Tag: videogame

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Under the Microscope: Parasite Eve


The Parasite Eve logo was really classy, even compared to Squaresoft's other games.

In 1998, Squaresoft (now Square Enix) released Parasite Eve, a curious blending of elements from RPGs and survival horror games that were all the rage at the time. It’s frequently remembered for the portrayal of its main character, Aya Brea, a tough-as-nails NYPD detective and the unparalleled opening act where the audience at an opera mysteriously bursts into flames.
The most memorable aspect of the game to me though is its convoluted sci-fi storyline. The antagonist, Eve, is granted her powers by her mitochondria, which have decided to rebel and break free of their human masters. She has the ability to mutate on command in the glorious tradition of biology-gone-wrong videogame monsters and even has control over the mitochondria of others. But how plausible are the things that are presented in the game? Now that I’m a real, grown-up scientist, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and try to figure that out.

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No Megaman

Megaman warming the bench?

As we get closer and closer to the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, character lists “leaked” over the summer get the chance to be verified or thrown out as just rumor and fanboy hopes. If you didn’t keep up with the gossip a few months ago, there were plenty of character rosters floating around and plenty of rage fits when some fan’s wet dream character wasn’t included. But no character inspired more “No way! That can’t be right!” comments on blog pages than the mysterious lack of Megaman on many “official” lists. And as the summer has turned to fall, and soon winter, people are starting to turn purple holding their breath to see the Blue Bomber get that big announcement.
So what’s the deal, Capcom? Your biggest star of the 8-bit age is getting zero love in a series designed purely for fan service?

No Megaman
Will Capcom really put out a Vs. game without some version of the Blue Bomber?

Good. ‘Bout time, I think.

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Are They or Aren’t They?: Oerba Yun Fang and Oerba Dia Vanille

Fang guarding Vanille from Hecatonchier

Since entry number seven, the Final Fantasy series has been the poster child for pretty, androgynous boys in jRPGs. I don’t know when it was but videogame critics decided they had to mention how androgynous the male characters were every single time the series was brought up. Ironically, the official art by Yoshitaka Amano for the games prior to FFVII (which is when most of this “FF males=girls” nonsense started) is a lot more similar style-wise with the Yaoi/Boys’ Love genre (side note: Amano’s version of Zidane is positively beautiful). It’s usually the men in the series who mess around with the gender lines, at least by Western standards.
The women of Final Fantasy are a lot more gender-typical in their presentation. Partly this is a consequence of the requirement that most of them take on the role of love interest. Final Fantasy XIII freed its female characters by: (1) making the main character a woman uninterested in romance and (2) outsourcing the love interest duties to her younger sister, who’s thankfully MIA for most of the game. The men in your party are either taken, tragically widowed or twelve. Of the six permanent party members, Fang and Vanille remain romantically unaccounted for. So what are two hot-blooded young women like them to do? Hook up with each other perhaps? Let’s find out.
Note: Spoilers ahead!

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XBox 360’s Dance Central

Today, Microsoft kicked off the E3 festivities with it’s press conference.  During the segment focused on their hands-free motion controller, Kinect, we got a peek at the next rhythm game coming from Harmonix (Rockband, Guitar Hero 1&2), Dance Central.  Using the camera’s motion tracking abilities, you control your character as you make your way through a sequence of dance moves, strung together as one routine to tracks by Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Bell Biv DeVoe, etc. Here’s the short and glossy release snippet. Live demo from the press conference is after the jump:

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XBox 360's Dance Central

Today, Microsoft kicked off the E3 festivities with it’s press conference.  During the segment focused on their hands-free motion controller, Kinect, we got a peek at the next rhythm game coming from Harmonix (Rockband, Guitar Hero 1&2), Dance Central.  Using the camera’s motion tracking abilities, you control your character as you make your way through a sequence of dance moves, strung together as one routine to tracks by Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Bell Biv DeVoe, etc. Here’s the short and glossy release snippet. Live demo from the press conference is after the jump: