5 Video Game Heroines Who Don’t Need Rescuing

Step aside boys-from fighting slave traders to fighting zombies, these powerful, independent women are here to take names and kick ass. Straight from their virtual worlds, here are five video game heroines who don’t need rescuing:

5. Lightening (Final Fantasy)

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This heroine is a busy lady. After seeking to save her younger sister Serah, Lightning serves as a knight protecting the goddess Etro in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Then in the closing Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning is chosen to be a savior by the god Bhunivelze charged with saving people’s souls before the world ends (no big deal). Though initially cold and distant to those she meets, her fierce determination and independence are a force to be reckoned with.

4. Aveline de Grandpre (Assassins Creed: Liberations)

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How could we not mention the first female protagonist in the Assassin’s Creed series?Born to a wealthy French man and an African slave, Aveline grew up relatively happy and safe. However after the sudden disappearance of her mother, Aveline becomes dedicated to pursing freedom of slaves and eventually becomes an official member of the Brotherhood. Aveline makes this list for defending the weak and fighting for the oppressed, and looking badass while doing so. You go girl!

 

3. Ikora Rey (Destiny)

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While Ikora Rey is not a playable character, her lore in the Destiny universe is significant. We know that before taking on her role as Vanguard, she flew solo reconnaissance missions across the inner solar system and Invective was her weapon of choice. Known for being outspoken, Ikora now employs a group of spies called The Hidden to go behind enemy lines and report back on possible threats posed by the Darkness. It’s no wonder why all guardian orders respect and admire her.

2. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)

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Of course, our girl Jill is making the list- this zombie fighting heroine is legend. One of the original protagonists of the first Resident Evil game, she appeared as a member of U.S. special police unit STARS along with her team partner Chris Redfield. Players soon learn that Jill has devoted the majority of her adult life to stopping bioterrorism. You can find Jill in many of the Resident Evil games including Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil: Revelations, fighting the  Umbrella Corporation and its various splinter groups. Ride on.

1. FemShep (Mass Effect)

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And number one! Ms. Commander Sherpard (AKA “FemShep”) is arguably the most loved video game heroine of the past decade. This three-time galaxy savior is a born leader who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Yes, she’s an attractive female, but she’s certainly not on display for your benefit. If she gets romantic its on her own terms. But looking to the larger picture, FemShep is a champion for quality female protagonists. We love what BioWare did with this character and we at The Lady She Games are hungry for more!

Who did we miss? Let us know your favorite video game heroines in the comments!

Mechanics of Playing a Blind Character in DnD

Building a blind character in Dungeons and Dragons can add a unique dimension to your party, while also just being a lot of fun to play. Figuring out your character’s backstory is of course the first step. Are you going to play as a mysterious oracle, a wailing bard, or a blind archer? How long have you been blind? To what degree are your other senses heightened as a result of being blind?

Once these and various other questions have been answered, you must move on to a trickier aspect: figuring out the mechanics of playing a blind character. While the internet offers answers that are often confusing and scattered here are what I find to be the most helpful tips:

Disadvantage on Perception Checks That Rely Mostly On Vision

Most of the time, a blind character can get along with perception checks just fine. Perhaps they don’t see the dragon flying in the distance, but they can sense an irregularity in wind patterns, or they can sense a source of heat getting closer. But, a perception check for picking up on a subtle facial expression is not something that a blind character is likely going to sense.

If Another Sense Becomes Compromised the Character Has Disadvantage on Attack Rolls

This is also pretty intuitive. In a fight, a blind character would rely entirely on other senses to attack, so if they are fighting in a noisy arena, or if the affects of a numbing spell are still wearing off, it’s only fair the character rolls disadvantage.

Gain Advantage on Non-Sight based Perception Checks

Remember, your character’s other senses are how they experience life. Even if your character has been blinded recently, their other senses are being more dramatically exercised then before. Depending on the character’s level they may be able to sense some pretty neat things, like using a heartbeat to check if someone is lying. Or smelling a dead body to tell how long the corpse has been there.

These, along with other ideas can be found at this DnD reddit. Ultimately it is up to you and your DM to work together to figure out what mechanics would be right for your character, and their history.

Have you ever played a blind character in DnD? What mechanics did you use? Let us know in the comments!

 

Games with Non-Sexualized Female Armor

While the days of women in video games being reduced to “damsels in distress” are thankfully behind us, we still have a ways to go before women’s armor is no longer needlessly sexualized. Ivy of Soul Calibur, Quiet of Metal Gear Solid V, and Mileena of Mortal Combat IX are just three of the worst offenders of overt female wardrobe sexualization of the last few years. But the good news is, there’s hope.

Though the last few years have provided us with some laughably skimpy lady-gear, it has also given us games in which our female characters can feel like stylish but fully-protected badasses.

