freezingrayne: (Fenris)
[personal profile] freezingrayne
I just heard from my dear friend [personal profile] mmefrankenstein that the official game preview is out for FFXIII-2 and not even a keyboard smash would be eloquent enough to describe how bummed I am.



Apparently, you no longer play as Lightning. She's off doing Something Mysterious, so you start out playing Serah, her little sister, until of course you meet a nice young man, and he becomes the main character. Serah, who has a sword at the beginning of the game, is then given a bow to, direct quote, "Preserve her femininity." I don't even know where to begin to dissect what that is supposed to mean. Perhaps bows are curvaceous??



Perhaps this is painting with a wide brush, but I am beginning to lose faith in a lot of the Japanese game companies I once loved so dearly. I am holding out hope for Atlus and next month's release of Catherine, but it's a game that's apparently all about sexuality, and honestly I'm not too optimistic after Persona 4's lol girls are for looking at weirdness.

However, it is good that in part my disillusionment comes from the fact that I've had some excellent examples to measure things against recently--so I think this is a perfect time for an Extended Dragon Age Squeefest. (EDAS?)

Since the beginning of April I have played Dragon Ages 1 and 2 and Mass Effects 1 and 2, and am currently in my second playthrough of DA-1.
I could go on and on about the lore and the world-building in Dragon Age, the character design and voice acting, but today I'm going to stick to gender/sexuality. In honor of the occasion, and to make myself feel better.



Dragon Age--I seriously dont think I'm ever going to get over this game, ever. My interest in video games was actually beginning to wind down, but then back in March I read that article by the head writer of Dragon Age 2 defending the same-sex romance options and basically telling a bigoted idiot to go fuck himself, and I was inspired to play the first game.

It definitely has some issues--it's glitchy and the lag in battle can get pretty bad toward the end of the game, and the battle system is a little frustrating at times (think WOW and FFXII) but the characters are excellent, the girls awesome and capable.

Your protagonist is kind of unremarkable (he/she is unvoiced, like Persona and Neverwinter Nights) but the other characters make up for it. There are three romances available, two are straight and one is same-sex--the ex-minstrel, lay-sister for the girls, and the elvhen, would-be assassin for the boys. My first playthrough I was a human woman and romanced the male option who is only interested in women--Alistair--and my second playthourgh I am an elvhen man, going for the assassin--Zevran. Zevran is definitely my favorite character, not least because he is the 'pervert character' trope, hits on everyone all the time, and still manages not to seem lecherous or creepy in any way, shape, or form, which I find so refreshing. And a great deal of his dialogue is hilarious to the point of being ridiculous.

Then there's Dragon Age 2, which in my opinion improves on the first game in every way, even if most critics and people I've talked to don't agree. You can only be a human, male or female, named Hawke, but you have a voice and a personality, even if much of the latter is shaped by your conversation choices (for those of you who have played Mass Effect, it's like Shepard). The male and female Hawkes have the same dialogue, the same mannerisms, and all of the same love interest options (with the exception of a DLC character) two men and two women. They have also done away with the "Oh my god, no homo," conversation options you had in the first game. When the characters come onto you (which will happen whatever gender you are) there is no, sorry, I don't like girls, it's, sorry, I'm just not interested in you like that. That was the issue that dipshit on the Bioware boards had a problem with, among other things, and it's what the writer was responding to in his article.

All the women in DA2 are awesome, and not all of them in a "I can kill things with my bare hands" which I find very refreshing. The promiscious (Zevran) character in this game is a woman, Isabela, a pirate captain. Only one character ever gives her shit for it, and the reasons for it are, if not good, very believable.

The DA world's view of women is definitely different than I was expecting, made even more interesting by the fact that the Jesus-character in the world's dominating religion is Andraste, a woman, and all priests are women. Towns and cities have nobility ruling them, but they all defer to that town's Revered Mother, the head of the church.

Not to say that Thedas is a happy place--it's not. There's slavery, constant warfare, blatent racism (or, speciesism, I guess) and an entire class of people who are kept imprisoned 'for their own good'. The Chantry, the name of the church, draws very obvious parallels to the Catholic church throughout history. There are plenty of murky politics and intrigue to keep me happy, and I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at a video game in my life. And there's a hot elf voiced by Gideon Emory (Balthier).

Wow. Long post is long.

So. Um. Basically, Bioware, I love you. Never change.

Date: 2011-06-12 02:33 pm (UTC)
eggsbenedict: (Kazuma)
From: [personal profile] eggsbenedict
The FF thing is disappointing, but it doesn't surprise me. Then again, FF never surprises me any more and that's why I stopped playing the series yeeeears ago. XD;

Catherine is very much about the herbivore trend - hence the sheep everywhere and the sexuality/commitment issues. Japan's birth rate has been dropping pretty sharply and its population is ageing, so there's a pretty big fuss over what this cultural shift means in the long term. Then again, I am still convinced P3 and P4 sucked because they were for teenagers, and P2EP didn't because it was for adults :|

Hmmm, I think you've finally sold me on Dragon Age! I may add one or more of 'em to my list for the next games drought.

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December 2011

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