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Mortal Kombat 11: Wakanda Edition

I liked the Mortal Kombat reboot with MK 9, it was far more fun to play than the older games, IMO. But this isn’t about how much I liked the games. I had heard how woke MK11 had gotten, and it was on sale so I decided to review it to celebrate the new, appropriately R rated, movie!

Gender: 3 out of 5: There’s always been strong women in MK games, and that’s no real issue. Female fighters have been a staple of fighting games since Chun-Li. My main issue was what they were wearing. Especially what they were wearing compared to what the men were wearing. No more scantily clad fighter babes! However, the men are free to have their chests exposed, even wearing little more than a loincloth! WE’RE NOT YOUR EYECANDY LADIES! (sarcasm of course)

Brutally murdering a woman is perfectly okay as long as she’s not too sexy!

Sexuality: 1 out of 5: Except for some romance in between characters, this didn’t really come up.

Race: 3 out of 5: Plenty of diverse characters but my problem was with Jax’s ending, where he turns Africa into some kind of quasi-Wakanda. Not that changing time to make sure things are fair for everyone is a bad thing, but more because it takes Jax as a character, one of my favorite characters in fact, and defines him by his skin color. He’s black so clearly slavery is the only thing on his mind as if he has no other personality traits!

Anachronism: 1 out of 5: Modern times with some sci-fi/fantasy elements so kind of hard to pin down.

Overall: 8 out of 20: Aside from the issues listed, this game wasn’t as woke as I thought it would be, though I’m sure we’re all disappointed with the lack of bouncy babes. Back to Dead or Alive and Soul Caliber, I guess…

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Story of Seasons Friends of Mineral Town: A remake of a classic, if you can ignore the wokeness.

ANOTHER game I wasn’t going to review. Yes, even I like a calm farming RPG after blowing up spaceships, making shady business dealings in the future, and ripping demons into small bloody chunks. I loved Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for the PS1 back in the day (an updated, at the time, Friends of Mineral Town). So I was very excited about the remake of Friends of Mineral Town Story of Seasons remake (SoS is the new title for the real Harvest Moon games, don’t ask, it’s a whole thing). So what’s my problem with this charming farm JRPG? THEY MADE IT WOKE!

Note: This is for the western version only, the Japanese version does not include the main problem I have, as described below.

Gender: 2 out of 5: You can play as a boy or a girl though the game doesn’t change much if you do. I find it interesting the girl character can do farm work while pregnant but I’m sure it’s done for balancing issues (it would be unfair to have your character lose a month while she waits to get birth.) Besides that, the male/female dynamic is pretty traditional.

Sexuality: 4 out of 5: THIS. So, in the game you have characters you can romance and eventually start a family with. There are 6 bachelorettes for the boys, and 6 bachelors for the girls. Every time you meet one of these potential mates you get a cut scene you’re forced to play through. This also goes for any “romance” scenes you trigger just going about your day. However, the western version of the game decided to add gay marriage, so now there are 12 marriage candidates no matter what gender you are. This means, twice the amount of annoying cut scenes you end up triggering every game. This is the reason I rated it so high, it actively interrupts gameplay. No, I don’t want to flirt, Rick. Rick is the worst!

Race: 1 out of 5: Well, it’s a Japanese game so most characters are the same race. That’s right: Caucasian. Seriously though, you can make your farmer dark skinned or lighter skinned (there’s literally only three options). There’s also Kai, who’s dark skinned, but he lives on an island and only visits during the summer so maybe he’s just tan?

SCREW YOU , RICK! NO ONE LIKES YOU!

Anachronism: 1 out of 5: Some modern conveniences, like a TV and a phone, are present but otherwise this game could take place at any time.

Overall: 8 out of 20: Still a fun time if you enjoyed the original and can ignore the forced attempts to be woke. Also, the female marriage candidates no longer look like pre-teens! (Except for Popuri for some reason), so, sorry if you’re into that sorta thing.

