Wednesday, December 8, 2010

So, World of Tanks!

I must say, I greatly enjoyed this.  But it had a bit of trouble holding my attention.  Though it isn't purely a sim (having a cross between being sim and MMO), it still is one at heart-- and I don't particularly like sims.  I don't play games for realism, I play games to ESCAPE reality, because reality sucks. 

That said,  it is certainly a great game. The controls are relatively smooth, with aiming being a breeze as it's done via mouse (or by turning, if your tank doesn't have a turret), movement is with the usual WASD keys, and it's great fun blasting away at tanks with a tank destroyer.

The balance could be a bit better though.  American tanks feel so weak and limited-- there's no tank destroyers for them either.  The game is basically all about the Russian and German tanks.  A pity you can't play a Wolvering tank hunter, or one of the other American tank hunters.  Or heck, even one of the British tanks.  They're adding in French tanks, but I really wonder what exactly they plan on doing there what with there being basically no France to produce tanks for much of WWII in the first place.

Still, on the basis of gameplay alone, it's a very enjoyable game.  There's no real story, there's no single player, there's just you, fourteen buddies, and a bunch of enemy tanks to shoot at.  It's simple and fun, and if you're into tank battles I whole-heartedly recommend it.  While I am not myself a huge fan of vehicular combat (preferring to play infantrymen/women), I still greatly enjoyed this game.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I normally don't discuss religion...

... but this has come up so many times recently, what with all of the hateful protests by Christians in my neck of the woods (Texas), against homosexuality, against other religions, or... well... pretty much anything they can attempt to use religion to justify.  Sometimes even violent opposition..

My response to it is thus:  Jesus states that the two most important laws are to love god, and to love thy neighbor.  All other laws are subservient to these two.  No other law is more important than these two.  The god of Christianity desires, above all else, love.  Those who preach hate... are the furthest from their god.  They do not know the laws of their own religion, they do not know the true meaning behind the laws.  They deserve both your pity and prayer.

I don't really intend to go further on this topic.  The hate disgusts me and makes me angry beyond belief-- which is my own failing.  Even still, however, I hope someday that they come to understand their faith and come to know how to love those they disagree with, just as they love those who agree with them.


To give a citation:  Any [u]real[/u] Christian should know these and take them to heart.

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV, Mark 12:28-31).

And this:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." (NIV, Luke 10:25-37 )

With two men or two women so divinely blessed with God's greatest gift of love between eachother, how can you hate them. or dislike them, or wish to do them harm, or wish to disrupt their joy between eachother when it has no effect on you? The command given by God and affirmed as the greatest commandment by Jesus was to love them. Cherish their love between eachother, just as you would cherish the love between yourself and your own spouse, and cherish them as good neighbors and friends. If you can't do that, you've failed the most important commandment in God's law-- and you not only hurt them, but also yourself, because through your hate you distance yourself from God.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy thanksgiving

etc etc etc.

I'm still alive... just not posting anything this week save for this.

G'day to y'all.  Will continue my review of Global Agenda next week, and start a review of World of Tanks as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A newbie's experience in Global Agenda

Well, I don't have much else to post at the moment, so rather than let this die, I'm gonna go and review my experience, week by week, with Global Agenda.

I tried out the trial of Global Agenda two days ago, and purchased it yesterday based off of my experience.  There are a few things I dislike thus far-- such as the lack of headshots when using sniper rifles-- but overall I actually rather enjoy the game.  The female models are slightly oversexualized, but viewing them from behind (as one does when playing their character) it's not so blatant.  Of the four classes, Recon and Robotics are the two that I enjoy the most.  This probably matches with my love of Spy, Sniper, and Engineer in Team Fortress 2.  The graphics are nice, often being very colorful and enjoyable to look at compared to the usual rigmarole of  brown and grey of the FPS Genre these days.  Still, unfortunately there's a lot of brown and grey in the newbie area, which is a desert with a lot of junk towns.  I'm hoping this improves and becomes more visually impressive as I move on to a new area.

