What Are You Playing Wednesday

Torahime on a spectral horse in Muramasa Rebirth.

Torahime on a spectral horse in Muramasa Rebirth.

Happy mid-week Border House!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This week I went back to Skylanders SWAP Force and defeated Chaos’ mother so I assume I am near the end stages. I also restarted Eternal Sonata and I adore the visuals in that game! On my Vita, I started Muramasa Rebirth and Doki-Doki Universe since they are the PlayStation Plus games this month.

What have you been playing?

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

The city in Shadowrun Returns.

The city in Shadowrun Returns.

Another week, another What Are You Playing Wednesday!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

This week I started Shadowrun Returns. I am roughly 1 hour into the game, and so far I am enjoying the graphics and battle system.

What have you been playing?


 

I would also like to take this moment to mention that we are always looking for more authors. We run this blog out of a love of video games and a sincere desire to see that medium/entertainment better reflect the diversity found in its players. Let’s talk about the problems we see and the things that excite us. If you would like to write for us, please read the following and contact us! You all help us keep the site vibrant: the commenters, readers, and writers. Thank you.

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Dragon Age Inquisiton – E3 Coverage

Dragon Age Inquisition concept art featuring a broken bridge.

Dragon Age Inquisition concept art featuring a broken bridge.

The following is a write-up on the Twitch & IGN interviews from E3 2014 regarding Dragon Age Inquisition, by guest author Meli Landry. The demo video and interview can be found here and here.

Author bio: Meli Landry is a writer and game enthusiast. She believes that the art of storytelling, regardless of medium, should be all-inclusive. Her work can be found on her website or on Twitter.

 

The Demo

  • Qunari FemQuiz in action!
  • Condensed version of what is playing in the booth at E3.
  • Set in the Hinderlands.
  • Totally badass.

Dragons

  • We’ve been promised LOTS of dragons, which is very appropriate. Personally, I always thought it was odd that Dragon Age only featured a few.
  • Will be reactive to the game environment, as opposed to remaining static. If you’re attacking a dragon on one side and someone is on the other side doing damage, it will acknowledge what’s going on and respond accordingly.
  • Actions will reflect damage taken, so if a leg is wounded, the dragon will be limping. If tail is cut off (or whatever, I’m thinking big here), it will then be a mad dragon who stomps around sans tail.
  • Will certainly kick your butt whenever it can. Because dragons are awesome, you see.
  • Not confirmed if Journey’s “Separate Ways” will start blasting every time a high dragon comes your way. It should, though.

The Inquisitor

  • Seen as a “Joan of Arc” figure, a real inspiration for others. (Concerning, since being Joan of Arc didn’t end well for her.)
  • Goal is to not only build up armies and lead the Inquisition, but to inspire courage and confidence in all.
  • The Inquisition’s reputation pretty much rests on your shoulders.
  • Specifically mentioned that the Inquisitor is special in that (s)he is the only person who has the ability to close the fade rifts. (The video is worth viewing if for nothing more than to see the fade hand in action.)

Environment

  • Demons are pouring out of fade rifts, “which represents a fundamental disability in the world.”
  • “Bigger than all of DAO in terms of square footage.”
  • The “massive [amount] of space is the big difference.”
  • Will be able to travel throughout not only Orlais, but Ferelden.
  • Areas of Ferelden that we’ve been to before, such as Redcliffe, have been completely rebuilt for the Frostbite engine. So fresh, so seriously clean.
  • The world, as well as the bad guys within it, changes based on where you’re at in the game. For example, if you’re currently battling mages, you can expect mages to be fighting you despite where you are. If it’s Red Templars, you could expect them to pop up in those same places.

Combat

  • Not only will your bad guys apparently seek you out wherever you are, but they won’t necessarily change in strength to match your level. It sounds like it’ll be similar to games like World of Warcraft in that respect. If you’re in a field of level 1 bunnies, they’ll still be level 1 bunnies at the end of the game. And you’re a bastard if you’re still killing them.
  • Battles will be smoother, faster, and more responsive.
  • “No ten minute casting times” was a specific guarantee.  There was a passing mention that spells might have limits of how many times you can use them, though.
  • Can switch characters as needed and easier than before.
  • Zoom in and out of combat as needed — which, by the way, looked so smooth in the demo.
  • The focus ability was specifically mentioned. Teamwork & group combat becomes more tactical and allows for strategic wounding of your foe, such as focusing on the legs of the dragon to disable it. You could always focus on a specific enemy, but the ability to focus on a certain part of said foe is completely new.

Mounts

  • Not much was said specifically about mounts, but Qunari FemQuiz is riding a massive horse. Was that a Clydesdale?
  • Confirmed that we will be able to “collect a whole selection of mounts and choose as you wish.” Personally, I just want a unicorn. Just one, guys. Come on.

And last, but certainly not least:

  • DHMG IS NO LONGER. That is, unless you’d like to follow us in calling him “Dorian, Handsome Moustache Guy.” You’re so welcome.
  • Dorian was officially called as such and Mike clarified that he is “from the Tevinter Imperium… Member of the Magisterium.” According to Mike, Dorian has joined the Inquisition to change his ways. D’aww. We can go ahead and assume that he’s a companion, since we got to see him in action and know that he was part of an ending scene involving Leliana, FemQuiz, and the Iron Bull. Is he a love interest? Dunno, but with a moustache and voice like that, he better be.

