All About Stylee19
There are lessons to be learned from this whole Mass Effect 3 ending mess.
Let me start out by making this disclaimer. I haven't played ME3 yet. Yet even with that caveat. I would like to offer my point of view.
It has been mentioned here and on other sites that there is an issue of artistic integrity, but it bears repeating. What it boils down to is how you answer this question: Are games art? If you answer yes then the artist who creates it, be that a person or a team, has creative control over what they make. If you don't like it, don't view it. If you answer no, and say that games are merely a consumer product. Therefore consumer has every right to be angry if they aren't happy with the product they paid for. Well then games will be just that, a product spit out by a factory. I don't want that.
"But I paid for my game," you say "shouldn't I have the right to demand satisfaction?"
Well yes and no. Because like all art, it is one part product and one part... well art. You have every right to demand that your game is functional. You put it in you game system, it plays, it works. That's the product part of it. The experience you have with the game, that is art.
Then there is the greater issue of what the gaming world will become if a game company has to bow to every demand a fan base makes. Strong arming a new ending for ME3 will set a disturbing precedent. Remember the Greatest Sidekick of All Time competition on this site. We voted and Launchpad McQuack won. Now I don't have anything against the duck. But he was the greatest video game sidekick? Really? These are the people we want determining the endings of games? Mob rule is an ugly thing, and that is what I am afraid is happening here. This will compromise the process for the game makers who will be strained to try and make everyone happy. The product produced under those conditions wont be good.
All this already been said but there is perhaps something else that needs to be learned here. Recently they have been a few articles on this site about various game makers debating the need for a good story or strong narrative in games. Some in the industry are pro-story and are some anti- story. Scrolling down to the comments I made some very brief unscientific observations. Nearly all the commentators universally said "Screw the story just give me a fun game." If any of them who said that then are now complaining about ME3's ending I would say you got what wished for.
The lesson gamers need to learn is that story telling is a vital component to games. At least to games with story... if that makes sense. Do you need a ton of story line to understand Pac-Man, tTetris, or Pong? No, no you don't. Those are fun games but let me ask you, right now of the top of you head what's you top five favorite games. I'm willing to bet one, if not most of them have a strong story component. Though maybe I'm wrong, maybe some one just wants a shooter, a flight simulator, or whatever it may be. You don't need a strong story for a good game. But for a story oriented game you need to make sure the story shines just a much as the game play.
And that brings me to the lesson the game industry needs to learn. Don't suck at story telling. I haven't played ME3 yet. I was waiting and now this whole ending debacle has shown up. So to a degree I don't know what I'm talking about but bear with me. As I understand it the ending was as if at the end of the first Mario game you had gotten another toad saying sorry you princess is in another castle. Or it's something akin to that level of unfinishedness. That would tick me off. I've really enjoyed the story of ME2. From what I hear ME3's end is like a slap in the face. Come one game industry get you act together. Because this is just an aspect of greater problems. I used to think that nothing could kill off gaming. Now I'm not so sure. If it does die off it wont just be the game makers that killed it, there will be blood on gamers hands as well. Yes the game industry isn't helping their own case much. With all the intrusive restrictions game makers are imposing in a vain attempt to combat piracy. The "suck them for all their worth" DLC. It all scares me. Though the ramifications of fan dictated revision should not be overlooked. If ME3 is a badly made product then don't buy it. Let your money speak for you. If you were suckered in on a pre-order, well then let that be a lesson to you. Don't leap before you look.
Isn't alliteration fun.
NOTE: I tried adding pictures to this post but it was like pulling teeth and I was running out of time to get this up by Valentines. If you want to got to my blog at www.hhovg.blogspot.com you can take a look at this post with the images that were intended for it. Either way enjoy.
I warn yee, ahead there be spoilers.
With it being Valentines and all I thought it would be fun to write a little something for all the video game girls who have set my heart a flutter over the years. And so with out further ado...
Rikku and Yuffie.
I mention these two together because they very similar. Their both thieves, both are spunky, conniving, scheming, thieving, quirky vixens that I can't help but love.
My Favorite Rikku Moments
Its hard to pin point just one moment. But the ones I think I like the most is whenever she just starts yelling in Al Bed and acting all indignant.
My favorite Yuffie Moments
When I first met Yuffie I fell for her. Her cuteness, her conniving, the way she kept talking to herself after the group had moved on. And that adorable little "cha cha cha" arm movement. In short she stole my materia and my heart.
Who brings a gun to the opera? Detective Aya Brea that's who
Not every New York cop can look hot in formal attire and have a rhyming name. If that weren't impressive enough she battles genetic monsters with grit, savvy, and general hotness.
When picking the girls for this post I tried not to focus on just looks, which is why you wont see Lara Croft on this list. I wanted to highlight the female video game heroines that had evoked an emotional response and weren't just eye candy. (Not that I'm saying anything against Lara, I haven't played any tomb raider games that's all. So I couldn't form any kind of connection with her. If you have that's great leave me a comment about it.) But Aya comes close to foiling that attempt.
I like her... why? Well she is very nice to look at. But I think there is more than that. I'm not sure exactly what it is. It's been years since I played Parasite Eve but even now she stirs something in me. And I'm not just talking about the obvious. I think what I love about her is she manages to pull off a look that is powerful yet vulnerable at the same time.
Sure the Empress of Time might have bigger breasts but Farah has more character.
