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About
Ben is an unruly guy-bro-thing who writes useless contemplations on 1up! He would like to fancy himself as a paragon of virtue and the last of the time lords but in truth he's merely a shy anti-social pervert who "tries" to do the right thing under most circumstances. When not blabbing about games Ben likes illustrating and writing. It's Ben's personal opinion his "ideas" are the best in the world but the harsh truth is they're rather generic prepubescent wank fantasies!
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjB9z5vyv0I&feature=g-all-u

In all my idle time spent as a gamer no one has ever challenged my right to label myself as such. This is probably a good thing on account though I love games, I tend to suck at quite a few of them! If being a “true gamer” was based on an impressive kill ratio or playing every title on “masochist mode” I’d be a total and complete fraud! I play games for their journey or their story. I rarely play them for their raw challenge.

Perhaps past rants make me seem as if I’m against the concept of feminism. However, I’d argue I’m for progressive feminism (It should be called equalism,damn it!) so long as it’s not radical feminism. There’s usually two or more sides of every ideal or belief system.

Moving right along, I want to talk to you all about “female gamers” for a minute. More specifically I want to question “why” they’re asked to prove their validity and why they get shit on no matter what they do.

Let me put out the disclaimer that I’m not trying to “white knight”. I’m well aware a true gamer of the opposite sex would create a better blog than me on this subject. Nothing says “great literary insight” like raw experience! Sadly, as a male I have “0” know-how when it comes to being a woman. Still, humor me and ride this out, aye?

Nixie Pixel has become rather popular in the gaming media. I watched her you-tube videos when she wasn’t as well known. Normally I don’t bother responding to Nix. She has thousands of subscribers and frankly I only post something if I know someone is going to have a moment to read it. The problem with “fame” is it so easily separates us from the wonderful people that offer their support to us. It kind of sucks like that though I guess there has to be some kind of trade off for success. (Oh, snap! Where did my soul and my buddies go!? That‘s a dramatic over generalization, btw. Er, sorry. lol.)

Anyway, Nix seems smart and fully capable of dealing with what the masses throw at her. Be that as it may, she is “human” and she can be hurt just like you and me.

The above video moved me deeply. Pretty much some tech-geeks got in Nix’s face and told her she was fake. Maybe it didn’t help she was “pretty” and whenever a cute female does a little modeling on the side the community is quick to throw around accusations of the aforementioned person being a bogus poser.

Firstly, Nix has proven her tech saviness to me on more than one occasion. If my best friend wasn’t good with computers and various gizmos already, Nix would be the next person I went to for advice.

The problem with Nix’s situation is we’re partly to blame. Aka, when a geeky gurl reveals she’s attractive we elevate her for it and put her on a high pedestal then we crucify her, nailing her to that same pedestal as we set it aflame. I understand how that can be very confusing and very emotionally traumatic.

There are many reasons why guys might exhibit this behavior. In my case I admit I was close friends with a beautiful female gamer until her “renown” kicked in full throttle. I didn’t resent this individual for the fact she was pretty or the fact she was noticed but I “did” resent her a little bit when she stopped responding to my posts and treated me like a nobody. I even bought a certain game to play it with her and since then we haven’t co-oped once.

However, while I had “personal reasons” to fall out with that particular female gamer many more male gamers are hostile and untrusting towards their feminine cohorts right off the bat without any justification for it.

I once claimed that judging someone and mistreating them for being “comely” is just as negative as doing it because they’re presumably ugly. I still believe in this opinion strongly. The way Nix was approached was flat out wrong.

Anyhow, please reply! Have you been a female gamer with this problem? Are you a male gamer who has seen this happen to one of your female amigos? Feel free to discuss!



I don’t know how much I went into losing my progress on the game I was working on. Put simply, there was a nasty virus involved and a certain pc had to be restored back to factory specs. Luckily, there was some info on a backup hard-drive so it wasn’t a complete wash-out!

There have already been a few changes from the original prototype but nothing “ground breaking”. Amongst them, “chibi sprite edits” are being used for battlers. The character portraits done with different emotions are still in play but they’re reserved solely for conversations.



Liam and Ben still start out at the mansion. A road and a red truck was added simply to show how they were able to get there.

I’ve also colored & imported some artwork for “monsters”. “Scare Bear” and “Submissive cycle” are up for display!



I’ll of course post more when there is more.

