This Week in Sexy Games: Mass Effect (A Look Back)

Greenshot_2012-03-23_22-04-511

Remember that time Fox News made a giant spectacle of the original game’s “explicit sex scenes” that would ruin children and turn them into sexual deviants and rape every man, woman and child in sight?!

I do. I wish I didn’t.

Mass Effect is easily one of my favourite franchises of all-time. As of writing this article, I’m pretty sure it falls into the #2 spot behind Final Fantasy. It’s a game that encompasses everything I enjoy playing in video games. Lots of action, great storylines, fully fleshed out characters, a little bit of comedy thrown in and most importantly…TONS OF SEXY LADIES!!! *cue rave music*

Ahem! In all seriousness though, the games are fantastic works of art (because yes, video games are art, suck it parents, politicans and especially you, Jack Thompson) and deserve to be put up on a pedestal as one of the best written and built games of the past 10 years.

It of course, didn’t come without its share of “controversy” though.

The first game really rubbed the Christian Conservative Crazies the wrong way when kids (cause y’know the game wasn’t rated M for mature or anything…) could easily access lesbian sex scenes with full-frontal nudity. Even though it wasn’t full-frontal nudity, the best we’ve ever gotten is some Liara or Ashley side boob in the original game. It’s amazing how that scene pissed off a lot of people, yet I heard far less when seeing Cassandra‘s nipples or even Dorian‘s bare ass in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Also…YOU HAD TO PLAY THE GAME FOR OVER 50 HOURS TO EVEN SEE THAT SCENE!!! They even made claims that you controlled every action during that scene. Ah…professional journalism at its finest.

They half got what they wanted though in Mass Effect 2, there was no nudity at all. But BioWare certainly got their revenge in the third installment. “Oh what’s that? You don’t like our sex scenes? You know what’ll make us all come to a compromise? GAY SEX!!!”. And we got the Shepard/Cortez romance. I only mention that as gay sex because let’s be honest, a lot of men are fucking hypocritical by saying they’re against homosexuality, but you know they have zero issue watching two hot girls going at it.

So moving along from the controversy, I guess all that’s left is recalling my favourite moments that fall into the sexy category. Well I suppose we have to start with Miranda‘s ass, it’s not like you can get away from it, it IS glorious. Already mentioning Liara side boob from the original, she’s animated unbelievably beautifully in the 3rd game, it’s impossible not to stare at Liara and her perfect body/skin. Last but not least, I also enjoyed the far underrated Samantha Traynor. If I wasn’t already attached to Liara and/or Tali, she’d be up there. But you’re an ass kicking space marine, you gotta give the aliens your love first, it’s a rule!

In terms of things I wish we got though, I really wish we’d gotten a little more Kasumi, I absolutely adored her in the 2nd and 3rd games. Maybe a little more of Samara as well, after all Liara proved just how stunningly beautiful the Asari truly are. At the very least though, I’m glad there was no EDI romance scene, robots might’ve crossed the line for me if that’d happened.

The best part about all these romance scenes though? They almost all had a ton of emotion and meaning into it. It wasn’t just sex for the sake of sex (I’m looking directly at you, Ride to Hell: Retribution, you steaming pile of rapey sexist shit!), there was a strong bond that developed between the characters, the war they were fighting added to the drama of it and when the kiss finally happened, it meant something. And if it’s a relationship that carried on to the next game, it meant even more, you were rewarded with the admission from the game that you worked to develop that relationship, it wasn’t just forgotten and lost in translation.

Mass Effect does a wonderful job at handling romance and sex in video games. But Fox News is right, all they really did though is cause a bunch of minors to turn into rapists and sexual deviants.

You fucking idiots…*facepalm*

 

Quickie: Destiny Sparrow Racing

Destiny-Sparrow-Racing-Walk-700x389

How many major AAA games do you know of that will consistently make changes/additions to their game based on what the fans suggest and ask for?

I recall months ago people talking on the Destiny subreddit and other places about how cool it would be to have Sparrow racing in the game. After all, we spend a ton of time on our Sparrows during our many patrols going from place to place, but that’s really all it’s for, just traveling. Why not have another use for them?

So Bungie decided to implement (for free) a multi-week event featuring just that, the Sparrow Racing League or SRL.

Yet people are still complaining about it.

There’s only two maps, one on Venus, one on Mars. And that is a little odd, you almost figure there should have been 4 maps for each major planet we visit (I doubt Oryx would let us use his Dreadnaught) to the point Earth and the Moon would also have a track. My only complaint, this was a great opportunity for us to see what the city below the Tower looks like.

The physics are a little wonky. Well Sparrow physics have always been a little odd. The only issue I’m really having is once in a while my Sparrow will randomly dead-stop, not hitting anything or letting go of the L2. And I tested that on two controllers, both times it’s happened.

You certainly can’t complain about the rewards, legendary marks are becoming farm-able with this mode. Also you can complete Crucible bounties and even the Jolly Holiday bounty where you get renown while having The Last Word equipped. I needed a glitch like this, as I’m terrible at Crucible.

Honestly, if anything bothers people about the SRL content, just remember one thing: we didn’t have to pay a dime for it!

And that’s pretty damn sweet. We got something we asked for and it wasn’t taking another $10-20 out of our pockets.

Why I Enjoy Watching Harem Anime

rv13_end

The vast majority of anime fans who don’t watch harem anime pretty much look at it like a series of shows that are nothing but scenes of girls of all shapes and sizes naked, in their underwear, swimwear, undressing, or wearing any kind of sexually suggestive clothing to please a single male protagonist.

To that I say “Hey! …There’s shows where it’s guys for one girl too!”.

