There are plenty of examples of this kind of bad female characterization. Lara Croft, the classic feminist hate figure, and her murderous kleptomania. Whatshername from Dead Space, yelling at you to fix everything while she sits behind a monitor eating cakes. There's a particular scene in Crysis that sticks out in my mind when you rescue a female archaeologist (generically hot and skinny, natch) who gets offended and sarcastic when your outrageously Cockney colleague addresses her as "love." Anyone familiar with English colloquial dialects could tell you that "love" in this context is not necessarily diminutive, but more an equivalent of "dude" or "mate," so her reaction struck me as hypersensitive and thick.
Females in this vein don't come across as "independent" or "strong." They act like neurotic feminists who feel that their every action and expression has to illustrate the fact that they're just as capable as the men, and don't like being looked upon amorously (hence why they all dress so conservatively, I suppose). They're as shallow as any traditional kidnapped princess because they only have one character trait, and still define themselves by the men that surround them.
You want to make a strong female character, you do the same thing you do to make a strong anything character. Give them a life, a backstory, hopes, dreams, desires. Give them the capacity to feel the whole gamut of emotions. Yes, let them be tough, but let them laugh, and cry, and find things to enjoy in life. And why not give them a wazza pair of jugs, too. That's always fun.
"I had really been hoping for something newer... oh wait I forgot - he's in Australia, "Land of Late Released Games" and all that."
- Venatio, from the Wet comments (eeeesh)
"Next up Brutal Legend......please?"
- crotalidian, from the comments attached to the review of the aforementioned game
This seems as good a time as any to talk about how my schedule works, before crotalidian gets disappointed. I usually don't get review copies, because it's The Escapist offices that gets them, and by the time it could be sorted out and sent to me it'd probably have been released anyway. So I usually get them the same time as everyone else, more often than not imported from the US to sidestep the Australia release dates thing. Once I have the game, it takes a week to play it and a week to make the video, and the video doesn't actually go up until the week after that. They'd probably take less time to play if I didn't have to do so at the same time I'm making the video for the game I was playing the week before, and if I could play games for more than five or six hours at a time without my eyes bleeding.
All of which means that Brütal Legend will be next week's video, not this week's one. Sorry. But as was pointed out to me once, coming later than all the other reviews could be to my benefit. By the time I get my feelings across most people have had a chance to play through it and so understand what I'm talking about, and all the milky white hype and excitement has drained away to the point that everyone's ready to take another look in the bucket to see the horrible gelatinous thing that they've been drinking from for the last two weeks.
Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer, who are too important to mention us. His personal site is www.fullyramblomatic.com.