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Happy Valentine's Day, you filthy animals
[Update: Contest over! Winners have been sent their codes.] Dtoid has just acquired 70 codes for the PS3/Vita version of Hotline Miami and I REALLY WANT YOU TO WIN BECAUSE I LOVE YOU HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY. Here's the deal: th...

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Videogame Clubhouse: The Valentine's Day special


LET'S EMBARRASS OURSELVES AND OUR MOTHERS!
Feb 13
// Spencer Hayes
It's time for that annual occurrence of public shame and humiliation: Valentine's Day. If that sentence wasn't enough to tip you off then know that I'm not a big fan of the holiday. So what is a guy to do to prepare himself f...
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Vita card game Monster Monpiece comes to NA, EU


Some card images cut, though
Jan 21
// Dale North
Idea Factory International's first Vita game, Monster Monpiece, has been confirmed for North America and Europe today. This tactical card battle with RPG elements comes to PSN this spring.  If the name sounds familiar, ...
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Max Scoville presents "Sexy Video Game News-Hole"
As you might've heard yesterday, I am back with Destructoid as full-time Video Warlock. And so, I've wasted absolutely no time whatsoever abusing my newfound power, and here's the first episode of my new show: Sexy Video Gam...

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Get ready to spank: Saints Row IV: Enter The Dominatrix


Kinky
Oct 23
// Dale North
We thought Saints Row: The Third expansion Enter the Dominatrix was some silly, horny internet thing. But it's real, and it's out today on the PSN, XBLA and Steam, priced at $6.99. If you've got a season pass, well, it'...

Jimquisition: Neutered

Aug 12 // Jim Sterling
Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Why do gamers defend their favorite titles from criticism with such volatility? According to some, it's because they don't want to see their genitalia removed. Is inclusivity the enemy of creativity? Is restriction an inherent part of congeniality? The Jimquisition considers recent controversies against the fear of a game being "neutered" to "pander" to new audiences.

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Rayman on PC, Incognita, Saints Row IV & More Oculus XXX


The Destructoid Show likes turtles
Jul 26
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! I'm back! And here's today's Destructoid Show, gettin' nasty and stupid with its bad self. Rayman Legends is hitting PC, which is great. The Oculus Rift is supported by a game about sexy maids, Saints Row IV has a ...
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Erotica game with the penis controller adds Rift support


The future is now
Jul 26
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Have you heard about Custom Maid 3D? It's a game where you create your own custom maids and then do things to them. Sexual things. And you do these sexual things by using the Ju-C Air Support controller. It resembles a PlayS...
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Star Wars: Battlefront, Ellen Page, & Sexy Suda51


The Destructoid Show has a visit from Uncle Sessler
Jun 25
// Max Scoville
DICE is as excited about Star Wars: Battlefront as you are, Ellen Page is pissed about Ellie in The Last Of Us looking like her, Saints Row IV is too explicit for Australia, and Suda51 gives his stance on sexuality in Killer Is Dead. Adam Sessler fills in for Tara, and we talk about his fun panel with Jim Sterling, and how I'm a suicidal Pikachu.
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Dtoid Show

No Xbox One DRM, Titanfall, Halo, & Oculus Rift VR Sex


The Destructoid Show puts on its wizard hat and robe
Jun 21
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! It's The Destructoid Show! ...Again! Microsoft dropped their dumb DRM, but there's a day one patch, and we're losing some features. But hey, free Xbox Live games. Titanfall has no single-player campaign, ...
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Yep: Oculus Rift getting a sex game, Wicked Paradise


Prepare to experience sexual magic
Jun 17
// Jim Sterling
It was only a matter of time. The highly anticipated Oculus Rift is getting its very own virtual sex game, Wicked Paradise. According to itself, it's "the world's first erotic virtual reality adventure game." You love it. "Im...
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Microsoft clarifies Xbox One's Killer Instinct situation


Not scripted, says Microsoft
Jun 10
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Microsoft has issued a response to the kerfuffle surrounding the incident this morning, which reads as such: "The comments in question during the Killer Instinct demo were not scripted. The demo was meant to include...
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Xbox porn

Hardcore pornography CONFIRMED for Next Xbox


Wetflicks
May 16
// Jim Sterling
SugarDVD, purveyor of such fine films as What An Asshole and Hairy Asian Schoolgirls Masturbate, has confirmed it'll be bringing its adult entertainment streaming services to Microsoft's next-generation Xbox.  The servic...

