You maybe surprised to learn that I’ve been playing “Uncharted:The Lost Legacy”. As if a connoisseur of this franchise wouldn’t be engaged in another exhilarating exhibition of wilful genocide?! The provocateur of many dangerous expeditions, demolisher of precariously constructed structures, eradicator of rare mythological antiquities and hoarder of every Uncharted Platinum. It’s good to be back! Espousing the wretched deeds of a man with the sheer tenacity and fortuity to destroy every last archeological city/ruin/ship he’s ever discovered. Despite this concentrated level of callous destruction Nathan Drake remains an endearing, if accident prone rogue with all the charismatic distinction that made Nate him such an affable protagonist. Sadly with the retirement of Drake into matrimonial domesticity the Uncharted franchise has pandered to the aspirations of feminist vocation, further diminishing the influence of modern masculinity by replacing Nathan Drake with Chloe Frazer. A women. The inferior gender with none of the rugged strength, intelligence or flatulence that makes man a much more viable option for heroism. And it’s glorious!
I’ll miss Drake, of course I will but Chloe isn’t merely a replacement but a necessity. She has always been one of my favourite supporting players so to see her in a more prominent role is deeply gratifying. Her omission in “A Thief’s End” may have been necessary, but it was a glaring absence that betrayed her more illustrious presence in Uncharted 2. Here she’s as sharp as she is wryly. Focused and unyielding yet compassionate and vulnerable. The abrasive dynamic between Chloe and Nadine infuses their tentative relationship with a fluctuant chemistry never explored in the series before. They argue and bicker yet support one another to achieve their mutually independent goals. I’ve yet to finish Lost Legacy, so I’m reserving further analysis until then. But for my money, not that I have any, this could be the start of something new. Nathan Drakes tenure as Uncharted’s chief architect is over, his personal fortune found. But Uncharted itself may have discovered a whole new legacy to commence.
Loyalty is something I regard with the utmost respect. I think it’s a commendable asset often misconstrued as defiant bias. Many would regard my preference for Sony products as a naive partiality. A preservation of some arbitrary devotion to a company that’s only concern is generating revenue to line executives already well threaded pockets. Perhaps I am a corporate stooge of the Sony? Suckling the irritated bosom of a cooperation long bereft of decency. I own all 4 flagship consoles as well a a PSP and Vita. My phone and Tablet are both Sony. If they manufactured furniture or brewed a beer I’d probably be sipping a cold Sony Artois on my new PlayStation recliner. But I’m loyal and until they do something that truly hinders my enjoyment of their products then I see no reason to defer my limited finances to a competitor. Yet despite my unrelenting fealty to Sony, Nintendo, that adorable little scamp has always endured as prominent fixture in my life.
Like many of you I grew up playing Nintendo systems, specifically the “NES” and the “SNES”. There are so many profound moments of joy associated with these two endearing consoles that’s its difficult to express just how important they were to my subversive nature. They fuelled my imagination, inspiring my friends and I to explore the neighbouring parks, woodlands and residential areas as though we were adventures in “Zelda” or “The Secret Of Mana”. In my eyes this was Nintendo’s grace period. A couple of weeks ago, prompted by the announcement of the SNES classic I made the rather impulsive decision to purchase the now discontinued NES classic. It wasn’t cheap, my bank account is claiming compensation for whiplash, but playing it I’m reminded why I loved it so much. The games, the controller, which features a short cord that gives it an authentic encumbrance reminiscent of the original design is pure nostalgic satisfaction. This impulsive jaunt wasn’t restricted to this one dubious purchase either, as I also somehow pre-ordered the SNES Classic too. Delivery confirmation is still pending, subject to availability and other Nintendo related caveats, because let’s face many of their products come with advisory term. But it’s fair to say my wallet is somewhat winded by this sudden ambitious expenditure.
I usually operate in a very conscientious way, making a concerted effort to conserve my limited resources for the appropriate necessities or amenities. I’m very conservative with my money as well as protective in the way it’s distributed. Maintaining a firm and decisive frugality that has benefited a savings account reserved for the appropriation of additional equity into my part buy, part rent property. Not every month is the same, there are of course unforeseen variables that disrupt this rigorous fluidity. But for the most part I’m consistently boring, yet moderately wealthy. Somehow though Nintendo have staged a staggering comeback over the past year, emerging as a more prominent game manufacturer than even my beloved Sony! Despite years of neglect as a Nintendo consumer, I can’t help but marvel at just how well they have adapted to a market that for long periods seemed to confuse them.
Nintendo’s consistency has always been limited to their software, with their hardware always being ambitious, if not entirely successful. Whether it was the woefully arcane “Gamecube” or the poorly marketed “Wii U”, Nintendo could always rely on its flagship titles to redeem them. Besides the obvious nostalgia bait of the diminutive “classic” iterate consoles. the advent of the Switch really alerted me to their supreme ingenuity. When I discovered that the Switch was a portable games console that could still be used as a traditional games console I wasn’t just intrigued, I was curious how such a composite piece of hardware hadn’t been made before? The Switch is a concept entirely on its own and could only have been developed by the singular ingenuity that flourishes from Nintendo. You just can’t imagine either Sony or Microsoft developing anything that isn’t concerned with “power!”.
