Home Upcoming Reviews About
Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

The Vetoed Picks – Riddles: Bayonetta (Written by Ethos)

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Well, I gave him ample time to step in and defend his hideous spider lady, but the grace period is over. Time for me to step in and talk about how incredibly repulsive Bayonetta is.

Let me preface everything by admitting that I have not played Bayonetta – although I watched about 30 minutes of cutscenes and gameplay on YouTube for this – and as such, I am always open to the possibility of my mind being changed on some of these points. However…I doubt it.

Bayonetta is a creepy spider lady. She is completely ridiculous looking and tries to fool people into thinking she’s sexy by wearing glasses and an insanely tight outfit. And believe me, I’m a glasses guy, so it’s gotta take a lot for me to not give a free pass to a chick who wears them.

I honestly have no idea why Riddles was so desperately arguing in her defense. I had to devise a fucking veto system on the fly just to ensure that this chick wouldn’t snatch a top 5 spot. He argues that she’s one of the strongest woman characters in gaming.

I hope to fuck that this is not the case.

I mean, I know that gaming is about 15 steps behind in terms of gender equality, and that Bayonetta can hold her own in a fight and is definitely not a weak character. But nothing I’ve seen shows that’s she’s anything beyond serious faces, kicking people, and talking with condescension to children. Plus, it’s hard to make an argument for a strong character for a chick who fights in the tightest outfit possible with basically no back and a cleavage hole. No woman would ever, ever choose to wear that.

Also, I called her the Spider Lady even before I saw her in action when I watched some clips for this article. The woman’s anatomy is preposterous and terrifying, and her movements are creepy and – for lack of a better simile – like a spider. Maybe girls like Jessica and Tifa have bigger boobs than is generally realistic, but it’s at least feasible. If Bayonetta somehow spawned in the real world, she would collapse in a heap of legs and spider eggs.

I’m being a little harsh, and if someone were only shown her face and heard her voice, then they could make a valid case. However, as it stands, Bayonetta looks entirely silly, moves like an idiot, and has a perfectly fine strong personality, but nothing I see to be winning awards over. And above all else, she is definitely not sexy.

Also, her game looks completely ridiculous. The gameplay looks fun, and that opening scene is epic, but the voiceacting was either passable or terrible in the stuff I saw, and everything looked like nonsense.

So there you have it, Riddles. That’s what happens when you decide to move apartments during the week of Riddlethos’ birthday. You get your chance to defend The Spider Lady squashed.

Scatter Storming. Issue #035

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Oh why the hell not? Let’s make a Scatter Storming on a Tuesday. This cadence to Sexy Summer Week is going on a bit longer than expected, especially because it’s Riddlethos’ birthday in two days! I would just make the push to the following week, but I don’t trust myself to make a banner for such an important event, and I really want to see Riddles’ Shelob post! Anyway, I’ve actually played about a billion games, so let’s get on with it.

I beat DeathSpank -
And it was awesome! Seriously, from the demo it seemed fun, but it remained way more consistently rewarding than I was expecting. I love that you can store as many quests up as you like without having to worry about some expiring if you continue the main quest. The dialogue is endlessly humourous, the environments and character designs are inventive and pretty, and the hack, slash, and block action battle system is more than enough fun to last the 10-15 hour experience. I mean, I wasn’t counting, but that feels about right.

Incidentally, it’s also the first game I’ve 100%’d, trophy-wise. It’s a downloadable title, so there’s no Platinum trophy, but it still feels good. Forget that you can essentially get everything just by completing the game and every sidequest, but still! The ending left no room for there to not to be a sequel, so I hope the game does well enough to warrant a green light for a continuation.

