Throwback Thursdays: Jet Force Gemini

Jet Force GeminiI, like many video-game-playing kids of the 90s, had a childhood filled with the whimsical worlds from the heads of those at Rare. From the Donkey Kong series to Banjo Kazooie (with some Killer Instinct on the side), these quirky games, with their distinct sense of humor, were absolutely some of my first forays into what video games could be. Though I loved watching my brother play through these games, the first Rare title I dove into myself wasn’t one of these more well-known titles, but the third-person shooter Jet Force Gemini. Sure, the story wasn’t anything innovative—and it still isn’t—but being able to play as a brother and sister team, as well as their dog, and working together to fight bad guys really appealed to me. The game may not have aged as well as other Rare titles, and what it presented in gender equality was equally undone in quintessential Rare style, but the game still remains one of my favorites.

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Fanfiction Fridays: Parental Figures by Jellycho

Someone help this sad dad.

Someone help this sad dad.

Overwatch is everywhere.

Really, there’s no reason for it not to be: it’s an aesthetically pleasing game with “easy to learn, hard to master” gameplay and a bunch of fun characters that are all equally vital and viable. As someone who doesn’t have the game and as someone who doesn’t exactly like MOBA-styled games too much, I still find myself practically eating up every Overwatch gameplay video and stream I can find. I love all the diverse characters the game has to offer, but if I’m being truthful, I don’t care much for the shipping. In fact, character-wise there are only two things I’m invested in: the friendship between D.Va and Lucio, and Dad 76. Unfortunately, the former seems to be a bit lacking in the fic sphere currently, but several very kind people have latched on to a more literary exploration of the phenomenon that is Dad 76. This AU of sorts features character Soldier 76 (aka Jack Morrison); however, instead of being the leader of the rebirth of Team Overwatch (as I understand it), he’s portrayed as a mothering old man who takes care of the kids—Tracer, Lucio, and D.Va. While subsets of this AU do take place in an entirely separate verse wherein the “kids” are actual kids in school, and Solider 76 is a legit single dad, my fic for today utilizes this concept in the game itself, and the results are just about as endearing as you would think.

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Magical Mondays: Themes, Magic, and Hustle Cat

Hustle Cat Magic BookOver the past month, I’ve seen Hustle Cat gaining some traction among the Let’s Player circuit—well deserved traction. Even people who haven’t really played dating sims before, or ones for whom the genre isn’t their bread and butter, seem to enjoy the game, and when I reviewed it, I mentioned several of the potential reasons that this could be the case. However, one aspect of the game I didn’t really delve into was its interpretation of magic, and as far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most important, thematically-driven parts of the game.

Huge spoilers under the cut.

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Dom Reviews: Overwatch

I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of video games recently. I always enjoy the medium, and I tend to have a couple go-to comfort games that I’ll play repeatedly. But in the last month or so, I wanted to try and expand my horizons. If you frequent sites like Tumblr or Reddit, you may have heard of a nice little game by the name of Overwatch. Spoiler alert: it’s a good one.

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Rin Plays: Hustle Cat

Hustle Cat GroupBack in November, I spotlighted a little up and coming dating sim called Hustle Cat. Back then, the folks at Date Nighto had just met their Kickstarter goal for initial development and were on their way to distributing this fine feline troupe of characters to the masses. Falling upon some unexpected generosity, I recently had the chance to play the finished product. If I thought it looked cute before, holy shit, that was nothing compared to what I experienced. Which is to say, Date Nighto really hit it out of the park.

Mild spoilers behind the cut.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Mass Effect: Andromeda

With E3 coming up in less than a month, I figured I should maybe start thinking of things the various developers might be showing off, just so I can avoid as much disappointment as possible. Although Nintendo has already gracefully declined to show up this year (well, there goes the fun) and I have my doubts that Bethesda is going to show up with anything worthwhile after blowing their load last year, there still sure are some games that are coming out. So, to remind myself what I’m doing here (“at” E3), I’ve been keeping tabs on one of the games that I’ve been in love with for a long time: No Man’s Sky Mass Effect: Andromeda.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Final Fantasy VII Remake

I haven’t heard too much about the Final Fantasy VII remake—and to be fair, there isn’t that much information about the game out right now. What I do know is that the game is meant to be released in increments, with the first one originally scheduled for later this year before it was moved back to March of 2017. This is probably for the best, as rushed games tend to be glitchy and not a whole lot of fun. Part of me is even shocked that March isn’t too soon, considering that the game makers have to completely re-render the entire world of Final Fantasy VII, and since the game opens up in Midgar, it means they need to create a whole city from the ground up, let alone all the other places the characters are going to visit.

So far, it looks pretty good, and I am more than excited to get right back into this world. Story spoilers up ahead.

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Illus Seed and Asagao Academy

webcrush picOh my god, you guys. I’ve been waiting to bring this team and their amazing game to your attention, and now the time has come and I have no idea how to coherently put my thoughts on virtual paper in a way that isn’t me just shrieking in delight. Mirroring my descent back into the genre, the fine folk at Illus Seed recently released their first game—an otome game—that plunged me straight into feels hell and left me wishing on every star for more.

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Rin Plays: Fire Emblem Fates

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castles beyond this trite, melodramatic plot to take back the characters you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my headcanons as great.

All of this is to say that I have finally finished my tour through the trilogy of Fire Emblem Fates, and am now prepared to pass judgment on it. I’ve talked about some aspects of the game before, both prior to release and post-release. While I argued with myself for a good while before purchasing—especially before buying Revelation—what eventually won out was not the possibility of a long storyline delving into the grey morality of man during times of war, but my love for trashy dating sims. Make no mistake, though Fates arguably does have a story, it may as well be secondary to the relationship aspect of the game as the games don’t even try to include even half of the around 68 character cast (around 40 if you’re looking at Birthright or Conquest) in the main plot. And who can blame them: it would essentially be impossible. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

Fire Emblem Fates Royal FamilySpoilers for mostly everything beneath the cut, and a trigger warning for mentions of suicide.

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Gamer Complaints Reach the “Bottom” of the Barrel

Video games and their community seem to be going through some sort of phase that leaves me asking “can’t we have one week without some bullshit?” more often than I’d like. And of course, the week we take off turned out to be the week where bullshit piled up. Last week, the community exploded, for better or worse, over a butt, and I have to wonder if people are just getting mad when someone questions the status quo for no reason other than to get mad about something.

Overwatch Roster

Blizzard’s newest MOBA-style game Overwatch has been garnering a huge fandom, and though I haven’t played the game myself, it seems well deserved. Its graphics are beautiful, the mechanics seem tight, and as far as the characters go, the game is pretty inclusive. (If it’s like any other MOBA, I would guess that they’ll continue to patch in more characters who add to this diversity.) One area where Overwatch’s characters really shine is in the diversity of its ladies. From the buff Zarya to the chubby Mei, Overwatch is attempting to send an implicit message that everyone can be a badass if they want to be, which is great. An even greater feat is that many of these women characters aren’t sexualized—and this is where this outrage bubbled up from.

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