Out This Week

Pikmin 3

The Glamazon Trail

In this week’s new releases, the Pikmin return, and a mythical race of warrior women gets a callipygian tribute.

By Drew Toal • August 6, 2013

Out This Week is a look at a few new games that are out this week.

Pikmin 3
Wii U—August 4

I just assumed this was the Hydrox (or, if you prefer, the Fony) of Pokémon. It turns out Pikmin is a rich and rewarding franchise all its own, with no relation, that I’m aware of, to the “Gotta Catch ’Em All!” plague that nearly destroyed mankind in the late 1990s. This was several years after we narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of the ruthless Pog Lords, and still one of the darkest times in human history. My understanding is that the gameplay of Pikmin 3 is a lighthearted mix of Red Alert and Animal Crossing. Like Pokémon, you do control an army of variously hued monster people, each with a certain ability to help the player explore, create, and wipe your enemies from the face of Pikmin Earth in an unstoppable wave of Pikmin-on-Pikmin ethnic cleansing. Pikmin society will never accept those grey and pink hued sub-Pikmins. It’s just not natural.

Dragon’s Crown
PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita—August 6

It turns out that female Amazon warriors are 70-percent ass. Some kind of evolutionary imperative, no doubt.

Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons
Xbox 360—August 7

It’s not often that you get to control two characters at once. In Brothers, two siblings, each controlled by one joystick on your controller, must quest to find a cure for their dying father. This might be the closest we ever get to an adaptation of the 1984 Cheech & Chong historical drama, The Corsican Brothers. Those two guys were so close that they literally felt everything the other was feeling. (When Chong saved Cheech from the guillotine using a stale baguette, it was mostly a matter of self-interest.) The titular two sons don’t appear to share that ability, but they do need each other to survive. There’s one scene in particular where each is dangling from one end of a hang glider, and you must adjust their position and shift their weight to steer it. If my brother and I were in that position, we’d be too busy kicking each other in the shins and blaming the other one for getting us into this stupid hang-gliding mess. We would no doubt end up a Toal-flavored grease spot on the side of a mountain.

Superfrog HD
PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita—August 6

I fully support HD updates of classic Amiga games like Superfrog. That computer is hands-down my favorite all-time game platform. There was The Lost Patrol, where a 10-year-old Drew Toal channeled his inner Sgt. Elias and brutally drove back the Vietcong. There was Stunt Track Driver, a racing game that basically had you cannonballing down a road that was more roller coaster than straightaway. Another World nearly made my brain explode. The blood-curdling scream in The Surgeon steered me away from medical school and into a rewarding semi-career in games writing. Thanks, Amiga!

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78 Responses to “The Glamazon Trail”

  1. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    Did you see the crowns on those dragons, ifyouknowwhatImean?

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      Man, I’d been hearing people complaining about the character designs for a while now, but I was not prepared to actually see them. It’s not just the absurd T&A, either. The vast stretches of overmuscled flesh on the dwarf, for instance… urgh. It’d be like playing a bad ’90s comic book.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        See, the T&A is silly to me, but what really irritates me are the mix of “profession/race” for picking characters.  When you have a choice between “Fighter, Sorcerer, Amazon, Elf and Dwarf” there just seems to be something wrong.

        “Introducing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare XVI!  Choose from Sniper, Medic, Pilot, South African or Sikh!”

      • The_Helmaroc_King says:

        I think one of the commentors on here mentioned that the Dwarf is the only consistently exaggerated character. He looks ridiculous, but between the body and the face, it seems very intentional.

        In comparison, we have two normal-ish characters in the Elf and the Sorcerer, one beefy Knight with a very small head, and two women with rather distinct body types.

        • TheBryanJZX90 says:

          What on earth does “it seems very intentional” mean in this context? Did the artist like sneeze and his hand slipped when he was drawing the T and A on those women, but then he just kinda shrugged and turned the designs in anyway?

        • I find the argument of “over-exaggeration” as self-aware satire more and more stupid when it comes to video games, because EVERY game seems to be using this argument, from Dragon’s Crown to Far Cry 3 to Lollipop Chainsaw.

          If every game is now overdoing T&A or racial caricatures to point out the absurdity of overdoing T&A or racial caricatures, then guess what? There’s no satire. You can’t have your cake, eat it too, then say you’re overeating cake to point out the absurdity of eating too much cake. You’re still a fatass and probably will get diabetes.

        • The_Helmaroc_King says:

          @TheBryanJZX90:disqus

          That’s a bad choice of words on my part. I mean that the Dwarf looks completely exaggerated, whereas the Amazon and Sorceress are a mix of typically attractive and exaggerated features. I bring it up because I’ve seen other people discussing whether or not the characters are hyper-exaggerated, tongue-in-cheek archetypes or not, but I think the Dwarf is the only one to meet those criteria.

    • Fluka says:

      Oh. my god. Becky.  Look at her axe.  She looks like one of those dwarf guy’s girlfriends!

