Video Game Clichés = ROFLMFAO

We’ve all seen them, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

For the intense or casual gamers alike, there are so many things in video games that happen so frequently that we’re not even aware of them happening. It’s almost hilarious how our mind doesn’t even register that these things that our minds are so oblivious to, realistically, are impossible.

What are these things I’m referring to?

I’m glad you asked.

Why you so cliche for, Leon?! (SOURCE: Screenshot from Resident Evil 4 game)

Why you so cliché for, Leon?! (SOURCE: Screenshot from Resident Evil 4 game)

Here are Solstice Satisfaction’s top video game clichés:

Health packs, which may also come in the form of food
Your character just got slashed by a sword about 20 times and is now on the brink of death. What do you do to fix this? You grab a conveniently located health pack that is glowing compared to the rest of the environment. I appreciate the thought put into these health packs, but I know that if I got punched in the face by Ronda Rousey, a simple white bag with a red cross on it is not going to help the situation at all. Or, if health packs aren’t you thing, let’s make a quick reference to Gauntlet Legends – which I would argue to be the most underrated game on the N64 platform – where, instead of health packs, they have pieces of meat scattered throughout the world. The best part? When your character eats that piece of meat lying on the dirt, he/she will say something like “Mmm! I like food!”

Double jumping… or pretty much just jumping in general
I don’t know about you, but I don’t do much jumping in my personal life. The only time I can think of when a jump is necessary in my life is when I need to get higher up on the pole I’m about to swing on. Other than that, if a certain area is too high for me, you can bet your bottom dollar I’m not going to jump around to get up to it. I’d find a ladder of some sort like a normal person. Some video games, however, stretch this idea by making it possible to jump… and then jump again from mid air. Just imagine if that were possible. Seriously. Imagine all these people jumping in mid air. It’d be hilarious.

Invisible walls, hopefully a thing of the past
For some reason, you want to read what’s on the back of that vending machine in the corner. You run to it. Hey! You can’t get any closer because there seems to be some impenetrable force blocking you. Congratulations! You have just run into an invisible wall! Seen less and less these days due to the ever increasing video games and open world RPGs, the invisible wall deserves its spot in video game history and not present. Speaking of walls…

Running a marathon, in the same spot, against a wall
I can’t even begin to describe just how funny this is. You’re running your character through the area and you’ve come up against a wall. You didn’t have enough time to turn the character around, so it’s simply just going to keep running against the wall, not actually moving and not actually blasting the wall like a normal person would. I tried running against a wall like this once as a child… it did not turn out okay.

Male protagonists, damsels in distress
I can’t even begin to count how many games I’ve played where you are forced to play a male character and along the way, there is some poor womanly soul who needs rescuing. I don’t know about you but this cliché is mega outdated. I mean, put this way; who would be the saviour and who would be the victim in the duo of Ronda Rousey and the bloke who plays Ron Weasley? Think about it. Girls kick ass too.

No sleep, no bladder, no worries!
Have you ever noticed how the character you are controlling never has to eat, use the toilet, sleep, or sit down? I mean, if you think about it, they’ve only been scouring the lands since about 40 hours of gameplay ago. Surely they’ve got the runs. Or an insane desire to down a Big Mac. But no. Video game characters aren’t really human after all.

Quick time events… but why?
Nothing is worse than watching a cutscene in the middle of a game you’re playing and then realising that it isn’t a cut scene and is in fact a quick time event but because you got too lazy, you ended up missing the quick time action and dying? Maybe that’s just me, but these quick time events – which are basically like interactive scenes and not actual gameplay – are so annoying that I’m sad to see Resident Evil 4 use them a lot. Such a brilliant game tainted with such stupid quick time events.

If you have any other hated clichés, let us know in the comments.

– by Noah La’ulu

Top 10 Video Game Characters We Awkwardly Find Attractive

Video game characters – or characters that are fictional in any way COUGH COUGH – are just that: not real.

Yet for some odd reason, these animated game characters are attractive, whether it be for their appearance, looks, quirkyness or just all around badassness. Most preferably the last of the lot, because everyone loves a badass.