In all seriousness though (technically that last comment is half-serious), there’s far more to harem anime than just ecchi scenes. Granted most harem anime feature them, but that’s not really a problem to me, unlike a lot of your typical SJW feminist folk out there who cringe at the sight of a fictional girl having a gust of wind blow up her skirt. While some harem anime are legitimately shit, a lot of them feature really good stories with fleshed out characters and a really cool setting and premise.

But why do I personally watch harem anime? There’s a ton of reasons why I watch a ton of different shows that fall into that category.

#1: The tons and tons of humor – When it comes to anime, there’s very few out there that are super-serious and can grab my attention. I imagine it has a lot to do with the anime I started watching when I was younger. I watched shows that were cheesy and funny, I recall every morning in grade school waking up and catching the last 5-10 minutes of Sailor Moon, followed by the first 15 minutes of Pokémon before the bus arrived. But the one show that really started my anime craze, was FLCL and anyone who knows that series knows how batshit crazy that show is.

Harem anime 9 times out of 10 will be a lot of things, but a comedy will be one of them. Some are very sharp with their jokes, a lot of the times breaking the fourth wall (which I adore in any piece of media), others are just insane, all over the place and I love every second of it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some serious shows out there that I love like hell (like Hellsing, pun absolutely intended), but if you sit me down and have me watch two shows and one is serious, the other comical, I’d say there’s a 80-90% chance I’m liking the funny show over the serious one.

Speaking of humor…

#2: The sheer absurdity of how often the MC walks in on girls at the most embarrassing times – Most will look at this as a perverted point of harem anime and in some cases, I absolutely understand. Sometimes the main character intentionally (whether he admits it or not) gets himself into these situations. But the ones I like is when they are purely accidental, you know he never meant to do such a thing. Some are even beyond his control, take Ichika discovering that ‘Charles‘ is actually a ‘Charlotte‘ (not that it was hard to tell that in an all-girls school with only one boy the new super-feminine looking French boy was actually a girl).

Regardless of how people feel about the girls being seen in various states of undress, I really enjoy the scenes, from a comical value and admittedly a sexual value. The facial expressions are always glorious, and you can feel how tense a lot of these situations are. It’s just a matter of whether it just makes things even more awkward, or if you’re about to watch the MC get beaten within an inch of his life.

#3: It’s not depressing! (most of the time) – Like I said earlier, I prefer comedy anime far more than super serious. There are a few shows that I’ll get into that are extremely depressing. The two big ones for me have been Anohana and Your Lie in April, great picks too, on a Ranker list of the saddest anime, Anohana is #1 and Your Lie in April is #4. And yes, I balled my fucking eyes out when these shows reached their super depressing and sad endings.

Harem anime on the other hand, doesn’t make me cry! Well, at least not out of sadness. You know how far down I had to scroll to get to a harem anime I’ve watched that was on that Ranker list? #71 with Love Hina! And there were only 75 shows listed! Generally speaking, harem anime are not meant to be depressing, they’re meant to be mindless, cheesy anime that doesn’t require to get too emotional with it. And that’s how I’d prefer it most of the time.

Though admittedly, Anohana and Your Lie in April are absolutely phenomenally good shows. But if I knew how depressing they were, I wouldn’t have started watching them.

#4: The wide variety of characters – The thing about harem anime is that in order to have the sheer number of girls vying for the MC’s attention is that you have to make them all individually unique so there’s arguably a girl for everyone to root for.

This forces those who write the characters and stories of these series to actually put some thought into the girls’ development. They can’t all just be Sexy Girl #1, Sexy Girl #2, Sexy Girl #3, etc., there has to be something unique about them. Let’s use one of the more extreme harem anime out there to show this off, take Monster Musume for example:

Miia is the super wife-like girl of the series, she wants to take care of Kimihito. She’s very innocent, but isn’t afraid to show herself off when she feels threatened by the other girls also trying to gain his affection.

Papi is very child-like and can be rather dense at times (a birdbrain if you will). Though she is absolutely adorable and looks at Kimihito like he’s family.

Centorea is a very noble and elegant woman, she views Kimihito as her master that she constantly tries to fight her feelings for him on. She’s a warrior, willing to protect him from anyone or anything, yet has that very feminine side she tries so hard to supress.

Suu is a slime girl. I could explain more, but you really have to watch the show to understand what she is to the series (be warned though).

Meroune is an absolute fucking flirt, let’s be honest. While she’s very polite and a warm personality, she’s secretly a tragedy addict, she wants to be part of an affair, that sort of thing.

Rachnera is extremely, well…extreme. She’s a bondage lover and at times will randomly tie people up just for her own pleasure/enjoyment. However at times she seems the most calm and level-headed of the entire group.

Lala is a very interesting case. With her head being detachable it appears that her head and body have two different personalities. Full-body, she’s very stoic and expressionless, while with the head detached, her body seems far more emotional and loving. It’s really weird, I know.

The M.O.N. crew are unique as well. Zombina‘s a badass tomboy with a real crazy sense of humor. Manako is super shy and not very good around people in general. Tionishia is a sweet (gigantic) girl who is a bit of a klutz. Doppel is a real trickster loving to mess with people (and an implied nudist as you rarely ever see her with clothes on). And Smith is a woman who switches between lazy and irresponsible to super-serious and very responsible when she wants to be.

And even the side characters are unique as well, but I’ll stop where I am. Notice also with the pictures that they’re also unique looks-wise and that isn’t just applying to their race in the show. They all have a different style to them so not only do they act differently than every other girl, they look very different.

#5: The action can be just as good/intense – Shows like Infinite Stratos, Highschool of the Dead and Date A Live aren’t just romantic comedies either, some harem anime house some fantastic action sequences and have plenty of battles going on.