Both are motivated by a redacted sparring, concerned with what the other one is doing and fully consumed with competing against one another in a figurative war, forgetting that they’ve missed the crucial principle of making it fun or even unique. Nintendo is more inclusive, saturating their console with new exclusive material that admittedly relies on the familiarity of their nostalgia and propensity for family orientated content, but justifying its ubiquity with engaging entertainment. With their competitors engaged in a frivolous fracas that benefits no one, Nintendo are free to conduct themselves with the same self assured, seemingly audacious whimsy that has seen them endure and thrive even when they marginally miss the mark. They have revitalised console gaming in a way both Sony and Microsoft seem fit to trivialise. Nintendo don’t have to compete with either company, but instead consolidate their own ambitions. They may not be perfect, they can often make a wrong turn here and there with a tendency to veer sharply down an obscure tangent, yet always seem to forge a way back and almost always emerge back on that road a couple of miles ahead of their rivals. My natural affinity for Nintendo hasn’t faded and it turns out it never did, it’s simply been waiting for them to “Switch” things up a notch. And personally I haven’t been this excited about a Nintendo console since the SNES.
Are you excited about Nintendo’s future? Let me know in the comments below. Cheers.
Video games have always been a purely male driven industry, mesmerizing men with whimsical, fictional entities, allowing you to imitate a wide variety of facades. But there’s been a gradual shift in the number of woman who are beginning to discover the intricacies of these formerly male betrothed acquisitions, and I for one couldn’t be happier. For too long video games has been the simulated equivalent of attending a fun, but all male party. Conversations wear thin, and there’s only a certain degree of alcohol that can be reasonably consumed, before things become predictably tedious. The industry is expanding, altering to accommodate all demographics, admittedly for the sake of maintaining financial solvency. But the upside to all this change is alternate perspectives and a wider range of ideas, inscribing new “original” concepts, far beyond to confines of the male intellect (and I use that word sparingly). But has the industry adopted enough to not only accommodate the opposite sex, but also accurately portray them too?
Many games are developed by adolescently, motivated interpretations of the female form, often characterized woman as nothing more than helpless, inferior and wholly consumed with enticing men with revealing negligee. It’s these sustained contradictions, that assist in alienating non affiliated females, from potentially engrossing themselves in the simulated world, with current titles such as Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw perpetuating the sexual divide, whilst simultaneously implying that females are only good for wearing short skirts and strenuously exercising their vocal chords. Even female depicted leads such as Lara Croft are intentionally designed for provocative purposes, limiting its appeal to just sexually perverted teens. And although not portraying the archaic, damsel in distress persona so often perpetrated by HollyWood, it really demonstrates the huge lack of astute comprehension, that still exist.
Though a delicate balance of impartiality does appear to be forming in the development of future projects, as well as already formulated designs. The Uncharted series, although largely based around the exceptionally ambitious, exploits of artifact acquisitioniner Nathan Drake, the surrounding effeminate cast are portrayed as particularly resilient, with an emphasis on personality and charm, as opposed to curves and breasts. Sure the likes of Elena and Chloe are still intentionally designed to be desirable, attractive companions, but not offensively so. But a game even as well constructed as Uncharted could have faltered if not for the vision and consideration from woman such as Amy Hennig, who should be credited with almost single-handedly abolishing the distressed, hopeless vixen, waving her arms frantically, while simultaneously shrieking like Penelope Pitstop on helium. Before the appropriately timed snap of her blouse button, reveals more of her voluptuous bosoms!
The expanding world of computer games could finally be sequestering a broadening, more mature group of gamers, less inclined for the visceral vanities of depicted heroines, and more believable, and even accurately perceived characteristics. But are computer games still maintaining elements of sexist depictions? Well being of the male persuasion, my voice on these opinions may not accurately dictate, the varied range views of almost half the population, but I believe that the industry can only strengthen the sexist tolerance. Basically, if I’ve gone horrendously wide of the mark, be gentle.
So are computer games sexist? Views from all are exceptionally welcome.
Video games have been a very intimate part of my life, specifically throughout my childhood and has somewhat been ingrained into my subconscious. It all stems from my fairly unorthodox upbringing, courtesy of family. From around the age of 4, video games have always surrounded me (metaphorically speaking of course), and some of my earliest memories involved sitting in front of the tv participating, if not directly influencing the games whereby I would jump, spin and run at high speeds on Sonic The Hedgehog, via my mum/dad’s play through’s. “Quickly, jump before fishy gets you”! I would shriek in deafening defiance as my parents attempted to ignore my premonitions, before briskly completing the level before I could relay further obvious pieces of information. These were the affectionate moments I cherished most as a child.
I really couldn’t call them important times, it’s not like they were pivotal moments that changed the course of my life, they were just special times you can reminisce about in quiet contemplation and with a deep sense of gratification; trust me, you never forget the moment you complete your first level on Sonic 2 without the aid of an adult. Playing computer games always felt like a very family orientated gathering, with my parents constantly battling for supremacy almost daily on Daytona USA, as I sat entranced by the intense competitiveness of my parents but equally, the sheer enjoyment we collectively felt. I know how corny it sounds, but its true. My earliest memory that I remember fondly is teaming up with my dad on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This side scrolling beat-em-up was, and to a certain degree, is my favorite game ever. Not because it was an exhilarating and compulsive game (although it was), but because for those fleeting moments, it was me and my dad against the world (and Shredder), and even though at the time it may have seemed trivial, looking back now, you realise that it’s these seemingly meaningless experience’s that equate to a happy and fulfilling childhood.
I know it may appear that I have lived a very sheltered childhood, glued to the television continually playing video games, but I did do all the mundane and “normal” activities associated with being a kid; the scrapped knees, clambering up trees and falling off a skateboard onto a concrete pavement, elbows first (seriously). But gaming has been just as important to me as any of these typical childhood participation’s, and its these recollections of my gaming infancy, that I will remember most fondly.
What are your earliest memories of gaming? And your whats your most memorable gaming achievements that your most proud of? Let me know your thoughts, cheers.