PS: I did post this at 1up too. Normally I refrain from "blog cloning" but I figured the first part is a good issue we need to think about in more depth.
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We all have that home away from home we love just as much but don't get to visit quite as often. Destructoid is that place for me. Frankly, I spend more time at 1up because that's where I set my roots down first. I have more friends there and more fond memories there. It's not because 1up is better than Destructoid. It's because 1up was the first comfortable place that allowed me to warm my hands next to the hearth!

Still, I lurk here for the decent writing and (mostly) intelligent debates. D-toid is also one of the few places that doesn't completely crucify Koei's "warriors franchise" so I guess there's that too!


Honestly, I feel guilty about falling out with you all. "Gaming" and "life dramas" are at the forefront of my lame excuses. I finally "did" get Warriors Of Orochi 3 and played it as if I was expected to be in a gaming marathon. (I loved it that much!)


I regret to inform you all I had a falling out with Kingdoms Of Amalur by comparison. It's a decent rpg if ever there was one but the side-quests eventually got repetitive and I started to feel as if I was playing an MMO "offline". I love the combat in KOAR but the world began feeling a tad lifeless and dry despite the bright colors popping out at my eyeballs everywhere. I'm sad that 38 studios was on a sinking ship though. A developer's first game is NEVER perfect and its' a shame we live in times where a game fails by doing "moderately decent" as opposed to being a best seller.

I will say that they should have spent less money on equally talented but more obscure artists & writers. It just seems as if Todd and Bob didn't contribute that much. Where are the lovable characters and well thought out quests Mr. Salvatore? Where is that "dark brooding atmosphere" your best at Mr. McFarlane? C'mon guys, do what you are paid for! Other writers & illustrators would have killed to do your job for a smaller paycheck and would have worked twice as diligently just to get their names out there. When you can't give it your all anymore your name is no longer worth millions!


Next up is Ys origins and Ys Oath Of Felghana. As you know, Steam had another awesome sale recently. I don't know about you, but I miss those Jrpgs from a more innocent era. It's nice when a story is straightforward and non-convoluted yet maintains being heartfelt and motivational. It's delightful when monsters explode into bright crystals and potions. It's a treat when the translation is so good all the characters come off as lovable,believable, and memorable. Also, did I mention how much I missed the "old school exploration" found in games like Metroid, Symphony Of The Night, and the original Zelda games? Ys is so seductive and euphoric I don't know if I ever want to move on!

Anyway, enough with the creepy stalker-ish revelries! I beat Ys Origins with Yunica on "normal" and now I'm going through it again with Hugo Fact on very easy. At this point I simply want to get the rest of of the plot details before I move onto Oath Of Felghana. I'm not trying to prove I'm a "hardcore gaming bad-ass" so quite a few achievements will no doubt stay in the gray zone.


Lastly, I bought King Of Fighters 13. I was surprised how fast I became moderately competitive at it because the series has a reputation for being difficult to jump into. So far my favorite character is King. There's just something about her cancels,projectiles, and close ups that flows naturally for me. It's nice that my copy came with the soundtrack and at least in my case online hasn't been as terrible as certain rumors suggest it is.

So, what have you D-heads been up to? Anything new on the horizon? Any games you're excited for? Feel free to discuss!
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Ben77
10:18 AM on 02.10.2012



Disclaimer: This is one of those pieces I posted on 1up too. While I know excessive blog carry-over is probably frowned on I'm also about helping people decide if they will like a game or will not. To that end I think this is a decent indicator!

Amalur is one of those “controversial darlings” with the gaming media right now. It’s already gotten near perfect scores but it’s also gotten a 2.5 from Adam Sessler and a 7.5 at gamespot. (Not to say a 7.5 is terrible mind you)

As of now I’ve only spent a short time with Amalur. To be frank it really is another generic fantasy rpg. However, assuming you already love the genre this shouldn’t be a bad thing!

Without further adieu, let me cover some of the bases!

Story (Moments of brilliance amongst the mostly generic)

You character is literally dead at the beginning of the game. You wake up in a pile of corpses and discover gnomes brought you back via a mystical well of life. As a “fate-less one” you can forge your own path and create your own destiny.

Yeah, it’s rather cliché. Mass Effect 2 and Planescape Torment went this route as well. However, if you never fumed with fury at any other rpgs using this theme of “rebirth” or “resurrection” there’s no reason to become a “snob” now! Might as well roll with it, aye?

In the lands of Amalur there are summer fae, winter fae, and evil as hell fae. The last variety are waging war against the races of humans, gnomes, and “good fae”. The baddies all follow an asshole “dark king” who wears glowing red stuff to further accentuate how “diabolical” he is. This guy is so stereotypical his first line upon sitting on the throne is “Bwa ha ha ha! YESSSS!”

