Category Archives: Video Games

I [Heart] Krogan

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My little Grunty is growing up so fast.

I’ve thought about it all day and all night, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my favorite race of aliens in Mass Effect are the krogan.

The elcor ran a close runner-up for their speaking habits. (Crushing disappointment, human gave us second place.)

But the krogan! The krogan. I love them.

They’re fierce. They’re volatile. They butt heads, literally, when they disagree about things. They have weird coming of age rituals that involve being attacked by a Thresher Maw. They’re incredibly rude. They look a little bit like roosters. So, why are they my favorite?

Reasons. Let’s explore them.

1. The pain and suffering of the krogan makes them sympathetic. Underneath the armor and dinosaur hide exteriors, all the krogan want to do is reproduce. And they can’t because of the genophage. How would you like it if someone said to you, “Hey, person. You seem a little grumpy because we’ve been oppressing your species for a long time. And your grumpiness makes me think that maybe you shouldn’t be able to reproduce. So, yeah. No reproduction for you.” The krogan are so desperate that there is a black market trade in krogan testicles. (Are they covered with armed spikes??? I must know.)

2. Grunt. Is. Adorable. I don’t care how grumpy he gets or how he shouts, “Stop shooting at me, idiot!” at me when I accidentally fire at him during a skirmish. And, also, how are we not supposed to fall in love with him when he’s like a little HATCHLING coming out of a shell when you let him out of the tank? I once spent a month waiting for goslings to hatch, and the second they did, I was like, “MY BABIES.” That’s how I felt when Grunt was let out of his tank. I wanted to cuddle him and swaddle him and read him Goodnight Moon.

3. Earning Wrex’s respect is so awesome. Everybody wants to be friends with a big galoot who can intimidate your enemies. I let Wrex die in my first playthrough of Mass Effect, so I was careful to save him in my second. I have a special level of affection for Wrex and was SO EXCITED when he greets Shepard on Tuchanka like they are old friends. Shepard plays it cool, but I can tell she is squeeing on the inside like she just met Dolly Parton.

Basically, I’m a krogan fangirl. I have no real explanation for it.

Kaylan’s Big Debt Adventure with Tales of Xillia 2

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Hello, errrrrybody! What have I been up to lately, you may ask? Virtually paying off my debt would be my simple answer. Student loans? Shopping addiction? Loan sharks?

That last one is close… I’m playing Tales of Xillia 2, and early into the game, the protagonist, Ludger Kresnik, is forced to take a loan from a very shady bank with unbelievable interest rate, causing a 20,000,000 gald burden.

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See that dude throwing me major shade? Yeah, I’m paying off his debt too…

The game is designed for chapters in which you have to pay off a certain amount of your debt to continue on. To do so you must take jobs, defeat monsters, and gather the moola any way you can. Eventually, towards the final chapters, it becomes more relaxed, and Vera, your financier, will slack off on calling and badgering you for money.

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She winks an awful lot… I think she has a crush on me.

Technically, you could continue on from this point not spending another dime. Not me! As soon as the dude heads off to sleep, I kick back and slave away to finish paying off what I owe. Unlike real life creditors, the more I pay back, the more present I collect from my mailbox. The only problem is I cannot relay the storyline because I am desperately trying to rid myself of this massive burden. I’m responsible (in game)! That and there is a side quest in which I am asked to retrieve 100 cats from across the world who are hiding from the crazy cat lady who lives in my apartment building.

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Anything else? No, Ludger, that’s it 20,000,000 debt and 100 cats.

Must. Find. The. Cats. After I do pay off what I owe (and find all the rogue kitties), I fully intend to replay the game and pay attention during my gameplay too. Tales of Xillia, besides the debt, is a direct sequel to the first, with returning characters traveling with you through a new adventure. You can discov””er more about them through side quests. The game is like a “choose your own adventure” book adapting to your responses at key moments.

But who cares about all of that? I only have 9,000,000 more gald until freedom… Excuse me. I have monsters to slay and money to earn.

Kaylan is very responsible about her finances in real life.

The Adventures of Space Mitten

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One of my favorite (subtle) things in Mass Effect 2 is the load screen you see while visiting Ilium. What we have is the view of one of the space taxis from above.

But, to me, it will always be…SPACE MITTEN.

Every time it comes on screen I think, “Space Mitten to the rescue!” Your hands are freezing in the cold of space? Look up there, in the sky! Is that a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Space Mitten.