How eager nipples and a tight thong fought casual sexism

May 15 // Jim Sterling
Bro-sie the Riveter was created as a male counterpart to Ms. Underboob, and was hung in her place ... with emphasis on the hung.  Things went well on the morning of the switch. Anonymous was giddy with delight, co-workers discovered the prank (unleashed on April 1) and laughed. Everything was fine until Mark Long himself arrived, and saw his beloved boobs replaced with a magnificent man-package.  "We hear a loud: 'What the hell is this?!' And then all goes quiet. Ten minutes pass. We panic. "We are both suddenly and painfully aware that we have, in fact, just punked the CEO of our company. He is by all accounts an awesome dude. He is also a late-50s ex-army guy who happens to determine our employment futures in an at-will state. Meep." Fortunately, Long is as awesome as the employee hints, as he not only saw the funny side, he reflected on how his choice of decor may affect others.  "That was a brilliant prank," Long told his employee, "You called me on exactly the bullshit I need to be called on. I put up pictures of half-naked girls around the office all the time and I never think about it. I’m taking you and Sam to lunch. And after that, we’re going to hang both prints, side by side." It can be argued that Long kind of missed the point, since the original poster is still up. It's at least a compromise though, which is one step in a half-decent direction. You don't get too many of them these days, and it's always pleasant to see. It's also a nice lesson in how many people might come across as assholes but are just, well, kind of ignorant of a problem and, once they're aware, they can take steps to fix their part in it.  Not always though. Some of them really are just total assholes. You need to call them out on their shit to separate them, though, and this was certainly an amusing example of that being done. 
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Bro-sie the Riveter versus Ruby Underboob
Hawken publisher Meteor has, in its office, a piece of art featuring a woman with a bountiful underboob and very little in the way of clothing, hung in place by CEO Mark Long. The half-naked woman, named "Ruby Underboob"...

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Jimquisition happens every Monday!
A common argument in the ongoing debate over gender and videogames is that women and men both are equally objectified. Is that really true? As always, Emperor God King Jim Sterling puts His holy foot down and delivers wisdom true to the masses. He totally isn't smug about it, either!

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Kotaku lied: Nintendo loves penises AND butts!


Destructoid offers a re-BUTT-al
May 09
// Jim Sterling
In a recent article on Kotaku, writer Patricia Hernandez pointed out that, while Nintendo will censor asses, it has no problem showcasing a delicious penis.  She used Animal Crossing: New Leaf as evidence, criticizing Ni...

Gearbox artist slams Dragon's Crown character design

May 01 // Jim Sterling
As one might expect, Hamm's comments have drawn considerable heat from Dragon's Crown fans, particularly on NeoGAF. Gearbox's own history of female design has been brought up multiple times in response to the criticism, with Borderlands' Mad Moxxi and Duke Nukem Forever's entire existence providing alleged examples of similar female objectification.  Images such as the one above have been used to refute Hamm's point, though to be fair, it's worth pointing out that Hamm is responsible only for Gearbox's environmental art, and her own designs of female characters are both tasteful and quite excellent. Still, gender issues are treacherous waters, and it's inevitable Gearbox's history would be part of the splashback.  That said, it's also been argued that Gearbox's designs as they stand can't be compared to Dragon's Crown's overtly exaggerated characters.  "Nothing in Borderlands posted so far is remotely in the same ballpark," said one NeoGAF poster.  Indeed, while Moxxi clearly has her breasts on show, she is at least sensibly proportioned and her costume actually fits the context of her character. She's not going out to battle dressed in that attire, she's supposed to be an entertainer and the owner of a bar with a deliberately titillating aesthetic. That's not to say she's designed inherently "better" than Tamikani's characters, but it's hard to compare the two in this particular discussion.  In any case, the Dragon's Crown debate rages on, even as those who claim to be tired of it continue to post in forum and comment threads every time it comes up. Indeed, this shows no signs of going away yet.  Still, this is probably the most advertising a Vanillaware game's ever gotten.
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The boob wars continue
The Dragon's Crown "thing" shows no sign of stopping, with vehement and sometimes venomous opinions flying this way and that. To bring you up to speed, Vanillaware's upcoming brawler features a big-boobed Sorceress, the desig...