Npcs and quests are standard but I admit I cared about the gnome alchemist who had been deceived into creating a chemical weapon for a bunch of low-lives as well as for the fae girl who was almost beaten to death in a human village. For the female gnome I had to rough up assassins and destroy crates filled with her dangerous formula and for the fae girl I needed a “greater healing potion” from the aforementioned alchemist. The quests entwined naturally and by the end I did feel as if I accomplished a lot of heroism! Moving on, I helped a “female monk” join a normally “all men’s church” and ran across a poor limping fellow who was a wolf turned into a human by some malicious sprites.

So far the plot hooks behind the missions have been interesting even if it they eventually revert back to the same old “fetch me this” “destroy those filthy monsters” “escort me over there!” machinations.

Amalur’s objectives and npcs are captivating enough but they are likewise bordering on very familiar territory.

Combat/Game-play (Sublime)

Amalur makes up for its’ “high fantasy blandness” with its’ fluidly graceful fighting system and very engrossing game-play. My elfin female has slowed time, performed awe inspiring fatalities, done a fair number of spine stabbing sneaky kills, shot lightning from her finger tips, barrel rolled out of harms way, and collected an impressive plethora of loot!

There were moments I was fooled into thinking I was playing a Soul Calibur or God Of War game until it dawned on me I was also talking to people and taking on multiple foes at once. The only minor gripe I have is the lack of a “jump command”. Switching between weapons, casting spells, and waiting for your fate gauge to build before you go into Reckoning mode all are seamless in execution. No maneuver feels awkwardly tacked on or difficult to get the hang of.

Sadly “stealth” gets the shaft. Another-words during the tutorial it’s easy to sneak up on people and assassinate them from behind but after that every friggin enemy more or less looks right at you! Ah well. Maybe I just need to invest more points into it.

To persuade you it’s more than a shallow hack and slash, Amalur also throws in forging, herb collecting for your alchemistic pursuits, and a few select moments where you can steal from people’s homes, possibly get arrested, and gleefully opt to be a douche bag as opposed to the savior of the realm! Though I haven’t broken the law except in one particular instance I imagine there are consequences. Yet I doubt these ramifications create ripples felt throughout the whole adventure. The flow of the narrative and quest structure suggests you can dick someone over, destroy their village, and ironically get them to cooperate with you in spite of it all! Aka, there might be a bit of the “Fable’s curse” rotting away at Amalur’s mighty roots.

Regardless, the game is an utter delight to play!

Music (Insert “riveting” yet painfully unoriginal orchestral score here!)

I realize the people in the music department gave it their all. I’m also in no way implying I could do better. Despite that, the majority of the tunes in Amalur are so generic they smack of “big blockbuster movie tripe”. As you play you will get the feeling all the melodies you hear were disregarded from Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter on account they were “epic“ but not actually “moving“. I’m early in and it could get better but so far the compositions are a total snooze fest. Say what you will about Nier or Chrono Cross as games but I wish Nier’s or Chrono Cross’s composers had been hired by 38 studios !

Graphics (Beauty is in the crazy eye of the beholder!)

Personally I adore the over exaggerated weapons, over exaggerated armors, vibrant colors, glowing crystals, and the graphic novel approach found in KOAR.

Amalur is compelling because it makes you feel like a young nerd again. It ignites nostalgic memories of super hero posters on your walls, watching the movie Labyrinth with your first true love, indulging in Dungeons and Dragons marathons with your friends in the basement, playing Golden Axe in the arcades, painting your prized figurines, and dressing up for the local Renaissance Faire. It doesn’t so much immerse us into its’ world as much as it immerses us within the sentimental nostalgia of our collective adolescences.

Positive praise aside, I notice the eyes set within the sockets of the people around me do some really weird movements on occasion. It’s as if they temporarily suffer from a concussion to the head or they’re suddenly transfixed by the freakish orgy happening across the hall from me. It’s a small qualm but I hope it gets fixed!

Voice work

The voice work is “there”. I can’t say anything inflammatory and insulting about the performances but overall I cannot praise them either. I recognized Jim Cummings and I’m glad he’s aboard but so far the audio narrative is middle of the road. Aka it’s no reason to rag on the game but it doesn’t really work to elevate it above its’ peers.

