Slag's forum posts
@slag: Hey duder, I had to go through FF9's final dungeon to make this video and I ran into some of the backtracking you mentioned on my FF9 world map video. Only the last save point in Memoria lets you warp back to the start of the dungeon and there is no way to warp forward. So leaving is easy once you get to the end, but getting back to the final boss is tedious. If only they took one more step towards ease of use.
Ah ok, that sounds right.
Yeah not sure what the thinking was there clearly they could have made it 2 way if they had wanted to, glad that 1-way port out convention got removed in later years from a lot of JRPGs.
ViVi is pretty rad man, instinctively I feel compelled to say another FF character is better, but I actually don't think that have an arc that come close to his. Delita & Ramza perhaps of FF tactics probably the only other two I could make credible arguments for, but they were also helped by perhaps the best plot in series history.
I really wish Matsuno had been able finish the job on Xii because I think Basch and Ashe had the potential to be some of the very best characters the series ever had to offer. But instead we got that odd Vaan/Penelo start to the game and everyone else was just kinda developed but not really?
Even if they haven't always executed to the T I love FF characters. Ever since Cecil really set the mold (although I guess you could make an argument for some characters of FFII), I've always enjoyed seeing what sort of characters Square will tell the story of in these games. They usually have storylines and are personalities you don't see many other places in games. Frankly I can't wait to see what they'll try to do in XV.
@slag: I cant download my gfwl profile to begin with. It keeps telling me I'm not connected to the internet and it gives me an error code that no longer exists on microsoft's support page.
hoh boy that's a new one to me. Kinda scared to check mine now to see if it broke.
best I can tell you is ask for help on the Dark Souls Steam community discussion page. I found a bunch of of topics there, that helped me get it running.
Might check GTA IV's as well or any other title that uses GFWL still.
I'm sure the widening reach of videogames only helps bring more women into the fold as "gamers" but I don't think that's the primary cause or anything specific to women. I do think the mobile market has been much savvier in realizing that women are a massive untapped gaming market and has done a much better job of trying to cultivate them as customers than the AAA console market has.
But the bottom line you are just noticing the discussion now. That's the primary difference, this has been going on for decades. The difference today is twitter and other social media platforms make it so much easier for all people to express their opinion and be heard (and unfortunately harass and threaten people too), and also in some ways make it harder to avoid as well. If you didn't like the state of games in 1995, I suppose you could throw up a geocities page about it. Or years later a Livejournal etc. But few if anybody would likely ever read it compared to the tools we have today. The fact that more people speak up and are being heard is emboldening others to do the same. It's a lot easier to say you aren't happy with this or this aspect about games if you know you can find support.
There has been dedicated female gamers ever since gaming's inception, I don't blame them one bit for being pissed that the industry has basically ignored them for decades whether it be through marketing, game design or hiring.
Part of what makes discussions of sexism/racism/homophobia in any medium so difficult (and so frustrating and arbitrary) is that what people perceive as sexist/misogynistic changes over time and is so contextual. People looking at Metal Gear Solid or Tomb Raider through a modern lens see base fanservice that has little critical value. "Ugh, look, Lara Croft's boobs are so big, this is pandering." "You have to find Meryl by the shape and wiggle of her butt? Gross; turning this person into an object is so disgusting." But its not so simple.
MGS and Tomb Raider showed strong, independent women who were comfortable in their femininity, and their sexuality was empowerment, not just fanservice, and stood far and above other game characters at the time. MGS may have sexualized its female characters in certain scenes, but they were also fiercely strong, well-written and realized female characters who were comfortable in themselves, and told Snake to fuck off when he was being a creep.
I think you made some great points as you often do, but that part about Tomb Raider is a bit off the mark according to how I remember it going down with that game. Calling PS1 era Lara Croft a well written & realized empowered female character is a bit of a stretch. Buffy the Vampire Slayer she was not.
