The Overwatch Ladies I’d Like to Bang

Alright friends, we’re diving down a sexy Overwatch rabbit hole. Hope you’re ready to know more than you probably wanted about my taste in fictional women. Without further ado, here are the 10 Overwatch characters I, personally, find most fuckable.

10. Zarya

Image credit: IGN

Usually, I lean towards femme-ier women, but I can’t disagree on this one: Zarya is hot. She let her Olympic dreams go to help people in need. Who doesn’t love a girl who makes sacrifices to help. Plus she seems like she’d be pretty caring and gentle. Main turn-off though, not a fan of her hatred of all Omnics. Zenyatta is a nice robo-man!

9. Tracer

Image credit: Polygon

She’s a cute little queer lady, but ultimately not super my type which is why she’s near the end of this list. I generally prefer dark hair and dark eyes, and when it comes to fictional ladies, I tend to gravitate towards those who would most likely break my psyche or happily murder me (spoilers for what’s to come).

8. Mercy

Image result for mercy overwatch
Image credit: Blizzard

Mercy is kind of a repeat of my deal with Tracer, but she’s a bit higher up because she seems like more of an adult. She’s got a professional career, and is retired from a global government enforcement agency. I’m not generally one for dating younger, and Tracer kind of gives off perpetual kid vibes. Plus, Mercy’s got a bit more edge with her penchant for turning people into cyborgs.

7. Ana

Image result for ana overwatch
Image credit: Blizzard

SPEAKING of dating older, Ana is a silver fox and I am very about it. 10/10 MILF status. I tend to swing older and hoo boy, I’d be down to swing any way with Ana. The main thing holding her back? Cares too much. I feel she’d want to fix things in my life, and at this point, I just gotta be a wreck.

6. Symmetra

Image result for symmetra overwatch
Image credit: Blizzard

Symmetra is BEAUTIFUL. Plus she’s brilliant, and seems like the type who would ignore you as soon as she had something she needed to do for work. I’m so down to be ignored by a beautiful woman for science. But she could never be higher on this list because I’ll never not be bitter about those fucking turrets.

5. Mei

Image result for mei overwatch
Image credit: Dual Shockers

Okay, so we’ve talked about how I love emotionally unavailable women who might be capable of murder. But I have another type, and you best believe it’s on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Sweet, smart, nerdy girls have a special place in my heart. Mei’s interactions with her little robot make me melt (get it?), and that gets me going in a different way from the other ladies I love. Ultimately though, she’s brilliant and needs to focus on saving the world from human ruination.

4. Moira

Image result for moira overwatch
Image credit: GameRevolution

Would she kill me? Uncertain. Would she perform genetic experiments on me? Probably. I am down? You bet. As I’m writing this list, I’m realizing I may have a thing for sexy scientists…Anyway, the only real downside here is those nails. Love them aesthetically, fear them sexually.

3. Pharah

Image result for pharah overwatch
Image credit: Blizzard

She’s a dreamboat. Dark hair and eyes, some nice muscles but still femme. I’m pretty sure she’d bring coffee the next morning, which is always a bonus. My only issue? She seems too nice. This far into the list, only mean girls should apply.

2. Sombra

Image result for sombra overwatch
Image credit: MMOExaminer

Such a babe. Sombra is such a fatal package for me. She’s hot, brilliant, and sarcastic. One of my kinks is the ability to make Reaper facepalm, and if the fan comics are anything to go on, she fits the bill nicely. I’m pretty in love. But once again, those nails….

1.Widowmaker

Image result for widowmaker overwatch
Image credit: Twinfinite

My. Fucking. Queen. Everything about her is perfect. She’s an elite killer (lore-wise anyway. Let’s not take in-game kills into account), she canonically deploys poison, she has no feelings, and is almost dead. Add in her commitment to a theme (hello, big ass spider tattoo) and that cat suit, and you’ve got the recipe for the woman of my dreams.

Games You Might Have Missed: LongStory

LongStory is an episodic visual novel by Bloom Digital Media, originally released in 2014 on iOS and Android, but recently out on Steam as of December 7th, 2017.

