Sexualized Satudays: Splatoon and Super Smash Bros. Engender Performative Play

More puns! The praise train for Splatoon and Nintendo keeps going!

For many of us, video games are a form of escapism. This can come in a few flavors, either by having equal standing in the game’s society, being able to perform outlandish feats, or just experiencing a world unlike your own. Another form of escapism is getting the chance to roleplay as something other than yourself. One of the most common ways to roleplay in gaming is to take on a character of another gender. In light of this, I want to discuss Splatoon and Super Smash Bros. some more.

Splatoon_Ballers Continue reading

Smash Bros. 4: Smashing a Typical Review

Get it? It’s a pun because I’m going to talk about Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. I was fortunate enough to recently purchase this game in addition to the console and I couldn’t be happier. Judging by reviews and fan responses, I’d wager that many people are happy with these purchases, too. However, I feel like discussion on the game is a bit lacking on a few topics, specifically regarding character choice.

SmashBrosLogoFirst things first, however. If you’re looking for a review of Smash Bros. 4 (what many fans are using as shorthand), here’s mine: it’s fun, has a lot of content, and has great artistic and musical direction. You can tell effort and care was present during the whole process. It has a few moments here and there of “extra” fluff, but everything is at least interesting. It deserves an A—not perfect, because that’s a relatively unattainable goal, but pretty damn amazing. I’ll keep it short, mostly because if you’ve seen one Smash game from Nintendo, you know what to expect. To me, the quality and fun of the game is at a high level, but is not the real story here.

This is a perfect chance to look at some issues that are at play within the game besides a purely mechanics-based, “objective” overview. In AAA development, quality should be expected (although we’ve seen some recent, huge transgressions) and is important, but it’s often the least interesting aspect of game development. We know the newest installment of GTA will be massive and technically sound and impressive, but what else? Sure, if a game is mechanically flawed, tell me; I do want to know if I’m about to purchase a glitch-riddled mess. Otherwise, I want to hear something a little deeper. What stories are we telling? Who’s involved? Do the mechanics bear any meaning, or are they simply just a vehicle to deliver the game? What does a game say about the world we live in? These are questions that are ever-present and deserve to be asked. Continue reading

Nintendo Subverts the Industry at E3 in a Good Way!

Last week, our own Tsunderin gave a nice recap of E3. I don’t need to retread the points she made, but I do want to talk about some of the things Nintendo did right during the week, and why it matters. Also because Splatoon has been one of the first games to bring me a real sense of excitement and I need an excuse to talk about it! Nintendo celebrated colorfulness and fun during their week at E3 and, from what I’ve noticed, the internet hype has risen to a much higher level because of this.

Splatoon_Characters Continue reading

Samus’s Unequal Footing

More footage for the new Super Smash Brothers was released the other day. It was completely full of hype, and I would be lying if I denied how excited I was. All of the characters looked cool and badass and everything looked good… except for Samus. For some reason, Zero Suit Samus (an armorless version, focused on speed) was wearing high heels. Cue some questions.

ZeroSuitSamusSmash4 Continue reading