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Jimquisition: Boob Wars and Dragon Crowns


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Apr 29
// Jim Sterling
Dragon's Crown has become the latest game involved in a big argument. Big boobs, burly dwarves, and Kotaku were all involved. Gender issues in games are important. They are worth thinking about. They are, contrary to po...
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The Destructoid Show can see through your clothes
Hello boys and girls, here's today's Destructoid Show for you to rub your dirty little eyeballs all over. Mmmm. Yes, just like that. Bethesda is done with Skyrim, and they've now begun teasing their next exciting mystery pro...

2 SEXY 4 U photo
2 SEXY 4 U

Study: Xbox gamers way more awesome at sex than PC gamers


In other news, here's a picture of Tingle
Apr 05
// Allistair Pinsof
UK discount site Voucher Codes Pro asked 1,747 partners of gamers how they would rate their partner "in the bedroom." I think they mean sex. Those who primarily game on Xbox received the highest marks with 54% describing them...
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More views of naughty Fire Emblem: Awakening Tharja fig


'round back
Feb 28
// Dale North
Remember that naughty Tharja figure scuplt from Wonder Festival 2013 from a few weeks back? You all had a lot to say about it, and I'm not surprised about that. But what is surprising is that people are st...
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EA + Tabloid = Half-naked woman in Crysis 3 bodypaint


Sleaze meets sleaze to have a sleazy little baby
Feb 20
// Jim Sterling
The Sun loves to talk about how dangerous those violent videogames are, and frequently runs stories vilifying interactive entertainment for inspiring crime and teaching the youth of Britain all sorts of terrible things. Still...
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Street Fighter

Street Fighter III's Q is a sexual Kermit the Frog


brentalfloss sings "The Total Destruction"
Feb 18
// Tony Ponce
The enigmatic Q from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is a freak. That we know. His Total Destruction technique certainly doesn't leave much room for ambiguity. You do have to wonder what must be going on through his / hers / ...

