June 15, 2017

The E3 Blog: 2017

Every year now, the video game industry breaks into two groups; the first gets very excited for E3, and starts making predictions and wish lists for certain content, the other are nay-sayers who insist E3 is becoming obsolete and is a waste of time. I fall somewhere in between. I'm never really excited for E3 anymore; it's become really difficult to avoid rumors and leaks, so surprises are rare at a convention like this, and the rest is usually a bunch a predictable ports and sequels... I'm often left uncharged at the end. That said, I also think the event serves more than one purpose, and just because we aren't jumping out of our seats in shock and awe, doesn't mean the annual activity is worthless. I quite like this platform for people like me, and I just hope for something truly interesting every year... a new I.P. is always welcome, and perhaps a confirmed released date for something I've been waiting for (although we all know release dates are bullshit these days too). I'm ready for some good information. Here's hopin' at least one of these guys has an ace up their sleeve...

Oh, if you're new here: hi! I'm Lo! Every year I watch each of the major press events at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), America's largest video game and tech convention, and tap out my thoughts in real time here, for the E3 Blog. Thanks for joining me!

I'm already so confused by this schedule. We don't normally start on a Saturday, do we?

June 01, 2017

Tales of Opinia: Demos

If you've paid any mind to the assault of Game Binges here lately, you've no doubt picked up on the fact that I'm no stranger to demos. And why should I be? Demos are an excellent answer to the problem of having some interest in a game, but not knowing if it's worth your money. I think demos have always been an awesome way to introduce gamers to your content and potentially sell your product.
That said... there's no shortage of absolute shit demos out there. You think it'd be pretty straight forward, but developers are often coy when it comes to revealing certain aspects of their game on the first date. And I suppose I understand, I'm not asking for a movie trailer containing all the best parts of the movie here, I just want to know what I'm getting into before I sink $60+ and countless hours of my time into something. So when I'm not 100% certain of a game, I look for a demo, and after so many years, I've noticed what it takes to sell me from one. Listen up, industry! I'm going to tell you what I think it takes to make a good demo!

May 25, 2017

That's A Wrap: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

objection! may contain spoilers

I got my first look at the Ace Attorney series when I did a 3DS Game Binge for the site a couple months ago. I've been hearing people raving about these games for some time, but I guess I just shifted it to the back burner to focus on the more "heavy duty" games I wanted to play. Doing that binge helped me learn that, in fact, it's Phoenix I need in my life right now... he's all I've got time for!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a 2001 interactive courtroom "drama" game by Capcom, originally made for the Game Boy Advance and later ported (and expanded*) for the Nintendo DS (and others) in 2005. It's the first of many in the Ace Attorney series, which, as the title suggests, follows a number of elite lawyers in their bid to bring justice to all.

I suppose I expected AA (teehee!) games to be puzzle in nature, and obviously law themed. I wasn't too far off. The game plays like an interactive novel, where a number of cases play out and it's up to you - as Phoenix - to memorize facts and point out inconsistencies in the stories of all people involved. A slight departure from the law theme, the game also includes an investigative portion in which Phoenix acts more like a detective than a defense attorney.

May 18, 2017

The Scenic Route: New York Comic Con 2016

I told you I hadn't given up on it! Just in time for this year's New York Comic Con ticket race, I whipped together this quick look at what your NYCC ticket gets you, as well as a few other things you can check out while you're in the true home of my heart.

Shoot me a sub on YouTube if you want advance access to content like this! My supporters there got the video early! And you never know what I'll dump on there...

May 11, 2017

Don't Panic: Too Many Chili Dogs

I'm back! I'm back in saddle again!🎶 Good luck getting that unstuck from your mind...

Yeah, so 2016 was... dismal. Just a complete write off of a year, really, in all respects, but especially for And Then She Games. But I seem to be getting back into the swing of things here, just in time for... get this... my FOURTH anniversary! May 2017 makes four years of me editing the overuse of the word 'fuck' out of my articles so people might actually read them! Fuck! Yay! Anyway, after last year's failure to launch, so to speak, I thought I'd do another anniversary celebration for those of you who've stuck with me through thick and thin.

A quick glance at my collection proves that this past year (or two) has definitely been the year of Playstation. I've basically added nothing to my collection since paring down a while back (remember my midlife crisis?) except PS4 games, so that will be the theme of this year's giveaway! Apologies to Xbone and 'Tendo fans, but c'mon. You need these games.
As always, I'll be conducting the giveaway from twitter... it hasn't let me down yet, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it! If you haven't found me there yet, you're looking for @nintenlo. (Ironic, I know.) I will host each prize as a separate raffle, so you won't win something you're not interested in. You can enter for both if you like, but you can only win one!

April 13, 2017

The Elite Four: Video Game Crushes [Ladies Night!]

A little over a year ago, I published what ended up being one of my most popular articles to date, The Elite Four: Video Game Crushes. I was glad to see that everyone found the humor in that list, but
I deliberately limited this goofy collection to 'no girls allowed', knowing full well that there were enough ladies on my mind to fulfill a list of their own. But I think it's important to note that as video game characters go, I'm indifferent to gender. A great character is exceptional regardless of their sex.
That said, being a woman, I've been subjected to my fair share of sexism in games (like always having to play Chun-Li or Blaze, because they're girls...) so an amazing female character still impresses me that much more; I'm happy to see strong female leads and supports, even though they always attract a ton of questionable attention... fuck it. Here's one for the ladies! My Top 5 Video Game Crushes - Ladies Edition!

March 30, 2017

In RETROspect: Beyond Oasis

Once again, the Cartridge Club called upon the genius of the Sega Genesis for March 2017's game of the month, and landed on Beyond Oasis, an "action RPG" developed by Ancient and released on the Genny in 1995 for North Americans. The game is frequently described as "Zelda-like" which is a descriptor that drives me nuts, but nevertheless serves its purpose here rather well. Beyond Oasis is about as much of a RPG as Zelda. In fact, the game makes me think, if Prince of Persia and Streets of Rage had a baby, and then Zelda became its stepmom...
It's true title is The Story of Thor, which is all kinds of weird when you consider the character's name is Ali, and you couldn't name him Thor even if you wanted to (you're stuck with a 3 character limit!). But the truth is, the game has nothing at all to do with Thor or Norse mythology, and to my knowledge the name is thanks to a transcript error.
The game boasts a rather simple design for something called a RPG, but doesn't come up short on design or story, and might even be fun sometimes!
Blah blah blah, spoilers n' such, blah blah blah...

The story of Thor Beyond Oasis is a classic tale of why you should always put your money in gold... er...
Our boy Ali is a shitty prince with nothing better to do but go treasure hunting. While he's at it, he happens across the legendary gold armlet... that talks. The armlet tells Ali his days of boredom are over, 'cause now he has to seek out and defeat whomever has the accompanying silver armlet, which is evil 'cause it's not gold. Okay, I know I'm not doing it any favors here, but the plot is actually quite well done. The game doesn't waste your time with boring details or long conversations, but rather lets you actually play the game, and sort the details out on your own, which is not difficult or convoluted. You get snippets of story in short cutscenes between chunks of play, and the story itself is easy to follow and suits the adventure genre the game truly sports.

March 23, 2017

Game Binge - Episode Six [3DS Edition]

A few months ago - and by "a few months" I mean basically a year - I was greeted by a shiny new member of my console family: a Nintendo New 3DS (Fire Emblem edition!). I've been meaning for some time now to get back to conquering my DS collection, but I'm sure you can guess how that's going... and now I'm tasked with getting acquainted with the newest addition to the DS league. You know what that means... it's time for a GAME BINGE!