In no particular order, here are the top 10 video game characters that one shouldn’t be attracted to (because they’re not real) but is anyway:

10. Crimson Viper (Street Fighter series)
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I don’t know what is hotter about Crimson Viper – the fact that she has Eva Marie-esque long red hair or her techno suit that turns an otherwise ordinary sassy businesswoman into a spectacular fighter. Also, how sexy is the name “Crimson Viper”. I can assure you that if I ever met someone with that name over the phone, I would assume she’d be as badass as C. Viper here. Let’s also make a quick mention of how her breasts hang so casually from her otherwise conservative outfit. And her midriff which shows her well toned stomach.

9. Nathan Drake (Uncharted series)
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It shouldn’t take one long to realise why Nathan Drake is on this list; he is almost the quintessential male action hero. He’s tall, big, strong with rugged manly features, has an uncanny ability to stay alive even in the most dangerous situations, and a certain charm to him that would make even the most headstrong woman (or man) flutter their eyes. Can we also just take a second and appreciate his man scarf? Only Nathan Drake could pull something off like that.

8. Morrigan Aensland (Darkstalker series)
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If I told you to picture a succubus character, you would imagine a ghastly looking vampiric creature of the night. What you get in Darkstalkers, however, is Morrigan Aensland, who has more than her heart pouring out, if you know what I mean. Not that I’ve ever seen anyone with a light shade of green to their hair, but I think Morrigan pulls it off well, along with her bat-print leggings. Oh, and the bat wings growing out of her head. I bet you didn’t even notice that until now.

7. Joel (Last of Us)
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If there is one outstanding feature about this man’s man who resembles a more rugged, post-apocalyptic George Clooney, it’s his unwavering loyalty to his travelling companion Ellie. He is willing to put his life on the line for a little girl who he wouldn’t have known from a bar of soap previously, and is also willing to keep the zombiepocalypse going if it means keeping her alive. Don’t even get me started on when he refers to Ellie as “baby girl”. It hurts too much.

6. Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw)
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If you don’t find a zombie hunting cheerleader with a chainsaw as weapon of choice and a decapitated head as a boyfriend, there must be something wrong with you. Juliet is everything a regular zombie hero isn’t: bright, happy and slightly naive. She makes up for her limited weaknesses with being ridiculously cute (“Don’t be racist against cows, Nick!”) and for filling out a high school cheerleader outfit so well.

5. Ellis (Left 4 Dead 2)
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My friend described Ellis’ looks very well when she compared him to Chace Crawford. Ellis isn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree but his innocent view on the world combined with his boy-next-door good looks make him the ideal partner in any zombiepocalypse situation. Hell, even if there wasn’t a zombiepocalypse and you just wanted someone to hang out with – and stare at – Ellis is your man. How could you say no to that face?

4. Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat series)
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Every man and same-gender-attracted female appreciates a good pair of legs on a woman. Imagine if that woman’s legs were so strong that she could pick someone up in a handstand and split their body in half. Well, the only woman I know who can do that is Sonya Blade, MK’s resident army brat. Not only could Sonya dazzle you with her all-American girl beauty and tight leather pants, she could also save your ass if you were cornered in a dark alley by a group of King hitters. And she could do it with just one blown kiss.

3. Norman Jayden (Heavy Rain)
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While others would argue that fellow Heavy Rain castmate Ethan Mars is more attractive, one can not look past Norman Jayden’s RIDICULOUSLY cute accent which makes it sound like he’s pronouncing his name “Nah-men”. He’s the cop you want on your side if you ever get in a pickle and you need someone to help you out. He’s also so dedicated to saving Ethan’s son that he’s willing to risk his life for it. What isn’t to love about a man who’s putting his life on the line for a kid he doesn’t know?

2. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider series)
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You cannot put “hot” and “video game character” in the same sentence without mentioning Lara Croft, who is arguably the world’s greatest female video game character. Lara is the original (and female version of) Nathan Drake: badass traveller with a knack of avoiding death and getting into mysterious locations and dangerous situations. I mean, come on, the girl learned to survive as a teenager all by herself, all the while keeping her tight body and beautiful British accent. And yes, one cannot go on without mentioning her large bust.

1. Chris Redfield (Resident Evil series)
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One usually thinks “I wish a man like Chris Redfield were real”. Well there’s no one even close. That’s how perfect this man is. He’s big, strong, loyal to his friends and family, a good charmer with a dedication to his work. He’s also willing to travel across the world to save his sister. And look at those biceps of his; I bet he could give the Hulk a run for his money when it comes to bench pressing. Chris is the right example of an action hero and is what all action heroes should aspire to be… and should aspire their chests and arms to be that big also.

If you’re all hot and flustered after reading that list, then you are now “one of us”. Welcome. We will treat you well.

– by Noah La’ulu

This is a Man’s World

The video game world has seen their fair share of big, masculine XY heroes – Dante, Nathan Drake, Ryu – and that has been the status quo since video games were invented. Recently, however, the females are stepping up their game and a number of smart, sexy and strong women have emerged, telling their male counterparts that it’s their time. These femme fatales have been in a male dominated series and have broken out of their shells to tell the world “I am woman, hear me roar!”

Princess Peach
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A classic example of this is our good friend Super Mario. He has spent the majority of his life saving his lady friend Princess Peach from the evil-yet-adorable Bowser (who I am guessing just wants some TLC). Countless times, he has saved her Highness from many o’ bad predicaments. However, there was one time in a game only available on Nintendo DS, that Mario himself was kidnapped and the many toadstool heads turned in confusion – who is going to save the saviour? Princess Peach, of course! Introducing Super Princess Peach, the game where the roles are reversed and now it’s time for the blue-eyed blonde to carry her weight. Let’s not forget that she is good at nearly every sport possible (refer to every Mario sport game made).

Madison Paige
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In what I believe could very well be the greatest video game ever made, Heavy Rain was filled with drama and action and more drama and more action and even the occasional nude scene. The main playable cast consisted of three men: a wayward father, a junky cop, a troubled detective – and this woman. Madison Paige, a photojournalist who was so enthralled by Ethan’s odd lifestyle that she just threw herself into this potentially life-ending situation. A tiny spoiler on my behalf if you haven’t already played through this amazing game, in my opinion, Madison is the most crucial character to keep alive for the grand finale. If you don’t know what I mean, play the game. You will be amazed. You go girl!

Mai Valentine
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While not technically a video game, the Yu-Gi-Oh! series has had video games developed, therefore I feel justified in mentioning Miss Mai Valentine. With a punny name like that, you’d expect a harmless, romantic foil for the main hero. That is not the case. Mai Valentine is the very definition of femme fatale – she works alone, remains one of the top duelists in the anime world and she also likes to wear not much. She hasn’t made it to the top, yes, but she’s definitely hanging in there with the men in the duelling world. Props to you, girlfriend.

Sonya Blade
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We all know that Sonya was originally intended to be a male but at the last second, the video game designers decided to girlify the character up. Enter Sonya Blade, the badass army babe in search of a freaky half-cyborg Aussie accent freak. While her original Mortal Kombat outfit was pretty much a tragedy-on-a-train, Sonya was the original female of the series and competed in a tournament with other men and mythical creatures. The all American girl-next-door surely deserves some cred for that reason alone. How did she choose to finish these suckers off? By blowing a kiss that turned into a fireball of course. Sonya was dropped in Mortal Kombat II, but I blame the outfit for that one.

Chun Li
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Much like Miss Blade, Chun Li was the original female to enter a fighting video game series, although the fact that she was introduced in the second game and not the first like Sonya just makes her that tiny bit less cooler. Either way, “the strongest woman in the world” earned her moniker and wears it well, what with those massive thighs of hers and what not. Of course, your muscles would develop that much if you leaned on one leg whilst kicking with the other multiple times. Here’s to Chun Li for not only being a badass babe, but also for being a key character for button mashers like me!

