Atlus Holds “Steal Princess” Hostage

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Really, really long ago, there was an evil Demon King. He was evil. Really, really evil. And he did a lot of really, really evil things to a lot of people who didn’t deserve it.

But then the Hero appeared. (Applause!) He defeated the evil Demon King, and everything was good. Really, really good.

But now, centuries later, a new evil has appeared. It’s another demon, not quite as evil as the previous one, but still quite noticeably evil. And he wants to unlock the old Demon King’s power, so he can become even MORE evil.

Does anyone have the courage to stand up to this new evil? Unfortunately, no. However, a lone thief has been volunteered to rid the land of this demon and his minions.

She’s a little reluctant and a little lazy, but she’s ALLLLLL Hero!

No, I didn’t write that. o_O

The above is the official plotline of the new Atlus game for the Nintendo DS. Steal Princess somehow slipped under my radar. I knew it existed and that it was supposed to be quirky and fun (two things that instantly draw me to DS titles) but then I got distracted by my attention span of a fruit fly. But no more!

Steal Princess is a 3-D puzzle platformer with a twist. Instead of the usual save the princess mechanic, you’re playing as a reluctant female thief (or Steal Princess…get it? Ha ha.) who is tasked with saving the kingdom’s prince. Yay feminism? The game has over 150 levels of play, an array of items to collect and utilize and enemies based on the elements to kill. Unlike Pokemon though, where each type is damaged by its opposite, in Steal Princess the creatures can only be hurt by the SAME type. So say you have a flame kobold. Water won’t hurt it but fire will.

But the really cool thing about Steal Princess is the mapmaker. If 150 levels isn’t enough for you, make your own.  As you progress through the game, you will gain access to everything you’ve seen. Use it to create an unlimited number of combinations and then challenge your friends through the DS Wi-Fi capabilities. Or take it to the next level and create something so epic that you become famous throughout the DS world.

Originally slated to be coming out April 21st, the game has unfortunately been pushed back to May 19th. But Atlus has sweetened the news by promising a mini-poster with beautiful art inspired by the game for anyone that pre-ordered Steal Princess or picks it up at launch. And some of the marketing artwork is stunning. This isn’t the mini-poster but the artwork will probably be similar to this style.

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But why are they delaying the game you ask? Well, it’s not buggy or anything. An Atlus spokesperson tried to shed some light:

Releasing a few weeks later gives us more time to familiarize gamers with this creative, original title,” stated Tim Pivnicny, VP of Sales and Marketing at Atlus. “Because Steal Princess will be available through fewer sales channels and in smaller quantities than other Atlus releases, finding the optimal launch conditions is critical to ensuring that this daring new release avoids getting lost in an already busy April.

So spread the word people, lest they decide to hold this game hostage to their marketing ploy indefinitely.

Steal Princess has been rated “E10” for Everyone 10 and older with Language, Mild Fantasy Violence, and Suggestive Themes by the ESRB.

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Valentine’s Day Massacre

In honor of Valentine’s Day (yes it’s super early but the newspaper I work for wanted the article by the 15th so nyah), my article today was going to focus on the romantic relationships of classic video game couples. Mario and Peach. Link and Zelda. You get the idea. But as my research spiraled out of control thanks to Google search, I realized something. These girls are kind of sad. At least in their original forays into the lexicon of classic gaming. Women who not only were incapable of defending themselves, but also suffered from some sort of amnesia that kept them from beefing up security to stave off these frequent kidnapping attempts. So instead of a happy frolic through fuzzy romance, this month I’m looking at ten female characters kick butt and kill mindless minions with the best of the boys. Warning, there may be things that one could consider spoilers below.

