Monday, 22 September 2014

The numbers game

I recently listed my top ten games on my tumblr blog following a nomination from Stella. Because my tumblr is mostly visual I added a set of ten images to accompany the list, and saw that most of the images had women in them.


I then realised that...

...four of the games (Tomb Raiders IV and II, Beyond Good and Evil and Portal) had canonical female protagonists...

...two of the games (Mass Effect 3 and Fallout 3) gave me the option to make the protagonist a woman...

...three of the games (Final Fantasy X, The Last of Us and Deadly Premonition), while featuring male protagonists, let me play as one or more women to some extent, with Final Fantasy X featuring three female members in the central party, one of whom is the most powerful and important character in the game, both in plot and gameplay terms.

Only Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception didn't let me play as a woman, but it has three very strong female characters including Katherine Marlowe, one of gaming's most subtly brilliant villains. Ok, so it might not pass the Bechdel test, but none of the women are objectified, they don't need need saving, and they all have agency.

Games industry, do you have ANY idea how much money I have spent on video games in my life, and how much more I might continue to spend on games that interest me?

JUST SAYING.




Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Final Fantasy VII Playthrough: Part 18 - Over to you, Cid


Cloud is lost in the Lifestream, a giant supernatural beast is on the loose, Aeris and Sephiroth are still dead and missing respectively and a meteor is about to collide with the planet. But the party have managed to steal an airship, so I think on balance, things are looking up for Team Tifa and her merry men.


Even so, it's hard to stay relentlessly positive when staring straight up at Meteor, which is heading towards us at terrifying speed (context: Final Fantasy VII predates both Armageddon and Deep Impact by a year).

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Final Fantasy VII Playthrough: Part 17 - Tifa takes control


Sephiroth has unleashed Weapon, SHINRA have captured my friends and I'm tripping out at the bottom of a crater. It looks like I'll be there for a while, so perspective shifts to Tifa.


Tifa is having a flashback to the time when she recruited me to AVALANCHE, thinking I was her childhood friend. She's just found out that I wasn't actually her childhood friend after all and that I was just created from her memories, but apparently she suspected something was fishy all along and only recruited me so she could keep an eye on me.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Final Fantasy VII Playthrough: Part 16 - S*** gets real, Cloud loses his s***


Aeris is dead, Sephiroth got away, and I'm having an identity crisis.


This was brought on by my recent blackouts, hallucinations, out-of-body experiences and a worrying tendency towards uncharacteristic behaviour, such as giving a WMD to my nemesis and trying to stab my (now late) friend in the head with a Buster Sword.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Final Fantasy VII Playthrough: Part 15 - Temple and City of the Ancients


Having rescued Cid from a life of regret (luring away with the promise of almost certain death), we find out that SHINRA are pursuing Sephiroth to the Temple of the Ancients. They've got a head start due to the fact that they're the planet's most powerful industrial corporation and we're using a broken plane as a raft.

A few conversations with suspiciously well-informed locals reveal that in order to get into the Temple of the Ancients, we need an artifact called the "Keystone", which is currently in the possession of our good friend Dio, owner of the Gold Saucer amusement park.


He's keeping it in his collection of curios at Gold Saucer's museum and agrees to lend it to us if I amuse him by fighting some monsters in his battle arena.