So, Destiny won “Best Game” at the 2015 BAFTAs. Yes, Destiny. Beating out Monument Valley, Mario Kart 8, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Alien: Isolation, the game that “tell[s] the same pedestrian stories time and time again,” won the award for the pinnacle of achievement in video games.
Christmas may be over, but family and friends are still around – and I’d be willing to bet someone has a new console burning a hole through their pockets. What better activity to do with it than turn friends into enemies by beating the virtual bejeezus out of them? To facilitate this post-Christmas activity, I’ve come up with a list of the best games to play with others this holiday season:
Though the biggest gaming news from SDCC may have been the announcement of The Last of Us movie (possibly starring Arya Stark, no less – I can only imagine the crossover fiction), there were enough exciting tidbits to keep our tanks – running low after the smorgasbord that was E3 – running. Let’s take a look at some of the more important announcements, and the women featured in them.
On Monday, Nintendo announced the addition of three new characters for Super Smash Bros. Wii U, two of which have never been in a Smash title before now. Check out the trailer below to watch the earth-shattering entrance of Captain Falcon, Lucina, and Robin.
Captain Falcon, who has made previous appearances in all four Super Smash games, is a easily recognizable face (and punch, for that matter). Lucina and Robin are less familiar but more important – after all, no one was doubting the inclusion of Falcon for a second, but the inclusion of not one but two female characters was a surprise. The two Fire Emblem: Awakening characters are the 9th and 10th playable female characters to be included in the game (not counting Jigglypuff or the female Ice Climber), a record for the series. Yes, it’s fantastic to see Sakurai and his team stepping up to the plate in terms of better gender representation, but you might be wondering just who are these women anyway? Well, Robin is the Grand Master (a combination of mage and swordsperson) that you play as in Fire Emblem: Awakening and, like in many games, can be chosen to be either a male or female. The inclusion of a female skin for Robin in Super Smash is a reflection of this choice. Lucina, however, is a bit more complicated – and she, along with some other interesting women, is who we’ll be focusing on today.
There’s a lot of negativity – much of it well-deserved – surrounding the industry’s portrayal of the female gender in games. I myself recently wrote an article criticizing developers for not including more women in their stories. But there are many times when video games get it right, when they write a great story with some strong, believable girls in it. Of course, there are the well-known examples of bad-ass video game women: Samus, Lara Croft, Sarah Kerrigan, Zelda, Fem!Shep, Alyx Vance, Lightning, to name a few. But there are others that are not acknowledged as often, but are just as deserving of praise. Lucina is one of those, and today we’ll talk about her story and the stories of five more Game Dames (as I personally like to call these awesome characters). Because as much as it is necessary to criticize what is being done wrong, it is also necessary to celebrate what has been done right. Continue reading The Lesser Known Women: A Look at Time-Travelling Daughters, Wolf Gods, and More→
Every year, I start my E3 journey with a confident estimate of how much it is possible to cram into a two-hour live presentation. Every year, I totally forget that I started with an estimate, revel in the glow of gameplay trailers, and then, realizing I’ve forgotten my estimate, decide scientifically (judging by the exponential growth in giddy levels) that it’s been blown out of the water. E3 2014 has not broken this pattern. The presentations of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all satisfied and surprised their respective audiences, though there may have been a few unexpected bumps along the way (I feel for you, Conker fans). Without further ado, let’s see what each has brought to the stage thus far:
It’s that time of the year again: speculations abound, rumors fly, and the big names vie for the position of top dog…yes, it’s almost E3! Arguably the biggest event of the industry is fast approaching (June 10-12), and it’s never too early to begin rounding up all of the exciting possibilities that may await us at this year’s expo. So here follows the confirmed, the hearsay, and the wild ideas that I desperately hope for when I can’t sleep at night from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo:
When the original Super Smash Bros. was released in 1999 it had a roster of 12 characters, only one of which – Samus Aran – was female (For the purposes of this article, I won’t be considering Jigglypuff as a female role). Super Smash Bros. Melee more than doubled the roster but only added two new women to the list, Peach and Zelda (four if you count Zelda’s down special move, which allows the player to transform into the Princess’ alter ego, Sheik, and Nana from the Ice Climbers duo), and SSB Brawl actually saw the female to male ratio decline, rather than increase: only one new female role, Zero Suit Samus, an alternate version of an already existing character, was added.
If we count Zelda/Sheik and Samus/Zero Suit Samus as single characters and discount the presence of Nana, then we’re left with 8% representation in SSB, 12% in SSBM, and 8% in SSBB. Those wouldn’t seem to be encouraging numbers for the ratio in future SSB titles.