  1. Mrs. Pac-Man: Sure she started off as an unauthorized sequel to the drug like addiction that was Pac-Man. But she was also the first female character to achieve massive celebrity. Premiering in 1981, people around the world fed quarter upon quarter into the local arcade. The levels were addicting, and killing blue ghosts was just as fun as ever. But surprisingly people were also interested in her plot, thin as it may be. Only a few small scenes; from meeting Pac-Man to their eventual stork delivery but it was enough to catapult the game to legendary status and open the door for future female protagonists.
  2. Samus Aran: The original butt kicking girl. For anyone that came of age in the late eighties, the discovery that the power suit wearing, alien killing, acrobatic cyborg that saved the galaxy from certain doom was actually a hot chick in a bikini left you staring at your television in disbelief. How could this be? Even the manual referred to the main character as a “he”. Up is down, black is white. The world no longer made sense. In one moment, an entire generation of pre-teen boys was emasculated. They’d been tricked into playing a girl. Once the shock wore off though, Samus became beloved by all and a model for future female characters.
  3. Chun Li: No list of girls that rocked would be complete without Chun Li. Debuting in 1991 in Street Fighter II, it was the first time quarter-toting kids could play as a female in a one-on-one fighting game. With thunder thighs and an infuriating giggle when she beat you into the ground, Chun Li showed that a woman could look fantastic even while curb stomping your face. With the immense popularity that followed her premiere, scantily clad ladies soon found their way into all fighting games and today are a genre staple.
  4. Princess Peach: What? Didn’t I just completely ridicule her at the beginning of this article? Yes, yes I did. But even though Peach was mostly useless for the sake of the plot she has had two instances where the mold was broken and she indeed kicked butt. Her first attempt was in Super Mario Bros. 2, released in 1988. As a playable character with the ability to float, playing as the lightweight princess was considered the best way to play the game…even topping Mario. That certainly is an achievement on its own. Her ability to hover made precision kills of enemies and bosses almost laughably easy. Then, as recently as 2006, Peach finally got her own game on the Nintendo DS. In Super Princess Peach the tides are turned as she must rescue Mario from the clutches of Bowser. About time, I’d say.
  5. Zelda: Again yes, I did ridicule her for her inability to not get kidnapped but she gets kudos for eventually figuring it out. By 1998 and the release of Ocarina of Time, Zelda had learned to defend herself. Playing an important role as the ninja-tastic Sheik, she helped Link save the world in a more direct manner than usual. Having cut her teeth at being a fully functioning member of society, Zelda went on to become a sassy, back-talking pirate captain in Wind Waker. She’s also reprised her role as Sheik in the popular Super Smash Bros. series where she is considered to be one of the best characters in the one-on-one fighting game.
  6. Lara Croft: The first female protagonist of a new generation, Ms. Croft made her debut to the video game world in 1996. Tomb Raider was a sensation. And while several valid points were made about her being hyper-sexualized it did little to stop her momentum. If she wanted to wear hot pants while solving puzzles, escaping traps, pumping bad guys full of lead and participating in high speed chases, no one was going to stop her. Not to mention that accent. She’s James Bond and Indiana Jones rolled into one and given rockin’ curves.
  7. The Women of Resident Evil: I couldn’t pick just one. Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and Ada Wong have all taken turns at killing zombies and taking names. In a genre usually known, at least in movie form, for victimizing women, Resident Evil gave them a gun. Or five. And a chip on their shoulder. Throughout the series, these ladies have shown that standing up against the legions of the undead is not just for the boys. And with the exception of a very slinky red dress, they’ve managed to stay fully clothed too. A miraculous event in cinema or gaming.
  8. American McGee’s Alice: Released in 2000, the world got to see a new side of Alice. Having been institutionalized after the Red Queen burned down her house and killed her family, Alice begins the game by attacking the orderlies that spent their free time tormenting her in her catatonic state. This certainly isn’t Disney. With sadistic and psychedelic undertones to the world she enters, Alice embarks on a bloody journey to free Wonderland from the despotic rule of the Red Queen. With a razor sharp blade and wit to match, she is one of the most deliciously dark female characters to grace the gaming industry.
  9. Alexandra Rovis: Chances are, you’ve never heard of her. Alexandra starred in the first M rated game released by Nintendo; Eternal Darkness for the Gamecube. Trapped in a possessed house and determined to save herself and solve her grandfather’s murder, she is faced with one of the most psychologically frightening games to date. Alexandra witnesses herself commit suicide, loses her sanity multiple times and still manages to get it together to learn a forgotten magic, how to wield a sword and destroy the evil necropolis beneath the family mansion.
  10. Chell: The main character of Valve’s Portal has it rough. She’s most likely a clone, designed to die. She’s trapped in a labyrinth with a crazy computer that alternately tries to kill her or offer her cake. But does she cry about it and wait for rescue? Nope. She uses her powers of analytical thinking and the space bending powers of the Portal gun to kill her computerized overseer and escape. Take that genetic engineering. Not only that, but she’s got some cool leg gear to boot.