Nothing is quite what it seems in LongStory. Like many visual novels, it centers around a mystery your character becomes dead-set on solving, but this trope gets turned on its head as the episodes progress. Much like the plot, the characters are more than the school-aged stereotypes you expect them to be. As you click through conversations they become fleshed out, diverse people with unique and sometimes unexpected motives who all have their own parts to add to your story.

While it sells itself as a dating sim, LongStory deals with so much more than just struggling with who you want to smooch. Your character is forced to deal with and learn about bullying, transphobia, disability, and all the pitfalls that come up when navigating relationships, both platonic and romantic. With its middle school setting and simpler writing style, the game seems a bit skewed towards younger audiences, but part of its charm is that even with that audience seemingly in mind, LongStory doesn’t talk down to or patronize its players. It does an excellent job of showing how something that appears minor can feel like the end of the world at that age, without trivializing it. The issues are approached with basic language, but maintain complexity and encourage discussion and thought.

This game also provides plenty of player agency. You don’t just decide who you want to date, you also get to decide your character’s name, appearance (though the game only offers limited choices in this department), and what pronouns you want to go by. Decisions center around more than love interests, as the game asks you to decide who to side with in fights, and how to interact with peers and authority figures alike.

Overall, LongStory skews positive, focusing on developing healthy relationships, expressing feelings, and learning to admit when you’re wrong. It accomplishes this with thoughtful and relatable writing. I hardly look back at my middle school years with fondness, but this game did a good job of reminding me of what that time in my life was like, both the good and the bad. The art and music contribute to the positive feeling, with cute in-game photos, and heartfelt original songs sprinkled into the plot.

If you’re looking for a visual novel that’s both thoughtful and cute, LongStory might just be for you. It’s available over on Steam for $14.99 and you can buy it on Android and iOS episodically for $1.99 or as a season bundle for $9.99.

 

All photo credit to Bloom Media. 

Games You Might Have Missed: The Audio Edition-These Four Walls Called Reality

Don’t have time to read the article? No worries! Listen to it here instead! And shout out to Cameron Kunzelman for making me aware of this game in their great article for Waypoint!

Games You Might Have Missed: These Four Walls Called Reality

These Four Walls Called Reality by Lim Sidnee is a new visual novel available over on itch.io. Be warned, this game does include some graphic descriptions and is recommended for people 14 and up.

Taking inspiration from “The Shadows That Run Alongside Our Car”, by Lox Rain, These Four Walls Called Reality is a visual novel featuring two strangers trapped together at the end of the world. The zombie apocalypse has been raging for some time now, with herds of Infected roaming the land, attacking anyone they can find. This is where the story starts, with two people who have never met hiding from an imposing herd inside a metal shipping container. Forced to either talk to each other, or live forever in a crushingly awkward silence, the two, Tabbris and Maxwell, start a conversation.

There’s no point putting on airs with death only a wall away, so the two quickly divulge their tragic backstories. Through these stories, we see Tabbris and Maxwell become fast friends, and show that they are both incredibly human. But more importantly, their stories reveal much more about the humanity of others.  These Four Walls Called Reality does a better job of showing the darkness that can be found in humans in a fifteen minute conversation than an entire season of The Walking Dead could ever hope to, without a single zombie actually appearing on screen.

It’s not an especially long game, maybe half an hour depending on how quickly you read, but it doesn’t have to be to get its point across. While sometimes a bit corny, These Four Walls Called Reality is a sad queer game I can actually get behind. Instead of ruminating on the tragedy of queer existence, it simply makes a point of how queerness and other forms of difference are treated in a non-apocalyptic world, and how those experiences can help bring us closer together instead of tearing us apart.

If you’re looking for something short yet poignant to start off your year, These Four Walls Called Reality should hit the spot nicely.

(Shout out to Cameron Kunzelman for making me aware of this game today in their great article for Waypoint)

Tales From Hyrule-Day 1

Tales From Hyrule is my creative nonfiction series following my adventures through my first ever Zelda game: Breath of the Wild. It’s set as a series of journal entries chronicling everything that happened through gameplay days.

Day 1

I awoke to find myself in an unfamiliar place, with far less clothing than I would have liked. There weren’t many answers to be found, aside from the strange voice echoing in my head that led me to something called a “Sheika slate”, stored in a glowing pedestal. Nothing else seemed to be there so I made for the door, not knowing what else to do. Upon exiting the chamber I woke up in, I found some chests that provided me with clothing, ragged though it might be. Now that I was wearing more than the shorts I had awoken in, I felt a bit more comfortable.

