Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George t…

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

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A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

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A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

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Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

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A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

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Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George t…

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

Read more

A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

Read more

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

Read more

Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

Read more

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

Read more

Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George to respond to something, note that the limit does not exist, or chastise someone for trying to make something happen that’s not going to happen. This is one of those movies that truly defines a generation.

Today it finally becomes a video game. Cue every gay squee noise I can muster.

meangirls logo

Via So Much Drama Studios:

“If You Have Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George, This Game is For You

Designed as an easily accessible ‘tiara-defense’ game, Mean Girls finds the original Plastics at peace with their world, when a new upstart Plastics clique attempts to take control of North Shore High School by piecing together the broken Spring Fling Tiara. Players can select from eight of their favorite Mean Girls characters—Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, and Kevin, each with their own distinct boost abilities—and all the cliques from the cafeteria, to help defeat opponents and complete each level.”

The mobile “tiara-defense” game is not unlike your standard tower-defender: You place troops, you set up traps, and you keep the oncoming hoards of enemies away from their goal. Only this time around your troops are who you hang out with and the enemies are the opposing cliques.

Comic mean girls

While it may not seem like an obvious genre to slap the Mean Girls name on, it’s actually quite clever. Just as in the original film the cafeteria is a carefully mapped out warzone, with factions ranging from the Varsity jocks to the girls who eat their feelings to the burnouts to the Plastics. And just as Lindsay Lohan’s Katy Herron went to war with Regina George, players will go to war to protect their tiara from those who’d try to snatch it away.

Does this sound like the most fabulous game ever, or does this sound like the most fabulous game ever? Who would come up with such a game? None other than So Much Drama’s Jeff Medor, creator of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis, one of our gayest games of the year two years running. As was the case with Dragopolis, Mr. Meador isn’t trying to make a lazy licensed tie-in game…he wants this to be a product that true fans will enjoy through and through.

Mean Girls is hilarious, brutal, and endlessly quotable; I absolutely loved watching and re-watching the film,” said Jeff Meador, founder and president, So Much Drama. “The game is rich with the quirky humor, over-the-top high school power struggles, and everything from hilarious lines, peppermint foot cream, to, yes, the Burn Book.”

Burn Book mean girls

No matter which clique players belong to, from band geeks and preps to regulation hotties, Mean Girls offers seven different ways to play including gameplay modes such as You Can’t Sit With Us, Social Suicide, She Doesn’t Even Go Here, and The Limit Does Not Exist.”

Mean Girls is slated for release on mobile platforms soon. I bet it will make for a great candy-gram.

And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

Read more

A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

Read more

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

Read more

Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

Read more

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

Read more

Preview: Read Only Memories

MidBoss‘ upcoming cyberpunk adventure game Read Only Memories – or ROM – is due for release next year, and, to give would-be players a little taste of what’s to come, they’ve released a playable demo over on their website – and we’ve taken a look to …

Read more
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August 16
2013

Dark Souls 2 Demo Promises Good, But Teases Great

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Dark Souls 2
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While most of my fellow writers were having the best time ever at GaymerX, Namco Bandai invited me out recently to check out a handful of their upcoming titles. The games ranged from the latest incarnations of the Dragon Ball Z and Naruto to not one, not two, but three different Pac-Man games. Oh, and something called Dark Souls 2.

Above anything else, I’m concerned about Dark Souls 2. Not because the series’ director Hidetaka Miyazaki has left direct control of the game in the hands of others or the rumors that the game will feature easier options to entice players intimidated by its harsh, but well deserved, reputation. No, what bothers me is that it’s Dark Souls…2.

Sequels have a sketchy history in this industry, and rarely can a game as demanding and original as Dark Souls survive a second go-around without it becoming a blemish on the franchise’s history. The splendor tends to become diluted and many sequels fall prey to “more of the same, but with better graphics” syndrome, almost like knockoffs of the original. (Side note—I’m ignoring Dark Souls’ connection to Demon’s Souls as a spiritual successor since the two are only related by basic mechanics and design philosophy. It’s a tenuous link at best.) The demo I played through did little to alleviate this fear.

A handful sections in the demo played like a direct reaction to or revisiting of specific segments in the first game. Early on, a short run through a basement left me sitting in the dark unless I sacrificed my shield had to carry a torch, bringing up memories of traversing the pitch black Tomb of the Giants in DS1. Later on, spell-slinging enemies tried to snipe me while I was occupied with melee foes, exactly as they did two years ago in the now infamous Sen’s Fortress. While the situations make sense within the context of the game, after all enemies want to avoid death as much as the player, they’re still not exactly new.

Right about here, that spellcaster surprises you with a hello.

They do, however, let From Software show off bits of their new game engine. Though subtle, the new engine allows more fluctuation in the lighting and a more dynamic style, including flashier attacks and fluid enemy movements. Everything on display looks fantastic and holds tight to the gritty medieval designs of the series.

On the other end of the spectrum, the biggest differences I noticed felt less like an advancement of the gameplay and more like someone else’s attempt at it.

For example, you move faster than before, but swing your sword or raise your shield much slower. Similarly, your stamina refreshes after a longer delay. Upon starting the demo, I ran over to a pair of zombie soldiers, let loose a few slashes, mistimed blocking all of their counterattacks, and died. My second attempt was more successful, but everything continued to feel…off. It felt like I had ordered a Coke-a-Cola at a restaurant and was served a Pepsi instead. For some, unnoticeable, but for devoted fans, a world of difference.

There are many possible explanations, of course. Maybe the weapons my character was using, a longsword, medium shield, and massive greatsword, were just on the slow side. Maybe a stat like dexterity affects attack speed and mine was simply low (I couldn’t view my inventory or stats). Maybe these animation windows are still being tweaked and the demo won’t reflect the final product. A handful of relatively small differences between this new game and the one we all know and love/hate may not seem like much, but they add up to a drastically different feel in a game with such tight, punishing gameplay.

All that being said, nothing on display put me off from the game, it was just different and different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. As I said earlier, I’m concerned that Dark Souls 2 won’t surpass the high bar set by its predecessor. But I would love to be surprised.

I was, unfortunately, not good enough to make it to the boss.

One final note—I took the opportunity to ask about co-op options and what expansions to the online system we could expect to see. Though representatives refused to directly answer my questions about matchmaking and finding specific friends to play with, they assured me that the development team had discussed the role of co-op and fans who love to adventure together. Is it too much to ask for an easier way to find specific allies or the inclusion of voice chat?

Probably, but with more resources dedicated towards online play and the unrevealed elements of how covenants will play out in the sequel, there’s still hope yet.

Dark Souls 2 is scheduled for a March 2014 release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

2 Responses

  1. avatar Shin Gallon says:

    Given that I have neither the time nor the patience to play the same 30 second section of a game 4,000 times in order to advance through it, I never played Demon nor Dark Souls. So the rumored “easier mode” might indeed entice me to play this one.

  2. avatar Dean DeCuir says:

    “Easier mode” is not going to happen. One thing the developers from From Software want to assure in all of their interviews so far is that they want to achieve the integrity of the series while offering something new to challenge players. Making an easier difficulty would directly go against that. I read in a recent article (not sure how valid it is) that they have no plans on stream lining connecting with friends in multi-player. They say that Dark Souls is meant to be played with random players. This is something I disagree with and I feel limits the game’s potential. Hopefully if this is true, they will reevaluate their plans.

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