It’s a great balance for me, not only do I get the comedy, not only do I get some attractive girls, but I get some badass action scenes as well. While some are just slice of life high school romantic comedies, other shows can be just as badass and just as intense as your average serious-ish action anime.

Look, guns in harem anime don’t always just refer to boobs…

#6: The stories can be just as compelling – While some harem admittedly has very little premise and story (which is why I stay away from most of them), some offer great storytelling with arcs, curveballs, whatever you can throw at a viewer. I’m not saying these shows are fictional storytelling masterpieces, but they definitely offer engaging stories that are more than just clothes falling off.

Take Highschool of the Dead for example. Lots of blatant sexual content in that show, I will fully admit that. However, the story and premise of the show does zombies extremely well to me. The reality of being in the middle of a developing zombie apocalypse is very prevalent in this show and they don’t sugarcoat it either. There is fear, there’s a lot of breaking down. It’s no School-Live! but holy shit it’s not just a tits n’ ass kind of show either (though people could argue that).

#7: The sexual content – I can’t ignore the fact that a percentage of the reason I watch harem anime is for the sexual content, I’d be an absolute hypocrite and outright liar if I said otherwise. But unlike a lot of people out there it seems, I’m not bothered by the content at all, on either side. I would happily watch the same shows if they had guys naked all the time too, the nudity doesn’t ever bother me in anime because apparently I’m far more comfortable with sex than others. I’d far prefer watching a scene in anime where a girl undresses than watching someone get torn apart and it’s not because I’m perverted, it has to do with the fact I don’t handle violence very well at all. I’m not a huge fan of horror movies and very few shows are violent and have gore and I can put up with it, shows like Hannibal (which rarely shows the act of violence, just the result, which I’m more okay with) and in terms of anime, shows like Hellsing, HOTD/School-Live and Is This A Zombie? (which adds comedy to its violence) apply. Shows like Attack on Titan, Elfen Lied, stuff like that? Not a chance.

Back to the ecchi content though, people seem to associate those who watch these shows as perverted. I equate it to being a straight male. I’m attracted to girls, why would I not enjoy seeing pretty girls (whether they’re real or not) in various states of undress? I can’t imagine straight women who wouldn’t enjoy seeing sexy men with their shirts off or even naked. We’re attracted to what we’re attracted to, I don’t see why that’s a problem to some people.

Can it be excessive in some shows? Absolutely. Some harem anime is literally just scene after scene of half-naked women. The majority of those I turn away from, because they offer little to no plot and at the very least I’d like some substantial story along with the panty shots.


So that’s my thoughts on harem anime, I have zero problems saying that I truly do adore watching that type of content. Some of my favourites include Infinite Stratos, Monster Musume, Date A Live, Highschool of the Dead and many more.

But what are your favourite harem anime and that includes reverse harem anime where it’s all boys. List yours in the comments below!

$10-15 for PS2 on PS4? Sign me up!

PS2-console

The PlayStation 2 was and may forever be my favourite console of all time. It is truly the console that defined me as a gamer and if I did a Top 10 of my all-time favourite games, I’m positive at least half of them are games I played on that console.

So when rumours started about PS2 games starting to be released on PS4, I got excited. Now we have confirmation of that, as eight games got released last week.

However, not everyone was as psyched it seems. Many were a little annoyed at the pricing of some of these games, Kotaku in particular as they were the first ones I read saying this.

So let’s look at the eight games and the prices they’re being sold for. For this comparison, I’m using a site I buy older games from, LukieGames. The prices are also in Canadian, folks.

  • Dark Cloud — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $22.47)
  • Grand Theft Auto III — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $4.14)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $6.04)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $9.84)
  • Rogue Galaxy — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $28.97)
  • The Mark of Kri — $14.99 (Lukie Price: $5.14)
  • Twisted Metal: Black — $9.99 (Lukie Price: $6.94)
  • War of the Monsters — $9.99 (Lukie Price: $25.47)

So there is an argument to be had for sure. Especially the Grand Theft Auto games, but the games that are more commonly known and easy to find hard copies of are getting priced a little higher than retail value. But here’s the thing…

Look at games like Dark Cloud, War of the Monster and especially Rogue Galaxy. These are all games that are much rarer, harder to find. And if you do find them in stores, they are priced very high. I’ve seen a copy of Rogue Galaxy above $50 before. So this begs the question, is it worth paying more than retail value for more common games if it means the rarer ones are priced the same? It makes me wonder if games I’m still trying to get a hard copy of would be priced at $15 as well, games like Suikoden V, Wild Arms 5 and Xenosaga 3. Even if it were at $25, it’s more than a fair enough deal, as Lukie has them all above $50, some almost at $100.

Just for reference, here’s the top 5 most expensive games on that site (minus bundles and limited editions):

  • Rule of Rose – $173.47
  • .hack Part 4: Quarantine – $143.47
  • Kuon – $105.47
  • Haunting Ground $93.97
  • .hack//G.U. Part 1: Rebirth & Ar tonelico Melody of Elemia – $91.47

If any of those games went up on PS4 for a reduced price, even if it’s $49.99, how good is that for consumers? Not only can they buy a digital copy of a game they’ve been looking for at a cheaper price, but the likelihood of the price dropping for the hard copies of them increase, due to other options now being available.

So honestly to me it’s worth it paying $15 for a $5 game if it means a $50 game will drop to $15 or $25.

Let’s just hope they come out with more games faster than they have been with PlayStation Now.

Never Playing FFXIV Until It’s F2P

Final-Fantasy-XIV-A-Realm-Reborn-Wallpaper

I don’t care how good everyone says the game is. I don’t care how much there is to do. I don’t care how beautiful it is. I don’t care how it’s a must-play for die-hard Final Fantasy fans.

The $13-15/month price tag is just not worth it for me.