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      I can’t believe it took me this long to think of it, but the MST3K guys pretty much came up with the perfect description for this game:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ePusmtf1IQ

    • SamPlays says:

      “It turns out that female Amazon warriors are 70-percent ass. Some kind of evolutionary imperative, no doubt.” 
      Only if that imperative is to swallow up g-strings, then sure.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      I addition to the problematic design of the playable characters, the NPCs are fucking AWFUL looking. Also, apparently there’s a groping minigame. VIDEOGAMES YOU GUYS!

      • stakkalee says:

        Holy shit, I didn’t want to believe you but here it is. Seriously, fuck this game.  The Vallejo-inspired art was already pretty bad, but a minigame where you molest a bound woman?  Seriously?

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          It’s really inexcusable. plus there was the whole “if you don’t like the way the women look in this game you must be a homosexual” thing. It’s like a game studio run by McBane.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          You also get to molest a musclebound he-man and some sort of indiscriminate troll butcher, from what I can see from skipping through that video. But they don’t seem to react as much. Neither are they chained to anything.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I think the thing that truly pisses me off about this game is that they obviously wanted to go X-rated with this, but didn’t have the guts, thanks to sales. If you want to make a game that’s downright porny, go nuts. Seriously, there’s not enough adult material in gaming, at least no serious stuff.
      But this bawdy, immature Hooters-style quasi-nudity and bouncing just seems like the typical frustrated dry-humping we get plenty of in media.
      In any case, go big or go home. This is just pussy-foot-cupping around. I for one am looking forward to a game that is chockfull of X-rated material and still a good game.
      I am not holding my breath.

  2. PaganPoet says:

    In spite of all of the controversy surrounding Dragon’s Crown, it actually does look really beautiful in motion. Shame that all of the reviews I’ve been seeing are so middling. I’ll check it out someday when I see it in a bargain bin.

    • Kotaku seemed pretty pumped about the Multiplayer and Cross-play features.  The art is gross, but I kinda enjoy fantasy gross, like a painted Conan book cover from the 70s.

      Let’s play it together on our Vitas in 4 to 6 months!

      • PaganPoet says:

        The character designs are gross, but I like that it looks like an oil painting. The “Conan book cover” similarity is spot on.

      • Malkovich Malkovich says:

        IGN and Gamespot both gave it positive reviews. The gameplay does look like fun to me. I can see this being on PS+ within that 4 to 6 month window.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        In multiplayer, you each get to control one of the Sorceress’ breasts.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      It’s taken me a long time to admit this to myself, but Vanillaware games are pretty damn dull to play for any period of time.  I have both Muramasa Blade and Odin Sphere, and while I still can’t get over how completely gorgeous they are, that beauty comes at a price.
         That price being, really, really repetitive gameplay.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        Yeah, I really wanted to like Muramasa on the Wii, but actually playing it got really tedious really fast. Apparently Dragon’s Crown is the same, forcing you to play and replay the few levels the game offers over and over.

      • WELCOME_THRILLHO says:

         Yeah, I decided to skip Dragon’s Crown for now mostly for that reason. I’d rather not play the same nine stages over and over again if I’m paying full price. No amount of butt or breast implants can make that much repetition worthwhile.

      • Unexpected Dave says:

        Grim Grimoire was the same way. It was an RTS game with only four units per school. The story was kind of interesting, and kept me playing much longer than I would have otherwise, but MAN were those fights repetitive.

      • Girard says:

        Yeah. I mean, most video games are sexist (though perhaps not often as egregiously so…especially now that I’ve seen that horrible groping minigame), but if there are enough other thematic, formal, or aesthetic ‘pros’ to the game, it may still be worth checking out.

        Vanillaware games’ gameplay is too thin-gruel and unrewarding for me to put up with the gross frathouse sexism. The art is pretty (though admittedly a little “DeviantArt” for my tastes), but, again, not really worth it.

      • GhaleonQ says:

        Aw, I’m sorry to hear that.  Don’t play Princess Blade, as Odin Sphere was an improvement on that.  However, if you ever have the chance to do Grand Knights History, do.  I think Vanillaware is inconsistent in execution, but their hits are undeniable.

    • I actually reviewed it for another outlet and loved it. I did not have any idea that you could do that groping stuff in the game, though, and I’ve poured about 15 hours into it. That is really, really gross.

      It’s also far less tedious than any other Vanillaware game I’ve played. Even when you go back into a level for a quest or to find an alternate route, it’s quite speedy. 

      It’s funny at various points, and the fact that much of the game’s tone leans toward satire I thought the perviness was done with not just a wink, but also a nod. The poking thing, though… ick. 

  3. Fluka says:

    Speaking of ridiculously large butts, the  Saints Row 4 character creator was released!

  4. PugsMalone says:

    So the new Pikmin protagonist is based on Wario, just like the previous two were based on Mario and Luigi?