Space Mitten was once just an ordinary mitten aboard an ordinary vessel going no place in particular. But one night, the vessel drifted too close to a radioactive moon, and that ordinary mitten became SPACE MITTEN. Now, he uses his power of flight to rocket across the universe in search of cold hands. When he finds them, he warms one of them. And then he flies away again, in search of another adventure.

Try not thinking of Space Mitten next time you play ME2. You can’t.

Pancakes in Spaaaaaaace

pancakes gamerDid you know that in the future, when we have finally conquered space travel, we will still be making breakfast the old way like a bunch of nincompoops? I uncovered this important information while on a mission to spread the plague cure around the slums of Omega in Mass Effect 2.

Important things to do? Nah. I need to check out how we’ll do breakfast in the future.

According to my research, we’ll still be using some kind of space age Mr. Coffee. No evidence, however, about whether or not we would be using cone or basket brewing in the future was uncovered. I searched in vain for coffee filters, and came up empty-handed. It should be noted that there was a surprising lack of French presses. However, as you may notice in the image above that I snapped on my cellular telephone device from 2013, the griddle pans hanging on the wall. Pancakes, anyone? How ’bout I go cure the plague and then I’ll whip up some French toast for all those Vorcha?

I think I just brought peace to Omega.

Dramaturgy: BioShock Infinite

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Note: I’m not 100% sure if I’m using the term “dramaturgy” correctly here. I learned it from Chris Braak, who writes cool ones about stuff like Wonder Woman punching tanks and tearing George S. Patton’s guns in half for Threat Quality Press. I am using it here to indicate that I feel the plot of BioShock Infinite is flawed and talk about the ways I, personally, would go about fixing it. Is restructuring/reworking the plot of a video game a dramaturgical undertaking?

ETA: Now I know! Braak: “The word ‘dramaturgery’ is a word that I made up, it’s a portmanteu of ‘dramaturgy’ and ‘surgery,’ and refers specifically to the thing that I do when I rewrite the plot of a movie in order to correct what I perceive are either errors or just places where the idea isn’t very clear in the dramatic structure of the story.”

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Note 2: I would make an absolutely appalling video game critic, for several reasons. Firstly, my brain doesn’t really function effectively at the speed of internet. When I first play something, particularly a game I’ve been eagerly anticipating, my response is basically, “IT GAVE ME ADRENALINE FEELS, IT IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER BEEN CREATED BY MAN!!!” Maybe I’m selling myself a little (little) short with that characterization, in hindsight some of my initial post-playthrough responses don’t come off as fangirlish as I was expecting, but the point stands. So that’s why you’re getting thoughts on BioShock Infinite now, because I’m thinking about it now.

Note 3: If you are a delicate reader, please turn back now, because my main thought on the game at this point is… Continue reading

Finally, a New Boyfriend for Barbie

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Here’s the Booker DeWitt action figure. If you’re like me, you went right out and bought it and then took it home to totally make out with Barbie. She’s been so lonely since Ken’s head fell off.

He looks like a member of a steampunk boy band (he would be the serious one). It’s adorable.

Better [Com]stock up on these before they sell out.

Get it?

Video Games Are Love, So Don’t Forget It

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I’ve read several articles the last few weeks about the controversy in the gaming industry, and UGH, DO NOT WANT. I don’t know why I do this to myself, reading things, when there are video games to play and pet unicorns to aspire to owning.

At Gamervescent, we aren’t journalists. We don’t jump right in to  address controversy or dig deep to find the facts. There are other people who do that way better than we do. So, we let them do it. We want them to do it.

That said, we support anyone who wants to see more female representation in games (representation of all genders, really). We want to see more female game reviewers. We want women to be game developers. We want them to be happy and respected, doing all of those things.

Continue reading

Assassin’s Creed Hoodies

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Whoa, dudes, got some cash to burn today? These Assassin’s Creed hoodies are currently on sale for $28.00 (formerly $59.99), and they are foxy. Consider yourself notified.

Also, t-shirts designed by game designer/critic/Gamervescent bud Cameron Kunzelman ship free today, if you are interested in rocking a badass Alpaca Run tee and explaining the game’s concept and how, exactly, an alpaca differs from a llama to people who see you wearing it in public. Getchusome.

[ETA: Since posting, I've gotten two warnings from dudes who have purchased these hoodies, and apparently they're kind of crap. So, probably, just admire the pretty pics and don't buy. HOWEVER, I can personally vouch for the quality of Kunzelman's t-shirts; I've got the Catachresis Ghost Cowboy and I wear it all the freakin' time.]