Wet

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nice article, and surprised that there isn't as much gratuitous swearing as the others. :O where is all the swearing that made you so lovably hateful?! >.<

Good article. Personally I don't mind that the reviews are later than others, as I often get a chance to play them and then see if Yahtzee's opinion matches with mine. Like in the Call of Juarez review, which was a couple of weeks after I completed it I agreed with everything he said at the time.

Well, There are some female characters that can be hard, and not bitchy. female Shepard, for example.

Darn real life and how it keeps me from replying to an article for, oh, say, 109 entries. I wonder if anyone will read inane ramble #110. Anyway.

Are there any strong female leads? I'm not good with literary stuff but I thought Ashe from FF12 was a good character. (Maybe it's because of her dramatic, tide-turning entrance in the battle against Fenrir, but that only happened to me.) Maybe her role as "displaced ruler turned freedom fighter" was 2D, but it was a complex and well-written 2D.

And for the record, I played the Princess Peach game and loved it. With her umbrella for whacking enemies and her float ability from Super Mario 2, she outclasses Mario/Luigi in general "I can survive the level"ism. (And I always picked her in SMB2--she did things the guidebook said were impossible, like jumping straight to Fryguy in 4-3.)

lol, why are you making excuses for pushy arrogant children...MAAAH i want brutal legend...

your getting soft, just review what you want, thats what i would do

Some good examples of "good" female characters bought up (particuarly good call on Terra and Celes). One which i feel need a mention is Glados from portal. Not an admirable character by any means, nor strictly speaking a woman, but shes undeniably feminine and a superbly written character. You could, if you wanted to, dismiss her as a mysogynist "illogical woman" archetype, but that's the point. As a character who more or less takes up the whole of one off the most beloved videogame narratives in years, Glados is immensely appealing as an antagonist, subtlety written and characterised, and offers a tremendous amount of food for thought and depth of interpretation. Feminist criticism is usually one of my bugbears, but there's some very good stuff written on Portal from that perspective. So yeah, Glados rocks. And stuff.

my favourite female character is joanna dark from the original perfect dark. she struck me as sensible, efficient and more concerned with doing the job right than showing off. in fact, when her temporary sidekick pulls off a bit of a cocky move she slaps him down. but she doesn't get all badass in his face, she very angrily but very non violently questions his professionalism.

Well written, relatively elequant savaging of topic, well done for the rape, nicely done a always. (I don't mean to sound sarcastic if I do)

You could argue that this was all done "ironically" (a word that is swiftly becoming the equivalent of the word "NOT" in the movie Wayne's World)

FUCKING THIS.

Well, no matter about Brutal Legend. I am all up for being surprised this week. And there is also the-after the hype- thingy Yahtzee mentioned. He does have a plus and I like that. I try to use that when I write reviews as well and it is a huge advantage.

The only strong female characters I can think of in video games (excluding create-a-charcter like in mass effect) are the women from R.P.Gs, Final Fantasy,6,7,8 for example, they almost always have have great characterization and back story e.g. Terra.

I seriously cant think of another genre with good female characters in it.

Edit: Oh! Alyx Vance! and that girl from Brutal Legend they're both good

TitsMcGee1804:
lol, why are you making excuses for pushy arrogant children...MAAAH i want brutal legend...

your getting soft, just review what you want, thats what i would do

Nah, he just doesn't want the gaming community to boycott him.

OT:
I'm glad you said this. I don't really think Rubi was a good example of a stong female character. Maybe Lilith from Borderlands would be a better example, but then again, she doesn't really have a speaking role, she's just a badass.

crotalidian:
Well. I braced for impact when I saw that one of my comments had been quoted but I got a concise explanation and also inadvertantly got tipped off to next weeks ZP!