  5. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

       So I watched the embedded Superfrog video and I felt compelled to find the original intro.  I thought maybe the stunted and kind of ugly quality might be an homage to the less sophisticated video game intros of yesterday.  Not so!  The Amiga intro is better drawn, more expressive and actually pretty funny.  I’m a sucker for remakes, but if you’re going to do ’em, it’s kind of key that you actually make ’em better.   

    • Boonehams says:

      Superfrog HD’s intro’s art style reminds me of an uglier version of the art from the Gobliiins games.

      You guys remember Gobliiins?  I liked those games, namely 1 & 2.

    • George_Liquor says:

      Ugh, the camera in that remake sucks. It’s constantly zooming in & out, and darting around to keep ahead of the character whenever he changes direction. Those kinds of spastic camera movements always make me seasick.

      Incidentally, it looks like a PC port of the original is available on gog.com.

    • Girard says:

      “I’m a sucker for remakes, but if you’re going to do ’em, it’s kind of key that you actually make ’em better. “OH, HO HO HO HO HO HO HO! You naive scamp.

    • Sarapen says:

      So the game isn’t an adaptation of the Haruki Murakami short story Superfrog Saves Tokyo?

  6. DrFlimFlam says:

    Next week is when The Big Remake hits.

    Life is like a hurricane…

    • duwease says:

      I’m curious as to what they add to it, because I remember the original being over in maybe 2 hours tops..

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        Your problem is likely competence at video games. I have no such handicap preventing me from getting my money’s worth out of games. They take me forever.

      • Unexpected Dave says:

        For $15, they’d better have more than five levels. They could add DuckTales 2. Another smart move might be to add some levels set in and around Duckberg.

      • Destroy Him My Robots says:

        A tutorial level and a cutscene explaining that you should look for secret passages, because “kids nowadays do not think that way”.

        Edit: In fairness, there’s also a “a last level that leads up to the final boss”, a hub level, and the ability to swim in the Money Bin.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Oh man, I have no connection to this game really (never played the original as a kid, though I did watch Ducktales the tv show) but swimming in a money pit sounds pretty awesome.

          Also, I lol’d at some of the comments on that page. “But why can’t they release and hd version of the show, so kids can be familiar with the show before the game releases.”

          So many things wrong with this idea. Learn how stuff works internet people!

  7. Chalkdust says:

    Don’t forget Tales of Xillia!  Yes, I am a little excited about this game.

    • vinnybushes says:

       I bought it this morning, it’s worth being excited about. lovely 60 fps action/rpg combat, and the environment design is top notch. As for the plot it’s hard to make a ruling after only an hour. Two main characters so I’ve got to play it twice to see everything! Hooray!

      • Chalkdust says:

         I won’t be able to play until later… do you pick which of the two characters you play first?  If so, did you pick Jude or Milla?

        • vinnybushes says:

           I chose Jude because I dug his character design. he definitely fits the tales hero tropes note for note, but that said there’s nothing wrong with that.

    • KingGunblader says:

      WOO! Tales is more exciting to me than anything else here, except for maybe Dragon’s Crown.

      I’ll be doing my playthrough on Milla’s side, because she’s infinitely more interesting than male JRPG protagonist du-jour.

  8. indy2003 says:

    Pikmin 3 looks like it just might be the best Wii U title yet. It’ll probably be at least a few months before I’ll get around to picking it up (got a sizable backlog I need to work through at the moment), but I’m really looking forward to it.

  9. neodocT says:

    I’ve played the first two Pikmin games – I even got the first one for the Gamecube at launch! – and while I like them and think the art style is fantastic, I don’t exactly love them. I’m not the biggest strategy fan, so that may have something to do with it, but the games are always somewhat frustrating to me.

    Having said that, I’d totally buy Pikmin 3 for my hypothetical WiiU if I found it for $20 hypothetical dollars.

    • Girard says:

      I really enjoy the Pikmin games, but certainly not enough to get a Wii U. Also, before I play 3 I’ll have to work up the courage to return to my abandoned game of 2 which I terrifiedly turned off in 2006 when I encountered that horribly unfair steamroller monster

      • neodocT says:

        Wow, I never got to that point in Pikmin 2, but that seems awful! I stopped playing after getting stressed out with one of the other bosses, but I don’t really remember which one it was. A lot of my Pikimins died, and I got too depressed over it to keep playing.

  10. aklab says:

    If you’ve never played Pikmin, note that the game looks really fun and pleasant and lighthearted, and it is all those things, and it’s also incredibly brutal to your soul. Every time a Pikmin dies it makes this pitiful wail, and you even see their little Pikmin souls/ghosts float out. It’s emotionally devastating, especially when some enemy just crushes like 30 at once because you took your eye off your flock for a moment! 

  11. Effigy_Power says:

    As far as I am concerned gaming is in a standstill until Europa Universalis 4 comes out next week. Nothing else matter to my brain right now.

    • Roswulf says:

       Demo Friday! Demo Friday!

      My excitement for the demo of a game I’ve already pre-ordered is not healthy.