March 27, 2008

Finished Ninja Gaiden DS just in time for the English-language version to come out. Great. As far as I can tell, I didn’t miss out on much of a plot. The verdict: I had pretty low standards for a hack-n-slash on the DS, so I was pleasantly surprised by how well the input and the visuals worked. It’s pretty slick. Sadly, at about 7 hours or so for my first (and only) playthrough, it’s a few hours too long to basically do the same hacking and slashing against different backgrounds. Not enough variety. On the plus side, I’m ranked 210th on normal difficulty. Woooo.

Played a few minutes of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. I’ve never played any of the FFCC games before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Seems like it’s worth a little more of my time, at least – I just finished the second dungeon, and the level design seems to be a little more inspired than I anticipated. Certainly more inspired than that Dungeon Explorer DS game I sunk a decent amount of time into a few weeks ago. I don’t know what I was thinking. I loved Diablo II more than I’d care to admit, but Dungeon Explorer DS was no Diablo II.

In other news, a blog on Asian Americans and Popular Culture, which, as far as I can gather, is a class project somewhere, linked to my now-infamous discussions of Indigo Prophecy. I still get people coming in and telling me I’m too sensitive, racist, etc. on those posts. Anyway, the blog post had an interesting take on things:

However, I have a problem with this reading, since this reading rests on the assumption that Lucas Kane is a white male. You see, for the whole time I was playing this game, I was under the distinct impression that Lucas Kane was Asian.

It’s an interesting post, though I disagree with the reading – to be frank, it sounds to me like the author got stuck with a case of wishful thinking. (I hate to say it, but we Asian American men aren’t stereotyped as kickboxing rock gods quite yet. YET.) The writer also thought I was a woman named Pam Miller. Anyway, the really interesting part came in the discussion we had in the comments:

Because I was actually a French history specialist in undergrad, this game just struck me as quintessentially French in the way it handled race. The official government policy of racial equality means for them that race is rarely officially acknowledged.

It’s a huge controversy right now whether or not they would they will take ethnic statistics in the next census. The drive towards that is led by the right wingers under Sarkozy, who want to use it to clamp down on immigrants.

I know absolutely nothing about race in France other than Zidane’s legendary Headbutt Super Combo…

… so this struck me as another interesting example of how poorly one country’s racial common sense can translate incredibly poorly into another country. Or, alternately, as an example of how utterly ridiculous “colorblind” attitudes are.

pat m.

P.S.: Today we got a visitor who searched for “Why black people don’t like Resident Evil”. I never really asked myself that question, but frankly, if I had to guess, it would have to be related to a healthy aversion to white people with guns. That one I can understand.


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