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Nerds Without Pants Episode 7: The Daily Planet

More like Newsies Without Pants, amiright?

You were probably expecting a really entertaining discussion about our favorite female video game characters with a real life lady guest. Sadly, this episode of Nerds Without Pants is another sausage fest. We hope we can bring that topic to you in the future, but for now please enjoy this free form episode.

It’s only been a week since we last recorded, and Rob and Patrick haven’t gotten up to much in the gaming department. Rob brings some movies and books to the table, and Patrick got Child of Eden for his birthday. Julian’s got you covered though, with Way of the Samurai 4, Mutant Mudds, and Double Dragon Neon.

After that, we go into some news. We rarely talk about the headlines, but there was some big things in gaming since our last episode, including the announcement of the iPhone 5, the Wii U launch details, and the oddly timed sacking of the creator of Plants vs. Zombies…right after a sequel is announced. Sit back and let your pantsless newshounds give you the straight scoop.

We wrap things up with a question from a listener that leads into Julian’s personal story of failure with the ladies. Thanks for listening, and please comment below or at our Facebook fan page.

 

Featured music:

Selections from the Double Dragon Neon soundtrack by Jake Kaufman.


 

Comments

Julian Titus Senior Editor

09/21/2012 at 02:43 PM

In case you were wondering, the Newsies from left to right would be Patrick, Rob, and myself. Although that should be fairly obvious at this point.

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

09/22/2012 at 09:13 AM

Any chance you can replace the 'papes with Wii remotes? That would be epic.

Our Take

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

09/24/2012 at 02:33 PM

So, Double Dragon Neon. I don't know if you guys remember, but I did a preview of it ages ago. In it, I levied a few complaints about what I saw, and what I believed they needed to improve. The visuals were not an issue, and I completely loved the score to the game. Good call Julian, putting that in the podcast by the way. 

While there were some improvements to the final product, I originally didn't think it was enough. The game still felt sluggish and poorly paced. I played the demo a couple of times and just decided I didn't like it. The next day, Julian was tweeting about it and he and I had some back and forth, which led me to play the game again.

The second time around it all clicked. I was able to play the game and really enjoyed it. I was considering purchasing it when I noticed the look on my wife's face. She was not pleased about something. So we talked about it for a bit and she basically said she really hates the way women are portrayed in the game and actually went so far as to ask, in a very nice and non-demanding way, if I wouldn't play it anymore.

This is the first time she has ever said anything like that in as long as I've known her.

I was honestly a little shocked. Both her and I have a... how should I say this... tastefully perverted sense of humor. For example, in Tales of Vesperia she laughed pretty hard when one of the less gifted female characters, Estelle, made comments to a more developed character, Judith, about the fact that Judith was bouncing, while mournfully stating "I wish I could bounce..." She even laughed about the "thunder tits" joke in the opening cinematic to Neptunia (we don't have a PS3, so I don't know if the entire game would bother her.) I explained everything I could about the satirical nature of the enemy, and how it fit into the ridiculously over-the-top nature of the game, but it didn't matter. This was the first time I had seen my wife honest to God offended by something like this, so I had to know more.

After quite a bit of discussion, here's what I think is the problem: Those dominatrix chicks have nothing to them at all except T&A. All they do is show up, act like strippers, talk dirty, and die when you punch them a lot. By contrast, Estelle and Judith (keep in mind, Judith's outfit is almost as bad as the whip cracking Double Dragon baddies) have more to them than just sex. Estelle's comments come out as genuine and humorous. Judith, despite her clothing, is a deep, mature character. Maybe they have a pervy side, but it's a side to the character, not the whole package.

Now maybe it's not exactly fair to compare a fully fleshed out RPG character to a glorified punching bag in a brawler title, but I believe that's the biggest part of the problem; since they aren't "real" characters, they have no apology for being sexually nasty and come off as nothing more than titillating fan service. If you're going to make a woman fighter, make her one. Make the jokes, but make them more than just one note. The occasional dominatrix would have probably been OK, and she probably would have found that funny, but one after another after another I think was just too much. It also didn't help that this was the only way women were presented in the entire demo.

Now don't take this too far, I get the joke, but I intend to treat it like one. If I hear a joke I find funny, but know it will offend my wife, I might laugh if I'm not in front of her, but I'm not gonna repeat it. Likewise, while I personally get the joke that is the world of Double Dragon Neon, it's certainly not worth upsetting my wife for a few hours of game play and laughs. Honestly, I feel lucky that my wife does get and appreciate the jokes that she does. So while I'm not gonna pretend to be a Knight in Shining Armor and decry the game as an affront to all women, I am going to state that it's just not a good fit for our household, and I'm OK with that.

Julian Titus Senior Editor

09/27/2012 at 07:25 PM

This is an interesting thing, and it reminds me of when Duke Nukem Forever came out. It seemed like the video games media as a whole rose up in contempt and shock at the content of DNF. It was so purile, so lewd that of course it needed to be castigated!

I sat back, wondering how a bunch of 20 and 30 somethings all of a sudden became so prudish.

Was DNF infantile? Absolutely. In bad taste? Probably. Funny? Not really. But it didn't offend me. I was raised in a very strict religious household, and yet it takes a lot to offend me. I went to public school. I worked with a bunch of dudes in their early 20s when I was 17. I have the internet.

Now, I'm not saying that your wife is a prude, Angelo. From talking to you it sounds like the opposite. But her reaction surprises me as well, simply because I've seen worse in video games. I thought the Lindas in Neon were out of place because they were so overtly sexualized in a game not known for that type of content. But I just thought they were kind of dumb and moved on. I was much more offended by Skullmageddon and his awful voice acting, bone puns, and stupid gimmicks like "Penatrator missiles".

I'd love to hear her thoughts on our Femme Fatales episode of NWP. I'm sure she doesn't listen to the podcast but I hope you'll have her try us out with that episode.

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

09/27/2012 at 08:38 PM

Man, Duke Nukem. That game was pretty much crap on every level, but I totally get why people were offended by that game. I don't think my wife would appreciate that one too much either, but yeah, I also think she would have looked at the media reaction and thought it was hypocritical as well. I mean, there's worse crap than that in movies all the time, and yet you never hear film critics falling all over themselves to decry the latest tasteless flick, and what's more ironic than seeing IGN's review bash it for being just such a game juxtaposed with their latest Babe of the Day underwear shoot.

You know though, My wife and I are no where near as straight edge as our parents were (we were both raised in households that sound very similar to yours) but I think there's another big reason this set off her alarm bells; we have kids. Yes, I know I bring them up constantly, probably ad nausium at this point but having kids really does change your perspective on everything.

Again, it's not like we can't take a joke, but good jokes need context. I think another thing that may have worked against it was that the Linda's had no context. It was a joke that was all punchline without any clever framework, so it just came off as a cheap thrill. It's just like you said, they felt out of place in the game. All that's left to them at that point is sexualization. While I'm surprised she found it as offensive as she did, as a woman, that's her right.

Also, she laughed at "Penatrator missiles" when I read her your response.

She also asked that I clarify one thing, she found this personally offensive. This isn't something she want's to publiclly stone someone over, it's just something she didn't like, didn't feel comfortable around, and didn't think was a good fit for our household. 

Michael117

09/24/2012 at 04:10 PM

@Angelo Mmm, wall of text. The Lordvessel is satiated sir Angelo, and all of Lordran thanks you. On a serious note, I can understand your wife's experience and opinion, as well as yours. You two seem to have great senses of humor and it's so cool that you can enjoy so many of the same things and same jokes. If this game isn't a good fit for your household I think that your decision not to play it is a very reasonable one.

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