Category Archives: Games

Lifeless Planet: Not Even a Little Bit Funny

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Lifeless is a funny word.

Obviously not in the context of a loved one floating facedown in a swimming pool.

Or crumpled at the bottom of a mansion staircase.

Or lying  in a hospital bed wearing a vacant expression as the beeps of the heart monitor grow more….and more…… f a r  a p a r t …until finally…BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP….and the doctor enters the room and says, “I’m calling it. Time of death: 4:53 PM. I’m really sorry, Mr. Johnson, but he’s gone.”

Continue reading Lifeless Planet: Not Even a Little Bit Funny

5 Otome Games You Need to Check Out

I’m here to make a confession today: I love otome games.

Fine, if you read this site I’ll admit you’ve probably already figured that out by my series “Let’s Get it On,” but I’m mentioning this specifically because it’s super nerdy. Plus, although I sneer at my friend’s romance novels, I really have no room to talk here in my glass house. [Ed.: anyone who says they don’t live in a pink-tinted glass house of smut is lying or deluded, or perhaps just lives a sad, sad life (unless you’re asexual, you’re perfect and we heart you too)—official G-vesc position on romance ♥]

Otome games are also sometimes called dating sims and generally fall into the visual novel category. Visual novels tend to be extremely story-driven with the outcomes determined by the choices you make along a branching story route. Dating sims often have you scheduling your character’s time in order to raise specific stats by doing certain activities. While all three terms are often used interchangeably (by me at least), my definitions overlap more like rectangles and squares: all the otome games I’ve played are visual novels, but not all are dating sims.

As a quick peek at Wikipedia shows us, otome games are literally “girl games.” They’re aimed at a female audience and are evidently a fairly new genre. They’re most popular in Japan, but from what my personal anec-data show me, the genre is quickly gaining a bit of traction in the U.S. as well, and is especially popular with indie creators. I could go on with the stats, both real and imagined, but seriously just go read that article. It’s short and actually pretty interesting. Continue reading 5 Otome Games You Need to Check Out

Let’s Get It On: Seduce Me Style

Previously: Gettin’ On Pigeon Style, Gettin’ It On Detective Style

If you’re a sweet, innocent young(ish) thing like me, finding out that there is a male counterpart to succubi—the incubi—will make your friggin’ week. And then when you find out there’s a free game wherein you can romance one of said hot, sex-demon dudes—now that made my freakin’ MONTH.

I like to give everybody fun nicknames.
I like to give everybody fun nicknames.

Seduce Me Otome Game is a visual novel/dating sim available as a free download for all three operating systems. It’s probably a 15 or so hour game, depending on how fast you read and how many routes you want to finish. It was funded through Kickstarter and has some great things going for it: decent art, good voice acting, and nine romantic options. It’s open-minded about same-sex relationships, and was created with the belief that consent is key to healthy romantic encounters. Continue reading Let’s Get It On: Seduce Me Style

Let’s Get It On: Romance Detective Style

Hello again, folks! Jen here, your intrepid little visual novel reporter. Today we’re taking a look at Romance Detective, a short little visual novel created by NomnomNami for NaNoRenMo 2014. Let me emphasize short—I think it took me under two hours to play the whole thing—but it’s also free. (I don’t know about you, but I love free stuff. Free’s the magic word.) You can download it from her site and play it on Mac, Windows, or Linux.

Romance Detective is a story everyone can relate to: everybody’s just lookin’ for love. It follows a few days in the life of Officer Chrys, aka Romance Cop, after she’s dropped into an initially unwanted partnership with the game’s eponymous Romance Detective.

Romance Detective has a penchant for the dramatic.
Romance Detective has a penchant for the dramatic.

Continue reading Let’s Get It On: Romance Detective Style

Let’s Get It On: Hatoful Boyfriend Style

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Congratulations! You are the only human (and apparently only female) who gets to attend St. Pigeonation’s illustrious academy for sentient pigeons as its human ambassador. Here you will meet 9 eligible bird-bachelors just waiting for you to woo them and find your soul mate…or are they?

Hatoful Boyfriend is a short dating sim that starts out as a fun, fluffy little game. It’s quirky and doesn’t take itself too seriously, as you can tell by the fact it’s a dating sim wherein you romance PIGEONS. You play as Hiyoko Tosaka (name can be changed to protect her identity) who is a simple, warm-hearted, and unpretentious hunter-gatherer. Per the stereotypes of your average school dating sim, you are starting your first day of the new school year, and everyone you meet just happens to be a hot anime guy…ahem, I mean, bird. Sorry, I get confused because I opted to use the “powerful visualization model” so I got to see the human souls behind all the birds. Continue reading Let’s Get It On: Hatoful Boyfriend Style

It’s OK if You Don’t Play Games on Hard

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I dated this guy once who refused to play video games on anything less than the hardest difficulty. He would play through the same part of the game over and over and over again (I’m talking 50+ times), getting increasingly frustrated. When it got to be too much, he would throw down his controller and stomp off in a huff, like the game had set out to destroy him, and it was working.