I also beat Braid -
Although this time I had help from a guide. I gave all the puzzles a shot and figured a lot of it out on my own, but I didn’t like the game enough to really go nuts trying to figure it out. It’s an incredibly creative title with a cool mood and a great ending, but like I said to Darth earlier: I’m not jizzing all over it. I’m glad I finally played it, though. I’m interested to see what Blow will try next, and if he can learn to laugh at himself a little bit. I’ve heard him on a podcast before, actually, and he was legitimately very intelligent, but I felt like he took himself a little too seriously. It’s fine to delve into serious philosophical thoughts and theories, and one shouldn’t be ashamed of his own intellect, but sometimes it’s easier to take something seriously if it knows how to make fun of itself. Ironic as that may sound. Anyway, that’s not the only other PSN game I got my hands on…

PixelJunk Shooter -
This is probably my favourite of the PixelJunk games. Granted, I’ve only thoroughly tried out Monsters and had about 30 minutes with Eden, but it was enough for me to get a good sense of the “series”, I think. Shooter has a great style and controls like a dream. It also has a good combination of puzzle solving and action. It’s one of those titles that you can pick up really quickly, but start to notice that the physics are really deep and that you’re slowly able to manipulate them to your advantage. It looks like it’s going to be quite short, but I’ve been enjoying my time with it for sure.

Joe Danger -
This is that Excite Bike-esque game. I only played it for a short time, but it looks like it’s going to be nuanced and addictive. More to come on that. So most of these were good picks, except…

WOW, Turtles in Time Reshelled is a piece of shit -
Truly, truly horrible. The controls are loose, the fighting is shallow, the audio is abysmal, and it’s hard to tell where your character is in relation to the enemy half the time. Just an awful, awful game. Honestly garbage.

Alright Riddles! What chu got?

The Vetoed Picks – Ethos: Jack

Monday, July 26th, 2010

During the process of creating these Top Five lists, Riddles and I ran into a number of disagreements. Some of them so great that we decided that we’d both be allowed a single veto. Because there was more debate on the female side of things, we each vetoed a female pick of the other’s. But we also decided that we’d get a shot to defend the one we wanted to make the list so bad. So here goes.

Jack is sexy. Riddles is quick to call any woman with a tough shell a bitch…which is especially funny because if Oliver were a woman, he’d be exactly like that. Anyway, Jack definitely can be rude and rough around the edges, but she’s smart, honest, and doesn’t bullshit. I respect that. She went through an insane childhood, raised in a testing facility and referred to as “Subject Zero”. When she finally escaped, she went on a rampage, joining cults, killing people, and desperately trying to find herself.

Sure, all the murder and crazy biotic powers make her a little scary, but she grows to trust Shepard; a very rare thing for Jack to do. It’s once this happens that Jack shows that she hasn’t just turned into a killing machine. She never turns into that scared little girl who just needs a friend, but she is able to speak freely of her vulnerabilities and own them while making it clear that she has no problem blasting somebody’s face off if she has a reason to.

But Jack is not just sexy in her confident, quick, and no bullshit attitude. She’s also tattooed from head to toe, which excuses the fact that’s she’s practically naked – the tats basically look like clothing – she shaves her head, and as mentioned before, is a powerful biotic badass. Not to mention she’s got the brooding loner thing going for her. She’s a sexy chick, and Riddles is crazy to use his veto in this case.

But then I should know that he’s crazy, just wait ’till you see the complete shit he wanted to drag into our list. I had to let Samus fly because I had no choice but to place my veto on his insane opinion. Sorry for the spoilers, but I look forward to seeing Riddles fly off the handle because I’m bashing his dear Shelob.

The Five Sexiest Chicks in Gaming – Honourable Mention: Sheena Fujibayashi

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

That poor Tales series. Always just getting the boot in our lists, or if they do make a list, it’s for a failure. That’s probably because the series is decidedly mediocre. However, Sheena definitely made the most legitimate run yet of any Tales contender. Tales of Symphonia is a game with two awful, awful protagonists. Lloyd and Colette are annoying, shallow, stupid fucks who make me want to stab my ears with pitchforks and my eyes with the bones of children. Strangely enough, from that dredge emerges Sheena, a complex, interesting, and likable character. Sure, she’s full of the usual Tales gimmick, but it’s toned down when compared to a character like Raine who just punches people for “comedic effect” every two minutes.