Call me cheap, I really don’t give a shit. But the fact that at best, I’d be paying $150 a year to play ONE game is absolutely asinine in this day and age where almost every other MMORPG offers a pay-to-premium system rather than a subscription fee. This MMO subscription system is nothing more than an antiquated, draconian money-sucking system only used by developers who know they can get away with this model. You certainly wouldn’t see a game like Tera or Skyforge go with this model, no one would buy into it. But Blizzard and Square Enix are large enough companies with a large following behind them who are willing to shill out exorbitant amounts of money just for the privilege to play their amazing game.

Why in god’s name would I pay triple what I pay for a service like PlayStation Plus, which not only allows me the ability to play ANY AND EVERY GAME POSSIBLE ONLINE but also gives me FREE GAMES every month on top of that! Instead, I should be paying $150 a year to play one game? Not only that, but assume I’ll be playing that game every day for an entire year? What if I take a couple weeks off? Do I get half my money back if I don’t play for half that month? Of course not. When I play online with my PS4, I’m on almost every day because I have a wide range of games I can play. If I get bored of Destiny, I have Black Ops 3, I have NHL 16, I have WWE 2K16, hell I have F2P games like Planetside 2 and Warframe as options if I really need something to do to tide me over.

There was an article in Kotaku by Jason Schreier that really pissed me off, leading to me writing this article. The title in itself is enough to upset me “Every Single Final Fantasy Fan Should Play FFXIV”. Really? Every fan should play this game? Are we assuming there’s no possibility that any JRPG fan out there may not like the MMORPG style? I’ve never been much into MMOs to begin with, Guild Wars and Tera are the closest things I’ve had to an MMO that I played with for an extended period of time and at best that lasted a month. The style drags on too long, there’s too much mundane shit you have to do and unless you either already have a group of friends or you stumble across some, playing solo just isn’t fun. At least with Destiny there’s enough action to keep me invested if I’m playing solo.

The part that pissed me off the most though was a quote Jason had towards the end of his article:

“Still, if you like Final Fantasy but have never cared to play the MMOs, take my word for it: Even as a single-player game, FFXIV is great. Also, you can play Triple Triad with strangers and NPCs. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, then, well, you’re not a Final Fantasy fan.”

So essentially what I’m hearing from that line is that simply because I don’t like MMORPGs that much and I have zero intention on paying an expensive monthly fee just to play the game, I’m not a Final Fantasy fan.

Motherfucker, I’ve been playing Final Fantasy games since I was 8 years old (almost 20 years now). I can count on one hand the number of console released Final Fantasy games I haven’t played (cause fuck mobile games). You can make any excuse you want after releasing this article, but you basically called a group of hardcore fans who just didn’t want to play this one Final Fantasy game, not bonafide Final Fantasy fans. Fuck you and your MMO master race bullshit. I’ll happily stick to my PS Plus service with my Yuffie and Rikku figures standing beside my collection of Final Fantasy games that I’m proud to own.

The second this game goes free-to-play (if it ever does), of course I’m in! But I see zero value in playing a game and paying as much as I would be when I know that I’ll either tire myself out of it, get bored of it, or be distracted by the many other games that get released as time goes by.

I’m sorry I can’t stick to one game. I guess that doesn’t make me a true Final Fantasy fan, huh? What a fucking crock of shit!

“Hentai is worse than real porn!”

bible-black-1024x679

Is something really stupid that was said to me recently. There’s a slight argument to be made for why this could be, after all hentai gets to do a lot things that can’t really be done by your average porn studio. So I’d like to bring forward a few of the arguments that were made to me and the responses I had to them.

“These movies feature underage children!” – Now I don’t pretend to know the ages of every single character that’s ever been sexed up in a hentai film, but I know a simple answer as to why the perception that underage boys and girls are in these works. The legal age of consent in Japan is 13, yes you read that correctly, 13 years old. The youngest you can be anywhere in North America is 16 as a frame for reference. This actually doesn’t bother me much, as I know that by 13, young boys and girls are already exploring their own bodies and even others’. Granted, in Japan they have laws that prohibit adults from having sex with those under 17, but at least Japan doesn’t try to ignore the fact that a lot of kids will lose their virginity before they’re 16. Kids are curious, what do you expect to happen when they mix that with the sheer amount of emotions the stages of puberty bring.

Back to younger characters in hentai though (since I went off on a tangent), it shouldn’t bother the average viewer when high school boys and girls are featured in these works having sex, it’s a normal occurrence. Are there cases where characters look much younger than 13, yet the official age is that or above? Yeah, there’s definitely some cases where it looks like an easy loophole to have a child getting slammed by a giant monster cock (cause hentai is also extremely unrealistic), but when you deal with fictional works, it’s always going to be subjective anyways.

“There’s rape in hentai!” – There’s rape in non-pornographic films. There’s also a ton of extremely rough, hardcore and sometimes downright abusive (see donkey punching, it’s not cool) real porn that the average person will never come across.

Now this is something I’m not going to defend hentai for, but I’m putting them on an equal playing field with everything else. I absolutely despise it when any work of art portrays rape in it. I don’t care what it does for a character, I don’t care if you’re trying to make a villain as villainous as you can, rape is just one of those things that just isn’t cool no matter how you slice it. Watching a protagonist get their revenge on a murderer who killed his entire family by putting a bullet in his head, awesome. But I would never want to see a guy anal rape another guy in response to that guy raping his daughter, or something like that. No excuse, not in film, not in porn, not in hentai.

“And what the fuck is with that tentacle shit?!” – There’s actually a really odd, yet surprisingly sensible answer to that question. As hentai viewers know, the majority of hentai has the genitals censored out, uncensored hentai films are not common place by any means. I think the laws that require all pornographic material in Japan to be censored is extremely weird and dumb, given how much of a sexually comfortable nation Japan is compared to a lot of the world, especially the United States (will somebody please think of the children?!) where nothing is censored at all in porn.