“Why don’t you change the difficulty?” I would ask. Back then, I insisted that I was fine just watching, when really I wanted him to go out somewhere for several hours and let me have the controller for once.

“Becaaaaause,” he would reply huffily, “I want an actual challenge.”

And so, I would continue watching this cycle for hours, waiting for the inevitable aneurism.

People play video games for a variety of reasons. Some people play because it’s a fun activity with friends or family members. Others just like to immerse themselves into a different world for a while. Some people like the challenge and the bragging rights of finishing. And others use video games to fight the stress of their own lives.

Your reason might be a combination of these things or something else entirely. And here’s the thing: All of those reasons are of equal importance. You’re a video game consumer. You paid money, and you get to have the experience you want with it. Playing at the highest challenge level isn’t right for everyone because not everybody is looking for a game to melt their eyeballs and make their brains explode. Some people just want to stare at a screen and do a thing and not have to think that hard. AND THAT’S FINE.

I play most games on Normal (when applicable) because, quite frankly, I want to see what’s next. I don’t enjoy performing the same challenges again and again WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS.

This because I could ride around on the Spinner ALL DAY.

And that’s it. Never mind. I meant ONE EXCEPTION.

Full disclosure: I played Dragon Age Inquisition on the easiest setting because I wanted to know how it ended, and it wasn’t moving fast enough for me on Normal. Eventually, I might go back and turn up the difficulty level and enjoy a bigger challenge, but for now, I know how DAI ended, and I’m fine with myself.

Bottom line? There’s no shame in being all, “FUCK THIS SHIT” and giving yourself a break. This has been a public service announcement from years of therapy. <3

Kaylan Makes Time for Mass Effect

So I finally decided to take Bethany and Jenn’s advice and get all up in some Mass Effect. Using my super nice gift card from Uncle R and Aunt J the trilogy for 2$ and confused a gamestop employee when he asked if it was a gift for the boyfriend by saying “ hell no he is going to be so mad I’ll be ignoring him again for vidjeo games”. His response “uhm…wow… well… that’s new” than I pranced out of the store happily to share the news of my purchase with the ladies.

If you ever receive a yes with that many S-es (S-s?! I dunno) you’re doing something right. Just sayin’.

Continue reading Kaylan Makes Time for Mass Effect

Kaylan Finishes BioShock 2: IT WAS MY FAVORITE

The thrilling conclusion to Kaylan’s BioShock 2 Play Diary!! Need to catch up? Check out Part 1Part 2Part 3.

I thought I had gotten lost in the ocean, but I hadn’t I was just a silly goose; finally I checked my map after too embarrassingly long to admit. Once I got back on track I placed my key in the AirLock Access Plant and realized I had found the ACTUAL secret base. Now I’m not so disappointed. I take back everything I said last time about the hiding skills. Immediately I find a diary revealing more shitty parenting by Sofia Lamb. I don’t understand how you could experiment on your own baby. I mean, I’m just saying. The similarities between Eleanor Lamb and Elizabeth Comstock are interesting. Both of these poor girls were basically abused by their parental figures for a “Greater Good,” a “Utopia,” and that is fucked up. Also they were raised by bonded half-man-half-machine creatures. Songbird and Delta seem to care more for the wellbeing and survival of these two women more than their parents even cared to attempt.

There is love here.
There is love here.

I mean, it’s kind of fitting that Lamb is keeping Eleanor in a Prison Hospital, considering she’s always treated her daughter like a captive instead of her child. I wonder does she even love her? Does anyone else ever wonder these things when they play games? If she does love her, does she just love her ideals more? HEARTFUCKINGBREAKING. Continue reading Kaylan Finishes BioShock 2: IT WAS MY FAVORITE

Dragon Age Inquisition Is So Gay Friendly That IT’S ALIENATING STRAIGHT PEOPLE

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STOP THE PRESSES.

I was going through the comments on Gamervescent, as I tend to do on a Monday night, and deleting all the ones offering me great deals on “fendi peekaboo” or “parajumpers sale.” And I came across one comment on our recent post about Dragon Age Inquisition hairstyles. This comment told me some things. BIG THINGS. Things I’d never thought about before.

Continue reading Dragon Age Inquisition Is So Gay Friendly That IT’S ALIENATING STRAIGHT PEOPLE