SJWs Didn’t Do Their Homework: Link is Gender-Neutral by Design

Seen a lot of moaning about how Link isn’t a female in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? We have. Turns out, however, that those complaining were quick to judge the character on his biological appearance. Producer Eiji Aonuma is setting the record straight and reminding those in social justice circles that male anatomy might not be everything there is to a character:

…after Twilight Princess I went back to the drawing board and decided Link should be a more gender-neutral character.

In his longer interview with TIME Magazine he expressed that the design is meant to appeal to a wide range of players and not pigeonhole Link into one identity.

I wanted the player to think ‘Maybe Link is a boy or a girl.’ If you saw Link as a guy, he’d have more of a feminine touch. Or vice versa, if you related to Link as a girl, it was with more of a masculine aspect. I really wanted the designer to encompass more of a gender-neutral figure.

Go figure. 

Throwback Thursday: The Last of Us

Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Developer: Naughty Dog | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: June 2013 / July 2014

The 26th of September, 2013 marked the day the Cordyceps Infection reached a critical mass in The Last of Us. Over two years after players were plunged into Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic universe, how does the game hold up?

This article will discuss the original and the Remastered release of the game as though they are one.

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WHY IT WAS GREAT

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Single Player

The vast majority of gamers agree that The Last of Us almost perfectly nails what a single player experience should be in a video game. The world Naughty Dog has crafted is simply beautiful. The attention to detail given to everything the player can see in the game allows what would otherwise be an otherwise be an overused video game ‘trope’ to become a work of art. Players begin feel an emotional attachment to Joel and Ellie (two name just two of the characters) as the story progresses, something that in part is achieved by the (excellent) animation department at Naughty Dog. Every minute change of expression or emotion can be felt from the character, not only because of the changes visible on their face, but those across their entire body.

Not only is the game visually stunning, the audio in the game is almost breathtaking. One particular moment that comes to mind is one early on in the game: the player is able to send Joel inside of an abandoned truck, where the sound of rainfall changes, becoming more metallic as it bounces off the roof of the truck. This sort of sound design certainly isn’t new to gaming, but the of care Naughty Dog gives to even the most uninteresting of things makes The Last of Us just that little bit more believable

The story told by The Last of Us is near perfection. Though set in a post apocalyptic world, the game manages to avoid become yet another zombie survival title. The story — for the most part — only dabbles in the worldwide issues, instead choosing to focus on issues faced by characters in the own individual worlds as though nothing else matters. The tale told by Naughty Dog allows the player to connect and relate with almost every character in the game, feeling their emotion, morales, drives and sometimes their downright misery.

Multiplayer

To some the multiplayer aspect of the game was merely a tacked on mode with little thought put into it. To others the mode was a fresh new take on what multiplayer could be in a game. Factions pitted the two… factions… from the single player portion of the game against one another in a 4V4 tactical shoot out scenario, with three modes to choose from. What made the multiplayer so great was and still is how it differs from almost every other multiplayer title out there. Rather than the fast, run ’em and gun ’em style shooter, the Factions mode in The Last of Us is a slow, tactical shooter where really the only hope of survival is to stick together and pick off the enemy team.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

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On a personal level, The Last of Us really does live up to the hype. It deserves the praise and acclaim it still receives to this day and sits in the top few spots, if not the top spot of my all-time favourite games. Never before has a game made me feel genuine, heartfelt emotions towards a character, or shed tears when that happened. The game is so expertly and carefully crafted that it almost does nothing wrong.

 

The Last of Us is amazing and saying that doesn’t do it justice. We can only hope Naughty Dog will remain the Naughty Gods with the sequel to the game: There’s More of Us.

A cross-dressing Link doesn’t cut it for everyone

triforce-heroes-zelda-dressNintendo’s upcoming cooperative action-adventure game The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes can be played by a single player, but the game’s developers really want it to be enjoyed by three people simultaneously (sorry, 2 players are actually out of luck!). There’s also apparently a lot of clothing collection involved, because fashion is key in the kingdom where the game takes place and what you wear impacts the game. Nintendo even included a dress, the iconic gown worn by Princess Zelda, for fans wanting to express themselves outside of the usual gender norms.

The gaming press was quick to squander any potential for positivity regarding the issue, with IGN quickly digging in on why there was no female character available when given the opportunity to interview game Director Hiromasa Shikata. According to Shikata the story was simply that the heroes were male, which is unsurprising since most Legend of Zelda games focus on a silent, male protagonist usually named Link. Smelling blood in the water, other gaming sites raced to pick up the story. Polygon, Destructoid and GameSpot all lined up pieces about the gender bombshell, which had been dropped on them as if the almost 30 year old series was about controlling a female protagonist named Zelda.

There’s a line between encouraging diversity and respecting the right of artists to tell their own tale. When gaming sites write that the story “requires male heroes” (GameSpot) and infers that blaming gender choices based on how the background of the game has been constructed, there’s no longer a respect for the medium. Why does any game have male or female protagonists? Because that’s how their individual stories were written. It isn’t an excuse, it is simply design.

The games that offer choices to players are usually immersive titles which want the players to put themselves into the game, but Legend of Zelda has traditionally just accepted a player name in terms of customization. There are outfits now! And dresses! But the additions don’t add up to much when the top Google search results are crowing about the lack of female Link clones. Would interest be as high if there were three identical Princess Zeldas working together as the protagonists? Yes, perhaps even even more. Unfortunately, this is not that game.

Not everyone is going to be thrilled that the Nintendo 3DS gets another Zelda title and the cooperative aspect may not please all, but sexism isn’t one of the game’s problems. What are your thoughts?

Rampage, the Classic Arcade Game, hits the big screen!

Remember the Midway Arcade Game Rampage?

If you don’t recall this 1986 arcade game, perhaps you remember its sequels Rampage World TourRampage 2: Universal TourRampage Through TimeRampage Puzzle Attack, and the latest, which hit the Wii console, Rampage: Total Destruction.

90’s kids, if you don’t recognize this classic, you need to reevaluate your childhood! I remember playing Rampage World Tour on my Game Boy Color, taking turns once the police mowed us down, for hours, smashing every window of every building possible and throwing innocent civilians left, right, up at the sky and down into the ground.

So, why am I bringing this up? Well, because, Rampage will see its very own live action movie adaptation, starting production in summer 2016! Did we want this? No, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone say “Hey, remember Rampage? How cool would it be to see The Rock take on that big monkey? Or that giant lizard? Or that psychotic rat?” Oh, I forgot to mention, Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson will be in the movie.

Cool guys always walk away from destruction.
Cool guys always walk away from destruction.

We didn’t want this, but we sure are excited.  Not much else is known but we’ll keep you updated. Let us at RL know if you too, are excited for the movie adaptation of Rampage!

Hyrule Warriors coming to 3DS and bringing two familiar faces

As seen in this newly discovered trailer:

The original Hyrule Warriors on Wii U is being ported and produced by companies Team Ninja and Omega Force for a Nintendo 3DS adaptation. It is unofficially announced as of now but as you can see it appears the game will be contain all the characters from the Wii U version…plus two more!

It has also been discovered that purchasing the 3DS version while already owning the original Wii U version will allow the owner to unlock King of Hyrule and Tetra on their Wii U as well.

hw3ds

 

What do you think of this big news!? This will be the newest Zelda game on the 3DS following the enormous Majora’s Mask 3DS release, and now Zelda fans who own a 3DS but not a Wii U will get the chance to finally play the renowned Hyrule Warriors.