But the reason tentacles came into play (pun intended) was because of said laws. You have to censor a male’s dick, but if they’re tentacles, you don’t have to censor them. Thus began the craze of tentacle porn. Think of it as a protest, a rebel cause for the de-censoring of pornography there. Is it weird? Oh hell yeah, I don’t get it at all. But the reasons are sound.

“Then there’s all that super disgusting shit with monsters and creatures!” – This is one that I can’t personally argue because I share the same opinion on the matter. When you incorporate non-human creatures into the equation on hentai, you’ve lost me completely, my brain cannot cope with some of the super weird shit that’s out there. But I (for the most part) have no problems with humanoid creatures, as long as they’re not over-sizing them compared to who they’re fucking.

As a fan of fictional material, I can find enjoyment in the many non-human races like elves, dwarves, orcs, even a selection of furries and anthropomorphic characters. The key for me is drawing it well and making them look as close to being human as possible. Take furries for example. They’re some wonderfully well-drawn half-wolf/half-human characters out there. But if it’s just a wolf, I’m out. That’s too far past my line. Generally if they’re all fur, I’m out. Characters like the average nekomimi (catgirl) you’d find in anime is the perfect example. Cat ears, tail, the demeanor, but still mostly human skin. Monster Musume definitely tested me as to where that line gets drawn. Watch it though, it’s really fun.


At the end of the day, I am going to bring up the one argument that I use for so much nowadays with fictional media: IT’S NOT REAL!!!

The characters, whether underage, any gender, colour, race, etc. are all part of a fictional world. No one’s getting raped in real life when you watch this stuff, it’s all drawn, it’s not real. To say a piece of fiction is worse than the real-life counterpart is absolutely asinine.

Cause let’s be honest, we’d love to see the girls in hentai as real life porn stars. But they’re drawn perfectly, most men and women in real life will never look that good no matter what they do.

Black Ops 3’s Campaign Was Awesome

call-of-duty-black-ops-iii-reflects-the-desperate-side-of-video-games-550-1447343381-crop_mobile

It’s also all kinds of fucked up!

***WARNING: Massive spoilers are contained in this article***

So I got my copy of the game yesterday and as I always do with Call of Duty games, I start off with the Campaign mode, because unlike most players, I apparently actually enjoy a good story and not just screaming at 12 year-olds or being a screaming 12 year-old. I’ve always loved the Campaigns in the Call of Duty games, except Ghosts, it was the biggest pile of shit I’ve ever played.

But Treyarch never fails when it comes to their games, I’ve never had much of a cross word to say about any of the games they’ve produced, especially the Black Ops series. They’re totally different from the seemingly cookie-cutter modern day military shooters we usually get from Infinity Ward (Sledgehammer gets a pass for Kevin Spacey) where it’s all “Support our troops! ‘Merica!” kind of feeling.

But this year’s campaign…holy shit.

It starts off relatively normal, rescue a guy and escape. Except you get left behind and robots rip off both your arms and pretty much breaks every other bone in your body. How’s that for a start, eh? In response, you are found by operative John Taylor who makes the call to admit you into a special cybernetic program that ultimately saves your life…and makes you a total badass. The next few missions are really cool, you get to explore the capabilities of your new body and it’s awesome to play through.

Then the second half of the campaign starts and shit gets all kinds of fucked up.

You discover a CIA team brutally murdered in the style of a certain gang’s style, however the last people in the room before you broke in was not the gang, rather John Taylor and his team. Doubting what your told, you try to find out what happened with them as you also can no longer track them. From this point on, you’re going down the rabbit hole here. You return to their last known mission and discover a secret CIA operation that had been buried for years now, one that was an illegal experiment related to your new cybernetic body and when something went very wrong, 300,000 people died in the process. It’s then you realize that Taylor’s team is behind everything and you are now seeking them out to stop them.

After killing one of the group you learn of a place they’re looking for known as the “Frozen Forest”. This might as well be code for “the fucked up shit”, but we’ll get to that soon enough. A surviving doctor from the experiments reveals to you and your pals that it’s nothing more than a picture put in the minds of the test subjects to calm them down, that Taylor and company are searching for somewhere that doesn’t exist. So when you down another of Taylor’s team and dig into their mind to find Taylor’s location, shit goes down.

You go full acid trip into the soldier’s mind, somehow ending up back in an old Call of Duty setting of World War II and fighting your way through to the deepest parts of her mind. It’s like Inception, except even more fucked up. During this process as well, you have a brief Zombies session, minus barricade, ray guns, all that cool shit. I was genuinely freaking out when this portion of the mission took place. It’s one of the most memorable moments in any Call of Duty game that isn’t a nuclear explosion or an airport massacre. Which would be topped an hour or so later.

Skipping to near the end of the game, everyone’s been thwarted and you’ve discovered that the experiments was for an AI program that would be integrated into everyone so they could discover who would be bad guys in the future (like Minority Report), except it failed and the AI has become self-aware, trying to figure out what it’s supposed to be. It’s not very happy when it discovers it’s just a failure, a mistake and kills off the remaining person behind the project. And in the end, you’re the only one left and you’re infected too with this AI virus. So you choose to end your own life to stop it from spreading. Thus begins our final acid trip.

This sequence is probably the coolest, craziest, holy fuck this is intense moment I’ve experienced in a Call of Duty and I’m counting the nuke from Modern Warfare. You spend the final hour of the game in your own head trying to free yourself from the AI. The closer you get to ending it, the more the AI pushes in, the more trippy visions you see. The most compelling thing during this whole sequence is your character repeating the same comforting words that were spoken by the AI:

Listen only to the sound of my voice. Let your mind relax. Let your thoughts drift. Let the bad memories fade. Let peace be upon you. Surrender yourself to your dreams. Let them wash over you like the gentle waves of the bluest ocean. Let them envelop you. Comfort you.