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Destiny was originally released in 2014, and has since added serval expansions including “The Taken King” (2015) and “Rise of Iron” (2016)- and as someone who has played through these let me assure you, the female armor has only gotten cooler and cooler. Regardless of what race you choose to play as (Human, Awoken, or Exo) you are guaranteed stylish and class-oriented full body protection for whatever planet you’re fighting on. But what makes Destiny’s armor especially intriguing are their shader options. As players you can collect a variety of color/texture shaders to customize your guardian’s appearance. You can get these shaders from random drops OR you can buy them straight from Eva Levante, the Guardian Outfitter who works in The Tower.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition

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Dragon Age: Inquisition is the third installment of the Dragon Age game series, released in 2014. Like the previous two Dragon Ages, Inquisition players create a character from a list of races (human, elf, dwarf, or qunari) and classes (warrior, rogue, or mage). For the most part racial choice does not affect armor appearance,  but because the races are so radically different in size the race you chose does affect the fit of the armor you have on. The only other exception to this is that the qunari race does have unique headslot equipment. Regardless, the armor for female characters of every class in this game is phenomenally creative and works with the female body to make armor that is emblematic of their identity in the world.

3. Fallout 4

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The Fallout franchise turned their lady-centric sex-appeal way down on their fourth chapter. The raciest outfit you’ll find in this Fallout game is “The Harness,” which is a far cry from the “Chained Stripper” outfit of Fallout: New Vegas. The best part of Fallout 4’s female wardrobe? The diversity in style. You can switch from looking like a wasteland wanderer to wearing a cute 50’s style red dress with the tap of a button. To give you an idea of how many different outfit options there are, watch a minute or two of this video which takes the viewer through each and every one of the available female clothing options.

Have other game recommendations for console games with non-sexualized female armor? Let us know in the comments!

Zelda Breath of the Wild: No Install Required!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is arguably the most anticipated game the Nintendo Switch team has announced. Fans of the Zelda series are literally counting down the days, hours, and minutes to playtime- and for those fans, some very good news has surfaced.

Reports are coming in that despite the Switch’s considerable storage space (32 GB), there will be no installations required. This means players will be able to play Breath of the Wild as soon as they pop in the cartridge on launch day. While this is consistent with previous Nintendo systems, those who are typically PlayStation and Xbox gamers will be happily surprised to find how quickly they can access the next installment of Link’s story.

However, insta-Zelda access hasn’t altered the fact that the console might have some bugs. Several reviewers are reporting that while playing Breath of the Wild, basic Joy-Con reliability has become an issue. Polygon contributor James Bareham writes, “Over the course of my time with Breath of the Wild, I’ve had repeated problems with the left Joy-Con controller partially or even completely losing sync from the Switch console while docked and connected to my television. This is a pain in the ass at best, but has also resulted in several deaths playing Breath of the Wild.

A simple work around for this is to use the Switch in handheld mode, which while solving the problem will still likely be an annoyance to players who have long awaited the game’s release. Both the console and the new Zelda game will be available in stores March 3.

Haven’t seen the game’s trailer? What are you waiting for!  Watch it now!

If You Haven’t Heard of Polygon’s “Monster Factory” You’re Missing Out

On May 4th, 2015, Polygon content creators Griffin McElroy and Justin McElroy published a video entitled, “Monster Factory: Randomly Generating Horrifying Faces in Dark Souls 2“- the idea being to find a game with a customization engine that had the potential to turn a playable character into- well, a monster.

The description for the video reads, “In this pilot for a soon-to-be smash hit video franchise, Justin and Griffin create Squirtle using the character creation tools in Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin.” While this description was likely made in the spirit of silly self-depreciation, they would turn out to be more right than they knew.

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540,150 views later, the video would be the launch of a series of pure comedy gold. Some of their wackiest creations include The Final Pam (a heavily-makeuped version of Fallout 4’s female protagonist), The Boy Mayer of Second Life (an Augustus Gloop-esque boy who loves Totinos Pizza Rolls), and Borth Samspon (a European non-symmetric Bart Simpson from Black Desert Online). While these comically grotesque creations may sound too terrifying to love, Griffin and Justin warmly think of their monstrous creations as “precious children.”

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At times the aid of mods are used to enhance the monster-factory potential. For instance, their character #Noid finds himself in a world made of pizza complete with Steve Harvey face shields and healing vials of Mountain Dew. All elements that surprisingly were not a part of the original Dark Souls game, but that make for a very funny pizza adventure.

Another character who received a little extra “help” from the character customization gods is Truck Shepard– an utterly mutilated version of Mass Effect’s Commander Sherpard. Justin and Griffin created this remarkable being by “hacking into the mainframe” of the game and typing in random numbers. The results were stunning:

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Intrigued yet? Binge watch the full Monstery Factory playlist now! New episodes come out every other Friday.

Get Ready: The 2nd Wave of the Pokemon Go Craze is Coming

Just when we thought that Pokémon Go mania had officially died down, it looks like the internet may need to brace itself for round two.

The augmented reality game that consumed social media in 2016 is getting a considerable update this week. Niantic recently announced that a total of 80 new Pokémon from the second generation of games will be introduced, in addition to new outfits, evolutionary items, berries.