To explain the classes to those who haven't played the game, in reference to TF2:

Assault:  Standard soldier type.  In reference to TF2, they'd be a combination of  Soldier and Heavy.  They wield a two-handed axe for a melee weapon, a battle rifle for their main weapon, and for their support weapon they wield either a minigun or a launcher.  The launcher allows one to zoom in for longer-ranged attacks, and the minigun has two firing modes, one which knocks opponents back and another which does more damage to mechanical units ("EMP burn").  They can absorb the most damage of the various classes.

Recon:  A scout sniper type.  In reference to TF2, they'd be a combination of Spy and Sniper.  They wield a sword for a melee weapon, and either a scoped SMG/Assault Rifle or a Sniper rifle for their ranged weapon.  They also have a stealth ability, which allows them to move faster and invisible while active, but as it counts as a third weapon they cannot attack while using it and have to switch out fo it in order to attack.  They have some interesting support abilities, such as firebombs, mines, and self buffs.

Medic is the class I haven't played yet. I assume, based off of the abilities I have seen, tahat they are like a combination of Medic and engineer, having healing abilities as well as being able to set down healing nodes.  I, however, am not a Medic player, it is a class I do not enjoy playing no matter the setting.

Finally, Robotics.  Robotics appears to be an Engineer class, but I need to playl more of it.  They choose between a mobile robot and a sentry gun, and use their robotic arm on their shoulder to repair them.  They look to have a very interesting playstyle.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with my purchase.  Eventually I'll work my way into the PvP aspect, but for this week, I'm going to stick with the PvE aspect, perhaps joining small teams.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Some people have argued that there is no point to having a female character in FPS games because they aren't about story anyway, they're about shooting people and you'll never see them anyway.  But that's completely untrue-- you see portions of them.  You have to play through their perspective, you have to see their hairy, muscular arms holding up the weapons, you have to listen to their pained grunts as they're shot or as they're running about.  So character IS important.  And this line of thought has led me to expound upon my previous post... what I'd like to see.

I'd like to play a badass female character in a shooter for once. It hasn't really happened very much, and usually she is done for sex appeal which oftentimes makes the game less enjoyable for serious players of BOTH genders. That doesn't mean that's how it has to be, nor does it mean that women can't be done properly in the setting. So why should I want to settle for less, again, while you don't have to?

Say, why not have a female soldier in a modern army? Is that realistic? Of course it is, it's not like it's not already happening, it's not like [url=]twenty minutes into the future[/url] it won't be even more common. And there's already at least one game that does it. Now if only Combat Arms wasn't inherently flawed for being styled off of Korean MMOs. But major releases never even bother to try, hell, most of hte time they don't even have female models in them period, not even as NPCs in single player. Because they are being lazy and they aren't marketing to us, mostly, and that is exactly what's pissing me off.

Or even a non-soldier. It's not like all modern games have to be about the army. Crimecraft comes to mind, but then again it sucks so it's hardly a good example, and besides, it also sexualizes its female PCs anyway. So a more appropriate one would be Left 4 Dead. Zoey was actually the most popular character in Left 4 dead (poll by Valve)-- there's pretty much noone like her. Yet nobody is taking advantage of this sort of popularity and adding these kinds of characters to their games, making me wonder about the (lack of) capability of the gaming industry's marketing departments.

Or hell, a badass female lead in a futuristic setting for an FPS game. These are a bit more common, from Samus Aran on the Wii, to Global Agenda on the PC, and a few more. Yet even here, where the rigors of fiction take place and lower the barrier for believability (yes, I've seen and heard some male gamers openly despise Zoey and Rochelle for this reason, as their sexist beliefs are so ingrained in their heads that they can't comprehend a woman actually doing anything heroic), it's incredibly rare to see a woman for any purpose other than sex appeal.