Confessions: All the RPG girls I've loved before

Feb 14 // Dale North
Quistis TrepeGame: Final Fantasy VIII I lied on the type thing in my introduction. I really do have a type. It's Quistis. Blonde, tall, confident. Glasses. Nerdy hot -- there's nothing more attractive than a smart girl to me. Quistis goes way beyond cute librarian, though. She's actually brilliant, working as an instructor at Balamb Garden. Yep, I've got the hots for teacher.  There was a scene where Quistis took her glasses off. I lost it. That's the magic of glasses, folks. You take them off at key times and it kills. I love her brain, I dig her confidence, and I'm in love with the fact that she's a Blue Mage. But I don't really like her belt (straighten that thing out!), and I would prefer that she put her hair down once in awhile. Someone on Deviantart completed the fantasy for me. I want to eat her hair. Rinoa HeartillyGame: Final Fantasy VIII I was not originally part of the Rinoa camp (see above), but on a road trip I took not too long after finishing Final Fantasy VIII, I stopped into a market to buy root beer or Gysahl Greens or something. In the checkout line I ran into a girl that looked exactly like Rinoa -- jet-black hair, huge, intense eyes, soft skin, and that perfect flirty half-smile. She was even wearing the game character's robe-ish, cabled top, though it was white instead of blue. When she turned my direction her eyes opened even wider, in that impossible way that breathless anime girls in love do. My heart stopped. My head tilted upward. Soft focus. I saw fields of flowers flutter down from the sky; the dingy market started to turn green and breezy. This fantasy only lasted for a second or two before she turned back around to check out, but I've been in love with Rinoa ever since.  GarnetGame: Final Fantasy IX So, uh…quick question. For a friend. Would liking Garnet make me this friend a pedophile? You know, just asking for some color on the situation. Nothing serious. Just friends talking, right? AigisGame: Persona 3 Forbidden love? Future love? I'm not yet clear on the technicalities of robot/weapon love, but I'll figure it out for Persona 3's Aigis. Pixie haircut on an android? It shouldn't, but it works for me.  Something about Aigis makes me want to take her out and show her the world. I imagine us having a picnic in the park. She's in a lovely sundress (cover up those hip…things, please) and we're sitting underneath the shade of a large oak tree as it's hot outside, though she'll never sweat. I'm hand feeding her homemade fried chicken from a bento that I made the night before just for this occasion, though she'll never be able to digest it. I take hold of her face with my hand, wiping a bit of food off her cool, smooth chin. She reaches up with her metal hand to grasp mine, and her eye cameras focus on my eyes. I see her humanity beyond the lenses, sensors, and wires. Beyond her robot-ish toughness, I can clearly see sweetness, kindness, and the desire to live. This is why I am in love. Nah, I just love her pixie haircut.  AnnaGame: Fire Emblem series Anna is the newest on my stalker list, though she has been around for a while in the Fire Emblem world. That red hair, that sly smile. I'm this shopkeep's most loyal customer. In doing the math to try to understand my love for her, I found that 80 percent of my affection comes directly from how she places her fingertip on her chin in a cute, thoughtful way -- her default pose. The other 20 percent can be attributed to the way that she swivels her hips and rocks back and forth in her adorable victory dance. That's all it takes for me. I've never been one for that multi-way with identical twins fantasy, honestly.  NeiGame: Phantasy Star II This sexy, purple-haired, pointy-eared biomonster was probably my first RPG crush. Loved that choker. I should have never rolled with her on that date to that Climacontrol place. Shion UzukiGame: Xenosaga series Again, I love brainy heroines. Xenosaga's beautiful, bespectacled scientist is brilliant enough that she heads up research and development that would blow a rocket scientist's mind, but is still cool enough that she hangs out with deadly/sexy android weapons during her downtime. I like that she's confident enough to wear things like that skanky two-tone skirt outfit from the first game, but you'd never call her out on it with that huge gun she carries. Oh, and she's a martial artist, so you'd keep your mouth shut anyway. I love Shion for how tough she is. She had a rough childhood, and things got even worse for her as she became older. Despite losing loved ones and being wrapped up in one of the most complicated, convoluted RPG story arcs ever created, she maintains her positive outlook and cheeky smile. Who wouldn't love a girl this strong? They turned up the dial from cute to sexy from the first Xenosaga to Xenosaga II for Shion, removing her glasses and showing a bit more skin, but I have a soft spot for the sweet, stupid, and somewhat dorky Shion. You'll never beat pigtails and glasses. Never. LuciaGame: Lunar: Eternal Blue I'd be all over Lucia like Ruby (Lunar: Eternal Blue's flying cat) on fish. Princess, savior, destroyer of worlds? Who cares! This delightful deity had me wishing on a dream that seemed far off that she was real somewhere when I first played Lunar: Eternal Blue. To this day, I still want blue hair to be a real thing. I've never looked forward to RPG cutscenes more than I did with this game, and it was all for Lucia. Her and those dragon-summoning legs. Her royal-ish goddess clothing did something for me. It was like I was after something I wasn't supposed to have. Lucia is 1,000 years and 1,000 levels beyond that unobtainable girl in high school. Class all the way. Just like that far off Blue Star, Lucia is so far away. Untouchable. And that makes me love her even more.  LibraGame: Fire Emblem: Awakening Beg pardon?
Love confession photo
My Valentines
My type? Hmmm. I don't know that I have a type. You see, I like redheads, but I also dig blueheads. I like tall girls, small girls, old girls, and relatively young (but still age appropriate) dragon-girls. Graceful and sweet ...

Heart to Get photo
Heart to Get

This is a game you play by literally beating your meat


Give that meat a nice, firm squeeze
Jan 31
// Tony Ponce
"A beating heart" was the theme of this year's Global Game Jam -- an event held in various sites around the world simultaneously where participants have to design a game in 48 hours. And among all the submissions, Heart to G...
Promoted Blog photo
Promoted Blog

I'll face myself: Transcending the gender binary in games


Promoted from our Community Blogs
Jan 30
// Pixie The Fairy
[Dtoid community blogger Pixielated shares an introductory blog with the community and examines how some positive gender representations in gaming can help people better understand their own identity. Want to see your own wor...
Boob Wars = GOTF photo
Boob Wars = GOTF

Boob Wars, the last game you will ever need


"Erorists"
Jan 25
// Tony Ponce
Just a short while ago, we received an email from MangaGamer, a distributor of English-translated Japanese adventure games. It contained a press release for an adult turn-based card battler entitled Boob Wars: Big Breasts vs ...
Bloggers Wanted photo
Bloggers Wanted

Bloggers Wanted: Let's get sexy


Call for entries
Jan 23
// mrandydixon
[When we're looking for blogs on a specific topic, we'll put out a Bloggers Wanted call. Check out the blog prompt, write a response, and you may see your blog promoted to the front page! --Mr Andy Dixon] Thanks to the recent...