Thanks Yahtzee

I have a feeling some of the more storyline based games are getting bettar with the whole jubblies with characters....I mean Characters with Breasts thing especially with Uncharted, Dragon Age and ME2. Although main character Females still seem to be horrendously portrayed

Uncharted's Ladies have no breasts whatsoever. Naughty Dog knew you would be behind them half the time and so have moulded their buttocks to perfection.

OT: This pretty much summed up exactly what I think about females in games. Although there are some people in the world who are dicks and therefore some characters should be left alone so small brained idiots can call them "Badasses"

Edzor:
Here's a question i'd like Yahtzee to answer in his next Extra Punctuation:

Do you agree with me that Alyx Vance from HL2 is the best example of an ideal female character in a PC game?

She is smart, she can cry, she has a background, aspirations, she can have feelings, get scared (remember the stalker train part?), make jokes, have a PERSONALITY, she is not slutty, like most female characters in games...

TBH i think that Alyx Vance is the most well defined, realistic and interesting female character in the history of PC games...

Do you agree, Yahtzee?

I agree. She's badass and attractive without being slutty or annoying. I love the depth and emotion she brings to the two Episodes - it really helps put things in perspective and draw you into the story. Have to say she's the best female character of any game I have ever played (not having played much FF, I can't stand turn-based gameplay).

You scare me sometimes, Crowshaw.

At the beinning of the article, you're squeamish about the word "Wet". But by the end, you're describing (in loving detail) what I can only imagine is a combination of breasts, semen, and lutefisk...

Females that have a back story, well there is chick from Perfect Dark, Zoey or something.

What's the gender mix of video game developers as a profession? According to this from 2005 - http://www.gamedev.net/columns/events/coverage/feature.asp?feature_id=41 - its less than 10%. If there are sod all female developers then it might explain some of the skewed depictions.

Hey guys, what do boobs actually look like?

Didn't read the whole comments section, but did anyone notice this is probably the first time yahtzee said "sorry" without being sarcastic, ironic or pulling our leg?

After the "you are idiots, yes you, no, you're not an exception" thing in the last article, is he compensating or just being himself?

Chipperz:
Just wondering (it's come up a few times now in this thread, just not about this subject)...

What did people think of Ophelia from Brutal Legend? She's hot, smart, badass, has a decent backstory and isn't a complete cow to everyone she meets.

Also, I can't say "no" to a decent goth chick.

I quite liked her. She seemed to have a decent character and was strong and capable while still being someone you could relate to.

"You want to make a strong female character, you do the same thing you do to make a strong anything character. Give them a life, a backstory, hopes, dreams, desires. Give them the capacity to feel the whole gamut of emotions. Yes, let them be tough, but let them laugh, and cry, and find things to enjoy in life."

I can't think of any other female character that fits this description like Elena Fisher (Uncharted) - other than Alyx Vance.

Another thoughtful article. Thanks, Yahtzee

I think pigeon-holing the "strong female" character into a 110% cold heartless bitch is a knee-jerk reaction brought upon by the hordes of feminists that scream whenever a female character is portrayed in the "helpless princess" stereotype.

Developers are so afraid of the feminist tounge-lashing that comes from making a female character show actual female traits, they leave them out altogether. The end result being a Terminator that looks like Ellen Ripley. (Aliens, for all you that weren't around in 1986)

Wakefield:

Macksheath:
Nicely written.

I have never seen a tough female character done very well. The only one who came near it was Lara Croft, but- as you mentioned- her viicious tendancy to steal the eyeballs from your sockets didn't seem appealing to me.

Alyx Vance?

Never played Prototype because I lack any X-Box 360 or PS3. :(

Yahtzee, didn't you like Saints Row 2? The 'protagonist' is one of the most ruthless and evil main characters I've seen in a game. Everything s/he does is either for revenge or money, or a combination of both, and aside from that one scene with Carlos, s/he doesn't get any characterization as anything other than a total bitch/bastard. Of course, on the other hand, s/he's not trying to pretend otherwise.