Character creation aesthetics (That’s it? )

Many laughed at the character creation in Oblivion. Aka if you didn’t spend enough time with your avatar it would end up having an ugly horse head. Yet for those of us who were diligent we were rewarded with not only an attractive character but many other variables to make him or her stand out as unique.

Sadly KOAR’s visual character choices are rather limited by comparison. In particular I was trying to find “pig tails” for my Julia but it was to no avail. I got “close” to what was desired but I simultaneously got a lingering feeling another gamer out there probably created a near clone of my own character due to the limited content.

You have tweaks centered around piercings, lipstick tints, tattoos, eye colors, a few hair cuts for each gender, and some facial shapes but beyond that certain rpgs (and Soul Calibur V) have shown off better customization.

I will not be surprised if KOAR has “dlc” in the future to add more hair cuts, physique types, and other cosmetic alterations.

Character customization skill tree (Most excellent!)

While it might be problematic to get your character to look exactly like you’ve pictured him or her in your head, the actual “skill tree customization” is endless! Regardless of what “fate card” you choose near the beginning as your destiny you are not barred from any path. Points can be allocated into “might” “finesse” and “sorcery” regardless of your class. However choosing “destinies” will give you more bonuses to compliment certain abilities and though you start with only 3 of them numerous others begin unlocking based on your performance and where you assign your prerogatives. Unhappy with the way you built up your fantasy avatar? No problem bro/sis! Simply pay a fee to the Fate-Weaver to undistribute your points so you can now put them into new areas.

World exploration/ things to do (Commendable but not quite up there with Skyrim)

In Elder Scolls games if you see an eccentric quaint little cottage on a high mountain top you can go there. Sure, it may take you a few hours but before long you’ll be talking to an old wizard and drinking his tea while he reminisces about the good old days then complains about the mountain goats that every once in awhile have the Gaul to jump up on his thatched roof!

I’ll be honest folks. KOAR isn’t quite that free. While environments are much more spacious than they were in any Fable game they are considerably more restrictive than examples of Bethesda’s finest. Aka you are in invisible corridors, albeit ones constructed for giants!

Be that as it may, there is still hundreds of hours of questing to be found in Alamur. There’s also plenty of treasure to find and herbs to be harvested. While there don’t seem to be any “cool mounts” to get you around faster “quick traveling” alleviates much frustration, especially if you have to be somewhere in a flash.

Liking or loathing the “bright, colorful, and vibrant” vistas in Alamur is your own call. Personally I’m smitten to have a world with more palettes than “grey” “winter green” and “muddy brown”! Realism has its’ place but in my mind it’s okay for a fantasy rpg to look “fantastical”.

Overall

Sure, it may appear I’m being “harsh”. In reality I’m very happy with my purchase! Most of the grievances with Amalur are imperfections I cannot be bothered to care about but for those of you who may feel differently I’m trying to be objective. Aka what may only get a shrug out of me may make the rest of you foam at the mouths!

For you if

Do you love Skyrim but cringe at its’ somewhat clunky combat? Do you enjoy Fable but wish it had been bigger with more to do? Do you like stylized artistic graphics over hyper realism? Dig side quests? Whelp, here are the keys to the iron horse sir knight! Enjoy!

Not for you if

If “generic fantasy” wearing thin on your tolerance levels? Prefer rpgs steeped in a realistic and infinitely vast world? Does managing dense numerical variables and navigating through overly complex inventory screens make your cock or tits feel bigger? Prefer consequences that effect you throughout your whole journey? Infuriated by “silent protagonists” and mostly generic side characters? In that case Amalur make come off as a tad too “simplistic” and a tad too “vanilla” to hold your interest.

First impression grades

Technical: -A (Very few glitches which is a testament to quality considering how expansive KOAR is in scope)

Enjoyment: +B (While other rpgs have captivated me more than KOAR, it still calls out to me endearingly with its‘ harmonious ballads! Put it this way, I rather be playing it than writing my thoughts about it!)

Originality: C (You will not find many set pieces or happenstances in Alamur that surprise you or incite an emotive response. There are rare moments of caring about who you are helping or vaguely wanting to see what happens next but such instances quickly get buried by a feeling of melancholy monotony. This is almost tragic when you weigh how skillfully KOAR performs in other areas.)

I wanted to give Amalur a perfect score then again I feel as if I’ve played rpgs before now with a bit more “soul” and “uniqueness” to them. Foibles such as dry monotonous lore and campy tropes that have plagued open-world rpgs since their inception crash the party for the umpteenth time here!

