Girl Power: Video Game Heroines I Love

I don’t always pick women characters when I play, but I will admit that seeing strong female characters in games, especially playable ones, does make me feel empowered and represented. And over the years, I’ve come to have a couple of favorites.

First off, from one of the more recent games I’ve played, is Max Caulfield from the five-episode graphic adventure game “Life is Strange.” Perhaps I love Max mostly because she’s a mostly relatable character – I don’t have the power to rewind time (yet), and because she’s a smart, creative, mature, and kind person and players can see her grow from being very self-conscious to more confident during the game.max_plays_guitar-wordpress-i

Image source: wikia.com

And there’s Samus Aran from the “Metroid” series. Admittedly, it was a big surprise when I realized Samus was a girl just like me because up to that point in my life, I was only exposed to women being saved as opposed to being the heroes of the game. Thanks to her Power Suit, Samus has enhanced strength, but she was also endowed with superhuman agility and has a strong sense of justice that makes her the perfect hero.

And then while I do realize that most people who played the epic “Final Fantasy VII” game were attached to Aerith, and I do love her, I mostly gravitated to Tifa Lockhart. For some reason, playable girl characters were typically relegated to healer or mystic roles before then but then there was Tifa, who used her fists to beat up monsters and villains. Her independence, loyalty, and bravery were inspiring to me, as were her awesome boots.

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Image source: gamefaqs.com

Other favorites of mine are the ultra-cool free-running protagonist of “Mirror’s Edge,” Faith Connor, Crash Bandicoot’s adorable, tiger-riding sister, Coco Bandicoot, and Nana, the pink-clad mountain climber from the retro game, “Ice Climber” because she’s an equal to her companion, and she has a huge mallet that she’s not afraid to use.

Hey there! I’m Diana Wylde a computer science student who’s familiar with spending hours upon hours playing video games. Check out my Google+ account to find out what I’ve been playing recently, as well as updates on my other interests.

Why Grand Theft Auto 3 is the Best Game in the Series

Okay, let’s just make one thing clear: Grand Theft Auto is really about destruction. For the most part, the series revolves around stealing cars, running away from the police, and earning as much money as you can. Each game features a different city and protagonist. The game is inherently funny, and a lot of the characters are endearing despite their more questionable life choices.

My favorite game from the series is Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas. Allow me to explain why.

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Image Source: takesontech.com

There is an actual story: Fine, it’s not an Earth-shattering story, but it’s good enough to keep the ball rolling and make you want to exact revenge of Tenpenny in the end. Unlike the other games that have vague storylines, GTA3 keeps you readily involved in Carl’s life. Additionally, a lot of the side stories are fun and engaging. My particular favorite was the mini storyline involving the Triads.

Best.Soundtrack.Ever: GTA3 was the first game that introduced a fully comprehensive radio list that suits everyone’s needs. When the game first came out, the top comment was that it had the best soundtrack ever. Most games have their own composer, but GTA3 made it truly like real life, with several stations to choose from, each with their own DJs, song selections, and commercials. It is arguable that while the previous GTAs had their own radio list, none were as comprehensive as GTA3.

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Image Source: tcrf.net

Grand Theft Auto 3 is quite a long game, especially if you’re interested in completing all the mini-games and submissions, but I found the entire experience to be incredibly fun and exhilarating. There is something uniquely special about GTA3 – perhaps it’s the soul or the story – but I’ve never felt the same way I did when playing the other games in the series.

My name is Diana Wylde and I love playing computer games. When I need to take a break from my games, I dream of traveling to Santa Barbara, CA, and its charming cities, Santa Maria, Goleta, and Solvang. Learn more about my interests when you subscribe to my blog.

The Mind Is a Dangerous Place: Why Silent Hill 2 Is The Most Psychological Game Ever

Image Source: tay.kinja.com
Image Source: tay.kinja.com

The horror of Silent Hill is the fact that the creatures are all in your head. This is the core of all the games: Silent Hill is a representation of the dark aspects of the protagonist’s mind. It is true that there are common enemies across the series (e.g. the Pyramid head) but at its very essence, Silent Hill is scary because you are inevitably fighting your own demons. It is psychology taken to the extreme; where “evil” is defined by what you’ve done.

The second game in the series is considered by many fans to be the epitome of inner horror. More of a remake than an actual sequel, Silent Hill 2 takes you further into the protagonist’s past than the first game. Producers of the game still give us the creepy factor, but there is something inherently unnerving as to how the game shifts depending on your actions. There are three different endings (and a bonus one if you complete all three in a single game file) based on key decisions you do throughout the game. Like with real life, the endings and subsequent clues are based on the past.

What is truly unnerving about this game though is that the alternate endings are not an assured thing. The game does not unlock a specific ending just on what you did, but how you did it. The game shifts to the protagonist’s state of mind. Thus, the ending is a mere representation of how you handled the situation.

Image Source: vice.com
Image Source: vice.com

I find the entire game incredibly sinister, but also somewhat cathartic. It can be taken as is, as one hell of a creepy game, or as something deeper than that. It makes you question your own life and how you ultimately create the life you lead. The game emphasizes little, seemingly inconsequential actions, as having profound effects in the future.

Diana Wylde loves computer games in all its various forms, regardless of platform, age, or genre. There is always something to be learned from these games, and I like to write about them and post them on Twitter On days I need a break from my games, I daydream of the charming cities of Goleta, Santa Maria, and Solvang, in Santa Barbara, CA.

