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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Episode 17 or The Relevant Wife Strikes Back

Do not adjust your eyeballs and have no fears. Just relax and the take over will be through before you know it! Don't worry, I'll be gentle.

This was good timing for my take over. There's actually been quite a bit of intrigue around women gamers in the past few weeks. Have you seen this guy and BioWare's response to him? (http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6661775&lf=8) Kudos to BioWare! I'm not sure if I can be a bigger fan. It was a great point of relationships being for everyone. I really can't muster up any empathy for the guy. Let's face it the 'straight male gamer' is not going away and there will always be plenty of material out there for you. Japanese game makers will have that covered for you for a loooooooong time. 

Then there was the article in the latest Official Xbox Magazine called "Inclusive Games with Exclusive Marketing." The author does give credit to games for having more realistic female leads. Though I was a bit baffled that she had such a hard time figuring out if she could play as a female Hawke(Dragon Age 2). They were pretty up front about that and even had Lady Hawke pictures at one of the conventions. I think one of the best things BioWare games do for gender differences is have different things show up when you play as a female. My personal favorite is the Batarian mistaking FemShep for a stripper right before you go after Archangel. That's right FemShep has bigger balls than you'll ever have! And if you don't believe me... I'm up here.

But I have mixed feelings about wanting or feeling the need for more females included in marketing. Maybe, I'm just not sensitive to it anymore. In all honesty, I'm pretty used to playing with the boys. (Did my husband ever mentioned I have a Master's degree in Structural Engineering? That's right, he got the whole package and then some!) So, I get pretty tired of being pegged as someone to be marketed to or being specifically targeted. 

There's really no magic trick to getting me interested in buying a game. Make a good product, in this case, an engaging story, superb characters, and good controls and I'm there. Oh you can be sure I'll always play as female, that's just my particular preference. 

But the ultimate question asked by the article, would I be less or more likely to buy a game simply because it had a female on the cover? No, probably not. In fact, we just went through our games and we only have one with a female on the cover. Rock Band. I do like the new remake of Lara Croft they're doing. While she was one of the first iconic female game characters, she was always a bit too perfect and guy-fantasy-come-to-life. But I will be more interested to see how the game and story play.

So keep the good games coming. Because that's what we'll buy. Good games and good stories that pull us in. We won't buy just because you put a female on the front. You have to have substance behind it!

Now on to the review! Thanks to the excellent timing of my take over, I get to do a review of the latest addition to the BioWare epic Mass Effect 2! That's right the new DLC that just dropped this week: Arrival!

Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead!

Commander Shepard! Commander Shepard! Save the galaxy!

That's right there's another poor soul that needs Commander Shepard's help. Not that anyone is going to help Shepard this time. Shepard has to go this one alone and I tell you what, I missed my buddies occasionally. Sneaking into the prison was neat and now I have an achievement The Irrelevant Gamer doesn't have yet. Yep, got that one all on my own. Full disclosure, it was on my second play through. I have two characters I'm bringing into Mass Effect 3 (one romance for Garrus and one for Thane, sorry Kaiden, you were too much of a pussy). 

So after the sneaky, sneaky is over then you go find out if this scientist you went to pick up is telling the truth about the Reapers and the coming invasion. It quickly hits the fan and now Shepard has to fight for her life again. Plenty of 'awe hell' moments and a nail biter at the end as you try to out run an asteroid while flipping off Harbinger. 

It's a great side quest for ME2. But all it did now is whet my appetite for more ME! Really, I've decided that waiting for ME3 is like walking around horny all day and not being able to do anything about it.

Pros: More Mass Effect anyone? Hell yes!

Cons: Ummmm, does anyone want to talk to me?? I just blew up a whole system for crying out loud! Destroyed a relay... Joker? Garrus? Thane? Anyone? Buller?

Final verdict: The Relevant Wife's Seal of Approval

Next time: The Irrelevant Game's take on Nintendo's 3DS

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