind it, but Swordtale are undoubtedly contributing to the library of female led video games, a library not as small as some would have you believe. The method in which Toren explores it’s character is organic and well woven into the context of the story. There’s no misplaced attitude, no ‘issues’ that some people feel is a requirement for any female character. Moonchild’s journey from young child, to mature young women, happens before the players eyes in well crafted manner. Perhaps Toren wasn’t promoted in the right way. If Toren was thrown out into the public space and marketed as a game with the main selling point being a female lead, then perhaps social media would of buzzed with interest. Torren was marketed it as a video game, a video game with interesting themes and art style, and not just a vehicle for a female character. It’s a shame that a game like Toren fulfills the wishes of a vocal majority, yet receives barely any of their backing. Denying the scent of hypocrisy is a hard feat. When people are making a living off bemoaning the lack of female lead games on the market, should we really be shocked when they chose to ignore games like Toren?    ...

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

One of the finest video games in recent years has been given a healthy discount. From Software’s Bloodborne is now available for a mere £33.95. Given the quality, and the amount of content, £33.95 is a fine price. With the new generation of systems lacking ‘must play’ games, Bloodborne came about at the perfect time. Nintendo’s experimental title, Splatoon, is already being discounted. Gameseek has the standard version up for £22.50 when using the code SPREE5. The recent play tests resulted in a spike in pre-orders, a price drop would surely push Splatoon further towards the levels of success Nintendo may quietly be expecting. David Cage’s Beyond: Two Souls was the definition of a love/hate game. Left to rot in the bargain bin pretty early on, Beyond: Two Souls remains as one last gens curiosities. For £5 you’d be hard push to feel out of pocket, even if Ellen Page’s soulless performance kills your enthusiasm.  ...

Another Exclusive Remastering Is The Last Thing The Xbox One Needs

Another Exclusive Remastering Is The Last Thing The Xbox One Needs

The rumors have been floating around for some time now, but it seems Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is real. Microsoft’s Xbox One will play host to a new version of the classic 360 title, but is it really what Xbox One owners want to hear? Or even play? However way you spin it, both the PS4 and Xbox One have hardly got a exclusive games library truly worth boasting about. The scales have shifted towards the PS4 in recent times, mostly due to the brilliant Bloodborne, but there’s hardly a wealth of ‘killer apps’ on either system. The likes of Ryse & The Order 1886 failed to make a impact beyond looking pretty and Titanfall turned out to be a flash in the pan success. Killzone and Second Son were met with various amounts of success, but never truly felt like the ‘big’ titles many were expecting them to be. While Sony seem to taking steps in the right direction, Microsoft apparently see re-releases as path to success. The continued lean towards re-releases feels less of a safe option, especially after the utterly disastrous Master Chief Collection, which hurt the Halo brand. It’s undeniable that Gears of War is a franchise that carries a huge level of fan love with it, but the franchise took a few dents along the way. Bringing back Gears of War is not all that much of a issue, but the fact it would be seen as one of the Xbox One’s ‘big’ exclusives would present a whole new problem. Microsoft are still searching for a identity for their newest machine, supplying their system with regular exclusive remakes isn’t exactly the best way forward. If the Xbox One was to become known for it’s remakes, it’s easy to see the system falling behind it’s competition in the long run. Exclusives sells systems, but only the good ones positively define a system, and remaking past glories is not the way to build a systems legacy or user base. The Xbox One has the brand power, Microsoft’s hard work with pushing the 360 resulted in them becoming a household name in terms of consoles, and yet they seem to be struggling to replicate that success again. It’s not like the Xbox One has no exclusives coming, it’s more that they’re normally pushed aside and barely marketed or even talked about. The heavy focus on pushing The Master Chief Collection and timed Call of Duty DLC  as two of the main reasons to own a Xbox One was was fair enough, mostly due to the status of the franchises, but Gears doesn’t have that same power behind it. The chainsaw-chest high wall-shooter resonates with a large group of people, but it’s never been on the levels of Halo or Call of Duty, the Xbox One needs to resonate and interest and many people as it can. Gears of War on the Xbox One is a nice addition, but not a needed one, Microsoft need to give their system a identity, remastered Xbox 360 games is not the way to achieve that.     @linko64...

Super Smash Bros Gets Too Cheap To Resist

Super Smash Bros Gets Too Cheap To Resist

One of the main reasons to own a Wii U just got a whole lot cheaper. Super Smash Bros has been given welcomed discount resulting in a new copy costing a mere £24.99, or £22.99 pre-owned. The deal can be found at UK retailer Grainger Games. A new copy is probably more of a safe bet, mainly due to Grainger Games having a patchy track record when it comes to quality pre-owned games. For £24.99, you would be hard pressed to find a game as fun, and with as much re-play value, as Smash Bros....

