Monday, August 30, 2010

Demi Review: Shank

Here at Game Like a Girl we like to give games the benefit of the doubt and give them the chance to be awesome before we write them off, but sometimes you can't even get through the demo, which is why we have created the Demi Review.

2D side-scrollers are back. That's cool. But if you are gonna do it, then it need to be more than just a high-res button masher. Unfortunately, and somewhat unsurprisingly, Shank is a full out button-masher.  Sure, at some point I was able to do a pretty sweet move where I pounced on someone and proceeded to stab them repeatedly while simultaneously shooting some other guy, but that gets old after about a minute and half.

I'll give it credit for having unique and consistent art, and maybe I've just spent too much of my time in San Francisco, but the opening sequence looked a lot more like a leather bar than one frequented by bad-ass luchadores (huh? yeah). Evidently at some point there's a lady or two, but where I'm from that many tiny waists, well developed shoulders and well groomed facial hair means something else. Too bad it doesn't take place in my neck of the woods, it would probably be a lot more interesting.

Kittens Love Duck Hunt

There, did that make your Monday better?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

I'll be honest. This is the first Lara Croft game I have ever played. It was a little hard to pick up any of the Tomb Raider games when the protagonist is the epitome of impossible biology and poorly planned outfits. But, this blog is called Game Like a Girl, I HAD to download it. And I have to give Square-Enix credit (or XBLA or whoever made the decision) that there are no gravity defying boobs in the promo pic (above). That gave me hope. Did they finally figure out that a lot of people play video games to, oh I don't know, play the game rather than get their yahoos over a bunch of pixels?

Yeah, nope. This is what you're lookin' at for the majority of the game:

This position is also a recurring theme:

Sure, Totec ain't wearing much either, but if we are going to get all deconstructing exploitation here (Oh, we are? Yes, just a little.) lets discuss the fetishization of oppressed peoples that just happened to have an advanced civilization until the conquistadors, as the intro so helpfully explains. His outfit at least makes sense in "historical" context. Lara's does not. I mean really, you just told us about hiking through the "dangerous Yucatan" for three weeks. I don't think hot pants are gonna keep the creepy crawlies out of your undies.

But, back to the game play...since its an arcade game with a third person perspective, the action isn't totally thrilling, however it lends itself well to the puzzle aspect of the game. The levels are designed to be visually interesting and complex. The strength of the game is by far the co-op mode. My first run through was in co-op and after that the single player version seemed very stale. The puzzles are exactly the same, only instead of having a partner whose strengths and weapons you have to coordinate to succeed, you work your way though assisted by giant balls. Yep, giant balls.

I think the single player mode could have been helped by levels that Lara has to navigate on her own (sans balls). The intro tells us all about her finding the mirror and fighting with tomb raiders who are also trying to steal artifacts (for profit, not education like our heroine). That storyline would have been awesome to play, but then it is an arcade game you download for about 15 bucks, we can't expect too much.

So yeah, an archeologist smashing around ancient Mayan ruins in a crop top and being condescending to a 2,000 year-old revived member of the original civilization. Whatever, Indiana Jones does the same thing with added Nazi's and more appropriate clothing choices. In the end, its a video game. A fun, cheap summer download that has a great multiplayer option.

But come on...if Wonder Woman can finally get rid of her skirt, isn't it about time Lara found some pants? Those holsters really have to chafe the inner thigh.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Favorite Thing

A free game (or $3 iPhone app...) featuring robot unicorns, rainbows, and a soundtrack by Erasure?


(Also awesome: this is what shows up when you fail)

BTW, this is strikingly similar to my most recent favorite piece of art work by honorary girl gamer, Adam (featured in this sweet ass concert promo poster).

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