Videogame History: Pac-Man

Lately, I’ve been having the desire to play old videogames. Aside from those that are easily available online like Space Invaders and Asteroids, I have been enjoying Pac-Man. Unlike the other two games I’ve mentioned, Pac-Man is pretty much alive in other platforms like the X-Box Live.

Image source: Backofthecerealbox.com

Like a true videogame fan, I dug up the history of Pac-Man and realized that it has been around since my parents were teenagers. I remember hearing a lot about the 80’s from my parents and this is one of the things they loved from the era. Since 1980, Pac-Man has been capturing the hearts of players fr0m Japan, to the US, to the rest of the world. Released by videogame giant Namco, the brains behind the Tekken and Soul series, Pac-Man was the front-runner of arcade games. In the 90’s it raked in approximately $2.5 billion as the highest-grossing videogame of all time.

But did you know that creator Toru Iwatani was inspired by pizza? I get his love for pie, but apparently, the two missing slices from a box resembled what would be Pac-Man’s shape. Aside from this, Popeye’s spinach-fueled strength also inspired Toru and his team for the Pac-dots. The maze and the ghost elements of the game were added to appeal to audiences other than teenage boys who spent most of their time in the arcade. The cute ghosts Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde are an annoying bunch but I have to say that they are an effective addition to the game’s fun factor. What would the game be like without these apparitions chasing our hero all around the maze?

Like Pac-Man, it’s nice to know that the games we enjoy have a legacy. It reminds me that good things take time and last long. In the meantime, I’ll go back to playing my classic videogames. See you around!

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Hi! My name is Diana Wylde and I’m a 19-year-old Computer Science student from North Carolina. I love videogames and sushi. Though my parents are Danish, I have only been to Solvang, CA, USA’s “Little Denmark”. It’s my happy place. Visit this Facebook page to know more about me.

“Warcraft” The Movie In The Eyes Of a Game Fan

All my friends know how much of a “Warcraft” addict I am. I’ve been a fan for so long, I barely remember how and when I started spending hours in front of the computer with the orcs.

Image source: blizzardwatch.com
Image source: blizzardwatch.com

But how I feel about the movie is a different story.

I waited in line to watch the film despite reports of how disappointing the plot was. I did not want the spoilers to ruin the fun for me (I won’t write much about it here in this post, I promise) so I skipped posts from Rotten Tomatoes and other movie review sites. But as I watched the movie myself, I understood where the bad reviews came from. To be honest, the movie did not bring justice to what “Warcraft” stood for.

CGI and other effects were on point. In fact, the visuals were so good, I was awake the whole movie because of what I was seeing on screen. But no matter how good the effects were, the movie just missed a lot of elements. Maybe writers tried their best to put a thick plot that would show real action between the humans and the orcs, but their efforts failed to put essence on what the story really is about. There were too many characters, but there was no one protagonist that stood out. Some of the scenes were unnecessary, too.

Image source: gamesradar.com
Image source: gamesradar.com

Maybe I just had high expectations for this first movie. I hope the sequel will be longer and put enough justification as to why the first one did not work out the way game fans wanted it to be.

I’m Diana Wylde, a huge video game enthusiast and a travel bug. I like exploring new video games and places in the Santa Barbara County, CA. Learn more about me by visiting this blog.

Free Play: The Top Mobile Game Apps You Can Download For Free

Image source: businesskorea.co.kr
Image source: businesskorea.co.kr

There are thousands of great mobile app games available today. Whether you are a hardcore gamer or just someone who enjoys the occasional game of Candy Crush on your morning commute, there is a mobile game app suited for you. Let’s take a look at the top three free mobile game apps of all time:

Temple Run
Released in 2011, Temple Run is a single-player “endless running” video game for mobile phones. The game is very simple yet highly addictive– you must control a character as he runs inside an ancient temple inhabited by crazed monkeys. Along the way, you must collect coins and avoid obstacles to obtain a high score. A sequel of the game was released in 2013.

Clash of Clans
CoC is not only one of the most popular but also one of the highest grossing mobile app games with an estimated daily revenue of over $1,000,000. This combat strategy game developed by Finnish company Supercell has over 40,000 new users daily. CoC lets players build a village, train troops, and battle with other users. The game is an outstanding commercial success with gaming tournaments dedicated to CoC battles.

Angry Birds

Image source: supercell.com
Image source: supercell.com

Angry Birds is popular for its fun gameplay and comical characters. The app was first released in 2009 and ever since, it has been downloaded two billion times across all platforms. Angry Birds was developed by another Finnish video game company, Rovio Entertainment. The game now has different versions and special editions but it still remains to be one of the best and most enjoyable mobile game apps today.

Hi, I’m Diana Wylde! I’m a computer science student at Duke University and a huge video game enthusiast. I also like exploring the cool cities of Santa Barbara Country in CA including Solvang, Santa Maria, and Carpinteria. Follow me on Twitter for more updates.

Visiting Solvang CA

I can’t wait to visit Solvang CA again after I graduate college. I always eat at Actors cafe they have the best sandwiches. Since visiting Europe is so expensive and far, Solvang CA is my next best option. For now I am just going to sit home and nerd it out playing Minecraft. I probably order up some sushi rolls and invite some friends over.