Hell, older games such as Quake or Unreal Tournament or Doom managed to do it, yet newer games seem incapable of it, the devs usually citing that it's too much work. Unreal Tournament 3, for example had believable female characters who were armored up like everyone else, and it's a pity the game itself was kinda flawed and unpopular. Halo Reach has them (and it basically only really means new voice acting there, which I'm perfectly fine with), but as before, I'm not going to be able to play THAT for a long time no matter how much I want it. Maybe I should try and sell my PS3 so I can buy a 360 because it's not like my PS3 has many games I actually want to play these days.  Where are the Zoeys and Rochelles and Alyxes of the genre?  Sadly, they're mostly just missing, as developers don't bother to market to women.  The perceived barrier between what women like and what men like is diminishing every year, so I hope that, eventually, it'll go away entirely, or at least as much as this sex-driven society can allow it.

Will I still play FPS games despite their rather lackluster attempts to appeal to me as a female gamer? Of course I will, I like the genre for it gameplay, and even their storylines.  I enjoyed Quake 4's story, and certainly Half Life 2 was one of the best ones ever made.

I just haven't been enjoying the genre as much as I would like, because there's almost never a character that represents me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello there.

I'm not really a public person, so I don't know if I'll be updating this much.

For those of you that see it, hello there!  I am Melissia, or at least, I try to be known as that wherever I go.  It's hard sometimes, as the name is often taken (Though not as often as I would suspect).

Mostly... I was inspired to write this blog simply out of annoyance with the lack of attention the gaming industry gives female gamers.  I look at every new FPS game to be released on Steam... and... not a single one lets me play a female character.  This might seem petty-- and I know ther's plenty of worthless people out there that would flame me for holding this position-- but there's already a googol of male characters, and most of them are the same.  It would be nice to see a well-done female character in an FPS game that was actually PLAYABLE in the single player and multiplayer modes.

There's, inevitably, going to be some douchebag saying that "you shouldn't have to have a female character to enjoy the game".  No, I don't... I quite enjoyed a lot of games with male leads-- from the days of DOS gaming (Quake, Duke Nukem, etc) to more modern games such as Half Life 2, Metro 2033, and Call of Honor / Medal of Duty series..  It's just that that's pretty much every single one, and most of them blend in together where I can't tell one game's characters apart from another, and there is barely a one where one can play a female character, never mind a female lead.

Most recently, I was looking at Home Front on Steam.  Its setting was awesome, and it was a perfect setup to allow for female characters-- but they didn't put them in, saying it was too much work to do it.  And just like that, there goes my anticipation for the game... it's extremely disheartening to see, time and time again, that game developers really just don't give a damn about your demographics.

Looking at the list of FPS games that came out this year.  This is based mostly off of searches and the company's own previews., as well as personal knowledge in the case of games that I actually own.

MAG:  No playable female characters.

BioShock 2::  Female playable characters in multiplayer only.

Aliens vs. Predator:  No playable female characters.

NecroVisioN: Lost Company:  No playable female characters.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2:  No playable female characters.

Operation Wolfsburg:  No playable female characters.

Metro 2033:  No playable female characters.

Red Steel 2:  No playable female characters.

Terror Attack: Project Fateh:  No playable female characters.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior:  No playable female characters.

Singularity:  No playable female characters.

Terrorist Takedown 3:  No playable female characters.

Halo Reach:  Option to be female as the lead.

GoldenEye 007 Wii:  No playable female characters.

Call of Duty: Black Ops:  No playable female characters.

So that leads this year to be a total of two thus far... but only if you count multiplayer-only as one (let's call it one half, as that's really only half the game anyway).  So 1.5 female leads this year, and 15 male leads.  A pity Halo Reach isn't going to be released any time soon on the PC, because Ireally wanted to try it out... but I don't have a 360 (nor am I going to in the foreseeable future).

Well, that's today's little rant.  Enjoy.