Review: Seduce Me

Jan 10 // Josh Tolentino
Seduce Me (PC) Developer: No Reply Games Publisher: No Reply Games Release Date: January 2, 2013 MSRP: EUR 14.99 ($17) There's no getting around it: Seduce Me is a porn game, straight up. It's not a visual novel with sex scenes, and there isn't much in the way of "romance" as one might expect from the likes of Mass Effect or Dragon Age. The prime (perhaps only) motivation for playing Seduce Me will be to see fictional people boning. With a title like Seduce Me, one would be forgiven for expecting little more than that. And yet somehow, the game manages to both fulfill - and betray - those expectations. Now, it's not as if Seduce Me lacks sex. There's plenty of it to be had, and it's not shy about being explicit. Gamers who worried that it would limit itself to simple innuendo and "sideboob" have nothing to fear; there's porn in that thar videogame, and it earns its AO rating. Except, the actual process of getting to the porn, the gameplay and mechanics, are rather different from the initial pitch. In truth, the game has more in common with titles labeled "Strip Poker" or those old cocktail table machines where customers would play Arkanoid to gradually uncover a picture of a naked woman, than it does with Mass Effect, the Sims-like Singles: Flirt Up Your Life, or a Japanese "bishoujo" game. For one, despite its touting "RPG elements", Seduce Me has little narrative to speak of. You are a strapping young man invited some reason to a wealthy socialite's Mediterranean villa for a vacation of sex and debauchery with four nubile young porn-movie stereotypes. And though the developers insisted in interviews that the women "are more than just their bodies", there's not much to go on, unless one counts developing certain sexual fetishes out of one formative relationship or another as significant characterization. The girls do have their own endings, so the skeleton of a story exists, creating an end goal beyond "Look at naughty pictures and maybe bust a nut to them." Random events scattered about the map also help flesh out the characters slighty, but the fact that they can be encountered by chance lends itself to repetition. In truth this is more than one gets from your average porn game (particularly one outside the Japanese sphere) and one can hardly blame it for not having nuanced characters or a complex plot, but Seduce Me's approach to the act of seduction itself is reductive, baffling, and is borderline offensive, depending on one's tolerance for pornographic content and/or crude interpretations of human relationships. This is where the game's "Erotic Strategy" classification comes into play. As they roam the island seeking opportunities to bump uglies with a lady, players can build up "Popularity Points", "Intimacy Points", and "Attraction Points". Popularity points act as a health meter of sorts. Losing minigames (more on that later) decreases them, and when they reach zero, players are kicked off the island and sent back to their pathetic, sex-party-less lives. Intimacy and Attraction points are earned by winning minigames and choosing correct actions during cutscenes. All these points are needed to er, enjoy the island's various pleasures. Some dialog options require a certain amount of Popularity, characters will reveal their fetishes at high Intimacy levels, and actually doing the deed with the ladies requires Attraction. The dirtier the deed, the more points demanded. Boiling complex social interactions down to high scores is problem enough - though to be fair that kind of quantifying isn't limited to porn games  - but the way to get those points is where things get strange. As stated earlier, points are mostly earned by winning minigames. The issue is what the minigames actually are. One might expect these minigames to be ripoffs of classic arcade titles, ala recent Leisure Suit Larry games, or Quick Time Events ala God of War, but no. To Seduce Me, "Erotic Strategy" is to win a card game, and not in the fashion of a Strip Poker scenario. Every single minigame, from "Flirting" to "Small Talk" to "Intimate Chat" to "Confrontation," involves playing - and winning - some form of card game. If not for the sex, Seduce Me would not be out of place alongside Minesweeper or Solitaire in your operating system's pre-installed game selection. That said, the card games themselves are fairly engaging...for card games. All of them use cards of varying suits and ranks, though the suits aren't limited to the standard Clubs/Spades/Hearts/Diamonds quadrachotomy. Like the pictorial symbols used to represent conversation in The Sims, one might "talk" about a bottle of wine, a puppy, a plane, a house, a pile of money, or two people engaging in foreplay. Each minigame has different rules, but all seem to be point-based variations on Crazy Eights, Rummy, or Sets and Runs (though I'm not familiar enough with card games to tell for sure). "Flirting" has players discarding and drawing cards to try to keep their score as close to their "opponent's" as possible (closer scores yield more Attraction points). "Intimate Conversation" constructs sets