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Doom Eternal: Battle the forces of Hell by being really, REALLY Angry

I wasn’t going to review this one either, but it was requested by a few people who said there was some wokeness in it, though I didn’t find any.

Gender: 1 out of 5: You play the manliest man ever, murdering demons with pure rage and masculinity!

Hell on Earth.

Sexuality: 0 out of 5: Never comes up, not an important part of the story (take notes, Star Wars Squadrons.)

Race: 1 out of 5: The main character is white but mods and DLC can change this. It doesn’t matter in terms of the gameplay though.

This is what happens when newcomers aren’t properly vetted.

Anachronism: 0 out of 5: Future hellscape, does not apply.

Overall:  2 out of 20: Not only is this game totally unwoke, but it also pokes fun of a lot of PC culture, such as being politically correct towards demons, referring to them as “Mortally challenged.” Plus, this game is filled with so much testosterone, I highly recommend!

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Introduction: How the System Works

I’ve been a gamer since I was 6 years old. I love gaming. But one thing I can’t stand in recent games is the “wokeness” that has been driving the narrative of many modern titles. For those that don’t know, Urban Dictionary describes being “woke” as “The act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue.” This will not be a page that disparages real issues that need discussion. It will not be a page that mocks any kind of diversity in gaming. It will, however, mock forced diversity for the sake of “wokeness” in gaming.

A good example of wokeness is the recent Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War. Among the NPCs who help you in your quest to free Gondor is a black man and a woman. As we know, Gondor is based off medieval Europe, who were not known for their black soldiers or putting women in the field of battle. If this game were in a modern setting or a different fantasy world (such as Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft), I wouldn’t really care. But Tolkien had a clear point of reference for his work and the game developers ignored it for the sake of diversity.

If my pointing this out pisses you off, then before you call me a racist, consider this: If a series was based off an African story or an African legend that involved only Africans, would you put Asians in it? If you don’t see the difference between this and what I’ve described above, you are a hypocrite and also probably a secret racist. I don’t care what your college professor told you about “white privilege” or some other modern philosophical BS that was made up just to give people another group it was okay to hate.

Introducing the Elder Wokeness Scale:

Now let’s get on with this. Wokeness will be measured in five categories:

Sexuality: Gay? Straight? Something else?

Gender: Male, female, or whatever else might be applicable.

Race: Does it matter if you’re black or white?

Anachronism: Does the above fit in the game world?

Overall: Is the overall experience “Woke”? Is it so woke it gets in the way of enjoying the final product?

Each score will have a 0-5 rating.

0 is a null rating, usually means non applicable in this particular game.

1 means the subject doesn’t matter much in the overall game experience.

2 means the subject matters a little but is not in your face about it.

3 means the subject is present but can be easily ignored.

4 Very woke and in your face about the subject

5 EXTREME wokeness. The game is clearly just a vehicle for this subject and not much else.

For the overall score:

1-5: Not woke at all.

6-10: Somewhat woke, usually not enough to prevent enjoyment of the game.

11-15: Pretty woke. Social justice issues are a major subject of this game.

16-20: Pretty much a Social Justice Warrior’s dream game.

Horizon: Zero Dawn: Unravel the Mystery of the Apocalypse

I’ve had a couple requests to do Horizon: Zero Dawn so I thought I’d give it a try. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, according to Steam I sunk over 50 hours into it. Not even as woke as I thought! Especially with Ashley Burch voicing the protagonist (nothing against her personally, she has a good range of voice work, but her youtube channel went super woke and she works on lots of woke games).

Gender: 3 out of 5:The main character, Aloy, is a woman, so there’s that. Other than her, the male/female population is pretty even, though some women hold positions of power over the men, (the village Aloy is from is ran by women and worships a goddess, but there’s a reason for that, as you will learn through playing), so I gave it another point. There are also several very capable men but almost as many who are weak, cowardly, evil or generally incompetent, which interestingly enough gave them a lot more character development. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the women, who often give Aloy quests to fix or find some man who wronged them or hasn’t come back. Women also seem to get along with each other more than the men.