These are just a few of the kickbutt female characters who live in male-dominated worlds and don’t even care. They’re strong multicultural women who don’t need no man.

– by Noah La’ulu

SS in Review: WWE 2K14

The big story in the production of this game was the shift from THQ to 2K Sports. Everyone thought that this change was going to be a huge uphill for the WWE video game series, but was it? I don’t think it was, but I don’t think it was a downhill either.

WWE_2K14_cover

As I always do when I first boot up a new wrestling game, I played a singles match as my favourite Diva on the roster – in this case it was Aksana, a video game debutante – going up against another debutante in Kaitlyn, I was expecting some pretty big things. Despite the cool entrances for the new Divas plus the looks, I wasn’t too impressed. The gameplay was pretty much the same as WWE13 with only one real new change (that I noticed anyway) which was the grapple-drag-and-lean shtick which is pretty cool. May I also just take this time and say that unless there is some easy way of doing it that I am not aware of yet, putting someone into a groggy position on the second rope in a 619-ready position is DIFFICULT.

One of the main modes and features of this game is the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, where as a player, you go through every Wrestlemania since the first and play key matches from each of them. Just like WWE13′s Attitude Era mode, to unlock everything and make the most of your nostalgic experience, you have to do some key things throughout the match. For example, you will have to Sweet Chin Music Ric Flair three times at Wrestlemania 24 (and subsequently cry as the cutscene takes place). This mode is definitely a nice touch to the game and I found it very entertaining reliving all the old moments, even if they were a bit historically off (NOTE: Stephanie McMahon does get Rock Bottom’d at WM 2000).

One portion of the 30 Years mode is the “Streak Mode”, where you either Defend the Streak as the Undertaker in a slobberknocker, or Beat the Streak as a wrestler of your choice against the Undertaker. Beat the Streak was, dare I say, fantastic! As witnessed at every Wrestlemania the Deadman has participated in, you just can’t put the man down for the 3 count, no matter how hard you try. In the game, it is the exact same. As Ryback, I had to hit the Undertaker with at least 4 Meat Hooks and 4 Shell Shockeds before he would finally stay down – and this was after I rage-restarted about six times.

The roster in WWE2K14 was alright, however the big issue I had with was the notable omission of FAAAAANNNDAAAAANNGOOOOOOO. He was a big star of 2013 and won a match at Wrestlemania 29 against Chris Jericho, so you’d assume he’d be included. Nah. As a Diva fan, it’s also important to point out that they have gone down to the infamous “Seven Diva Rule” where only seven original Divas are included in the game, and two of them are Legends, leaving five current Divas. They also missed out on the Usos, sadface. I love them.

I haven’t dabbled that much in Universe Mode because I found that quite similar to WWE13′s Universe Mode as well, although the rivalry portion of this year’s mode is quite fun, even if you can only do 3 per show. Playing a Diva rivalry on Universe Mode is #totesamaze.

Creation is – I sound like a broken record – very, very similar to WWE13. Creation parts in Create-a-Superstar are pretty much the same with no new cool hairstyles or short skirts to add to your Diva. The only cool thing I liked about this game’s superstar creation is the “Social Name” part where you can put your CAW’s Twitter handle in their ring entrance. Other than that, not really impressed with any of the other creation modes. I do have to make mention of how much I love the “Top Diva” generic theme.

While I’m at sounding like a broken record, graphics are pretty similar as well. I mean, the same Lita and Stephanie McMahon models have been used. Really?

Solst-o-meter
Gameplay: 7.0/10
Graphics: 6.8/10
Creation: 6.6/10
Overall experience: 6.8/10

While I find it fun to play for a solid hour or so, I don’t see anything that will keep the casual gamer from sticking around for that long. It’s too similar to WWE13 to note any major improvements and I’m disappointed that the change to 2k Sports hasn’t had a major impact on game development. Hopefully, the DLC of Summer Rae and Fandango will change my mind because I luff them 4eva.

- by Noah La’ulu