Sheena’s personality may be nothing new – a sensitive girl with a tough outer shell – but her story is actually compelling. She’s pulled in multiple directions emotionally, with her home town putting many different kinds of pressure on her as well as being forced to rethink the foundation of her beliefs. I actually found myself caring about Sheena’s emotional arc, and she’s probably the major reason I was left with a positive impression of my time with that title.

I mean, that battle system is fun, but there’s only so much of Lloyd and especially Colette that one can take.

Oh, let’s not forget Sheena’s killer bod, great voice actor, and powerful summon magic in battle. She wasn’t quite good enough to make our top five, but definitely deserves the honourable mention.

The Five Sexiest Dudes in Gaming – Honourable Mention: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Shut up.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt may not be in a video game, but the dude is so damn sexy that he still warrants an honourable mention for our top five list.

The kid may have had a rough start to his respectable actor credibility by playing the part of an ancient alien stuck in a teenage boy’s body during 3rd Rock From The Sun, but he swiftly started taking roles that would redefine him.

JGL started his journey to extreme sexydom with his role in Brick. He pulled off the fast-talking, brilliant loner of Brendan without a hitch and moved onto the incredibly challenging role of Chris Pratt in The Lookout. As if these two roles weren’t different enough, the sex machine even ventured into romantic comedy territory with (500) Days of Summer. Sure, it’s more intelligent and pretentious than the regular romcom, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt proved that he can play any role with an incredible amount of integrity and talent.

And all this was before he kicked all sort of ass in Inception. Let’s face it, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the perfect man, and anybody should be content to be one quarter of the man he is.

I mean, c’mon, the guy is so sexy, he just made a list of sexiest dudes in gaming, and he’s not even in one!

I haven’t even mentioned his articulation, passion, and wisdom beyond his years. Any man, woman, or child would take the opportunity to be held in this man’s arms.

Perhaps this entire article is counter-intuitive to JGL’s opinion of the pointlessness of celebrity, but the dude is pure beauty, I had no choice but to gush about him for 300 words.

You think these lists are finally over? Forget about it! Riddles and I each got to veto a choice of the other’s off the Sexy Chicks list, so we’re going to bitterly defend our picks that got vetoed off by the other. Look forward to that brilliance!

The Five Sexiest Chicks in Gaming – #1: Tifa Lockhart

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I recognize that this is a fairly stereotypical first pick, but it’s justified. I’ve already stated that Mitsuru would be #1 if it were up to me, but that’s mostly because I’m in love with her. In reality, Final Fantasy VII’s Tifa Lockhart is infinitely more iconic, and frankly, just as sexy.

And boy, is she ever sexy. Maybe it was just the gigantic knockers, but even in the original PSX classic, Tifa manages to look mighty fine. Her sex appeal is shamelessly flaunted, and while it occasionally borders on the ridiculous, it’s no doubt a part of her character and a huge part of what made her such a symbol. And, while the jaggies may have worked against her in the original game, there were no such hindrances to her beauty in Advent Children – where she is, indeed, beautiful.

Like… well, everyone else on this list (with the possible exception of Jessica) Tifa kicks major ass. When I stop to ponder it, I’m not entirely sure why this is considered a sexy thing. Maybe it’s just because ass-kicking isn’t necessarily something generally associated with womanhood, or maybe because they all look so good while doing it. Especially Tifa. Why? Because she doesn’t necessitate the medium of weaponry. She dives right in with her bare hands. And that, my friends, is hot.

But, while Tifa may be able to throw down, she doesn’t necessarily put on a rough exterior. In fact, Tifa’s a fairly soft, nurturing sort of girl, and there’s nothing wrong with that. She’s eternally supportive and caring, especially when it comes to her childhood friend Cloud. And, let’s be honest, it takes quite a girl to put up with the sort of problems that Mr. Strife has. And poor Tifa, she’s known the guy since childhood. And yet, no matter how confusing or weird things get, she’s always managed to stand beside him. It’s almost tragic in a sense – during the events of Final Fantasy VII, when Cloud was relating events that never happened, she was forced to wonder if she was the one going crazy. But, as confusing and painful as that must have been for her, she was there through it all, culminating in my personal favorite part of the game when she and a cracking Cloud piece together his tortured past, while in the mystic confines of the Lifestream.

