Thursday, February 1, 2018

Games 2018: February

As what felt like the longest month in existence comes to a grinding close, I find myself wanting to continue playing games in themed bundles. With today marking the start of Black History month, Black Panther being released two weeks in, and me being super excited for both, it would have been nice to have February dedicated to games with black characters.

Yep, woulda been nice.

Would. Have. Been. Great.

Betcha didn't know!
It wasn't the hardest challenge to cultivate a group of female protagonist games, but games with black and brown lead characters simply don't exist outside of sports games. Now, I love Japan like a second home. However, Japanese gaming doesn't really have a place for nonwhite or non-Japanese characters. They just don't give a hoot.

Fortune favors the hot
Sure, there's hot-headed Barrett Wallace in Final Fantasy VII, fist-fighting Bruce in Tekken, never-miss, never-hit Fortune in Metal Gear Solid 2, and funky Zack in Dead or Alive, but it's also unrealistic to rely on a 98% homogeneous culture to produce games with racial diversity. That's where Western developers come in. Blizzard has brown characters in Diablo and Overwatch, and the Mortal Kombat games have Jax, Jade and the Lin-Kuei robot assassin Cyrax was revealed to be originally a brotha a bunch of titles back.

There's also the issue of keeping my game plan from financially spiraling out of control; ideally I should be cultivating the themed titles from my existing backlog. This is the perfect time to bring up the 2 games I bought yesterday. I saw 2 more female protagonist games that I just had to scoop up.

Beautiful people drawn beautifully
Over the first half of February, I will be going through Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, and Iconoclasts. The former was apparently one of the best titles in 2017, and should be a short-but-sweet journey of less than 10 hours to platinum. Iconoclasts was just released (a week ago, as of this post), and is a 16-bit exploratory sidescroller with an all-girl playable cast. So far, I've played as the mechanic named Robin, who's got a big wrench and a big ass. Or is it just the jodpurs? Either way, the game has awesome music, great colors, smooth animation, and loads of character. What's more impressive is how fun the game is because of the pathing. The map works like any Castlevania game made in the last 15 years, but you end up crisscross areas to open other small places, making pathing more complex than left-to-right. I committed the ultimate financial sin and paid the full $20 for this title, but I'll just have to hope that the dev team sees my enthusiastic dollars for this great title.

I'll try and think of my next theme for games and get back to you. I've neglected to give my readers food for thought, so here goes: What's a theme of games I should play this year? What are some of your favorite games with leading ladies? What are your favorite minority characters in games?

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