Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Barmecide

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  1. Hey, just wanted to start off by saying that 3MA is my go-to for critical discussions about strategy games. Here's to hopefully another great year. That being said, I went back to some of the old episodes - specifically the time you reviewed/discussed Europa Universalis IV way back in 2013 - and downloaded it, only to find it wasn't about EUIV; instead, it covered rebel and dissent mechanics in other games compared to the implementation in EUIV. Downloaded the Rebels, Dissent & Treason episode to check, and it's about Neuroshima Hex. So it seems that at some point in the archives the labeling went awry and the episode contents are one ahead of the actual episode number. It might be something weird on my side (but if it is heaven knows what it is). I don't use iTunes so that might be the cause. Could someone confirm by downloading from the episode page or RSS feed?
  2. Keiji Inafune's Mighty No.9

    Those character and enemy designs certainly seem... derivative. Putting aside the fact that I'd love to see this come to fruition, can he actually get away with it? I'm sure Capcom must be poring over this with a fine comb.
  3. Some fantastic recommendations in here - never heard of Stoner, but I'll be locating it at soon as possible. I'm just going to a list a couple of recommendations with no preamble: Stand on Zanzibar, by John Brunner. Karoo, by Steve Teisch. Tokyo Year Zero, by David Peace Headgames, a collection of Nick Earls' short fiction.
  4. Dragon's Crown: Gaze past the giant witch tits

    @Reyturner, I haven't yet. I'd like to pick up the EU release, so I'm waiting for that. I'm very keen, though. @Tirranek, Fair enough, and all valid points. I'm afraid I disagree with you on the assessment of its high fantasy roots, but that's more opinion than anything else. By pulp fiction, I assume you're referring to sword and sorcery literature, which is similar to high fantasy in some respects but deviates in many key areas. Sword and sorcery is definitely more masculine/sexist. Certainly, Dragon's Crown does seem to draw from both, but I would argue that it leans more heavily towards high fantasy than sword and sorcery. With regards to the minstrel show analogy, I'm going to say: no, it would not be better, but their reason for using it might be justified. Context is everything. Why's the artist making a game with really hackneyed stereotypes of black people? What's the motive? If, for example, they're using it in a way as to highlight continued stereotypes of black people, then perhaps it's useful, cutting. If it's because they're looking to be deliberately provocative... well, that's also fine, but utterly distasteful. It far worse if they're defaulting to stereotypes because they haven't even thought about it. I know people would argue that what most artists trot out for portraying x in a y manner is more often an excuse rather than a reason. I think Kamitani's earned a little more credibility in the varied manner in which he's portrayed his other female characters to warrant the benefit of the doubt.
  5. Dragon's Crown: Gaze past the giant witch tits

    I can't see how you can get annoyed about being quoted literally when you throw out a statement like "wank ironically". I construed that statement was somehow related to your former about character designs, breasts and gameplay mechanics. You post seemed to imply that the only reason they chose such a style was because they wanted to titillate you. It's terrible when people make assertions about the intent of the things you write or create, right? I didn't 'dodge' anything. In my mind, the consistency does makes things less murky - everything in this game is hyper-exaggerated. Hate to repeat myself, but I did indicate that consistency doesn't mean it isn't sexist, just that it's in line with the typical style of high fantasy. I think that does validate Vanillaware's choice; it's just not a validation some people are happy with. The game is set in a fantasy realm and they chose to mimic the style prevalent in high fantasy with numerous shout-outs and references to existing works. It is pandering, but not in a purely sexually-demeaning fashion. I think both Danielle's Polygon review and Amanda's have lot of merit. Danielle makes a number of valid points, and is completely in her rights to disagree with the art style and the liberties it takes. I prefer Amanda's interpretation. EDIT: Another piece to read with replies from Kamitani is this here Forbes article.
  6. Dragon's Crown: Gaze past the giant witch tits

    Interesting. So Kamitani's reason for choosing these character designs is solely for the purpose of a quick wank? 'Seems' is still a far jump from 'is'. I must say, Amanda's review (The humour of a site called Tap Repeatedly reviewing Dragon's Crown is not lost on me.) touched on a point that every other reviewer failed to emphasize - the art style is consistent in it's execution. Which isn't to say it's not sexist; just consistent, and in line with the tropes of high fantasy.
  7. Gone Home from The Fullbright Company

    Eagerly looking forward to picking this up when I have money again at the end of the month. I posted about this on one of my country's local forums, and the response has been... underwhelming, basically fluctuating between "It's not a game" to "It's a game, but a $2-3 game". What can you do? Otherwise, this one's for Steve:
  8. I must say that after Jake's ascension on the previous episode, I'm just a little disappointed the title for this one isn't "The Fall of Jake Rodkin".
  9. Feminist Frequency

    I consider the video an absolute success. Regardless of its perceived quality or subject matter, the fact that so many people are talking about it puts a spotlight on the issue, which forces the conversation even if the participants aren't exactly happy about, well, participating. I'm interested in what Jake said about the counter-points supporting her argument rather than undermining it. I do have to wonder what's the defining moment of cognitive transformation between "Oh shit, Meryl released me? That was totally unexpected because she is a women and I thought I'd be the one to overpower the guard," and "Oh shit, Meryl released me? Fuckin' A. Let's roll." I mean, I personally prefer female characters that are not overtly sexualised and are strong, independent and self-sufficient - but is this preference in itself sexist? After all, the focus here is that they appeal to me more than the Damsel in Distress trope. So do I consider a women to be less worthy of empathising or sympathising with unless she's of the former described archetype and not the latter? Maybe. That's kind of hard to admit. I don't even consider the "Princess" in early games like Mario as a human being, if I'm honest about it. Not maliciously, but the trope is so overused as to render the subject on the same level as a McGuffin. I don't care that I've saved Princess Peach when I reach the end of Mario or whoever it was in Double Dragon. They've become shorthand in the language of games - a goal-marker that represents my own personal achievement. That's kind of disturbing. I think we're getting better at equitable representation, though. Take the new Karateka, which Anita cites as a Damsel in Distress example. In fact, the game addresses the trope in a very subtle way. By having the three playable characters representing your lives, you are forced to consider how the Princess feels when she is rescued by each. She still wants to be rescued, but by her beloved. And although the brute and the monk can get the job done, she doesn't suddenly throw her arms around them - she remains a person with her own needs and desires. Whether or not that was intentional is up for debate. Dead Space is another odd choice as a citation. By all accounts, Nicole Brennan is not a Damsel in Distress - she's a capable and professional medical officer, vulnerable to extreme psychological pressure and crisis (as most of us are) and then later a symbol of Isaac's own guilt. Isaac didn't join the crew destined for the Ishimura to rescue her - he joined the crew because communications went dead and he was worried about her, which seems like a reasonable course of action. I'm not saying that these choices undermine Anita's argument, but rather that there is alot of room for discussion and debate - certainly, beyond that which can be covered in a single video. I look forward to her future videos.