She’s gorgeous, she’s terrific in a fight, and she has an unbelievable capacity for compassion and understanding. Tifa Lockhart is one special female, and I have no qualms awarding her the #1 spot on our silly little list.

And that, as they say, is that. For the main lists, at least. Check back tomorrow for some honorable mentions, as well as the two “vetoes” – which are more or less what they sound like. Until then, sound off and tell us how much you disagree with our top honors.

The Five Sexiest Dudes in Gaming – #1: Nathan Drake

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

And here’s the big kahuna himself. Given how much we’ve verbally wanked off Mr. Drake in the past, I’m guessing this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to any of you. But regardless, can you disagree? Uncharted’s Nathan Drake is simply one of the most likable protagonists in the world of videogames, and he’s got roguish good looks to go along with it.

Drake has it all. He swashes and buckles with the very best of them, whether he’s hunting down gold, battling ancient curses, or rescuing damsels in distress. And no matter how dire his given situation, he always manages to have a damn good attitude about it – while playing Uncharted or Uncharted 2, you never have to go long without hearing one of Drake’s trademarked (and hilarious) cocky remarks. You just can’t keep the guy down, and that’s a fantastic quality to have – especially in his line of work.

But, as Uncharted 2 proved, the guy’s still a human being. He’s not always making fun of the situation he’s in – particularly when his lady love is in distress, or when things just literally fall apart around him. He certainly doesn’t spend much time moping (and he doesn’t need to) but even in the cases when Drake does have himself a good mope, it feels perfectly justified.

But enough about his character. He’s Nathan Fucking Drake. He’s the ultimate swashbuckling badass. He’s the jack of all trades. He’s Indiana Jones sans the mild anger problems. He takes down a dozen men with a pistol and some well-placed grenades. He solves riddles and mysteries that would stump Sherlock Holmes. He runs up moving trains while evading machine gun fire from enemy helicopters. And, at the end of it all, he gets the girl. Everyone wants to be this man, I don’t care what they say.

Nathan Drake is the kinda guy you’d never want to fuck with, but exactly the kind of person you’d want to sit and have a beer with. Or two. Or nine. And then see where the night goes from there.  Easy and indisputable pick for #1.

The Five Sexiest Chicks in Gaming – #2: Mitsuru Kirijo

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

To preface, I’d like to say that Persona 3’s Miss Kirijo was my personal pick for the #1 Sexiest Chick in Gaming. Ethos, boob that he is, has never even played Persona 3, so we had to compromise. But, if this were Riddles.com – as it was for that glorious 24 hours or so – she’d be receiving top honors.

Why? Well, to begin, Mitsuru is probably the only videogame character I’ve ever had a legitimate crush on. As we all know, a crush can simply be a crush – it doesn’t necessarily need explanation, and oftentimes there is no legitimate explanation outside of the strictly superficial. So, perhaps Mitsuru gets a bit of a free pass in that regard – but this my website, so you can all live with it. (That includes you, Ethos.)

But, beyond that, there are plenty of reasons to love Mitsuru. She’s gorgeous, first of all. Red hair, fantastic body, and a pseudo-schoolgirl outfit = utter sex. Second, she compliments that beauty with an attitude of utter calm and cool. Mitsuru is the leader of the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES) the organization you work with throughout the game to investigate the Dark Hour. She’s expected to be the cold, calculated mature one – even though she’s a high school student just like the rest. But she pulls it off, and pulls it off well. As far as strong, leaderly female videogame characters, there are none that match the lordly presence of Miss Kirijo.