The so-called “Sheika slate” proved to be the key to exiting this cave, and I stepped out onto a cliff that revealed the vastness and wonder of the world beyond. Swaying, verdant plains gave way to lush, almost imposing forests, and steep, icy mountains flanked the valley like ancient frozen defenders. Great buildings took up space as well, a grim, abandoned looking temple to my right, and a dark, impossibly large castle looming straight ahead.  As I took in my surroundings, I noticed a campfire down the hill and what looked to be a person waiting nearby. Hoping they would know more about what was going on, I headed down to greet them.

Along the path, I discovered a few items of value. A tree branch, while not the most fearsome weapon, still seemed better than facing the world with nothing at all, and some mushrooms that seemed edible. With my new supplies in tow, I continued down the path to meet the stranger at their fire. He was an old man wrapped in a black hooded cloak. A long white beard grew from his chin, with eyebrows to match. He greeted me warmly, but gave few answers about who he was.

Luckily, he was willing to tell me a bit more about the land I had found myself in. The Great Plateau, he called it. Then he pointed to the temple I had spotted earlier and told me of the legends that surrounded it, before sending me on my way with an offer of assistance and advice should I need it. I took a torch and a baked apple sitting nearby, with his permission, and struck out on my own.

Just past the stranger’s camp, I found a large ax wedged into a stump. I pulled it free and carried it with me. The world felt slightly less intimidating now that I had something a bit more hefty than a simple tree branch. As I continued on, I heard the same feminine voice call out to me again. It asked me to head towards the marker that had suddenly appeared on the Sheika slate. Listening to the voice had kept me safe this far, so I decided to heed the call and make my way towards the little yellow dot on the slate’s screen.

As I crested the hill towards the marker, I came across two large, brown beasts that attacked me on sight. They had wide, bat-like ears, upturned snouts, and small horns atop their heads. Blunt clubs and simple bows rained damage upon me and it was only thanks to the ax I had found that I was able to fend the creatures off. I had survived, but the encounter had left me weakened. I ate the apple the old man had gifted to me to regain a bit of strength. Feeling better, I continued over the hill to the location the voice had sent me.

Below the hill, I discovered a small chamber which housed another pedestal similar to the one I had removed the Sheika slate from. I placed the tablet into the pedestal, and suddenly the room began to shake around me. Runes carved into the stone lit up, as the floor shot up beneath me with a roar. In an instant I found myself at the top of a tower tall enough to look across the whole plateau and even beyond. In the distance, I could see other such towers rising from the earth as well.

Turning back to the pedestal, I saw blue light shifting across the node above it, until finally it dripped down onto the Sheika slate like water. The machine gave a musical beep and as I picked it up again, I realized that a map of the area had become available. I stepped back from the pedestal, only to hear the voice once again. This time, it seemed to be emanating from the dark and distant castle I had spotted on the cliff.

It told me to remember, and spoke of a beast that would soon bring ruin to this world if it was not stopped. With a tinge of sadness, it told me I had been sleeping for one hundred years and begged me to hurry, before it was too late. Then the voice faded, and I was alone atop the tower again. With nothing left up there, I began the long climb down. Though I was careful, I slipped more than once, and reached the bottom a bit worse for wear. Imagine my surprise when the old man from before came soaring out of the sky and landed beside my as I was licking my wounds.

He asked me about what had happened in the tower. I told him of the voice I had heard, but he seemed disappointed that I didn’t recognize it. Then he pointed to the dark castle, and told me of Calamity Ganon, the creature that had brought ruin to this place one hundred years ago. It had been sealed in that castle since then, but it looked as though that time was drawing to a close.

The old man questioned if I would be heading to the castle, and I told him of my intention to do just that. He explained to me that the plateau we found ourselves on was surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs. To try to climb or jump down would be suicide. But he offered me a way out in the form of a bargain. The stranger showed me a structure across a small lake, glowing with bright orange light. He said that a treasure could be found inside, and that he would trade me his paraglider for it. Without any other options for getting off the plateau, I agreed and made my way towards the glowing building.

