Trailer Tuesdays: Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

It’s taking everything I have to keep myself from writing about Dragon Age: Inquisition (which comes out on the 18th, by the way) for every article this month. But if something catches my eye enough to drag me from my DA trance, during release month no less, you can bet that it’s something amazing. What developer Volition has put on the table is nothing short of that. You might even call this DLC… sinfully good.

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Sexualized Saturdays: The Path, an Indie Horror Game about Women

The Path is one of those games no one quite understands, including myself. I’ve tried watching different Let’s Play videos and reading up on the development of the game, but nothing eased my countless queries. During my research I found this quote from one of the producers of the game, Auriea Harvey, which says:

…The Path doesn’t just give girls a female avatar to play boy games with and it doesn’t paint everything pink with smiling faces and hearts. The Path is a game that is about things that can be deeply important to women and it is played in a feminine way. (source)

While making a game for women might have been the developers’ intention, I’d argue that anyone can relate to this game, regardless of their origins.

Spoilers and a trigger warning for rape and murder after the jump.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Transistor

Assassin’s Creed, Saints Row, Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze: these are just a few of the games on my to-play list, and with E3 coming up next week, that list isn’t going to get shorter any time soon. Despite my lack of time and funds, I’ve been seeing games everywhere that I’d love to play. However, out of fear of turning into one of those Steam users who have hundreds of games that never get played—who am I kidding? I’m already there—I’ve been severely stunting my purchases. This game may break my self-imposed embargo.

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Rin Plays: Child of Light

There’s nothing worse than seeing a game not getting the love it deserves. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ve never heard of this Child of Light game,” you’re not alone: the game was barely advertised and most—if not all—publicity was generated by word of mouth. This isn’t any surprise; I mentioned in an earlier post how games directed more towards a female audience receive much less advertising in general than games that are clearly intended for a more male-centric audience. And unless produced by a larger name developer, indie games don’t really get advertised anyway. Though Child of Light has that indie feel, it doesn’t change the fact that the game was still produced by Ubisoft. Not only that, but by their largest development studio—Ubisoft Montreal—as well. There’s no excuse for the lack of company generated buzz. I mean, look at it: wouldn’t you want to hype this game?

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Games for Girls: Hanako Games and Why Long Live the Queen Is Important

Just before I could start complaining about not having any games to play—a common complaint of a gamer, and hardly ever true—my girlfriend was kind enough to purchase the PC game Long Live the Queen for me. Let me tell you right now: this game is fucking difficult. It’s not just me being bad at the game, though I’m far from an expert; rather, Long Live the Queen takes some serious planning to get anywhere substantial.

Upon reflection, the thing I’m more surprised by is that I didn’t expect it to be difficult, or at least as difficult as it ended up being. This was a three-fold problem of misconception: knowing the game developer, knowing the type of game, and, due to the previous two, some unfairly lowered standards on my part. If you hold some of these same misconceptions, allow me to help alleviate them now; this game and this developer honestly deserve a lot of credit—much more than many would give them right off the bat.

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Rin Plays: T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest

I love it when games release content for the holidays, and when the heads behind Borderlands 2 announced the release of a Halloween-themed DLC, I knew I had to get it. Even though Halloween proper is still a week off, I snapped it up on its release date back on Tuesday.

I know I didn't review the Tiny Tina DLC. I'm getting to it

I know I didn’t review the Tiny Tina DLC. I’m getting to it.

In addition to being something special for this time of year, T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest also gives way to a new type of DLC: head hunts. As the name implies, the goal of the quest line is to eventually win a special head—it’s what it sounds like: a facial customization for your character that changes most, if not all, parts of the head. Whereas I will agree that releasing so many ‘pay-to-get’ DLC customization options is a bit money grubbing—there have been fifteen in total—what I like about the head hunts is that it gives you an entirely new environment to run around in and new enemies to fend off. At least that’s what it seems like given the contents of this DLC. The question is: is it worth the three dollars? Spoilers under the cut.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Project REDWOOD

This week a momentous event occurred: Deadly Premonition got greenlit on Steam—a process in which Steam users vote on (usually) independently made games, the ones receiving the highest amount of votes actually being released on Steam—and is now available to an entirely new generation of gamers in all of its off-kilter glory. Usually the act of being greenlit is saved for indie games that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance of seeing the light of day, so when people say that maybe Deadly Premonition didn’t deserve this status (as it had already been released on a major console and was produced by Marvelous, a rather well known company) they… may have a point. But fie on them! Fie, I say! The more people that are allowed to experience this enigma of a game, the better—especially if they get a chance to experience the strange workings of producer SWERY’s mind before the release of his new game on the next gen systems. To celebrate the further spread of Deadly Premonition’s tale of murder and mystery, I went in search of some fanfiction, not exactly certain of what I’d find.

Deadly PremonitionI don’t know why I’m still surprised when fanfiction exists for even the most obscure of things—although truth be told there wasn’t a lot of it—but the fanfiction for this game gave off the impression of the small town in which the game takes place: a close-knit group of people drawn together by something mysterious. Of course, I’m just projecting at this point, but let me have my fun. Out of all of the stories, one of them immediately caught my eye with its name and the sheer ambition of the project. Yes, project. Project REDWOOD, to be exact. Author Animagess may quite possibly be insane, but they have taken it upon themself to, in their words from the summary, do a “full-length retelling of the entire game, in novel form”. This isn’t the first time a game has been re-written in prose format, but the sheer scope of the trial in front of them… no matter how terrible the writing could be, the dedication is truly something to marvel at.

Now I know some of you are scratching your heads at how this could possibly be any more difficult than any other game selected at random. If someone were to novelize the .Hack games, I’m sure they’d run into similar issues, namely the complexity in the story itself and parsing through the details to find what’s important and what’s not. However, as opposed to .Hack, the writing in Deadly Premonition is not good. The best way to describe the game—outside of its lackluster frame rate and controls—is a less skillfully written Twin Peaks, as much of the game’s plot is essentially plagiarized from the 90’s show. Yes, this is a game that was greenlit simply due to the fact that people, such as myself, enjoy terrible things. Think of this game as the Birdemic of video games: a game with a good concept, but horrible execution.

What this is doing in a horror game, we'll never know. (art by Gil @ Game Yay Fun)

What this is doing in a horror-mystery game, we’ll never know. (art by Gil @ Game Yay Fun)

But I digress. Animagess seems completely up to the task to reformatting the story to be comprehensible and maybe even a little less stupid. To my surprise, their writing style is very good, very readable, and the pacing really helps make the story seem like an actual murder mystery rather than a jumbled mess of random cut-scenes and mood-ruining music. At fifty-two chapters, they really seemed dedicated to their cause as well. Seemed. Unfortunately, and to the dismay of several reviewers, Project REDWOOD has not been updated (at least on fanfiction.net) for two years. I can understand that such a project would be incredibly draining on a person, and expecting someone who’s doing this as a hobby to complete the entire game is a perhaps setting one’s expectations too high. Animagess, if by some amazing twist of fate you are reading this article, I would love you to continue working on this project of yours. For everyone else, if you want to get a taste of the strangeness of Deadly Premonition without playing the game yourself or watching a let’s play of it, Project REDWOOD is a fantastic place to start your descent into madness and the mystery of the red seed killer.