Full immersion!

My pre-ordered copy of Heavy Rain arrives tomorrow, thanks to my Amazon Prime free trial! I’m looking forward to finally play this game after it’s been hyped for more than a year! I played the demo last week and it was fairly intuitive, and I like the reactive gameplay design they threw in there. The Crime Scene sequence, however, felt pretty tedious…

The Choose-Your-Own-Adventure is probably the selling point of the game, as it was for its predecessor, Indigo Prophecy. Its realism and dip into the uncanny valley encourages more emotional investment on the player’s part than any other game out there. I’m actually interested in watching other people play it and see where their moral ground is, and whether they’ll get rewarded or punished for how ethical they play the game.

There’s been quite a number of great PS3-exclusives and more are coming. I’ve been most excited to play Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, and Yakuza 3. Friends have chimed in and said, “Final Fantasy XIII!” While FFXIII certainly looks amazing, I didn’t accidentally leave it out of my wishlist. I’m not particularly fond of strategy games.

A friend of mine noticed that his girlfriend felt the same way about realistic cinematic games vs. cinematic fantasy RPGs. My own SO is in the same boat. She just likes being immersed in the game, or challenged by a simple objective. And I can understand that. Who has time to think about how to kill a fire-resistant boss enemy with just confuse and restore magic? There are more important things to do than leveling up and grinding, like actually advancing to the next part of the story!

I’m a passive gamer. I’m not really invested in building up my characters or playing strategically, I’m just more interested in what I can do with them, what’s going to happen to them, and ways they can die (because there’s only one way they can win, and that’s no fun).

Tales of Monkey Island for Mac

Telltale Games just recently announced that Tales of Monkey Island is now available for Mac. Gah! I wish they did this earlier because I bought Chapter 1 for Wii and it was terrible. The graphics were not crisp, grainy, and there were definitely some visual performance issues because the overall experience did not feel smooth at all.

The controls were bad at first, but I got over it and found my comfort zone at some point.

The worst part of this whole download was the audio. There are these constant weird pops when a new dialogue is about to play or possibly when the song loops. The audio quality wasn’t clear and very grating

To sum it up, the game felt slow, horrible on the eyes, and annoying to listen to. The story itself was interesting and clever, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy the next episode on Wii. It’s also not worth it for the price point it was at. The 5 episode series is $35 on PC/Mac, and, and $50 on Wii. It’s too bad that Nintendo did not give TellTale an exception in its pricing policies. I will probably get the entire series for Mac at some point, since there is such a dearth of games on Mac, but I’m hoping for a sale to make buying the whole season including Chapter 1 worth it for me.

In any case, I hope that Sam & Max is the next series to be ported to Mac. I bought the series for PC a while back, but I rarely ever use my PC anymore, so I never finished the season. Hopefully they will extend the same Mac deal for those who bought it for PC!

Rockband and lesbians

When Guitar Hero came out on PS2, my housemate and I spent one night jamming for hours, trying to unlock as many songs as we could, imagining we were actually in a girl band. Her, the stoic bassist, and I, the crazy string picking, fret-surfing guitarist (we played on Hard). This was after watching Josie and Pussycats, the campy, live movie adaptation of a side story in the Archie comic book world. Rachael Leigh Cook was our hearthrob, and watching this movie got me into learning some guitar.

Fastforward several months later and I’m invited to play with some new friends, all female or womyn-conscious people, who discovered Guitar Hero 2. The energy was wild with a group of people, and there was a good mix of known and unknown classic songs for everyone there to enjoy.

Then RockBand came out, and players found out that there were also drums, and it was over. Everyone was playing this game.

Dara and Karman sits with a RB kit for their VLOG on Afterellen.com.

LesbianGamers.com featured an RB episode for their VLOG.

Afterellen.com had an RB competition at the hottest lesbian party in the US, Dinah Shore. (Forgive them for putting up a Guitar Hero screenshot, for they know not what they did!)

AfterEllen.com RockBand Battle of the Bands Competition

What’s my point? Not only do girls play RockBand, queer girls LOVE RockBand. They have just as much ambition to be sexy heart throb rockstars as Fallout Boy and more. You know what would really make them happy? Give ’em bands that have musicians with a queer vibe. There are enough punk rock bands out there to choose from that fit the game’s style. Lesbian musicians aren’t only Melissa Etheridge and kd Lang.

Music games, you’ve got a loyal following here, wouldn’t it be fair just to throw in some Le Tigre, Sleater Kinney, The Cliks, Gossip, the Butchies, Tegan and Sara???

Nadia and the Secret of Blue Water

I caught this classic back in the mid to late 90s through some fansub distributors.  Evangelion was a big thing back then, and every fan knew (or should know) the name of its director Hideaki Anno and the production company GAINAX, so it was only natural that upon learning that he also directed Nadia as well, I had to make it a priority to catch it at the annual local anime convention. The first two episodes I saw were intriguing, but I didn’t have the resources to collect them at the, and the title stuck with me for years. When Disney’s Atlantis came out, I balked at the idea that the company did not once again pilfer another anime classic, like it did with Lion King. There are probably still websites out there that explain the similarities between the two.

I finally decided that it was about time to get this whole series to finish it, and got a nice box tin DVD collector’s set and am now on episode 19. Unfortunately, this collector’s set has been discontinued by the manufacturer.

The first season of 13 episodes were really exciting, but in the beginning in the second season, you can definitely tell that these were filler episodes. Some episodes were irrelevant to the plotline, and while there was some character development, it was mostly a waste of time to watch.

Things are starting to pick up again now, but there are still 20 episodes left to watch…

不思議の海のナジア also had an RPG turn-based video game that resembles a Zelda/Final Fantasy game for Super Famicom as well:

A digital comic for the PC Engine (which I can’t help but notice that it’s published by Hudson Soft) that includes a new blond character. Reminds me of Evangelion’s Iron Maiden PC game…

And a PS2 game with yet another blonde character…