An Argument For Calling Bloodborne A Modern Classic

Though it's the middle of winter, there's a bunch of awesome games coming out. Not surprisingly, there's also a bunch of awesome games writing, too. Not sure what to check out? Worth Reading is your guide.

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Overwatch can probably already brag about having the most diverse cast of characters in games, but Ana suggests Blizzard isn't done yet. When we talk about "diversity" in video games, we're often focused on a narrow set of characters...in their youth. Nico Deyo makes a formidable argument for Ana's age being a huge factor in what makes her interesting.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

"The incidence of older women, particularly those who show the same level of battle-worn demeanour as their male counterparts, is particularly low in gaming, not just Blizzard franchises. The number of playable ones is even lower than that. I can only think of a few off the top of my head: Olivia "Central" Gladstone (Invisible Inc.), Flemeth (Dragon Age), and Dr. Karin Chakwas (Mass Effect).   Like the few other older women characters out there, Ana is important because when we ask for inclusion of varied female characters in video games that should rightfully include women of all ages and types. Seeing older women having complex and interesting lives is not only interesting and realistic, but is something the audience might see in themselves. Quite a few women on Twitter remarked that seeing people so glowingly refer to Ana as awesome made themselves feel great about being slightly older than the "typical" gamer."

2016 has been a special year for games, where I'm constantly building a bigger and bigger backlog. It's the only reason I haven't returned to Bloodborne a second time. The more distance I have from Bloodborne, though, the more I appreciate it. At this point, I may actually like it more than the original Dark Souls! At the very least, the two are tied. (Also, the second half of Dark Souls is trash, whereas Bloodborne's is not.) Rich Stanton became obsessed with the game to a degree I wish I had time for, but in doing so, talks about finding a good moment (and reason) to let go.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

"When I realised I was saying goodbye to Bloodborne, I did so with a certain reverence, because this world had reverberated with some part of my mind. The Yharnam Stone came to symbolise this and soon lodged in my thinking, its proportions growing by the day. This is not a key item — unusually for the game it has no function whatsoever — but it is kind of a capstone to one thread and, more than that, a hunter's memento. I've known it existed for ages but the challenge of obtaining it, an optional trek to the bottom of the labyrinthine Chalice Dungeons, became a rainy day project. Two children means less time to mess about, and so it became now or never.   A common idea about games is they can be finished — completed, clocked, platinumed, whatever — and set aside, even though one of the qualities we prize most highly is replayability. One definition for the latter is how refined a given game's controls and core moveset are. Replayability is not about how long you can play for, but whether you want to."

If You Click It, It Will Play

Oh, And This Other Stuff

  • Tom Francis argued we're missing the point on VR: it's about controls, not immersion.
  • John Scalzi passed on some interesting thoughts on Twitter banning Yiannopoulos.
  • Bhernardo Viana took a closer look at an underrated character in Pokemon: your mother.
  • Alison Rapp used her own experience of being fired from Nintendo as a way to talk about Twitter's recent banning.
  • Chris Kohler cautioned against taking too many lessons away from Pokemon Go, and how it says very little about Nintendo and mobile.

Comments

    There is no argument, it most definitely is. It's amazing in every way.

      I agree. It's the best of the "souls" games and one of my favorite games of all time. The combat, atmosphere, story, everything is top of the line.

      I found it unbelievably overrated to be brutally honest. But, it's just not my thing I'm sure as many have gleaned immense enjoyment out of it.

      I played it only recently, and couldn't believe it was the same game people keep raving about.

      Each to their own I guess.

        I did at first as well. I packed it away and swore to return it to EB as trash. I gave it another go after the frustration passed and it began to click slowly but surely. I platinum'ed it a few months back.

    Although I have a PS4, exclusives make me sad. I really wish this was on PC.

      When they're this good I agree. I have a friend on Xbox who loves the series but is a bit too loyal/fanboi to buy the PS4 even though he wants to play some of the franchises a lot. When Xbone gets an exclusive I want bad enough I'll buy into it same as I did with Nintendo and Monster Hunter.

        Yeah I don't get the whole fanboi thang. I'm fortunate enough to have everything, but I just prefer to use my PC. For the most part the experience is usually superior to consoles (not always), and I can only imagine bloodborne at 60fps, with proper AA etc. Ah well.

    I can only think of a few off the top of my head: Olivia “Central” Gladstone (Invisible Inc.), Flemeth (Dragon Age), and Dr. Karin Chakwas (Mass Effect).

    How could you not remember the best older female figure in gaming, bar none; The Boss.

    For all of Kojima's arguable flaws in the depiction of women in his games, he nailed it with The Boss, she's the perfect combination of powerful, in control, and most importantly, not trying to be a "women can be strong by being men" archetype.

    I've platinumed Bloodborne and DS3, and I've played every souls game since they started. It's hard to say which I like the most. They're all masterpieces (except maybe I didn't feel it with 2, which felt more like a lvl pack for DS1)

    I adore Bloodborne. I find the combat more satisfying, but it lacks the depth and replayability of Dark Souls 1-3. Builds were very limited in Bloodborne until the DLC hit. In many ways, it feels more like "short stories from the soulsverse", whereas Dark Souls are broad, deep novels. That's not a bad thing. It has a direction and focus that's beautiful.

    Since Souls as we know it has now finished, I'm really hoping they go back and make a modern Shadow Tower.

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