So there you have it. Ten video game chicks that kick bad guy butt in their respective ways. But these are just my picks. Surely there are more. I can think of plenty off the top of my head that didn’t make the list. Feel free to prove me wrong in my choices or merely add your own opinion below. Don’t be shy!

Is this thing on?

Well hello there…giant empty vacuum of Internet space. That’s right. I know no one is out there. Technically there are millions of you out there. Your just not in here out there. Or something to that effect. So what do I want to say to myself? Or as I will pretend, my dozens of adoring invisible friends.

I wanted to call this thing Gamer Mom or Nerd Mom or Non-Zombie Mom but then decided to be more vague. I am a mom, but I am not a “mom” mom. I don’t bake. I don’t sew. I certainly don’t make sock puppets with my children on a rainy day. That’s for women who had children because they decided life among adults was passe. I had children because I like sex, but I’m not too bright and lo and behold the Gods of Unwanted Pregnancy found me. Twice even! Don’t get me wrong I love my children and there will be many a witty anecdote about whatever insanity they’ve dreamed up but they aren’t my whole world. Shocking and bad parenting, yes I know.

Let me introduce you to them. First we have my son. He is an almost eight year old Star Wars encyclopedia..I’m sorry. I meant boy. He likes Star Wars, Star Wars figurines, Lego Star Wars, Star Wars posters, and Star Wars. He will talk to you about it and if you tell him you don’t care, he will talk to himself about it. It’s best to make noises that sound like you’re listening and just move on with what you were doing. Trust me, he will follow you. Oh, and Halo. Yes, my almost eight year old plays Halo. With the sound off. If you can’t hear the cussing it’s not any worse than any other game you play offline. The aliens bleed purple for God’s sake. Besides, we cuss around the kids all the time. They aren’t “bad words” they are grown-up words…that they can use as soon as they hit puberty. Shock and dismay, I know.

Then there is my daughter, the four year old princess. This was not my intent, nor my husband;s. But do you have any idea how hard it is to stockpile for a baby girl without buying her pink clothes? Impossible unless you want people to think she’s boy until she’s three. And by then, the damage was done. She loves Disney princess, Tinkerbell and My Little Pony. We had a brief run in with Bratz, but I think they dress like whores so I put a stop to it with Barbie. Because at least she has a job. What world do we live in when I think Barbie is a good role model for my child? But never fear, she also likes Star Wars, because there is a princess in it! And this princess has a gun and suffocates giant slugs and doesn’t always need to be rescued. So when I see her playing with her baby dolls, or cooking in her Disney kitchen with one of her brother’s Nerf guns within arm’s reach, I heartily approve. Save your damn self, the prince isn’t coming.

Or is he? Mine did. At least, my version of a prince. One that plays Diablo II with me until four in the morning, signs up for the same MMO’s I’m in and watches awesome action movies with the volume turned up loud. He’s also not so shabby in the sack and is quite comfortable to accompany me to the adult store. Although I suppose it’s more odd for -me- to be comfortable but I’ve never been normal. My husband’s name is Jereme and he is the shit. Though I will most likely not mention him as much since ‘blogging’ and ‘facebook’ are not things he thinks are worth time that is better spent killing zombies. Can’t say I blame him. When the zombie hordes invade, I doubt my fast typing skills will run them off.

And that leaves me. My name is Donna. Hi there invisible fans! You’ll learn plenty about me over the course of sporadically remembering this blog exists. I like video games, of the computer and console variety. I like to read particularly fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. However, I’m not opposed to a good non-fiction read. You just have to sneak it under my nose. I like to write, duh. I also enjoy children’s cartoons though I’m not sure at this point if it’s real like or just an automatic defense so my brain doesn’t melt out of my ears. I’m sure there is more but bloody hell this post is long already. Perhaps another time.