It’s perplexing to put my finger on why I’m being a smidge more critical of KOAR than I was with Titan Quest, Nier, and Divinity II DKS. If I was to take a stab in the dark I’d say it’s because this game was so over hyped. When big names are thrown around we want them to mean something yet KOAR barely breaks even with other exceptional examples of the genre. It’s polished to a beautiful bright sheen yet its’ so run-of-the-mill even I feel a tad subdued and under-whelmed.

It’s on a technical and visceral level where Amalur exceeds expectations by offering frantic and fantastic combat mixed with a few deceptively deep layers that makes it a cut above a simplistic dungeon hack. Furthermore , there don’t seem to be many bugs!(Texture pop ins, crazy eyes, and inaccurate draw distances aside)

For a “first entry” in a potential series you cannot ask for much better than KOAR so long as you aren’t expecting loads of groundbreaking innovation.

Pros

+Quests often have an interesting hook

+The combat mechanics are fast paced, dynamic, graceful, and well thought out

+The narrative and grand scope of the game begins improving after you join some guilds and make it further into the territories.

+The world itself is beautiful in a whimsical high fantasy kind of way

+Going into reckoning mode to slow time as you dispense some bone crunching and flesh ripping finishing moves never gets old

+Great crafting and alchemy systems

+There are no limitations placed on how you evolve your hero

+Hundreds of hours of adventuring await you regardless if you get KOAR now or down the line

+Though “the monsters” aren’t devil forged from the freshest concepts around there are a plethora of different types of them from gigantic to small

+Quick traveling takes the burden out of collecting rewards,visiting pals, and accepting additional missions

Cons

-Many npcs have the same annoying accents

-Amalur isn’t quite as “open to exploration” as an Elder Scrolls game

-Clichés and stereotypes are taken to new levels of absurdity

-Though Todd McFarlane headed the art design most of the creatures and characters are rather ho-hum and unimpressive.

-Music is repetitive and predictable with no scores that make you feel even a minuscule amount of emotion

-The game seems to favor “might” over finesses and sorcery. My first character Julia (Rogue) faced a lot more hardships than my second character Lucian (Brawler).

- Oh silent protagonist you fascinate me about as much as card board! You have the depth of card board as well!

-KOAR’s mature rating is unwarranted. Besides for a pile of corpses, red kool-aid explosions when slaying monsters, drinking alcohol references at the local pub, and a series of lewd yet subtle diaries written by a perverted monk there’s nothing here that skates close to prostitution, innuendos, slave trading, swearing, rape, excessive cultural taboos, sexual fetishism, and other unsettling situations that mirror issues found in real life. Granted KOAR deals with war, plagues,racial tensions, and regicide but it is very hesitant about going into the knitty gritty unpleasantries associated with these topics. This could have easily have been a teen-rated rpg but a big “M” on the box is probably an attempt to move more copies. Implied controversy sells apparently! Don’t go into Amalur expecting The Witcher 2 caliber material!

Money's worth?

Yes! Complaints aside, this is an rpg with a generous amount of swag! Likewise, for a first attempt by a new-ish studio it's totally spectacular!
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The following months are going to open up a lot of possibilities for us gamers. Of course I'm pretty damned excited for Warriors Of Orochi 3 and Kingdoms Amalur!

Some reviewers have already played the demo of the later and the results have been mixed. Aka you'll likely be witness to some critics saying it rips off too much from Fable,God Of War, and WOW while other players will admit the experience is very fun.

As I don't mind games borrowing traits from other games I'm not going to hold that over "The Reckoning's" head. I guess what I want is an rpg that plays a bit like Dark Souls (only not as unforgivably difficult) with an open world akin to Skyrim (Despite the fact I'm rather sure Amalur is not going to be quite as expansive). Regardless, based on my personal preferences this could be the perfect rpg for me!

Then there's Warriors Of Orochi 3. Many readers will draw blanks on why I'm anticipating this one like an excited puppy. All I can say in my defense is I've played beat em ups since they were in arcades and I have a thing for quasi-historical settings in the ancient world. For me WO3's inclusion of "European heroes" is the cause for some celebration as well! Joan D'Arch will be one of my mains. She's sort of ingrained herself into a special place in my heart. I dunno, something about her story of faith, betrayal, and sainthood resonates with me!

In Febuary I'll be faced with a dilemma. I'm still debating whether I should get King Of Fighters 13 or Alice: Madness Returns. I know that at least on D-toid KOF 13 did great (9 out of 10) and Alice: Madness Returns came in at a lower score. Of course those were 2 different reviewers with unique opinions!

