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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.  ...

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....

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.        ...

Bloodborne Gets A Little Cheaper

Bloodborne Gets A Little Cheaper

Bloodborne may have only been out for a week, but that hasn’t stopped The Game Collection from knocking £7 off.   By using the code MARCHSALEDAY6 , customers can save a little bit extra on the first ‘must have’ game of 2015. The unforgiving nature of Bloodborne doesn’t mean you have to be unforgiving on your wallet!  ...

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

Destiny- A True Game Of The Year, Or Just Another Commercial Victory?

A few weeks ago the Video Game Bafta awards resulted in a few raised eye brows, and a lot of angry tweets. Destiny may of been a finical success, but critical it was a mixed bag. With all that in mind, did it deserve to win Bafta’s 2014 Game of The Year award? did finical clout topple quality? was the negative reaction justified? Here’s a video of some youtubers lying about what Destiny is, even though one of them heavily criticized the game, but BAFTA don’t seem to mind using him to forward the nomination…for some reason. While the Bafta awards have always been a bit questionable, Kane & Lynch being nominated before it’s release stands out, tonight’s were a mixed bag. There were a number of games that deservedly won , while others lost out in what can only be described as a sponsored win (yes, this means Far Cry 4 beating The Banner Saga for best music). The biggest award is, of course, the ‘Game of the Year’ award. In a category consisting of Alien: Isolation, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mario Kart 8, Shadow of Morder, Monument Valley and Destiny, it was Bungie/ Activisons DLC catalogue that came out on top. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. It made no sense, but then again, most of the video game BAFTA awards rarely do. Destiny’s victory was not exactly met with approval. Forget the fact the category was missing games such as Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Wolfenstein: The New Order, Destiny winning was simply odd. Twitter reacted in the best way it knows how, with snarky tweets. The reaction isn’t exactly unjustified. After years of development, and mammoth budget, Destiny shipped as half a game. No match making, end game locked less grouped with friends, no real end game to speak of, small amount of PvP maps and chunks of story simply missing. Destiny, while it did play beautifully, was half baked. To make things worse, retail copies came with two flyers advertising the first two £20 expansion packs, making the lack of core content all the m ore frustrating. Bafta’s credibility has been questionable for sometime, and 2015′s awards is a perfect example of why. On what planet does Far Cry 4 beat The Banner Saga for best video game music? A corporate planet. The award success of Destiny makes even little sense when compared to the critical success of games surrounding it. Each category is judged by a different panel, mostly made of people within the industry from various fronts. It would be interesting to here the justification for Destiny being the chosen game of the year. While Destiny did well commercial, critical it was hit or miss. If sales determine quality, then surely the winners would look totally different since the video game Baftas started?   Back in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 scooped Baftas Game of the Year award. The reaction to that is pretty much the same as it is to Destiny’s win. The year after that, Call of Duty: Black Ops won the title. Again, the reaction to Call of Duty winning was mostly negative, mainly due to other games out that year. Discussion began to generate, most of it wondering if heavy marketing and sales had trumped quality. For the most part, Bafta has always had a few questionable winners, but Destiny victory has resulted in a particularly vocal response. While of the reactions across the internet, especially Twitter, has been negative mixed with snark, there are a few people who genuinely agree with the choice. Looking at Destiny subjectively, it plays nicely, looks great and is initially enjoyable. While it may suffer from a list of issues, most of which were previously mentioned, does that make it the wrong choice for Game of the year? It all depends on who judged the category. This years nominees were distinctly of the Western variety, with Mario Kart 8 being the only none-Western game nominated. Destiny ticks nearly all the boxes of a big name, Western developed, hit. Large open maps, flashy visuals, constant action, first person shooting, minor RPG elements. It’s the prototypical product of Western video game development. Perhaps tradition and familiarity is what helped Destiny win the award. Alien: Isolation’s hide-and-seek gameplay is to a acquired taste, some may think Mario Kart is too simplistic, Dragon Age too long, Shadow of Morder too much like Assassins Creed. Monument Valley almost felt like the token indie nominee. The sad fact is, we will probably never know why exactly Destiny was selected as the overall winner. Bafta has descended further into the lands of confusion, with big name games winning awards they arguable did not deserve, and perhaps Destiny typifies that more than any other.    ...

Evolve, Splatoon & Xenoblade Chronicles 3D All Discounted

Evolve, Splatoon & Xenoblade Chronicles 3D All Discounted

  4 vs 1 shooter Evolve is slowly dropping in price. After a somewhat controversial launch, Evolve is now available for £33.60, on PS4, from Xtra-Vision. With a batch of free DLC on the horizon, it may be time to at least check the game out. Nintendo have been making the news today, mostly due to their new mobile plans, but two of their respective systems ‘killer apps’ are on the cheap. Splatoon, the little game making waves at the expos, is up for £25 at Gameseek. Zavvi currently have Xenoblade Chronicles 3D up for pre-order. Using the code VOUCHC5, customers can order the game for £25.64. That’s a whole lot of game for a decent price.    ...

The Order 1886 On The Cheap, Driveclub & Dark Souls 2 Also Discounted

The Order 1886 On The Cheap, Driveclub & Dark Souls 2 Also Discounted

It’s the end of the working week, and what better way to celebrate than bagging a bargain.   The biggest money saver comes in the form of The Order 1886 over at Xtra-Vision for the price of £33.60 This is a standard PAL copy, no imports like the E-bay sellers are offering. Another PS4 exclusive is available for a cut down price. Driveclub may have had a messy launch, but after a number of patches things are going smoothly. £21.85 is a decent price for a standard, brand new, copy. Alien: Isolation has been steadily decreasing price, especially the Xbox One version, and now the PS4 version has caught up. The Game Collection are currently selling the Nostromo Edition for £18.95 on PS4, a top price for a fantastic game. Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin marks the much loved franchise’s début on the new generation of system. Game Seek have listed both the PS4 & Xbox One versions for £31.75, with free shipping.    ...

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