A sense of accomplishment in video games

What is it that makes a game particularly memorable?

When you finish a game, you want to feel as if you’ve accomplished something. By the time you beat some games, you want to really feel you’ve made the game world a better place through your actions (or, perhaps, you have intentionally left a horrifying wake of devastation). You’ve solved all major problems, and probably a lot of minor ones as well. Maybe you’ve beaten a particularly tough platformer or shooter and you feel like you’ve done a superhuman feat or twelve. The important part is you feel like you’ve done something significant or participated in a memorable story. The main pieces used to bring about this feeling are plot and challenge.

Unfortunately, this sense of accomplishment can be out of reach when playing a game. →  Read the rest

Enough with the androgynous characters

Team Ninja is obsessed with breasts. This happens to be an obsession most American men (and women) share. Game after game, Tecmo and many other publishers give us girls that make Dolly Pardon look prepubescent. Most thoughtful gamers (or prudes) have already declared this tendency absurd, or at least unrealistic.

Arguing that Team Ninja should be neutered is a position that is seen as pro-women and inclusive. Call Final Fantasy characters effeminate, on the other hand, and you invite accusations of homophobia and narrow-mindedness. Before I justify my stance on the character design of Final Fantasy games and many other Japanese titles, let me first establish what I mean when I say the art is effeminate.

Squall from Final Fantasy VIII looking coy in his furry coat is a good example. →  Read the rest

Best Game Ever – Sword of Vermillion

Developed by Sega (possibly AM2)
Published by Sega for the Sega Genesis
Released 1989

Your father passes away

You know why the videogames of yesteryear are better than the games today: Simplicity. I find myself taking frequent breaks from the overly done games of today to play a game on my old Sega Genesis. After all, why watch hours of passive cut scenes in Resident Evil or Onimusha when I can jump on turtle shells, fall into never ending pits of death or practice killing vampires in the luscious 2D side scrollers I loved as a child? Games made more sense then than the games of today. They were simple. Shoot bubbles at enemies, pop them. Eat the crystals or Cakes that drop and keep going until your rescue your woman. →  Read the rest