This is Aloy. As you can see, she’s a fiery redhead, so she’ll be played by a black woman in the Netflix adaptation.

Sexuality: 1 out of 5: This isn’t really brought up much aside from a few side quests.

Race: 1 out of 5: People of all races are present in this post-apocalyptic future and once you get into the plot more, you’ll know why.

My, isn’t this topical?

Anachronism: 0 out of 5: post-apocalyptic future, doesn’t apply.

Overall: 5 out of 20: My only real issue was with how there seems to be far more competent women than men. The major villain is a man, and I’m fine with that, so is one of the most noble characters in the game. Aloy is also raised by a man who took her in and it’s clear she loves and respects him very much, so it’s not like all men are shown in an unfavorable light, which is why I didn’t rate it as high as I could have.

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Cyberpunk 2077: Diverse but Not Woke Enough?

Note: Sorry this took so long, I had surgery recently and have been recovering, which has cut into my game time.

I was a huge fan of the Witcher 3 so I was anxiously awaiting Cyberpunk 2077. Transhuman is the theme here but that hasn’t stopped people from complaining about the other kind of trans, so I’m gonna review it!

Gender: 4 out of 5: Obviously this is the biggest issue. You can play a man with breasts, a woman with a penis, or one with both. I didn’t give it a full five because there’s really only one trans character in this game (besides you, if you chose, and of course that controversial sign that appears everywhere). So while it was there because the LGBT demanded it, it really isn’t shoved in your face, which I find hilarious, since this is possibly the most trans-friendly AAA game in history, and still it’s not enough for these people.

Body type now, cuz gender is offensive!

Sexuality: 3 out of 5: Quite a few gay characters, and you have the choice of sleeping with both male and female characters, though Night City is so full of degenerates that this doesn’t seem out of place.

Race: 2 out of 5: Future cyberpunk city in California so of course there’s going to be a large mixture of races. If this offends you than you’re probably a racist. I did appreciate this games take that “every race has its assholes” though.

Obligatory “this game is super glitchy” image.

Anachronism: 0 of 5: Future dystopia, doesn’t apply.

Overall: 9 out of 20: I can appreciate the designers attempts to appeal to all sorts of players with all sorts of beliefs. Anything offensive can be argued that it offends everyone equally. It takes shots at every group but also shows that every group is capable of goodness.

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Star Wars Squadrons: Behold, DIVERSITY SQUADRON!

I wasn’t going to review this game. I was a huge fan of the old X-Wing and Tie Fighter (especially Tie Fighter) in the 90s. I played through them and their sequels multiple times. I eagerly awaited this game. I mean, Fallen Order was very politically neutral, how could they possibly make Squadrons woke? Well, they sure found a way!

Gender: 5 out of 5: Most of the characters are female. The New Republic squadron has 3 women and one man, plus the PC (who can be either). The Empire command structure you encounter is entirely female except for one guy. Not only that, but you can make your PC trans as well! Male/female head can be placed on male/female body and given any male/female voice.

Pay attention to his line. It’s very important to the plot! (just kidding, it never comes up again)

Sexuality: 4 out of 5: One gay guy but I’m bumping it to 3 because it really has no place in the story. Then there’s the female “non-binary” pilot, which bumps it to 4. Funny how the term had never existed up until a few years ago but “a galaxy far, far away” uses it already!

Race: 5 out of 5: Once again, no white men allowed! Except for Wedge and a cyborg on the Imperial side. Honestly, I had no idea the empire especially was so diverse! Only a single white male on the entire ship! Also the options for a white PC are very lacking. You can choose between hipster douchebag or butch lesbian.

Woke Squadron! And not a single white person in sight!

Anachronism: 0 out of 5: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, so non applicable.

Overall: 14 out of 20: Possibly the most woke game I’ve ever played, and I played Life is Strange season 2! Anyway, I’m going to go play some classic Tie Fighter as a palette cleanser after playing this garbage.