and runs in an attempt to shed cards, and simple chatting means trying to beat the dealer's highest-value suit, or putting down a trump to win (for lack of a matching suit). To make a great logical stretch, one could see how these card games thematically align with the back-and-forth of relationship building and trying to get into one's pants. Matching point scores could be like finding common interests. Finding good sets could be interpreted as displaying knowledge, and discarding cards could be similar to winning an argument with a strong hand. But really, come on. These are card games. In a title that's ostensibly about getting people to have sex with you. Calling it a tough sell would be the understatement of the hour. Worse still, that nasty aspect of card-based games, namely the effect of the random draw, rears its head at times. Since all the games are score-based and use the card ranks as multipliers and modifiers, one's ability to win consistently is often determined by the quality of the initial hand. Players can't "hit" by drawing additional cards to improve their hands, and the rules for passing are a tad too strict, so players will occasionally find themselves in "death spirals", with rounds lost the moment they start and no option except to swallow the loss or abuse its autosave system to restart the match (only one save is allowed at a time). It can be frustrating, especially given the fact that seducing people is usually considered a skill rather than a windfall. But enough with all that. I've yet to answer the most pressing, important, and perhaps only relevant question to be posed about Seduce Me: "How's the porn?" In a word, it's decent. As mentioned, the game is unafraid to be explicit, and its scenarios could be classified as "hardcore" though not quite approaching "deviant". Think of the "Hot Coffee" minigames from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but a little more graphic than that. Scenes consist of a single image accompanied by descriptive text, arranged in the manner of a comic book (sans word bubbles). The writing sits at about the quality of fiction found in a Penthouse letters column. All the sex is depicted as consensual and between legal adults, so players needn't fear looking like criminals for playing. Sadly, in a blow against diversity, the game doesn't include same-sex relationships, or for that matter, the option to seduce a person of African ethnicity. Unfortunately, there aren't too many sex scenes, or events for that matter. In the three to five hours it takes to raise enough points with a single character and see their ending, I encountered multiple incidences of the same scene event. Each girl has only a handful of encounters to explore, and as mentioned, has little if any dialog to speak of. What content there is is of decent quality, but there's simply not enough of it. A more expansive, diverse cast of romance options, or even the ability to...engage with some of the minor characters that are otherwise just there to bring up Popularity points. Environments are rendered in 3D (via the Unity Engine), and look smoothly rendered, though the colors seem somewhat washed-out, and the villa, ostensibly the site of debauched sex-party socialites, is devoid of people besides whoever players are talking to at any one time. There's also not much reason to explore a location unless telltale sound-effect text emits from its direction, indicating a character or cutscene's presence. Characters are shown as 2D cutouts, drawn in a realistic style that should appeal to folks turned off by the anime-style character design that populates most available erotic games. Everyone looks like a legal adult, and not immediately sleazy (excepting one character's maid outfit). If its developers had lofty goals for Seduce Me, the final product simply does not reflect them, and is outshined at most turns by its peers, most of which are not porn games. As a game about relationships, it pales beside the likes of Digital: A Love Story. As a game meant to tackle issues of sex and gender relations, games like Catherine, Persona 4 and Don't Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story are better for that sort of thing. As a strategy game or RPG, it compares well to Solitaire, but that's not really saying much. However, taken simply as it is, as a game where solving puzzles leads to porn, it's near the forefront of its field, particularly among non-Japanese games. It does make an effort to provide more than naughty pictures, including cursory character development and some semblance of a narrative. It's pretty and technically sound. While slightly anemic in content, it's titillating when it needs to be, and is at times even fun to play - I wouldn't mind playing the card games with real-life friends (minus the sex). And frankly, for a porn game, that's sometimes all one needs.
Seduce Me photo
Sexy times are in the cards
Seduce Me is only on our radar because it was developed by folks who worked on the Triple-A Killzone franchise, and later denied a place on Steam's Greenlight project. We likely wouldn't have noticed it, much l...