Although this update does not include the multiplayer and trading features so dearly wished for by players, the draw of exotic catches and outfit customization is likely to give the game a boost. Meant to add some more complexity to the game, the Nanab Berry will slow down Pokemon, making it more difficult for them to run off. Likewise the new Pinap Berries serves players by helping them collect twice as much candy after a successful catch.

Comments on the story broken by Polygon confirm that a renewed interest in the game is rising, “Awesome. My family and I are getting to the stage where there aren’t many pokemon left to get. This is perfect timing!” Another commentator noted, “I feel like it did not have to take this long. I know they’ve had issues but damn. I’ve been playing on and off still, but now I FINALLY get these new pokemon!”

What do you think? Will these updates pull lost Pokémon Go players back in? Let us know in the comments.

Studies Show Women Who Game Are More Confident

Ladies- feeling down on yourself? Can’t seem to find motivation? Forgot how to flirt? Well, you might try picking up a new hobby: video games.

Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and  SuperBetter author Jane McGonigal draws on hundreds of studies to support her claim that gaming promotes confidence by tapping into three psychological strengths:

• Your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings
• Your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships
• Your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination

At this point you’re likely thinking, “That all sounds nice, but a little video-game induced dopamine rush isn’t going to change my life.” Actually, it can. The dopamine your brain produces during gaming increases the mind’s motivation for goal achievement. McGonigal writes:

“This helps explain why gamers never give up and why you can see a player trying to tackle the same stupid level fifty times in a row and they still have hope. ‘I think I’m gonna do it next time, I just gotta give it one more try.’ They don’t want to go to sleep, they don’t want to quit. The dopamine is really firing them up.”

But it doesn’t stop there. As you continue to attempt more and more challenging levels and games, your brain becomes programmed “to continue to think in that pattern,” says McGonigal. “So if you are playing a game and can step away and use that dopamine high to tackle a real-life challenge, that’s actually really productive, right?”

These productivity patterns result in an increase of confidence that flows into all areas of your life- even your flirting ability! McGonigal cites a recent Stanford Study, saying that if you play with an avatar that you consider powerful or attractive, you are more confident flirting afterward. Likewise, the study showed that playing with an avatar that resembles yourself can also make you more motivated to work out.

The benefits of gaming abound… So what are you waiting for? Get out there, pick up a controller, and conquer the world!

Apollyon: What We Know About For Honor’s Female Villian

Ubisoft’s For Honor beta kicked off February 9th, allowing players to get a taste of what’s to come in the Valentine’s Day release of this competitive online multiplayer game. Thus far, most reviews have discussed the weapon-play strategy demanded of the player. Learning  attacks, guard breakers, combos, and additional special moves while monitoring your stamina levels will definitely require concentration and practice.

But I want to take a step back, and look at the first cut scene that introduces the player to the universe of For Honor.

 In that scene, the player is introduced to a peaceful medieval world that is suddenly ravaged by the forces of nature. The devastation causes water and other resources to be sparse, leading the vikings, samurai, and knights left behind to fight each other for what is left. Their war rages on for centuries, despite the earth replenishing itself with more than enough resources to go around. The original reason for their bloodshed becomes “lost to the ages.”

In a brief moment of quiet after battle, we see members of the three factions standing and silently contemplating the possibility of a peaceful existence with each other. The moment is short-lived as an arrow shoots from behind a tree, prompting the three to continue on in war. A female voice narrates, “I will show them… I am Apollyon. I bring War.”

The camera then focuses in on a commanding female knight, who we can safely assume is Apollyon; our main antagonist.

So- aside from this engaging cut scene, what else can we know about our striking female villain? Apparently more than we think. The For Honor Wiki describes Apollyon as,

“The undisputed Warlord of the Blackstone Legion, through her the Blackstones have come to rule Ashfeld. She admires the warriors of all three factions but is disgusted that they have begun setting aside their warring ways in favor of peace. She intends to start a new age of war by turning the three factions and leaders within each faction against each other. She wishes to usher in, as she calls it, ‘an age of wolves’, viewing the groups that are willing to go to war wolves that will fight each other for survival and the ones who favor peace to be sheep waiting to be slaughtered.”

Apollyon’s survival-of-the-fittest attitude hardly seems consistent with what we know historically of female attitudes in the middle ages. But according to the same wiki, we get to know why. As a young girl, her village was ambushed by Vikings who demolished her land after a Lawbringer deemed her village unworthy of his defense. This was the first of many horrors she would witness at a young age, resulting in a predator/prey understanding of human flourishing. Oh, and that Lawbringer? Turns out she had plans for him,

“When she was sixteen, she finally found the Lawbringer who had doomed her people. She ambushed him, dragged him into the street, and then brutally executed him. Afterwards, she brought his armor to a blacksmith, and had it re-fashioned to fit her. She wears it still. It is a warning against anyone who would dare to use the law against the strong.”

It looks like For Honor players will have their hands full with this highly-motivated warlord. And we at The Lady She Games are psyched to see where her story will take us.