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Special Stage Extra: Let’s Rock, Baby

Aside from being busy with other things, I’ve been playing a lot of Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, an intriguing game of mushrooms, chortles, and globin. However, today’s post isn’t about that, as I’ve not yet beaten it (actually, I’m very near to the end, so expect that entry soon); rather, today I have a roundup of links which have caught and/or been brought to my attention lately.

If this isn't girly, I don't know what is.
If this isn't girly, I don't know what is.

Bayonetta has been on my mind for a long time now, and even though it’s finally out, it’s not so much of a priority that I went out and got it right away. Still, I’ve been reading and hearing things about it here and there. The most interesting piece I’ve come across so far is Leigh Alexander’s Bayonetta: empowering or exploitative? She makes a great case for the title character being a truly feminine protagonist. I played the demo not long after reading this piece and through that small glimpse, I can completely see what Alexander is getting at. Bayonetta is sexy and appealing, sure, but she’s also not just a male character in a female skin—she really is feminine. I think a lot of it’s in the details, like the blown kisses, the butterfly wings that sometimes appear on her back, and the way she reacts, in a cutscene, when flowers sprout up from the ground beneath her feet. It’s all so stylish, but I expect no less from the designer who previously gave the world another sexy piece of eye candy in the form of Devil May Cry‘s Dante.

Speaking of which, a new printing of Dante Alighieri’s poem Inferno is now available in bookstores, with a cover that has to be seen to be believed. Both aghast and amused, I took the news to Fandom Lounge to share this horror with others; there are many gamers who frequent the group blog, but also many more avid readers, and their own reactions were not unexpected. The wallpaper-sized version of the obligatory Penny Arcade comic that followed has been trimmed down and is now on my desktop.

Cheers to StarKnightX over at the CAG Forums for posting the link to Bitmob’s article Dangerous Ideas to Improve the Video Game Industry. I don’t know if I agree with some of the points made, but in general, it’s a thought-provoking piece, and well worth a look.

Finally, something funny I ran into while lurking over at a certain forum, as I do every so often: a comprehensive BioWare RPG Cliché Chart. A great companion to the classic Grand List (see the Links page for that if you don’t know what I’m talking about), and, from what I can tell, about as spoilerific, so take care.