First off I don't like fighting games for the usual reasons. I've come to discover I'm not very competitive and if I do play against others I rather it simply be for friendly interaction with other gamers. Aka I'm not trying to win a gaudy belt or be in the top 10 elite.

Honestly, I followed KOF due to the whacked out story-archs and flamboyant characters! For me KOF is akin to fusing X-men with Dragon Ball and that is totally awesome!

Question is will I get tired of KOF 13 after completing the plot focused missions? Will I have a lot to go back to?

It was at that point I entertained getting Alice Madness Returns! A genre I like just as much as fighters is the action plat-former. More kudos are given if a developer can throw me a sympathetic protagonist while making the world he or she is in very interesting. From what I've observed AMR excels at these things.

Some hardcore fans say the original American McGee's Alice is better. It's hard to decipher if their bias is well-founded or the result of nostalgic beer goggles.

What worries me the most is the game has a kind of "Sucker Punch" vibe going on and though I have nothing against Eric Snider as a person I really "disliked" that movie. Perhaps "kick ass gurl power graphic novels" don't mix well with "psychological thriller tragedies" on my palette. I found Sucker Punch's ending to be needlessly sad and morose and I hope that's not the same for AMR. We put a lot of investment into games as "interactive experiences" and as such I imagine many of us feel cheated when the hero or heroine gets screwed over!

If any of you have experience with these two games let me know your thoughts on them. Thanks!
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I tried posting to you all on my blog before the most recent one. I apologize that did not seem to be an option then! (Still learning about the spam filter and I had to call in some helpful D-toid back up!) Regardless, these are my words you all. As always I appreciated the participation be you agreed with me or not! Despite seeming close to blowing my top here or there it's all in good fun and it is perfectly fine to have legitimate reasons to challenge me on any issue.

In particular I think Stephen,Elsa, and I were going to have a good and clean back and forth fisticuffs but apparently we missed each other due to technical issues. (Sorry guys,sorry!)

Anyway without further adieu.....

Elsa: You're right of course. The portrayal of females in video games could be more advanced and by far more dignified. Then again I just can't relate to guys like Kratos or Marcus Felix either! I love "God Of War and "Gears Of War 2" as much as the next impassioned bloke but playing through an epic story as a narcissistic hot-headed bully or roided up space marine doesn't seem flattering to me in the least bit! Empowering? Sure, if you base empowerment solely around killing people and digging pointy metal things into rocks. lol.

Stephen: You're not alone bro! Same thing happened to me and I'm having to type out these responses a second time. I feel your grief!

Moving on, men and women are both "idealized" for different reasons. For women it tends to be beauty (sadly) and for men it's toughness.

However, even when a female protagonist is a fierce warrior or capable leader in a videogame we're all so quick to cry "sexist portrayal" or "objectification" if she doesn't follow a certain dress code or expresses even a split second of teary eyed vulnerability. This doesn't seem to come up as much with "male characters".

Aequitas: I truly hope we are resilient enough to resist conditioning and peer pressure by society. If not it's a tragedy. Aka it's like we're given the keys to a Jaguar (metaphorical of our freedom) but we choose to ride a rust-ridden tricycle instead!

Jaded: Someday when we're more comfortable with sexuality we may finally begin to question if in fact becoming a "dancer" or "erotic star" is in fact disreputable and degrading. Until then I confess to having just as much puritanical guilt as everyone else!

The only parallel I can draw to "cheer leaders" having to maintain their acrobatic feats and physiques is Ron J. He definitely didn't become famous for his acting or friendly personality! Shortly afterwards all men had the pressure to have generous endowments! (Well it was a "renewed" pressure. We've always had that issue.)

TrevHead: I fear online gaming in frequent dosages myself. All I need is a 12 year old calling me a f*gg*t as he tea bags my helmeted spartan. No thank you! Why is "g&y" even thrown around as an insult? It baffles me.
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First off, don't worry. At least for a long while this is going to be the last write up on this topic. Secondly my blog on "social pressure and social sexism" equally going after both genders was not meant to serve a "misogynistic bro-genda" or somehow downplay the crimes that happen to women exclusively. (F$ck! Why are you making me do this?! I want to talk about games!!)

As a blogger I like people taking the fight to me occasionally. It's my opinion we need to have our core beliefs shaken sometimes. Still, if you're going to "come at me bro" you better have good counter-points packed into your shot gun! If you do not back up your stance with finesse and grace I'm still going to disagree with you! (Oh noez,a different view point! Life iz oveh!)

