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Friday, Apr 16, 2010
Why did Bayonetta generate so much controversy while Rubi Malone went completely ignored?

When Bayonetta was released, it sparked discussions in many blogs, news outlets, and podcasts about the portrayal of women in games. When WET was released no one really seemed to care. Buy why? Why did Bayonetta incite such discussions, both defending the overt sexualization of her character and condemning it, whereas nobody paid any attention to Rubi Malone, a similarly strong female character that (despite the name of the game) isn’t sexualized at all?


I believe that there are two reasons.


Tagged as: bayonetta, wet
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Friday, Apr 9, 2010
The men of B-Company are those rare kinds of anti-heroes that are extremely likable, completely selfish, and show zero desire to ever change.

In so many games, we’re always tasked with saving the world, sometimes the universe, or at the very least, the day. It can get tiring after a while, so I find it refreshing when a game gives me a different kind of objective, something selfish and un-heroic. The first Battlefield: Bad Company did just that. It put me in a squad of likable, selfish soldiers who would rather go chasing gold than follow orders. It was a fun adventure, but in creating these anti-heroes the game walked a very fine line.


Anti-heroes are nothing new in games, but creating a likable anti-hero is a challenge in any medium. Kratos from the God of War games has always been held up as the epitome of the anti-hero: violent, seemingly without morals, and uninterested in any conversation that doesn’t further his quest for revenge. Yet, despite these traits (or because of them?), he remains a very popular character. However, one of the more common criticisms against God of War 3 is that Kratos has gone over the edge. The level of violence that he inflicts on others is excessive to the point where he seems more like a villain than an anti-hero, and so picking a side in this battle between Kratos and Zeus is really just picking the lesser of two evils.


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Friday, Apr 2, 2010
You’re proving yourself as a leader and a lover.

This week I finally finish my look at the loyalty missions of Mass Effect 2 with Garrus, Jack, and Legion, as well as providing a few thoughts on how these missions play into potential romances.


Garrus
When we first meet Garrus, he’s fighting off three groups of mercenaries by himself. The rest of his team has been killed by a traitor, Sidonis, who then escapes, leaving Garrus alone in this tough situation. Of course, he gets out of it alive thanks to Shepard, but he feels personally responsible for the death of his squad and that guilt drives his desire for revenge.


Tagged as: mass effect 2
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Friday, Mar 26, 2010
Continuing my look at the loyalty missions of Mass Effect 2, this week I write about Zaeed, Jacob, Samara, and Grunt.

Continuing my look at the loyalty missions of Mass Effect 2, this week I write about Zaeed, Jacob, Samara, and Grunt. Next week I’ll finish the remaining squad members and offer some concluding thoughts.


Zaeed
Zaeed’s loyalty mission is given to us the moment that we pick him up. He’s been tasked with liberating a refinery from the Blue Suns mercenary group. Zaeed seems like a typical merc when we first meet him, a man with no concerns other than his missions. But when we actually land at the refinery, the mission quickly becomes far more personal. We learn that Zaeed is actually a co-founder of the Blue Suns but was betrayed by his partner Vido Santiago. Naturally Zaeed wants revenge, but the narrow scope of his revenge and the exact motivations behind it betray subtle details about his character.


Tagged as: mass effect 2
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Friday, Mar 19, 2010
The loyalty missions are the primary means of character development for most of the characters in Mass Effect 2, giving us a detailed look at what each of them holds most dear in life.

Mass Effect 2 has a large cast to say the least: ten crew members in the normal game, one more in downloadable content, and a twelfth to be added in more DLC in the future. As with any story with such a large cast, it can be difficult to find the time to fully develop each character into someone interesting. Mass Effect 2 takes a smart approach to this problem by giving players optional side quests tailored to each character. These “loyalty missions” are the primary means of character development for most of the cast. The Normandy is going on a suicide mission, and everyone onboard knows that. These loyalty missions show how each character comes to terms with their past and is able to face death without remorse. In some cases, we must earn a teammate’s trust. In others, we must help them fix a past mistake, but whatever the case, we’re given a detailed look at what each of them holds most dear in life.


Since the game has such a large cast, and in the interest of keeping this post at a somewhat manageable length, I’m going to split it up. This week I look at the missions concerning Miranda, Mordin, Thane, Tali, and Zaeed.


Tagged as: mass effect 2
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