Handheld gaming PCs aren't the future (yet?)

Jan 07 // Allistair Pinsof
I don’t live a very portable life. When I’m on a plane, I like to stare at a book. Not necessarily read it, but stare at it very intently in hopes that an attractive girl will spot me doing so, recognize the book, and then ask me what’s it about. Then *hopefully* she’ll know the book so I can just ask her what it’s about. Soon, we’ll be having a kind of deep, meaningful conversation. That’s the idea, at least. Hasn’t happened yet. (I don’t actually do this but I don’t doubt there are many that do.) But, there was one time where I played Unreal Tournament 2004 on my MacBook during a red eye from New York to Houston. That was kind of neat, because I had the whole plane to myself. I’d do that again if the same conditions were met, but red eyes and empty planes are variables that don’t often repeat, especially not together. It will take some serious brain juice, but I’m going to imagine that I’m the person that really wants to play World of Warcraft on a tiny monitor with a tiny keyboard -- perhaps I'm just a tiny man -- or Xbox-like controller while traveling on planes, riding on buses, and waiting in lines at midnight movie premieres. OK, now that I’ve imagined being this person, all I want to do is kill myself. Disregarding my total lack of interest in WoW, I can’t possibly fathom why you’d want to play games designed for the home environment outside the home. There is a novelty in playing Darksiders 2 while outside the home, but it's just not worth sacrificing the big screen, comfort of your living space, and a proper audio setup. Not to mention that most PC games you’ll find on Steam don’t cater to those with only a small amount of time to commit. I feel like I need a spare lifetime to sit down and dig into Dark Souls, not a spare 15 minutes. As such, puzzle games with low time commitments are the only portable games that have resonated with me over the past decade. When stuck at the airport, I start playing Valkyria Chronicles 2, realize it's a poor approximation of its previous console entry, turn it off, and pick-up my book. Are people going to buy these cutting edge handheld gaming PCs to play Dark Souls, only to discover all they really play is Bejeweled 3 on them? Japan was obsessed with pocket PCs in the ‘90s and they were right in feeling that way: Not many things had as great of an impact in cutting costs and time as the rise of the pocket PC in the workplace. Now Frito-Lay can pack those delicious snacks at a rate that our forefathers could only dream of snack goods being packaged at. These devices by Fujitsu, Sharp, and other leading electronics manufacturers didn’t cater to snaggletoothed hunchbacks waiting in line for the midnight premiere of The Hobbit, unable to socialize or even breath in the direction of another human being without contemplating what they must look like naked and/or dead. So, the Fujitsu AcutTote 3000 wasn’t really made with them in mind.Disregarding sad versions of Tetris and popular board games appearing on PDAs, it wasn’t until 2010 that we got a glimpse of a real handheld gaming PC. Panasonic’s Jungle. Yeah, I didn’t remember this thing either. First of all, it’s called Jungle. Second, it’s by the manufacturer that gave us the 3DO. It looked like a cheap Taiwan netbook with a mini-DJ set for your iPod next to its miniature keyboard designed for elves that make cookies in a tree. Naturally, it was marketed toward MMO players that just couldn’t get enough of that, uh, Battlestar Galactica MMO (apparently this existed.) A 720p screen would be nice but RuneScape on the toilet is still going to play like RuneScape on the toilet. Jungle never arrived and Panasonic’s brief flirtation with gaming handhelds was soon forgotten.(Ok, so I lied: I played a fair amount of Beavis and Butt-head in Virtual Stupidity and Jagged Alliance 2 on my netbook at the airport. I did this mostly out of a wish that some heavyset man with a ponytail and goatee, wearing a promotional T-shirt for some obscure, defunct tech company, would see me and recognize my work. Maybe even give me a fist bump.You know, keep the dream alive. I also played a fair bit of FTL on it while visiting Vancouver.) Later in 2010 came OpenPandora. At long last, a console made for homebrew enthusiasts by Koreans that want to make money off homebrew enthusiasts while cutting every corner possible. One thing OpenPandora has over Jungle is that it was released, though that may not be, in fact, a positive. Somewhere in a landfill outside a town in China is a kid breathing the fumes of discarded OpenPandoras burning, slowly attributing to the Elephant Man-size tumor growing on his forehead. OpenPandora looks like an aborted Nintendo DS that somehow merged with one of those weird, massive all-in-one-card readers that my university’s film lab used to have -- I swear it even had a Zip Drive somewhere on it. Like