Beltaine:
I think pigeon-holing the "strong female" character into a 110% cold heartless bitch is a knee-jerk reaction brought upon by the hordes of feminists that scream whenever a female character is portrayed in the "helpless princess" stereotype.

I think the spirit of the article here is that bitch and bimbo are opposite ends of the same spectrum and they are equally stupid. The article makes a sound demand: forget gender and sex and develop CHARACTERS. It does seem like only two decisions are made when creating these people: which genitals and which 1D personality will we slap on. Tits, Bitch-->Ruby.

And think carefully before you design your woman in the top 1% of hotness. She'll make 99% of women feel threatened, 100% of men feel like downloading naked pics.

Yahtzee has just said something I've talked about for a while, and amazingly without getting flamed (well not much, and not so far).

Yes, I am getting tired of all the ultra-feminist amazons myself.

It's true, developers seem to have a huge amount of trouble creating a likable female character in a game.

The only one that immediately comes to mind for me is Alyx Vance.

high_castle:
... Ashley Williams in Mass Effect, for instance, was tough but also had a sensitive streak and solid reasons for her demeanor and faults. Oh, and she had faults. And virtues. She wasn't a player character, though.

I killed Ashley :(
I still regret it, too. Even though at the time it seemed the right thing to do for the mission objectives. I think that's an indicator of a good game; over a year later and I still regret a choice I made.

Brütal Legend next week. Cool. Just please don't piss on my culture too much.

My college English teacher had the same problem.

She didn't seem to understand the difference between being a strong and independent woman, and being a c*nt

RabbitDynamite:
Some good examples of "good" female characters bought up (particuarly good call on Terra and Celes). One which i feel need a mention is Glados from portal. Not an admirable character by any means, nor strictly speaking a woman, but shes undeniably feminine and a superbly written character. You could, if you wanted to, dismiss her as a mysogynist "illogical woman" archetype, but that's the point. As a character who more or less takes up the whole of one off the most beloved videogame narratives in years, Glados is immensely appealing as an antagonist, subtlety written and characterised, and offers a tremendous amount of food for thought and depth of interpretation. Feminist criticism is usually one of my bugbears, but there's some very good stuff written on Portal from that perspective. So yeah, Glados rocks. And stuff.

I take your GLADoS and raise you a SHODAN. Again, not strictly a woman, but in System Shock 2 especially (in which SHODAN was a classic vengeful mother-figure) SHODAN was an immensely well-characterised strong feminine character. Also easily the best antagonist of any game I've ever played.

It seems like the only way to get decent female characters is to write them as if they're a male character and then leave the gender decision up to the player, a la Saints Row 2. (But, even then, I'd say it's a gamble, because half the time the male protagonists seem just as empty and wet as their female counterparts, even if they fall into a different set of stereotypes.) Either that or put them into the wonderful nameless, faceless, voiceless category of protagonists, like Chell.

Sometimes I have to wonder if the people who are writing the scripts have ever actually met...you know, people. oO I think it's the eternal problem of trying so desperately hard to make a character likeable that they throw all the cliches of characters from movies or TV sitcoms at them in order to make them marketable. Never mind the fact that nobody actually likes those people. Either that or they're all just author-inserts.

high_castle:
I agree entirely. And being a female gamer, I usually steer clear of female protagonists because they're mostly giant-breasted-fan-service-on-legs or one-dimensional-bitches. Few games manage to give a balanced, multi-dimensional female character. The games I can think of that do are usually RPGs. Ashley Williams in Mass Effect, for instance, was tough but also had a sensitive streak and solid reasons for her demeanor and faults. Oh, and she had faults. And virtues. She wasn't a player character, though.

Agree with that totally, Ashley in Mass Effect was a well developed character that you could identify with and relate to. All the more painful when I had to send her to her death. ;-)

Not just women, but characters in general have been turning me off some games :(

I thought you didnt make your own videos anymore

at least that was what I have been told

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