Imagine somewhere calm. Imagine somewhere safe. Imagine yourself in a frozen forest. You’re standing in a clearing. Trees around you so tall, they touch the sky. Pure white snowflakes fall all around. You can feel them melt on your skin. You are not cold. It cannot overcome the warmth of your beating heart. Can you hear it? You only have to listen.

You hear it slowing? You’re slowing it. You are in control. Calm. At peace.”

The further into this level you get, the more emotional your character gets. I played the female version during this and by the last portion of the level she sounds like she’s crying up a storm as she repeats these words. She sounds broken, desperate, wanting everything to end. When finally, it does.

The game ends with you seemingly still alive, yet uttering your name as “Taylor”. We also now know that through pausing to read all the loading screens for the levels that actually your character has been dead since the first level, presumably after the robots tore you to pieces. Most of the campaign is presumed to be altered versions (the dying dreams of the player) of events experienced by Taylor before his recruitment into the DNI cybernetic program. The last notable piece is that the first letter of each mission name ends up as follows: ORWEARETAYL which when re-ordered becomes WE ARE TAYLOR.

I was not anticipated this level of complexity and sheer awesome writing that Black Ops 3’s campaign featured. Man am I impressed with Treyarch on this one.

If you’re still on the fence about getting Black Ops 3, maybe the amazing campaign won’t sway the majority of you since most treat the game as a multiplayer game. But man was this one ever good.

If it makes me go “Hooooooooooooly shit.” and it has nothing to do with horrifying images like a child being blown up, you’ve written some good stories.

This Week in Sexy Games: Dead or Alive (A Look Back)

DoAX3_Fami-shot_10-14-15_003

I’ve already said my piece about the Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 situation, so that subject is being dropped for the time being. But with no new news about anything sexy in games being “controversial and offensive” (of course there isn’t now that I started a weekly article on the topic), I thought I’d look back at the entire DoA series and give my thoughts on the sexual content the series has contained.

I have to admit, I’ve not played a whole lot of the DoA series. I never played 1-3’s original copies, barely played 4 and 5. The only game in the series I spent a significant amount of time with was Dead or Alive: Ultimate. While my preference in fighters lies in the crazy 2D spectrum with games like Guilty Gear, BlazBlue and Persona 4: Arena, DoA Ultimate at the time drew a lot of my attention. The mechanics were very solid, the sounds and animations made every shot feel impactful and yes, as a young teenager of course I was drawn in by the alternate costumes the girls would wear.

It’s been the thing about the entire series that upsets people the most (well…that and the jiggle physics I suppose…), the costumes. The majority of them are relatively tame, some of them are actually pretty badass. But the ones that always get the most attention are the swimsuits and the schoolgirl outfits, whether it’s a school uniform or gym clothes. Of course, with the swimwear becoming a thing, eventually there was a smattering of fan requests for a beach volleyball mini-game, which ended up turning into the Beach Volleyball/Xtreme mini-series of games.

Personally, I have zero issue with the costumes themselves. To me, who cares what they wear, it’s their own choice, ESPECIALLY if they’re fighting someone who could break every bone in their body. Whatever works for them, I shouldn’t be one to judge. What I do have a problem with however is that there isn’t equal treatment for the guys’ costumes. In Dead or Alive 5, there is a MMA-pack of costumes for the guys with them featured in fight shorts with no shirt on. But if you truly want an even playing field, should there not be a DLC pack featuring all the male characters (yes, even the big fuckers like Bass) in either really short trunks or a speedo?

Which brings us to the main problem that is really going on with the series…

It’s very clear that the Dead or Alive series is built for men, actually no, let’s address something here no one ever mentions. Did any of these Social Justice Warriors ever think for a moment that maybe there are also, oh I don’t know…LESBIANS or BISEXUAL WOMEN who also enjoy these games because they feature extremely attractive women in revealing clothing? I doubt it.

So let’s clarify the statement properly. The Dead or Alive series is clearly built for everyone except heterosexual women. It’s arguable that with the male characters being very muscular there’s something there, but compared to the swimsuits, jiggle physics and more that there is far more attention given to the female characters of the series. And that shouldn’t be a problem, not every piece of media has to be inclusive to everyone! But since this has apparently become an issue all of a sudden (cause y’know these sexy outfits and games haven’t existed for over a decade now or anything…), then the middle ground should be simple:

This should also be a thing in Dead or Alive games. I’m not saying let’s add dong physics or anything like that, but if the women are going to have several bikini costumes, the men should at the very least also have a speedo costume. It’s only fair for female gamers who are only attracted to men.

I’m sure they’d love the butt bump mini-game in Xtreme 4 if Zack and Hayate were going at it.

A Pretty Uneventful Black Friday Weekend

Black-Friday-Phone-Deals-2

So this weekend was pretty uneventful for me.

I was excited this year for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. It’s my first real year of actually looking for these kinds of deals outside of just video games and yet with infinite possibilities, the only money I put forward this year was for a Bilingual copy of Black Ops 3 (which is mindblowing to me that you save $30 if you buy a version that may require you to just change the language from French to English) and another year of anti-virus software. That’s it.

There could be a number of reasons behind this, the most obvious being that I’m in Canada and not the U.S. where the deals have the most notoriety. But nowadays, we’ve pretty much adopted Black Friday as our Boxing Day (Dec.26th) a month early and it’s arguable that we’re near the level the States put out in terms of deals.