most Korean handhelds, the device focused primarily on console emulation and it didn’t even do a good job of that. (Although it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of these, I feel a need to mention the Visteon Dockable Entertainment device. This highly dockable system was basically one of those seemingly titanium-plated “portable” DVD players, except you could play GBA games on it. This whole novelty of watching movies on a dedicated player seemed obscene to me in 2003-2004. After all, I could watch DVDs on my laptop which wasn’t much bigger than these devices. Nevertheless, my brother bought one of these things so he could watch Eyes Wide Shut while running at the gym. He would do this after midnight, which I’m not sure makes it more or less creepy. I always saw a future in a portable device that plays DVDs, but I had the foresight to wait for that device to come in a more convenient form, as in phones and tablets -- which, yeah, I didn’t know that was coming but I did know that THIS couldn’t be the future.)After a botched effort by Panasonic and a Korean piece of junk, Nvidia and Razer stepped in to show the world what handheld PC gaming could be: not much better. Both of these PC hardware juggernauts are taking a different approach to making the PC mobile. Razer has touch controls and a smart keyboard that reconfigures itself to fit each game. Nivida's Shield has a controller that could be mistaken for a Xbox 360 third-party peripheral. The main difference between these two, beyond default input options, is that Nvidia’s streams games from your PC to your handheld. According to reports from CES, the device worked -- at least, it worked on a high-end PC in a very controlled environment. Disregarding price and the likelihood of these ever reaching retail, I’m still not sure where these devices fit into my or anyone else’s life. Do I really want to play the best PC gaming has to offer on a screen that isn’t much bigger than a clamshell? Do I want to cramp my fingers trying to play an action game on a keyboard that is half the size of my netbook’s? No and no, which is why these devices are always promoted to niche audiences. Like this make believe audience that doesn’t know how to connect an HDMI cable from their PC to their computer, so instead they buy a Nvidia Shield that does all that hard work for them. Or the make believe audience that is so hopelessly addicted to WoW that they need it in portable form, but not actual portable form, just a portable device that squishes it down so it could slide in the big pockets of a tiny giant’s Levi's. OK, so that audience actually exists but I like to pretend it doesn’t. So these devices don’t exactly “blow my mind six ways from Sunday” (Engadget actually wrote that about the Switchblade and weren’t alone in their enthusiasm). They are the games industry toothing, much like those silly DVD players that emerged right before the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD battle was won. Soon, our tablets and phones will be offering us the latest Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty with graphics comparable to a high-end PC in 2012. We’ll have Bluetooth keyboard, mice, and controllers to play them with. It’s the only logical place things can go. Having a controller tied to a tiny monitor or a touch-controlled netbook is a road that takes us far away from logicville, a very lonely place where the Jungle and OpenPandora await any and all possible neighbors.I don’t listen to music through my iPhone’s speakers and I don’t watch films on my iPod’s screen. There are limits to how we consume our media. The technolust that pumps through the veins of CES reporters has a way of clouding their judgement, forgetting this axiom. But when they all come home from the war, they'll regret the hyperbolic headlines they wrote about these misguided devices that serve a non-existent audience. If not, we'll just have to remind them on Twitter. To bring us back to the topic (which I never really established but please do pretend that I did and did a very good job at it), the Fleshlight has evolved as much as it ever will need to evolve. We are at the brink of Fleshlight technology -- the time and place where we start applying the tech to the labias of dragons and other mythical beasts. If you buy a Fleshlight today, you know damn well that you are also buying the Fleshlight of tomorrow (hopefully one that you have maintained through proper use [see here]). So, go buy a Fleshlight and have a crafty wank on your next plane trip, while some millionaires sort out the future of portable gaming.
Fleshlight > Handheld PC photo
No, really
If tech reporters seem excited today about the prospect of Project Shield, a new handheld PC gaming console by Nvidia, it’s probably because they are at CES where there is little else to be excited about within the co...


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