Tag Archives: jennifer roberts

Video Games and Me: A Personal Gaming/DA:O Retrospective

Adorable_Al

Video games have pretty much always been a part of my life. My father was a computer programmer and we have had a computer in my house for as long as I can remember. I started out playing some of those “edutainment” games, learning as few DOS commands as necessary to start them up. I have hazy memories of time spent with the Sesame Street characters of Letter-Go-Round, which was originally published before I was even born.

At some point in early grade school my brother and I got a Super Nintendo for Christmas, and I promptly forgot all that DOS knowledge I’d acquired. While my parents said it was for us to share (always a great idea with kids who don’t particularly get along, amirite?), even then I knew it was really for my brother. And sometimes for my parents. I remember them staying up until all hours of the night with their friends and family playing Hal’s Hole in One Golf. It puzzled me then and puzzles me now, but man, they loved that game.

But how could the systems and games we had be for me? All the characters you controlled in the games we had on that SNES, and the many more to come, were men: Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong & Diddy Kong, Link, Mega Man, Cloud, Banjo, and even Kirby, who manages to be male even while existing as an anthropomorphized balloon thing. Girls were in the games as objects to be rescued, to scream and be pretty prizes. Perhaps you could occasionally play them as side characters, and sometimes they even showed up as bad ass NPCs in their own right, but they were never the player character in my experience. Continue reading Video Games and Me: A Personal Gaming/DA:O Retrospective

NaNoRenO 2015 Review

It’s been way too long since I’ve had a major love affair with a quality visual novel, so to whet my appetite while I wait for the next major release, I decided to have a few flings from the array available from this year’s NaNoRenO. My plan is to just sample a few from this appetizing buffet of games, instead of gorging myself on everything that’s available, and here are my thoughts on the first two little morsels that caught my eye.

*****

Speed Dating on the Citadel

Speed Dating on the Citadel

SPEED DATING on the CITADEL??!?!?!?!? Ermahgerd! Sputter! I am nearly incoherent with joy at the prospect!

(Time passes)

Wait.

What?

It’s over already? I played through that in less than 15 minutes. I mean, I read quickly but that was *short.* Continue reading NaNoRenO 2015 Review

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

Jen R. Falls in love with, breaks up with Skyrim

Skyrim_pretty_castle

I am Ulzoth, an axe-wielding, flame-slinging female Orc. I’m just your typical wandering adventurer, who happens to steal all alchemical ingredients, coins, and potions the unsuspecting citizens of Skyrim leave just lying around unattended in their own homes. I’m like a female Robin Hood, robbing from the wealthy Jarls and merchants and giving to my poor self.  Never mind that I have more gold than I can spend. What shop need I, I who can ransack all caves, shipwrecks, and Dwemer ruins with impunity and sell all loot contained therein? I don’t need to eat, I only sleep if I need to pass the time before breaking into a shop, and I most certainly do not have any need for other indelicate bodily functions.

Let’s step back a bit here.  First I need to tell you how I got started, which was: I mentioned to my husband I might be interested in giving Skyrim another try. (The first time I got so distracted in my exploration and alchemical ingredient harvesting that I only discovered about half of the map. But it was a damn thorough half of the map.) So he asked me what mods I wanted.

“Uhhhhh,” I replied.

“Ok,” said he, and proceeded to download and install everything to make my game prettier. Continue reading Jen R. Falls in love with, breaks up with Skyrim

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

all_pigeons

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