Allow me to begin covering a few scenarios to further enlighten you! (whilst posting random pictures to elaborate on my lavish and scholarly life experience!)

Scenario 1: The date



Jill: Ben, it's so nice to meet you! (shakes hand)

Ben: Thanks Jill! Bear with me, I'm not good at this whole dating thing! (laughs uneasily)

Jill: It's okay. So, what do you do for a living? (eyes are drawn to Ben's DBZ button up shirt as worry lines crease her face. Who wears an anime themed shirt to a date?!)

Ben: I do a lot of free lance writing and some illustration. Just stuff to pass the time really! I'm one of those chaotic creative people. I also love fantasy and science fiction! Beam me up Scotty! Heh. (looks down at his feet)

Jill: Wow, so you're a professional journalist and an artist. That's great! (perks up a bit)

Ben: Oh no, you misunderstand me. I get income from my disability. I have bi-polar disorder. Don't worry it's not the plague! (laughs uneasily again) It doesn't effect intelligence of cognitive memory. It just means I have to deal with mood swings,anxiety, and depression more often. I also would have trouble conforming to a schedule and adapting to certain situations that are extra stressful.

Jill. Oh. (looks disappointed) Well, we all have our issues,huh? (Jill flashes an insincere smile that tries to pass itself off as comforting) So um, what do you consider "romantic"?

Ben: I don't have much money Jill. I think that's established. But we could still have fun! "Romance" to me is simply being close to someone you care about! Love can flourish in a park having a picnic or watching a movie together cuddled up on the couch! Also I'm pretty kinky! (Throws in the last part but immediately regrets doing it and cringes) That was a joke. I mean I "am" kinky but I wouldn't expect anything until further into the relationship....Er,yeah.

Jill: Ben you seem like a really "nice guy" and I'm sure there's someone out there "just for you" but I don't think I'm the one. (Hugs Ben giving him an awkward pat on the back) We can still be friends and hang out sometime,kay? No hard feelings? (Jill's eyes dart towards the exit like a frightened rabbit)

Ben: (crestfallen he lowers his head) Sure Jill, no problem! (voice cracks as he nods quickly) These things happen y'know? (feels completely dead inside)

For the record I know not all dating scenarios would go this badly for me. But I'm confident most of them would. As often as women get judged by appearances we get judged by our occupation and what we carry in our wallets. There are exceptions to the rule of course. However, by and large we operate under the "hunter/gatherer/get with the guy with the most furs & food" instincts.

Scenario 2: Yaoi slash fan fics! Aka the wank fantasies of ogling fan girls!


For loyal Naruto fans I bring you Yaoi!

When the word "male" is coupled with the word "geek" the first association is how insecure and bumbling we are around females. Another-words, the hypothesis we look up "filthy porn" starring Sasha Grey in a ridiculous unrealistic school girl uniform may not be far from the truth!

While it's a "status symbol" to have a real girl friend "lonely guys" who get off to hentai or porn automatically get labeled as "perverts" and "misogynists". If we show off anime art with "big boobies" or post a bunch of pictures of our favorite swim-suit model it's grounds for much of the female populace writing us off as out of shape,pimply, and hopeless shut ins with no ambitions or moral integrity.

Yet the "yaoi slash fan fic" is perfectly socially acceptable! What is the yaoi slash fan-fic you may ask my dear readers? Yaoi slash fan fics deal with pairing together attractive "pretty boys" from famous anime or J-rpgs and putting them in steamy sexual situations. It's kind of like Persona 4's scenario with Kanji and his "Bad Bad Bath-house" but much more graphic! That's right. Cloud and Sephiroth have been objectified just to get off fan girls! Certainly they're not real people but you just know there is scandalous real-life cosplay of hunky beef cakes snapping pictures of themselves being paired together as well! Double standards much ladies?

Scenario 3: This is my rifle this is my gun...Violence and machismo empower me, boy this is fun!


Chris shows off man nips while doing an Elvis impersonation. I don't know about you but I'm about to blow my load!

It's still claimed by many only men are truly empowered in movies and video-games. Aka they're admired more for their skills and their personalities as opposed to how attractive they are. I cannot tell you to what extent this is true but we should question why it's the belief only "violence" and "success" add to a male character's appeal. Would we really continue to root for the under-dog if he kept losing? Would we really want to play as a crippled or maimed male protagonist (Ala the wheel chair confined boy in Stephen King's Silver Bullet) who did not have the ability to fight or do cartwheels over launched missiles? The answer is probably "no" as unfair as it maybe. Even if a male hero dies it's usually a "noble sacrifice" which is yet another staple of bro-adventure story telling!

