No one likes to be trod on, but stepping stones are important! Innocent Life is an interesting deviation from the Harvest Moon formula. A sci-fi Harvest Moon to spice the series up? Hell yeah. Continue reading
The Rune Factory series, a spinoff of the Harvest Moon franchise, eerily responds to all my criticisms of a recent Harvest Moon game. Frontier boasts an impressive cast of likable characters, enjoyable gameplay, solid storytelling, and variety, an element distinctly lacking in some of the Harvest Moon games. Not only do you get to befriend townspeople, cook and take care of your fields, you also fight in dungeons, befriend monsters, and forge your own weapons, tools and equipment. There’s so much to do in fact that is the first part of a double post. The second post will explore the weird gender dynamics in the game, of which there’s much to discuss, but for now I’m going to summarise the game and set out my space-time continuum theories about Frontier. Continue reading
I don’t think there is a game series that has made me question my sexuality and gender as much as the Harvest Moon series. This reached a whole new pitch playing Harvest Moon: Animal Parade. Let me first say, that Animal Parade is probably the single most relaxing and inoffensive game I have ever played. This is as much a criticism as it is a compliment. On the one hand, it’s a good thing because it feels like a genuine return to roots, often reminding me of my favourite game of the series, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. It feels smooth, calculated, lulling me into a sense of security and peace. On the other hand, everything is a bit too smooth; I keep having the perverse desire to ruffle a few feathers, even entertaining the idea of giving a failed soup to a neighbour – though, of course, I haven’t actually followed through! I am just sorely tempted. Continue reading
Gaming addictions are odd things. Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one type – in fact, I bet you there are as many types of gaming addiction as there are people. Isn’t being a bit obsessed with a game normal, at first? When does a bit of harmless over-playing become unhealthy addiction?
I could mention many games which I was hopelessly “addicted” to from all stages of my life (The Sims, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy IX, Project Zero/Fatal Frame 3, etc) – but nothing can come close to my unhealthy obsession with Civilization II and then Civilization IV, which bear the distinction of giving me my first ever bout of RSI at the age of 24. Combined, these games gave me the battlescars of a true, hardened gamer, so intent on my gaming lifestyle that I became more than willing to sacrifice my petty human needs (like, resting my wrists – which is for losers and wimps!). Continue reading
You’ll never get rid of us. It’s all about the franchises this week: Harvest Moon, Civilization and Excitebike. To be specific, we offer up thoughts and impressions on Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Special Edition, Civilization IV, and Excitebike 64. Adrian finishes the segment with some brief impressions of satisfying fare which did not receive sequels, namely ChuChu Rocket and Steamgear Mash.
Impressions out of the way, we return to the old chestnut of women in games. This time we come at the topic via that old chestnut of a blog, A Most Agreeable Pastime. It seems AMAP’s post about Ubisoft’s recent gender slip-up regarding Assassin’s Creed has turned us into die-hard feminists, because despite intending to cover multiple topics in this second segment, we ended up devoting the entire second segment to this issue. In our efforts to rescue the gaming world from inequality one creative director at a time, we discuss everything from the impact of Japanese versus Western game design on gender, through to questions of genre. Finally, we address that all-important question: what might “visual assets” actually mean when used in reference to designing female characters?
And that’s the show. Back in two weeks, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for the show, please drop us a comment!
Episode 4: I’m Not Sexist…My Best Friend’s Metroid
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