Behind it all, though, Mitsuru has that essential soft spot. It shows itself on more than one occasion during the course of the game, and finally culminates in my personal favorite social link. The process of slowly breaking down her walls and finding the surprisingly vulnerable, human character behind them was probably one of my all-time personal favorite videogame moments. She may look like the girl who has it all, but in reality, she’s just a scared kid in an arranged marriage, doomed to inherit her father’s legacy – and more than anything, she just wants out. In some way, we can all relate to that, can’t we?

To be frank, Mitsuru kinda personifies the sort of woman I often find myself attracted to in real life: calm, collected, intelligent, and straightforward; but with a healthy dose of softness and humanity behind it all. If we ever do a list of “Videogame Characters We Wish were Real,” she’ll be at spot #1.

Ahem. But, Mitsuru is not real, crushing as that is to realize. Check back tomorrow for our #1 picks. ‘Till then, readers!

The Five Sexiest Dudes in Gaming – #2: Balthier (Ffamran mied Bunansa)

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Oh Balthier. He is the only character in Final Fantasy XII with any personality (excepting maybe Fran), and boy does he ever have personality. He ran away from his privileged upbringing to run around the world with a half-naked rabbit lady with a giant bounty on his head. If his badboy renegade status didn’t make him sexy enough, he is clever and witty, and is apparently the only character who is capable of having a sense of humour.

Balthier is smooth and sarcastic, yet able to be perceptive and very loyal. Let’s just face the facts, Balthier is the perfect man. Yeah, he’s got daddy issues, and maybe he’s a professional thief, but everybody has their vices. He knows just the right thing to say, and has a solution to every problem.

Also, to use an argument that Riddles likes to use: his game is awesome. Final Fantasy XII is robust and deep. Addictive and involved. Again, not a game known for its cast otherwise, but after all he is the self-professed “leading man” of the adventure, and he has my vote on that sentiment.

Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that there’s no way around it, he’s a beautiful man. Maybe there’s no such thing as “stylish” in the world of Ivalice, but I think the fact that he’s not wearing a crop top vest ala Vaan gives him a pass in that department.

So after all that, what else can be said about the dude? The only mark against him is that we don’t really know what type of badass he is. The license board in FFXII makes classes so generalized that it kind of dilutes fantasies of him glistening from sweat in the heat of battle. He can talk up a storm, but there’s no hard evidence of him putting his blade where his beautiful mouth is.

That’s why our number 1 dude is our number 1 dude. He has everything Balthier does but with that added benefit of unadulterated badassery. But I’ve gone on way too long sexually praising a fictional dude from a video game. Do you think Balthier deserves this spot?

The Five Sexiest Chicks in Gaming – #3: Liara T’Soni

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Mass Effect was a groundbreaking game in many ways. It gave choice and dialogue depth never seen before, and breathed life into a massive galactic universe. It also gave us hot softcore lesbian alien sex. Yes, not necessarily lesbian, I’m aware, but who seriously plays as a male Shepard?

But Dr. Liara T’Soni is not just sexy in the way she displays sideboob during her optional romantic encounter with Shepard. She is also thoughtful, intelligent, and honest if you take the chance to listen. Liara is young for her race – only 106 when you first meet her – and so her ensuing innocent excitement and nervousness when faced with her first real romance is extremely endearing.

Flash forward to Mass Effect 2, and Liara shows her multi-dimensional character when she becomes a hardass information broker tracking down an entity known as the Shadow Broker. This Liara has a thick shell due to the nature of her work, and the likelihood of her conversations being recorded, and it’s a little shocking. She even quotes her mother, who was a semi-villain from the first game. Still, this side of Liara just makes her more real and proves she can hold her own.

Speaking of, similar to…well…everyone on both these lists, Liara can kick some serious ass. She’s a powerful biotic, able to toss enemies all over the place with just the power of her mind. Factor in her seductive voice and cautiously flirtatious nature from the first game, and Liara was an easy pick for this list.

Plus, I’m pretty sure I had you all sold at lesbian alien sex.