Another reason is inexperience shopping for deals. Like I said, this is the first real year of my life where I’m actively keeping my eyes open for deals on anything and everything. Maybe there are some really good deals worth buying out there this year, but none of them struck me as such. Could just be because I don’t know the true value of some of the stuff that went on sale this weekend, that a lot of good prices just slipped past me.

But I think the most important factor in me not feeling too enthusiastic about this weekend’s deals is the simple fact I have something a lot of shoppers seem not to have: self-control. It amazes me every year when people fight each other to the proverbial (and sometimes literal) death over a toaster oven or something so insignificant like that. Like I said in my past article, I intended to do all my shopping online and I did just that. Never went remotely near a store all weekend, I stared blankly at the full mall parking lot when I passed it coming home from work Friday.

Going back to self-control though, I find it’s extremely easy to pass on a deal that in the scheme of things you really don’t need, nor did you really want that badly in the first place when you shop online. There’s an odd feeling I often get in stores that if I walk in, I’m compelled to at least leave with something. Thankfully, I’ve cut out that attitude quite a bit this past year. Online however, it’s so easy to stop. There’s no one watching you (that you can see) when you’re shopping on Amazon or any online outlet. Instead of walking out the door empty-handed, you just close the tab and it’s all over.

Whatever reason it was, this first real Black Friday for me was extremely uneventful and you know what? I’m not complaining. Less than $100 out this weekend, how can you argue with that?

Sometimes it’s nice to save money, folks.

Top 10 Female Video Game Characters I’d Marry

Two weeks ago I did a Top 10 featuring the 10 female characters in gaming I’d have a one-night stand with. This Top 10 is different, these girls are not just a fling for me. If these girls were real, I’d be more than happy to spend the rest of my life with each and every one of them. They are a perfect mixture of beauty and personality. They’re not just girls I can see myself hanging out with a lot, they’re girls that if the stars all aligned, I’d be willing to take a shot at seeing where things would go in a serious relationship.

A side note as well here, just like with the Top 10 Sleep With list, I have certain rules that apply to the girls on this list. In the Sleep With list, a lot of the girls on it applied because I knew for fact that a relationship would not be possible with them, for reasons such as their lifestyles, personalities or the simple fact they’d kill me if I got close. On this list, the girls I’m placing in are being set aside from the conflicts/battles they may fight in their respective material. I’m putting them on this list as if they were just real people in our world, void of aliens, monsters, wars, etc.

Now once again, let’s remember that this is all my personal opinion here. My tastes in women are far different than all of your tastes, so there are going to be characters you’ll agree with, others you’ll have no idea why I picked her out. So while you’re welcome to comment on this list, you’re wasting your time and energy arguing my list when it’s who I am into, not you.

And most importantly, for all the SJWs and such out there, these characters are not real, so relax if I start to talk about how sexy a character is or something to that extent, I’m not a sexist pig, I promise you that. Also, don’t give me the creepy speech, every single one of you fantasize about being with someone that you know you’ll never have whether they’re purely fictional or celebrities.

Anyway! So keeping it down to one character per game (as much as I want to list the entire Persona 4 cast), let’s get to it!

10

Starting off our list is a beautiful computer scientist who immediately strikes off the “intelligence is sexy” box on the checklist. With Shion drastically changing throughout the Xenosaga series, I’m personally selecting the Shion from the first game where she’s far less bitchy and a Lightning-esque royal pain in the ass by the end of the series. Shion caught my attention very early on in the first game, being a female protagonist and not being a crazy badass warrior was a new idea to me, and I connected with her character a lot faster because of that. While she’s got some real personal issues from her past and in the first game she can still be rather bossy, I love the calmer, more innocent side to her and I can see that translating very well into her if she was real in the present day.

Also god damn I’d be living the rich life with her, with that brain of hers working into computer engineering, you know she’s making a crazy good paycheck.

09

Nel immediately checks off a bunch of boxes for me. Red hair, super athletic, strong woman and her voice is just angelic. I just have to be careful not to call her a “chick”, I might get in serious trouble for that. Nel for me when playing Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, while being a badass secret agent, she gives off a very calm vibe to me. I feel like if she wasn’t having to sacrifice herself for her country and Queen, she’d be a very chill person to hang around. And given her loyalty, you know that if there was a mutual love between the two of us, I’d be very confident that she’d never cheat.

I’d just have to make sure she isn’t allowed to hold a knife unless she’s cooking up something. Can’t have her walking around with two bladed objects. Someone’s gettin’ hurt!

08

She’d be far higher on this list if it weren’t for the fact that she’s such a tough character to judge, it’s hard to tell how she’d act given her personality and her thievery in Chrono Cross. But as one of my first video game crushes, I just can’t in good conscience leave Kid off this list. Everything’s perfect, I love the hair, those blue eyes, her outfit fits her body type perfectly, even the white marking on her face and arms add to the beauty she has. But most of all, god damn I love her Australian accent that she has in the English version of the game. It makes me wish we’d get a remake of this game with voice acting, I want to hear what this would actually sound like.

I just better not piss her off, cause then she’ll kick me arse so hard, I’ll kiss the moons!

07

I find that taking this Final Fantasy VII character is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. “Aerith is such a cutie!” “Tifa’s best babe, bro!”. Honestly to me, Aerith is annoying and Tifa while she’s an interesting character, the fact everyone looks at her as a sex symbol with her constantly growing giant tits (via fanart) just turns me off. People find Yuffie annoying, but me? I love that hyper personality of hers. She’s a real cutie and her super-happy-go-lucky attitude just pops for me. She is super pretty, those short shorts and the boots are just awesome. And like I said, her personality just comes off as we’d be having so much silly times together and if you’ve been reading some of my articles, you know I love cheesy fun.