Amiibo Prices Doubles, Are They Even Worth It?

Amiibo Prices Doubles, Are They Even Worth It?

As the Amiibo fever continues to spread, it seems even the retailers are starting to get in on the scalping action. ShopTo have decided to increase their prices to a sicking £19.99 per Amiibo, after months of being top dog in terms of value and service, at least for Amiibos. To put the price spike into perspective, Amiibo started of at £10.99 on Shopto, and remained at that price till about a month ago when they went up to £14.99. This price matched up with all other retailers, namely GAME. The further increase to £19.99 now makes ShopTo the most pricey option outside of E-bay and private sellers. ShopTo have yet to comment on why they have decided to raise their price in such a sharp manner. It’s interesting that all previous waves have now been desisted from their site. Is £20 per Amiibo too much to pay? Are retailers getting just as bad as scalpers? ShopTo certainly feel like they are.     - @linko64...

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

It’s hitting the end of the month, and a lot of people are skint…or least near skint. Fear not, there’s still games to be had at £20 or under, some are even new(ish) releases.   Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin (PS3/360) £19.99 -   While Bloodborne dazzles and frustrates the masses, Dark Souls 2 has crawled out packed with all of it’s DLC. The buzz around From Software has never been so hot, making it the perfect time for them to re-release their past work, even if it’s not as good as their previous creations. £20 buys you a lot of content, the core game will last most people well over 25-30 hours, with the DLC adding even more. Sure it’s hard, sure it’s kinda ugly to look at, but much like a cheap takeaway, it gets the job done.   Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Xbox One £18.35   We all love last generation remakes, but Square went one step further and remastered a PSP game. The Final Fantasy brand has taken a utter lashing these last few years, mostly due to the bizarre dedication Square had to making Final Fantasy 13 ‘work’. Type-0 is one of them odd little spin offs in the franchise, but does supply a nice breath of fresh air. Think Final Fantasy crossed with X-men, and a dash of awful textures, and Type – 0 HD is a pretty decent deal…but most people just want that damn Final Fantasy XV demo. £18.95, down from the £40 quid it launched with a mere few weeks ago, what a drop.   The Order 1886 – £19.95   The game that the internet just can’t stop arguing about. At this point, The Order 1886 has went beyond just being another video game, it’s now a actual focal point for discussion on the topic of modern game design. The game looks, and performs, fantastically, but the gameplay is a little less impressive. It’s a decent game, that most forum posters will either praise as the next coming, or label it the devil. For £19.95 you can play the thing yourself, and make your own mind up.   P.S Buy it, just to spite Angry Joe    ...

The Order 1886′s Price Drops Even Further

The Order 1886′s Price Drops Even Further

The PS4 exclusive, that apparently everyone hated so much it still gets talked about to this day, is finally at that magic £20 mark. The graphic novel/Adventure/video game movie The Order 1886 boasts some of the best visuals that modern video games has to offer, unfortunately it also boasts some of the most engaging gameplay 2007 has to offer.   It’s short length had people debating across the land, does size really matter? Is it all about quality over quantity? Does anyone else think Ryse was actually not that bad? What ever camp you subscribed to, the chances are you tweeted about how The Order 1886 was the perfect example of modern video games being shallow. At a mere £20, you can jump into the not-so-full-of-monsters-street of London. The cobbles are covered in blood, piss and foul language, and in The Order 1886 they’re no different, apart from the lack of Starbucks and Halal Sub Way.   The Order 1886 isn’t as bad as some people make out, it’s a fair game trapped under the burden of expectation, high production costs and lack of ambition (gameplay wise anyway). While Angry Joe may want you to think the game is awful, the truth is it’s just okay…a little bit like Joe himself. £20 is a decent price for a short, but enjoyable, slice of action…or you could just put another £20 in your budget and get the brilliance that is Bloodborne....

Smash Bros Wave 4 & Splatoon Amiibo Go Up For Pre-Order At ShopTo

Smash Bros Wave 4 & Splatoon Amiibo Go Up For Pre-Order At ShopTo

The latest wave of Amiibo have finally popped up for pre-order on UK retailer ShopTo, arguably the best site for Amiibo. Ganaondorf, Palutena, Jigglypuff, Dark Pit and Zero Suit Samus all appeared for pre-order, with the new price tag of £14.99. After selling all the previous waves for £10.99 each, it’s a disappointing that ShopTo have increased the prices to match those of GAME. All three Splatoon Amiibo are also available for pre-order. Both the Splatoon Girl & Boy are present, along with the Splatoon Game bundle which includes the Squid Amiibo. The fact the Squid is not available separately is quite frustrating, but in all honestly, it was expected. Make sure to secure your orders before the scalpers get in on the act.    ...