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Alien Isolation: Play as Ripley’s Daughter in the Coldness of Space

Let’s be clear, when we’re talking about strong female characters who actually behave like women, there’s few better examples than Ellen Ripley in the movie Aliens. Here’s a woman who faced her fear and used her motherly urge to protect to save a child and destroy a monster. She’s a momma bear, protecting her young. Just wanted to show how much respect I have for that movie in particular. (not it’s sequels though, which ruined all the progress made in Aliens).

Sexuality: 1 out of 5: It doesn’t really come up, though there are some families mentioned that fled the station, romance isn’t really mentioned.

Speaking of sex..yeah, you know what’s coming.

Gender:  2 out of 5: Amanda Ripley is the main character, and she acts like a normal person, not a superwoman. She’s smart, clever, and resourceful, like her mother, but if she runs into the Alien, she’s dead.

Race: 1 out of 5: The races of characters isn’t really a focus of the game.

He pops up everywhere but he’s surprisingly bad at looking for Amanda under desks and tables.

Anachronism: 0 out of 5: Sci-Fi so doesn’t apply.

Overall: 4 out of 20: A good, apolitical sci-fi horror game. I’m usually not a big fan of horror games but this one I actually finished!

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Remnant From the Ashes: Save the World from Tree Monsters

I had put this game on my steam wishlist, then Epic store offered it for free! It’s a third person shooter where you go to various worlds to save Earth from tree creatures called The Root. So here we go!

                Sexuality: 1 out of 5: Not really an issue. There’s a family involved in the main story but relationships aren’t really there.

Trees have a language. No, you can’t learn it.

                Gender: 1 out of 5: Men are men and women are women. The player character can be either. The leader of the survivors is a woman.

                Race: 1 out of 5: Also doesn’t really come up, but there’s a black guy who sells stuff. He’s one of the more friendly survivors. The player character can also be any race you want.

                Anachronism: 0 out of 5: Post-apocalyptic future, doesn’t apply.

                Overall: 3 out of 20: A pretty standard game, no real political or social motivations. I had fun with it though the ending sucked.

August Update Delayed

I try to do one update a month but both my computers have been down the last few weeks and I just got my desktop up and running again. I had a couple reviews planned but they turned out not to really have much to review. I’m going to start playing a couple new games in the next month and review them. I’m also working on a political blog on the side. Hope to see y’all next month!

The Sinking City: Investigate the Horrors beneath Oakmont

The Sinking City is a game I had been dying to play for a while now and, though it’s not perfect, it was tons of fun. The variety of monsters is a bit lacking (there’s only really four types that you encounter over and over again), but this is one of the few games that does Lovecraft right.

Sexuality: 2 out of 5: It doesn’t really come up, but there is another gay character shoehorned in which was rare in the 20s. Lovecraft was pretty racist and I imagine homophobic as well so he would not be pleased.

You might of thought I meant “descended from apes” in the Darwinian sense, but what I meant was that his dad boinked a monkey.

Gender: 1 out of 5: It doesn’t really come up. Men are men and women are women. There are some female characters who want more out of their lives, which fits for the era.

Race: 2 out of 5: The only reason I’m rating a two is that the opening of the game talks about not hiding the racism of the era, which I can totally respect. However, the only real racism comes between the Throgmortons, who are descendants of apes, and the Innsmouther “fish men.” The KKK even shows up at one point, killing some fishmen. The main issue with this was there are plenty of black people in town and there was really no racism against them, which is odd if the KKK is ALSO in town. I have no problem with killing the KKK but my issue is they’re essentially racist against a race that doesn’t exist.

Anachronism: 3 out of 5: I’m giving this a point due to the lack of real racism in the era, even though the game warns that it exists in the game. And another point for its attempts to shoe-horn in modern day politics (Corrupt mayor wants to “make Oakmont great again,” also tries to blackmail you into murdering his mother.)

Overall: 8 out of 20: Aside from the above issues and some badly forced modern politics I had a lot of fun investigating the perpetually drenched city of Oakmont.