Scenario 4: I'm averagely super attractive!


For many of us "Nathan Drake" is the every-man. Aka the fact he is clever, good intentioned, and masterful at handling stressful situations despite not being a "super marine" endears us to him.

Yet Nathan is still "hawt". While it is true there are more likely to be non-comely supporting male characters (Pigsy from Enslaved) than non-comely supporting female characters, in general the "lead guy" always looks like he could pose as a men's underwear model. There are exceptions of course (Damn,Solid Snake is too old to be doing this shit!) but not many!

Scenario 5: Ron Jeremy gets by on "cock" !


Ron seems like a great guy. In his interviews outside of porn he is very friendly and charismatic. So it's too bad Ron didn't exactly break into "the biz" because of his endearing personality. Nope, Ron got his job because of his huge DICK!

Whine as much as you want about females being judged solely on their physical attributes but it will not change the fact Ron is most well known for his JOHNSON!

Certainly females can undergo physical augmentation but guys do it all the time too. I'm rather sure "muscle steroids" "sexual enhancement stimulants" and "phallus growth pumps" aren't always healthy yet many men feel the pressure to partake in these regimes. Aka "men" can harm themselves in an attempt to live up to impossible expectations just as often as women can.

Ron you set the standard too high champ!

Scenario 6: It really is biological. Get over it.


Any fighting game enthusiast can bitch about Mai's personality or bitch about her move sets. Some may even call her "ineffective" or "nerfed" depending on the King Of Fighters game she stars in. That's not the issue here however!

Point is if I called a U.N. conference and asked "Gentlemen,would you "do" Mai?" most of them would nod their heads rigorously and say "yes". Okay I'll level. Maybe that random oddball from an isolationist tribal nation would vote "no". Perhaps he's miffed Mai doesn't have nipple piercings,long toe nails,birds nesting in her hair, and she's "too thin" or "too fat".

Throughout history most every culture has found scantily clad or naked women to be attractive. Attention is usually drawn to the "tits" or "the ass" and the camel toe can be thrown in for good measure too. Indeed many of us are just regurgitating this stuff throughout the passage of time.

Unrealistic portrayals of women limited to the modern era you say? Poppycock! Check out this sculptor's irrational breast fetish! Okay those "tits" could be spiritually symbolic...they're still tits though!

Of the erotic art created much of it was exaggerated or not confined to entirely realistic anatomy. This is no different than "hentai" or how certain women are portrayed in video games. Luckily, for people that prefer "realistic smut" it is always in abundance too!


Classy smut the greek way!

Rambling aside, I don't feel as if artists should be "judged" over getting frisky from time to time. They draw attention to the traits "they" find arousing. Yes folks it is indeed biology. This is not a limited western cultural phenomenon or brain washing. It's basic human nature!

Scenario 7: Doh!


Pick any satirical family sitcom and one thing remains the same. All family men are dumb, out of shape, beer swigging,doughnut eating,pop culture quoting, and clueless louts! (In contrast to their cute,more sensible, and more intelligent wives) Sure, I find it funny too but could it be because I was "conditioned to" by society?! Oh, parish the thought!

Scenario 8: Boo hoo, it's so hard to be "you". Well in contrast to "her life" you should be grateful!


Hate me if you must for what I've stated thus far. As a matter of fact be happy you can choose to loathe me and post it on my blog. Be thankful you can voice your opinion on any topic you read on Destructoid or abroad. Thank your lucky stars you can divorce an abusive husband,turn down insecure losers like me, get a job, and become famous! Why? It really isn't "this great" everywhere else in the world. Yes, I direct this paragraph at any female who has an inkling of "radical-feminist sentiment" within a place that treats her as a privileged equal citizen.

We're so busy pointing and accusing others of being wrong we often forget how great we really have it! Certain things shouldn't be taken for granted but alas, they are everyday.

In all honesty I don't know if this "veiled woman" truly lives a life of forced submission, spousal abuse, and constant dread. Maybe her concealment is an eccentric fashion fetish! Yet many women under a patriarchal unyielding social system do in fact endure miserable existences.

Go ahead and direct "angry activism" towards me if it makes you feel better. Just know you could do something much more constructive and helpful with it.
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