Bloodborne Becomes Even More Of A Bargain

Bloodborne Becomes Even More Of A Bargain

Bloodborne is simply amazing, but how do you improve it? How about making it £34.99? New customers who use the code WELCOME over at Zavvi can earn themselves a decent discount, resulting in Bloodborne costing a sweet £34.99. The sheer amount of quality content packed into Bloodborne is staggering. By further bridging the gap between the masses and the ‘hardcore’ stylings, Bloodborne is a must buy. Even those who fear the challenge would do themselves good by picking up a early contender for game of the year....

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Telltale have been praised for their story telling ability, leading them to take on more ambitious projects. From the emotionally charged The Walking Dead, to the dark crime drama of The Wolf Among Us, Telltale know their craft. Game of Thrones represents Telltales biggest challenge yet, a challenge that Telltale are struggling with. After two episodes of Game of Thrones, the series is still trying to find its vein of form. Episode three, The Sword in the Darkness, signifies a defining point in the series in which the games true faults become clear, and it’s success project.   The Sword in the Darkness begins with Asher’s exploits in Mereen. Still on the run from The Lost Legion, Asher and his crew are forced into taking refuge in a cave, which just so happens to be the make-shift home of one of Game of Throne’s most famous creatures. This connection to the TV show is the first of many, mainly as this episodes catches up to the TV series. Asher, while still possessing a whiff of ‘main character’, is demoted to the supporting cast of episode three, with the main focus being squarely set on The Wall. Gared Tuttle continues to progress on his path to becoming a brother of the Nights Watch, with more ethical and moral dilemmas emerging with each step. Both Asher and Gared walk a similar path, with their stories feeling almost like they’re mirror images of each other, but with their own unique situational issues.   It is fair to say that the respective story lines of Asha and Gared are where the game shines. Both characters offer unique, yet familiar, tones and themes that feel distinctively Game of Thrones. The life of a Crow is is just as bleak here than it is with the show, with both forms conveying the twisted sense of family and loyalty. While Gared is a much more shrewd and humble character, Asher is a brazen and bold force. TellTale have created the same ‘ying-yang’ feel that typifies family relationships in both the book and show, while maintaining a truly organic feel. Politics is one of Game of Thrones primary themes, and episode three revels in this. The Forrester/Whitehill storyline finally starts to pick up momentum. Mira continues to come out of the shadows, earning her place as a pivotal, if not slightly annoying, cog in the overall tale. Most of her time in episode three is spent either being yelled at, or being questioned. While the character does have a true sense of progression, the whole episode feels like it’s taken directly from any given Sansa Stark scene from the TV show during seasons one and two.   While the cloak and dagger may be endearing, there’s often times where the pace just stops dead, only to be picked back up in a clumsy manner. By the time Mira has said played her part, she feels progressed, but limited, arguably the worst character of the core cast. In all the aspects Mira falls short in, Rodrick excels. The Game of Thrones series may only be three episodes in, but so far the choices have felt rather limited and dictated, Rodrick expels this. The crippled, down trodden, but proud, Lord is the series best character. Episode three plays to each and every strength Rodrick possess, with decisions feeling like they genuinely matter, and most importantly, feel like something Rodrick would say or do. Unlike the other characters, Rodrick feels much more original, resulting in his story becoming a unique Game of Thrones experience. With his house in tatters, his lands occupied and his pride battered, Rodrick could be, and should be, the main attraction of the series, and episode three provides a fantastic platform for a brilliant story arc.   Game of Thrones has had a running theme in terms of it’s issues. Technically, the game struggles. The visuals look muddy, animation jolty and the audio tends to bug out. It’s a confusing issues, other TellTale games, mainly Tales from Borderlands, perform and look decent, yet Game of Thrones struggles with each episode. TellTales game engine is showing it’s age, with Game of Thrones exposing all the weakness. Game of Thrones episode three – The Sword In The Darkness is a solid entry, but still not the entry the series needs. Both episodes one and two set the scene, episode three is putting things in motion…but still not providing anything to get all that excited about. Game of Thrones is at crossroads, it needs to start ‘getting to the point’ instead of slowly progressing. Telltale are visibly struggling to craft four different entwining stories, the pace of the game is all over the place, and while episode three may be a slightly better paced, the issue is still present. A good platform for the series to mature into something great, episode three feels like it could be the spark the series needs, but this could all be in vain if episode four turns out to be yet more ‘slow burning’ build up. TellTale will need to be at the top of their game to pull Game of Thrones off, with the flashes of brilliance comes a number of struggles. Episode four could be make or break.        ...

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