At its entrance, I discovered another pedestal with a space just large enough for the Sheika slate. Upon inserting it, an elevator activated, and I descended into the building. The elevator opened into a large chamber, with a wrought iron grate lying on the floor. In the corner, I spied another pedestal. Used to the routine at this point, I walked over and fit the slate into the slot. The runes above it glittered and dripped onto the screen. This time, instead of revealing a map, a rune appeared on screen. With it, I gained mastery over magnetism.

With my newfound power, I was able to shift the grate aside, revealing a ladder leading down to another chamber below. I climbed down, and found myself in a canal of sorts. Making my way down the stone pathway bordering a small stream, I eventually found a staircase leading up to yet another room. A large stone wall blocked my path, but there was one brick that looked different. On closer inspection, I realized that the strange brick was metal, not stone.

The magnetic rune made quick work of the wall, pulling the metal brick out and causing the rest to topple. Beyond it, I was greeted by a room full of water and stone islands, the first of which hosting a mechanical spider creature that instantly became hostile. A blueish-white beam shot from its head, doing a significant amount of damage. Luckily, the beam took a moment to charge, so I took the opportunity to strike at the machine with my ax. Just as it was about to fire off another shot, I struck the final blow and it scattered into nothing more than scrap metal. I gathered the parts that looked useful, and made my way across the metal bridge before me.

That bridge became key, as there was no other way to cross the next gap. Using magnetism once again, I shifted the bridge I had just crossed to ford the water separating me from the next island. With it safely in place, I was able to head across. This last island held a massive metal door. I pulled it open with the Sheika slate, and found a strange monument before me. A withered creature sat cross-legged on an elevated slab, surrounded by a wall blue light. I ascended the stairs leading up to the creature and gently pressed my fingers against the light.

“You have proven to possess the resolve of a true hero,” the creature said. “I am Oman Au, the creator of this trial. I am a humble monk, blessed with the sight of Goddess Hylia and helping those who seek to defeat Ganon. With your arrival, my duty is now fulfilled. In the name of Goddess Hylia, allow me to bestow this gift upon you. Please accept this Spirit Orb.”

As the monk finished speaking, a shining violet orb emerged from its chest. It floated across the space between us and phased into my own torso. Instinctively, my hand went to my chest, bracing against the strange tingling the orb left in its wake. With a final blessing, the monk faded into glowing green dust and disappeared. This so called “Spirit Orb” appeared to be the only treasure within the shrine, so I made my way back outside to find the old man.

He was easier to find than expected, coming out of the sky once again on his paraglider. I was taken aback when he commented on the Spirit Orb now in my possession. How could he have known? He gave a cryptic answer when I asked, and mentioned something about the Orb, the towers, and the Sheika slate all being connected. Going on, the stranger told me of the Sheika tribe, who’s technology had apparently once saved the kingdom, but it had been lost long ago. Until now.

Shrines like this, he said, were located all across the land, and could now be accessed thanks to the little tablet on my hip. Three more could be found on this plateau alone. And then, to my surprise, he demanded the treasure from those shrines as well in exchange for the paraglider. I was outraged. I had just delved into the unknown to get this treasure for him, and now he wanted more? Every part of me wanted to storm away, but as he quickly pointed out, I didn’t have much choice but to comply. In the sly way I was starting to grow accustomed to, he told me he had another trick to help me find these other shrines. Still irritated, and in need of a rest after braving the shrine, I told him to wait and headed off to take a much needed break. I’ll deal with the rest of those pesky shrines in the morning.

All image credit to Polygon (because I spaced and didn’t take screenshots for the first like 2 hours of the game)

 

Happy 2018!!! Here’s what’s to come!

Hey everybody, it’s finally 2018. May 2017 burn in hell. Now it’s time to look to the future. But first, I’d like to say thank you. This blog was something I stressed over creating for a long time, but I haven’t regretted it for a second since it launched. You all have been so supportive, understanding, and encouraging, and I’m incredibly grateful. Through this blog, I have gained so many new friends and creative acquaintances, who I cherish and can’t wait to keep interacting with as we go into this year. So again, thank you.

Now let’s talk about what’s next!