Dragon Age Inquisition is the property of BioWare & EA, not I. Information contained in this write-up was gathered from the IGN/E3 Interview on 06/10/14.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post was originally seen on Meli’s website.

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Rock Pikmin. They look like black stones.

Rock Pikmin. They look like black stones.

It is mid-week already!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

The only game I played this week is Pikmin 3. It is just a delight to play. The graphics are wonderful and the game play itself is always enjoyable.

What have you been playing?

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E3 news coverage

The E3 logo.

The E3 logo.

E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) has been going on full swing this week. With it have come a few interesting news stories.

The makers of Assassin’s Creed Unity announced that they will not include playable female characters in the upcoming game. Again, female characters are painted as an afterthought by developers. It is just too much work, they claim. The Mary Sue has a great article about this topic.

In an opinion piece over at Polygon, Danielle Riendeau comments on the both the violence of the game videos highlighted at E3 and the lack of diversity of on-stage presenters. The article was fueled by a tweet from developer Rami Ismail stating that “PlayStation continues the ‘more severed heads’ than female speakers trend. #E3″

Have you seen any other interesting articles about E3? Please, share them.

Has any news from this year’s expo struck you?

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Mario Kart 8 with Princess Peach on a dirt bike.

Mario Kart 8 with Princess Peach on a dirt bike.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

I have not been playing anything recently. Work has been really busy and I just haven’t had a lot of free time. But, Mario Kart 8 arrived today so I am looking forward to trying that out with some friends.

What have you been playing?

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Belfry gargoyle from Dark Souls 2

Belfry gargoyle from Dark Souls 2

Happy mid-week everyone!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

I played a lot of Dark Souls 2 this week. Currently, I am stuck on the Belfry gargoyle battle. Though I like the call back to the previous game, this battle is really difficult for me!

What have you been playing?

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Gender Neutral Cover Art

Dragon Age Inquisition box art

Dragon Age Inquisition box art

Cover art for the upcoming Dragon Age Inquisition features a fully armored character as viewed from behind. The gender of this character is not telegraphed because of this artistic choice.  The original game and expansion pack, Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, also featured a fully armored gender neutral character. The second main game, Dragon Age II, had a cover that showed a male Hawke (protagonist).

Cover art that displays gender neutral characters seems to be logical in games where you can create either a female or male character. The cover art is the first impression that players get of a game. For good or bad, they will make assumptions based on that image.

While it is true that the text on the back of the box can clarify character creation options, it sometimes fails to do so. For instance, in another BioWare game (Mass Effect) the cover shows a male Shepard.  The back of the box states: “As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy. Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!” A bullet point states: “Customize your character and embark in an immersive, open-ended storyline” Customizable does not always mean gender options. Nowhere on this box is it evident that Commander Shepard could be a female character. From the box art to the text, one could easily assume that Shepard is only ever male. A gender neutral cover would not have made this customization option explicit, but it could prevent the initial impression of the game as being only male protagonists.

I am glad to see that BioWare is going back to the gender neutral covers (at least for this game). I hope that this is a trend in gaming. But, I also want the text on the back of the box telling players that customization also included gender options. This is a selling point, please make it more visible.

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What Are You Playing Wednesday

Madjula in Dark Souls 2

Madjula in Dark Souls 2

Happy mid-week!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

I started Dark Souls 2 yesterday and ended up playing for several hours both yesterday and today. I just got to Heide’s Tower Of Flame and I love the game so far.

What have you been playing?

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Nintendo Updates Their Statement on Tomodachi Life

A red Nintendo 3DS with a  rainbow stylus assortment.

A red Nintendo 3DS with a rainbow stylus assortment.

Yesterday I lamented Nintendo’s original response to fan led requests for same sex relationships in the 3DS sim game Tomodachi Life. But later that same day Nintendo issued a second press release:

We apologize for disappointing many people by failing to include same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to change this game’s design, and such a significant development change can’t be accomplished with a post-ship patch. At Nintendo, dedication has always meant going beyond the games to promote a sense of community, and to share a spirit of fun and joy. We are committed to advancing our longtime company values of fun and entertainment for everyone. We pledge that if we create a next installment in the Tomodachi series, we will strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players.

I am disappointed that this was not included in the original game. I am angry and hurt by the words of that first press release.

But, I am hopeful for the future. This new statement shows that Nintendo realizes that lesbian, gay, and bisexual players ARE their fans and that their representation in games (or lack thereof) does matter. My hope is that this realization spreads within Nintendo and into the mindset of other companies. This is a matter that goes beyond Tomodachi Life and into all games.

Representation matters! It matters for sexuality, gender, race, class, disability. It matters for all people. We want to see ourselves reflected in our media. I am hopeful that the fallout from the original press release can act as one of a series of wake up calls to development teams.  The player base is and always has been diverse, so let’s work to create more diverse and inclusive games.

Posted in Console Games | Tagged , | 3 Comments