Just another day on the streets of Prohibition-era Chicago.Just another day on the streets of Prohibition-era Chicago.

This is the next in a series featuring games with prominent female characters, oftentimes the protagonist.  Some you’ve heard of, some you haven’t.  Some I might write, some might come from others.  But they do exist.

There are some games that puiblishers stake their reputation on.  In the 1990s, Japanese studio Wolf Team did just that.  Going quite the opposite of what the rest of the industry did, they came up with an homage to Indiana Jones and all those 1930s pulp serials.  The result was Ernest Evans, the first in the Annet Trilogy...and also the last.  Why?  Well, more on that later, but let's get to the protagonist of the majority of the games and the game that brought her to attention in the US.  

I'm obviously talking about Annet Myer and El Viento, and the wild, unusual ride this melancholy masterpiece would take, and the ignominious end of it all

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"This"This

Wired has published a fascinating piece on the end of the big-name videogame designer in Japan.  The article’s author, Chris Kohler, states that the videogame industry is “too expensive, too risky a business to be left up to the creative whims of a single auteur. But that’s precisely what the Japanese game business was, for a long time”, and that the departure of luminaries such as (by dint of the studios they were once attached to:) Konami’s Hideo Kojima, Capcom’s Keiji Inafune, Namco’s Toru Iwatani and Sega’s Yuji Naka.  Sure, there’s still Shigeru Miyamoto over at Nintendo, and Goichi Suda over at Gung Ho, but they’re special cases: in the former, he’s far more involved with executive decisions than the actual games, while in the latter Suda left Human Entertainment for his own company (Grasshopper), which got swallowed up by Gung Ho.

So, Kohler’s right: the age of the auteur is over.  Welcome to Hollywood, Part II.

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The original Ragnarok Online, much troubled by private servers.The original Ragnarok Online, much troubled by private servers.

Server emulators (better known as private servers): it’s an issue that often plagues various games, and for various reasons.  The original Ragnarok Online, for example, had PSes abound by the dozens because of both the server software leak and a belief that Gravity wasn’t running their local versions (especially the US servers) very well.  Others, such as the recent Blade & Soul, have had PSes pop up after disgruntled gamers waited for years without a response for an English version before enterprising Russian hackers decided to come up with one.  In even more cases, some, such as the now-defunct Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe, are being resurrected by hackers long after Sega shut the servers down.

I’m not going to personally qualify the value of PSes, though I do believe in the value of keeping history alive, and PSes help to do that.  I was more interested about what others think.  So I asked a group of gamers on Steam, and this is what we came up with.  Some answers were edited for clarity and nothing further.

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They see me rollin’, they hatin’, trying t’ catch me riding dirty…They see me rollin’, they hatin’, trying t’ catch me riding dirty…

This is the next in a series featuring games with prominent female characters, oftentimes the protagonist.  Some you’ve heard of, some you haven’t.  Some I might write, some might come from others.  But they do exist.

You know, the 90s were filled with all sorts of fantasy games.  Altered BeastGolden AxeAdvanced Dungeons & Dragons: the Arcade GameCrossbowGauntlet, etc.  And I need not say anything about the billion and one JRPGs that have this setting.  So you would think that some games that hew more to this aesthetic would have been successful, right?

Unfortunately, some never really get out of their shell – Dahna: Megami Tanjō is just one example.

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Dammit, I demand my half-dressed…whatever class she is! (img: 2P)Dammit, I demand my half-dressed…whatever class she is! (img: 2P)

In the interest of being fair, I also got my wife involved in this.  For her comments, those will be tagged.

Okay, NCSoft, I have no idea what the hell goes on in that collective dain bramage you call a board of directors.  First you kill off City of Heroes.  Then you decided to screw with the collective fandom of Blade & Soul by doing a “will we won’t we?” with the US release.

And now this?

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