Of course, I’ll still be writing criticism on the media that catches my interest, that’s not changing. But Games You Might Have Missed will be a little different going forward. The articles will continue, but in addition, there will also be an audio version in the podcast Games You Might Have Missed: The Audio Edition. In case you don’t have time to read an article, or you’re just more inclined to listen than to read, you’ll now have access to the podcast version, including the backlog, the first of which was posted tonight! I’m working on getting those up now, and the first new one will be up on Friday as usual.

Speaking of podcasts, I’m also starting a new monthly show called Adventure Log, where a guest will join me to talk about the stories we get from playing video games. Be on the look out for an episode zero of sorts soon, and the first real episode at the end of this month.

The last big-ish addition to the blog will be a creative non-fiction piece I’m going to start running called “Tales From Hyrule”, a series of diary entries chronicling my experiences in my first ever Zelda game: Breath of the Wild. The first entry will come out tomorrow, and they’ll come out often, but not on a specific release schedule, as they come from each day I’m able to spend with the game.

So that’s what I’ve got for you. Hopefully you’ll like the new additions! And as always, let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you want to see in the future. I hope you all have a wonderful year!

<3

Caitlin

GYMHM The Audio Edition: 2064 Read Only Memories

Heading deep into the backlog, this episode is the article read for the first ever game you might have missed: 2064: Read Only Memories. 

 

Intro and outro music: Robot Holiday by Simon Mathewson

My 5 Favorite Video Games of 2017

I’m not the first to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last: 2017 fucking sucked. Between the American political system going up in flames, parts of the country actually going up in flames or other countries being washed away by hurricanes, and personal medical issues that rocked my family, this year has been a bitch and a half to deal with. But it’s also been incredible for video games. We saw Capcom rise from the ashes of their poor decisions, and Guerrilla successfully transition from first person shooters to an open world action RPG. It was a year of gaming dreams coming true, which provided some much needed relief from the horrors of the real world.

To get this list started, I have to give some shout outs to the games of 2017 that either have to wait until after this list goes up, or just didn’t quite make the cut. Prey, Resident Evil 7, Heart of the House, Agents of Mayhem, and The Sexy Brutale were all games that I really enjoyed this year, but didn’t quite rank up against the ones that stole my heart. You can read my more in depth thoughts on these over at OkBeast. My deep apologies to Nier, Hellblade, BOTW, and LIS: Before the Storm. I’ve started each of you, but haven’t gotten far enough to have valid opinions. May we meet again in 2018. And finally, shout out to Thunderbird Strike, you slipped through the cracks this year, but now that you’re on mobile I’m definitely going to give you a try.

Now that those acknowledgements out of the way, let’s get on with what you’re really here to see: my top five games of 2017!

1. Night in the Woods

Image Credit: nightinthewoods.com

This was far and away the game I enjoyed the most and that left the biggest impact on me. It’s sad, funny, insightful, and more real than any other game I’ve experienced. The characters became my friends and neighbors, the story took a wild turn that made it even closer to reality, and the town of Possum Springs showed me its best and worst without restraint.

Night in the Woods hits on so many important issues like mental health, American industry, small town queerness, and access to higher education, and it handles each of them with thoughtful care. It would be easy to drop the ball on any one of these while juggling so many, but Infinite Fall wove them all together into a powerful, honest story about feeling lost in your 20’s.

Despite the heavy subject matter it dives into, NitW still manages to be funny and sweet. There were so many moments across my playthroughs that left me smiling or laughing out loud. Mae’s relationships with her friends and family are often hard, but they’re also heart warming and genuine.

There’s so much to dig into with this game, and I hope to eventually get my thoughts together enough to do so. Nothing else I played this year made me want to write a million essays, or start a cult dedicated to all the ideas that came from it (if you’re interested, hit me up; we’ll get cool jackets). That’s probably the highest praise I can give a game. When you find yourself with ten or so hours to devote to a game, please, please consider checking this one out. If you like great narratives, engaging characters, and cute 2-D art, Night in the Woods is for you.

2. Pyre

Image Credit: SuperGiant Games

No game this year surprised me as much as Pyre did.

Originally, I had no interest in magical basketball, then I got itchy for something different gameplay-wise, so I downloaded it. Y’all, I really like ritualistic magic basketball. The systems are fun and satisfying, and they fuse with the plot, changing how you’ll play and how characters’ arcs will end depending on your choices. I had to change up my strategies and learn to play in ways that were antithetical to how I wanted based on who was available to me as the game went on.