While as you pointed nothing is purely binary, the old Lara Croft in my estimation was roughly something like ~75% fan service/ ~25% empowerment at best. Yes she kicked butt on screen; killed so many animals I think PETA considered a protest about the game (no joke) and had some grand old puzzle platforming ledge grabbing adventures, That wasn't what the discussion of the day was ever about when it came to Tomb Raider to my recollection.
Lara Croft was deliberately hyper-sexualized by her all male creators at Core Design (after an accidental slip of the hand by her original character artist Toby Gard) as a brazen fan service marketing ploy to help sell their game to teen boys from conception. Her creation was not like Samus's or Chun Li's (I don't know what Kojima's goals were with Meryl's), it was very calculated, they've never made any secret of that. Frankly whatever you think of the morals of that decision, it was a brilliant business move as history has shown. The NES generation reaching adolescence, the rarity of female protagonists in games at that time, the third person perspective and the hardware tech of the day made it perfect timing. Empowerment was an afterthought at best in the early games and there were quite a few feminists and frankly just mainstream media in general outraged by her portrayal in the mid-late 90's. I remember seeing the controversy grab large headlines in stodgy mainstream news media outlets like USA Today & CBS Evening News. If memory serves it was their preferred video game moral outrage du jour right after after Mortal Kombat & Doom is too violent became stale. Games were no longer just trying young boys into violent thugs, they were also being turned into perverts if you believed the nightly news.
It was bad enough Gard quit Core after the first game in protest because he strongly disliked the way the Lara Croft Character was being promoted as a sex symbol by Core's & Eidos's management with all the magazine spreads, TV ads etc (He had notably different aspirations for the character than the rest of his team seemed to). I don't think a creator would do that if the character was truly being depicted as empowered.
Her evolution into something more positive and empowered was a welcome change that came later.
@grantheaslip: I think you've also illustrated the value in taking advantage of the resources you have as a member to represent a different opinion of such games. Writing well-done blog posts and reviews of these games helps represent your distinct perspective on them. :)
It doesn't really help when, to start, staff members are portraying fans of the games in a certain light. (ex: Project Diva fans as perverts.) Maybe that wasn't Jeff's intent, but that was sure the message that a lot of people that commented on that Quick Look seemed to take away from the video.
It may not change the staff's minds, but it is certainly a constructive thing to do after seeing them dislike a game you like. You actively present a different opinion of it and may even get people to understand why you like it.
If you want people on Giant Bomb to appreciate a game like Project Diva that you like, a blog post explaining why you like it or a well-done review of it can have an impact. I've seen you write such posts about games you felt didn't get a fair shake, and they generally do far more to help myself and others understand and appreciate your different take on games than any complaint ever does. I appreciate people's passion put into such posts, and I think they often have a positive impact.
It's good to hear, because sometimes I get in conversations where the only response I get seems to be "What's wrong with you?" It's good to know that the blogs I write can be informative to those that have an interest in actually reading and understanding.
Jumping in here uninvited I know, but I think Truthtellah is absolutely right about this. Hitting the reset button on the discussion by having your blog/thread gives you a better venue to potentially be heard and a more receptive audience. The new thread titles alone are going to filter out a portion of close minded critics by self selection.
I think what can happen unintentionally when a person tries to defend what they like about the game in a thread that's starting from a negative place whether that's because the tone of a Staff produced video or an OP has negative bent to it, is that some people who agree with the negative outlook almost perceive any discussion to the contrary as an attack to suppress criticism (given how game reviews used to be and especially given the backstory of how GiantBomb itself was founded that's a fear I can understand although it's often irrational) or they dismiss it as fanboy whining. There's almost a kneejerk like reaction to instantly dismiss criticism of criticism as some sort of personal inability on the fan's part to accept criticism (even if that isn't true). Whatever the cause, comment threads are usually not a successful place to pitch what's good about game unless you are very careful with phrasing.
I continue to have a good ole' time with the game. (and kinda pity them a bit for not feeling what I feel)