I hope she doesn’t steal anything of mine though. Granted, it’s not materia, so I should be fine.

06

If there’s any great choice for a Top 10 Female Video Game Characters I’d Marry list, a girl from the Harvest Moon series works perfectly, given you can marry them in-game. Harvest Moon 64 has always been my favourite game in the series, so going with my wife from that game, Karen was an easy pick for this list. Granted, at the beginning of the game, she is a completely total bitch, she’s super distant and when there are 4 other girls to choose from (well 3, I hated Popuri), it’s really easy to just leave her and go after one of the other bachelorettes. But Karen gave off a very soft side to me when I first starting talking with her, I felt there was something much deeper going on that she wasn’t telling me. And once you get past her barriers you really do see that wonderful side of her. Being able to convince her to marry me in the game was very rewarding and seeing how she is in full wife mode shows to me that she’d be an awesome person to be with. Also, in terms of her looks, the highlights in her hair easily caught my attention early on and afterwards her style pretty much made her the only option for me as everyone else either walked around in dresses or in Ann’s case, overalls. Karen was the only one who looked modern.

The only thing that would be interesting is her wine-connoisseur history. I’m straight-edge so there’d be a lot of wine bottles just sitting on the shelf.

05

There’s a lot of things about Fetch that if we kept the entire setting from her world around, she’d be nowhere on the list. But as a person, she far exceeds the expectations I have for someone to make this list. Taking away her powers, I am confident she wouldn’t have become the drug addict she becomes before the events of Infamous: First Light, taking away the real problem I’d have with her. With that aside, she’s such a pretty girl, the punk style is always a plus for me and personality-wise, she seems like such a super-cool person to hang around. You take away the bullshit she’s been put through throughout her backstory before the games, you know she’s just a super down-to-earth, fun-loving punk rock girl. And for me, that is just freaking awesome!

04

The reason for Final Fantasy X-2 ver. Yuna was selected #1 for the Top 10 Sleep With list, Rikku was my first legitimate video game crush. Her character shines in the first FFX game, she is just an absolute joy to be around. She actually reminds me a lot of my current girlfriend of 8 years now, she’s got a similar small frame, she’s got that cute girl attitude of hers and most of all, she waves her hands about when she speaks (it’s weird how much Rikku and my girlfriend are alike). I specifically prefer her from the original game and not X-2 because of her outfit, the bikini set and mini-skirt just kind of ruined the cute girl Rikku I love. Not to mention it breaks your immersion when she’s dressed like that and they’re walking around on a snowy mountain. I’m not complaining about being able to see my first game crush in a cute little bikini, but I prefer the orange top and those wonderful green shorts as common wear easily.

03

If not for the reveal of what she looks like under that helmet and especially since she looks almost 100% human, Tali might not have made this list, even though she is just one of the best personalities I can think of in video games period. Yet hats off to Tali for making the vast majority of Mass Effect players for keeping her in their minds as the best girl, even before we even knew what she looked like under the suit. She has that effect (pun intended) on people through her just wonderful personality, she can be extremely cute, very funny, super serious all at the same time, whenever the situation suits itself. And when she’s shaped so well and fits into her bio-suit as perfect and tightly she does, it’s a match made in heaven. People were really upset when it was revealed what she looked like under the helmet however, because she was a human with some markings and other little things going on. Personally, it just makes it so much easier to have her on this list. No chance of tentacles or any weird shit.

And the best part? Even if she gets mad at me and calls me a bosh’tet, I’ll still laugh and think she’s adorable.

02

If there’s anything in either video games or anime that will immediately get my attention with a female character, it’s when she starts off as a male in disguise. Characters like Charlotte Dunois from Infinite Stratos and Hotaru Tachibana from Aoharu x Machinegun come to mind. But Naoto Shirogane is in a league of his/her own. She is an absolutely perfect blending of all the things I’ve talked about on the list so far. Intelligence, good looks (even when she’s dressed like a boy) and that shyness that hides another side of her that she rarely shows to anyone. The most intriguing part about Naoto however is how she would actually handle a relationship, as when dealing with such in Persona 4, she clearly can’t handle the flood of emotions right off the bat, which makes this cold, calculated detective turn from a tough nut to crack to the cutest pile of mush you’ve ever seen. And who can resist that level of adorable?

It’s a win-win, she looks cute dressed more masculine and extremely hot when she dresses feminine. No complaints either way from me.

And finally, my #1 pick for my fictional waifu!

01

Here’s the weird thing that happened with this list. I had Rikku #1 and Fuuka #4. As I was writing Fuuka’s paragraph, I stopped and thought about it for a second. And that’s when I realized something super mind-blowing to me:

Rikku is my personal favourite and that may never change. But taking everything into account, I truly believe that the best choice out of the 10 girls on this list to become my real-world wife would actually be Fuuka.

Like Naoto, she’s that perfect blend of intelligence, looks, personality, the whole package. But unlike the runner-up detective, Fuuka has that last piece to the puzzle that no one else comes close to. When you watch her, how she acts, how she speaks, she gives off that perfect wife vibe, it’s hard to give it a single word kind of description. Some of the girls on this list are super hyper, can be a little bossy, or may just have a bit of an edge on them. Fuuka on the other hand is just a calm and cute girl who you can absolutely see yourself coming home to and just snuggling up on the couch with after a tough day.

People when they make lists like this often go for the obvious. The super good-looking, the ones who they’d look forward to sleeping with every night. With me and Fuuka however, it’s not because I’d look forward to sleeping with her every night, but sleeping next to her every night. And because of that, she’s my #1 candidate for a potential perfect marriage if she was ever to exist.

I hope you all enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed making it, this was a far tougher list to develop. It’s a lot easier to come up with a list just for sex, but a serious relationship?! That takes some real thought!