What was refreshing about the Prince and Farah's relationship is that we got to watch it unfold from its beginnings which started out on very unequal terms. Farah is the captured daughter of a conquered maharajah. But as she and the Prince are thrust into terrible situations a bond is slowly formed, it strengthens and blossoms into love. Aside for shooting me occasionally (and her AI was a lot better than most) she was helpful in combat. Never afraid to speak her mind or take action into her own hands I can easily see why the Prince fell for her. As he would talk to himself about her I found my self feeling the same way. I loved her in the library as she starts reading some poetry while the Prince is trying to solve a puzzle.
I couldn't help but enter first person view and just stare at her. Not to ogle her, but to bask in her radiance. And maybe ogle a little bit. The dialogue exchanges that occurred because of that are quite memorable to me. Early in the game I'd sit and stare until she'd call me on it. Later she'd stare back and comment on my eyes. And while she got the color wrong I... oh yeah it was the Prince not me she was talking to. Oh so easy to forget.
Now true she did sleep with the Prince to trick him out of his dagger, (hmm, something Freudian about that sentence.) I can't really fault her for doing it. The Prince had already let out the sands once, and then failed to recapture them because he couldn't get over his trust issues with her. She was just trying to do what needed to be done.
It broke my heart at the conclusion of the the game that she didn't even know who I was anymore. The next two games did little to console my heart ache, story wise I prefer to think they never happened.
Nariko and Kai
Another duo, this time from the same game. One of the best games ever made too.
Favorite Nariko Moments
Although she'd probably kill me as soon as look at me I can't help but be entranced by Nariko. She reminds me of a tigress. Fierce, beautiful, and deadly.
She goes through the extreme emotions of fearing her father, to hating him, to forgiving him. Her unique path of the warrior was an experience unlike anything I have ever witnessed. I watched as she took up the Heavenly Sword out of desperation even though she knew it meant her doom. Through the course of her wielding it she was transformed not just physically but spiritually as well. She selflessly risks her life to save her captured tribesmen. They in turn curse her, blaming her for their misfortunes. Beyond all that she doesn't just defeat and enemy warlord that threatened her tribe but she teaches and leads them to a truer understanding of themselves. That Fate is not in the hands of Gods or prophecy, but that each person must choose their path and in so doing they affect the world.
Favorite Kai Moments
Kai is a mentally unstable girl with a skill for using the crossbow and appetite for eating worms. She suffered the loss of her entire tribe and witnessed the murder of her mother. A girl like that in our society would be treated with therapy and would possibly be institutionalized. Nariko's tribe gave her a weapon and told her to kill people.
I'd love to play "Twing Twang" with her, provided I'm not the target (and with Kai you never know.) I fell in Love with Kai during the rescue of Nariko's father. When she was shooting down bad guys. When she missed one and she said to herself "Silly Kai. Must try harder." I guess I have a thing for girls that talk to themselves.
The raw emotion as she throws the sword to Nariko in the arena even while running for her life from what has got to be the biggest fear in her life is unparalleled. When she finally kills Flying Fox I cheered with tears in my eyes.
Tifa and Aeris
My favorite videogame of all time is Final Fantasy VII. Aeris and Tifa have something to do with that.
Favorite Tifa Moments
The Slap fight with Scarlet was epic!
As if I need to say more but there is so much more to say. Tifa tends bar, is killer good at Martial arts, is member of a terrorist organization, and is the quintessential girl next door.
Why does unrequited love pull at our heartstrings so much? I don't know. But Tifa tugs away till it hurts (who, talk about double entendres.) In some way's Tifa kinda reminds me of General Lee. I know that's an awkward comparison to make but let me explain. Even though Lee lost the Civil War he still came out as sympathetic figure. Many people admire him for his tactics and consider him a hero and a true southern gentleman. Tifa lost Clouds heart but the fans are just crazy for her, and with good reason.
For someone who can pack a nuke into a punch Tifa is a very sensitive person.
To be honest I wasn't favoring Tifa for most of the game. I leaned more towards Aeris. But then the scene with Tifa and Cloud under the Airship changed my mind. I'm not sure why. It was like I saw Tifa for the first time. A beautiful, vulnerable, and caring individual. She loved Cloud so much I ached for her. So now I can't pick between to two of them.
Favorite Aeris Moments
It is a rare woman that will help a man cross dress so that they can sneak into a brothel and rescue her romantic rival. Aeris is this type of woman. A woman who will still sell flowers in the middle of a terrorist attack. A woman who pays for bodyguard service with dates. A woman pursued by all and who ultimately sacrifices herself to save the world. How can you not love a woman like that.
When she died my world fell apart. I went into mourning for a month. I couldn't play game it hurt to much. But I knew that Aeris would want me to continue. In the corner of my heart where I keep a place for videogames the softest spot is reserved for Aeris.
Ah if only they were real. But who am i kidding, if they were they'd be just as unattainable as they are now.
Now this whole post is not about spending all my time fantasizing over fictional women. These characters have made an impact on me emotionally. The same way characters from a book, movie, or TV show could. They all taught me a little something about the human condition and I value that.
So Happy Valentines Day.
Anyway these have been my picks for favorite videogame valentines. What are yours and why?
What are the chances of my little ol' blog getting highlighted in the Member Spotlight? I mean it was my first attempt and all, and my subject did swerve from "Editorial" into "Rant" territory here and there. But still I hoped it might get recognized. Each day I would eagerly rush to my computer like a kid on Christmas morning to check. Alas, day after day, nothing. I was about ready to give it all up, pack it in, hang up my key board when today I checked again and low and behold I made it.
What a pleasure, and what an honor. I'd like to thank Gamespot and everyone who has left comments. It was fun to write and even more of a joy to find that others read it. Well I don't mean to gush but I just wanted to make sure you all knew that I was grateful.
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