Dark Souls 2 Demo Promises Good, But Teases Great

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.

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An Outside Recounting of EA’s Full Spectrum Event

When a big name publisher like EA holds an event to talk about LGBT issues in video games, it’s pretty obvious that places like Gaygamer.net are going to be there in full force. I mean, it’s what we do, after all. But what about other outlets that don’t typically have an LGBT focus?

Over on Gamasutra, Leigh Alexander has put together her notes on the EA Full Spectrum event, and it is definitely worth your time. She conducted a handful of interviews with various academics and developers for their thoughts on how the industry has dealt with (or more commonly, not dealt with) LGBT players. There’s also a few nuggets of insight about the indie-triple A development relationship and how genre doesn’t need to be the deciding factor for inclusion (as our own Chris Eades noted in his post event write up, RPGs don’t have to be the only kind of game that feature us).

“The passionate LGBT gaming community has felt unheard, like an afterthought at best, for so long that it’s unlikely that early steps taken by EA or any other publisher are going to immediately impress, or even satisfy everyone. And consumers are right to be skeptical any time a massive, for-profit company decides to start saying it’s genuinely concerned about the safety and happiness of alienated consumers.”

It’s definitely an interesting read on LGBT issues for a non-LGBT focused publication, which tend to have a more timid approach to these problems until someone else trailblazes the path a bit. Go check it out.

via: Gamasutra

LoZ Hack Lets Zelda Finally Have The Game To Herself

Remember a week ago when a father hacked Donkey Kong to switch the places of Mario and Pauline for his daughter when she wanted to play as the girl? Well naturally, this act (and the first Tropes vs. Women in Games video) inspired other people to go out and swap a few heroes for damsels.

A hack for the original Legend of Zelda gives the titular character a chance to protect the world of Hyrule from the villainous Gannon and rescue the fair…dude, Link. Anyone interested in grabbing the swap patch can find information in the video.

And in the craziest turn of events, the character replacement has zero effect on how fun the game is! Who would have thought that an adventure game starring a woman could be so dynamic and interesting? (sarcasm)

Oh, and the creator of this hack has also put together a neat little page describing exactly how she did the work. It doesn’t look very difficult to swap out a few character frames. Maybe some dedicated gaygamers could put together a project of their own, eh?

Police Reveal Connecticut Shooter Kept Scoresheet, Implicate Video Games Further

It’s been a long time since we saw major media outlets blaming violent tragedies on video games. Oh, silly me, that’s right. It’s actually only been four days.

Yet here we are again seeing major news outlets picking up the story of the Newtown, Connecticut shooter and his connection to video games. A report by the New York Daily News has revealed that the shooter kept a massive spreadsheet detailing information on other killers.

They’re calling him a deranged gamer. According to their police informant, it seems the shooter wanted to be the ‘best’ of the worst and rack up more kills than other mass shooters had managed before.

“This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list. They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills.”

What do we say to defend ourselves from this kind of attack on our medium? Or what about these quotes a bit later on?

“In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that’s why he killed himself.”

“These guns, one of them an AR-15, in the hands of a violent, insane gamer. It was like porn to a rapist. They feed on it until they go out and say, enough of the video screen. Now I’m actually going to be a hunter.”

I’m honestly speechless. This violence debate seems primed to get a whole lot worse before it gets even a tiny bit better.

via: New York Daily News

Double Fine Joins With Capy Games Bearing Discounted Gifts

If you’re one of the millions of video game players like me who has never tried out Double Fine Production’s Psychonauts, you’ll soon have even less of an excuse to put it off. Double Fine announced today that not only are they sharing a booth space at PAX East with Capy Games, but they’re also smashing some of their best titles together into one big, giant, really ridiculously awesome steam bundle.

Alongside Psychonauts, the other six games in the bundle include Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Critter Crunch, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes, and Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP. All those games your more indie aligned friends have been talking about for years for the price of $34.99.

I know. My wallet suddenly got lighter, too.

The bundle will only be available from March 21st to March 29th, so make sure to snag it while you can. And if you’re heading out to PAX East, keep an eye out for the Double Fine/Capy booth. They’ll be selling a special boxed version of the bundle and a convention-exclusive shirt commemorating the super team-up. Their booth will be the one surrounded by the starstruck nerds wearing video game t-shirts and jorts. You can’t miss it.