Sometimes we write about serious things, and sometimes we write about the things we love. On many days, those are the same thing. Today is not one of those days. Today is a “write about what you love that maybe isn’t serious” day: I get to talk about the Powerpuff Girls and video games.
While it is entirely possible that you don’t know who the Powerpuff Girls are (who are you?), I’m just going to assume you do know that they are the titular adorable badass little girl superheroes from a city named Townsville. Incidentally, there is an actual city named Townsville. (It’s in Australia, but that’s not relevant to anything.)
I’d largely considered The Powerpuff Girls to be a thing of the past. That’s not to say that they were outmoded, or obsolete, but something that was going to be pleasantly left in the realm of my childhood and late night Netflix binges (you might want to be side-eyeing Netflix these days, but hey, a girl’s gotta watch The West Wing). But never content to let sleeping dogs lie, the Powerpuffs have been, well, powerpuffing their way back into the spotlight. I could talk at length about the recent reboot special Dance Pantsed, but BrothaDom, fellow blog writer and beautiful black man, has already taken it on quite eloquently.
So we could talk about the somewhat scandalous comic book cover that Cartoon Network commissioned. If you don’t know, comic retailer, Dennis Barger Jr. complained about the sexualization of “pre-teen girls” in the image on Facebook, which prompted a less-than-polite response from Mimi Yoon, the artist for the cover, as follows:
It caused a bit of an internet controversy, with there being a brief to-do over what Cartoon Network’s intentions were when they commissioned the comic from IDW. Their Vice President of Marketing, Dirk Wood, said “I think they were thinking of it more along the lines of “female empowerment” than the kind of thing you guys are talking about, but certainly, we’re sensitive to the issues here.” The commission ended up being pulled, with Cartoon Network citing “fan reaction” as a concern.
Instead, I get to talk about something much more exciting. On March 14, RadianGames will release Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville on Steam. RadianGames is the crew behind Bombcats (a great little shooter), as well as several other mobile games. It seems they’ve brought the full force of their considerable talents to this one. According to their blog, Defenders of Townsville is a “metroidvania with flying superheroes and a heavy dose of action. There are locked doors, and upgrades that unlock new areas, and exploration (and a map).” If you don’t know, a “metroidvania” is a game with a 2D exploratory gameplay style similar to that of the classic Metroid and Castlevania titles.
It looks like the game is going to have a number of cool features. First, RadianGames has confirmed that the player will be able to control all three of the Powerpuff Girls, one at a time, though I imagine that there would have been rioting in the streets if any of the girls had been left out. Adding to that, Cathy Cavadini, Tara Strong, and E.G. Daily will reprise their roles as the voices of the girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, respectively. Now, the game offers the option to play in the more “modern” art style of the recent PPG reboot. If you, like many, weren’t a fan of this style, you also have the option to play in the classic art style, as I know that you all will. Mojo Jojo will be our resident bad guy, an obvious choice among the litany of options.
Finally, you should read through all the RadianGames blogposts on the game. You’ll learn a lot about the game and about the company itself. Totally worth it, especially considering that you can find links to stream the soundtrack here. You’ll be able to snag Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville here come Friday. It’s recommended that you play on a gamepad (paddle, stick, you know) of some sort. I’ll be picking it up when it comes out, so I’ll let you know how it is. Until then, Happy Powerpuffing!