Starting the game, I hit surprise number two: visual novel storytelling elements. I don’t know what I was expecting in that department, but it wasn’t clicking through text. The way visual novels tell stories really appeals to me, so I was immediately all in. Then, the story was good, like way better than anything I was expecting. Overall, it’s a relatively simple plot, but it ends up having a lot to say about the cost of freedom and changing oppressive systems.

Another aspect that took me off guard was how much I ended up loving each character, even the ones that weren’t on my team. They all have unique and complicated personalities that make them endearing in their own ways. The relationships that they develop with each other are interesting and often unexpected, demonstrating the depth of their personalities and the world building that went into this game.

Pyre is different from anything else I played this year. The combination of its gameplay, setting, and storytelling make it incredibly special and unforgettable.

3. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus 

Image Credit: Wolfenstein Wiki

In a year where people were seriously debating the morality of punching Nazis, Wolfenstein II was exactly what I needed. That game has no illusions about the morality of taking down Nazis, and leaves no room for a false equivalency between the Reich and the resistance. It acknowledges that yes, Nazis are people with dreams and families, but that doesn’t change the fact that they all need a bullet between the eyes.

While utterly ridiculous at times, The New Colossus tells a great story. In a wild world built on stolen ancient Jewish technology, BJ and crew go through some crazy shit, but ultimately they’re fighting to free their home from both a fascist regime, and the white complacency that got them there in the first place.

Wolfenstein II doesn’t pull punches when it comes to white Americans’ role in the Nazi takeover of the U.S. Grace, leader of the resistance movement in what remains of New York, flat out tells BJ that America fell because of white people. The game reminds him and us of this again and again through scenes in Roswell and Mesquite. Taking America back will be a war on two fronts, and the resistance has a lot of work to do.

This game made me gasp, go misty, yell, and cheer, something not a lot else that came out this year was able to do.

4. Butterfly Soup

Screenshot by author

Queer stories in media tend to suck. Queer movies usually end up being poorly written or horribly sad (sometimes if you’re real unlucky, they’re both), and video games don’t have a great history of treating queer characters well. Butterfly Soup is not like most queer stories.

The writing in this game is excellent. Storywise, it’s pretty simple, but it’s treated with care. Each of the four girls are fully fleshed out and feel like real people. They’re funny, awkward, and (sometimes) painfully reminiscent of what teenage years feel like.

Butterfly Soup isn’t ultimately a sad game, but it doesn’t shy away from the negative aspects of growing up, families, and the world at large. There are some very intense moments, but they don’t eclipse the overall positive message of the game.

Brianna Lei created a sweet, heartfelt, beautiful story that made me kind of give a shit about baseball, a huge accomplishment in and of itself. I’m so glad I heard about it from Waypoint, because it definitely made my year in gaming better than I thought it could be.

5. Injustice 2

Image Credit: Daily Express

Fighting games have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was little, my dad used to take me to the arcade around the corner from my house and we’d spend hours playing Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. When I got my PlayStation 2, those hours were devoted to Soul Calibur. Despite this history, I’m not a fighting game nut. I don’t follow the scene, and my strategies are probably awful compared to anyone who spends any amount of time with these games. But they’ll always have a place in my heart.

When I brought Injustice 2 home, my first instinct was to sit my dad down for a game. This franchise is special to us because it’s not just a fighting game, it’s a DC fighting game. Another thing we’ve always shared is a love of comics, especially DC, so this game hits every box for father-daughter bonding time. My dad’s arthritis makes it hard for him to nail combos, so I had to take it easy on him when we played, but even so, each match was amazing because it felt like being a kid again.

That’s why Injustice 2 is on this list. I haven’t spent as much time with it as something like Horizon or Persona 5, and I didn’t love it in the same way I loved all the other games on this list. But I got to punch my dad in the face with Catwoman, and see the joy on his face playing as some of his favorite characters in a way he’s never gotten to before. That’s a gaming experience that means more to me than anything that happened in other games this year. Its surprisingly good story-mode and the addition of Poison Ivy to the roster were the cherries on top.