Tahira, a sci-fi epic that will question our violent histories this August

Before the imperialism of the 19th century, or the World Wars of the 20th, there were the Crusades: a series of military campaigns in the Middle-East between the 11th and 15th centuries. During these campaigns, various Christian European powers sent large numbers of well-equipped men to what was dubbed the Holy Land to fight against local inhabitants, as well as the largely Muslim Turks, who would eventually become the Ottoman Empire. They were fought for a number of reasons: to capture Jerusalem, to help the Byzantine Empire maintain control of its lands, arguably to attempt to reunite Eastern Christians with…


Fire Emblem Fates isn’t afraid of big, bold choices

Videogames operate on a timescale that we don’t expect from any other medium. Poetry and music often take minutes; novels and films hours. The day is not an uncommon unit of measure for the time we spend with games, and for games like Destiny (2014) or World of Warcraft (2005), weeks can be the operative unit. To me, “play” seems like a reductive way of describing a relationship of that length. You watch a movie, read a book, play a game; those verbs seem to describe fairly casual relationships. “Rewatch” and “reread” suggest a higher degree of focus or devotion,…


Beautiful African fantasy RPG Aurion comes out April 14th

In 2011, Elder Scrolls took players to the overtly Scandinavian nation of Skyrim. This week, Fire Emblem Fates will welcome Western players to the heavily Japanese Hoshido. And now we know that, on April 14th, 2016, Africa will finally get it’s due when Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan opens up its Cameroon-inspired planet of Auriona. Aurion aims to do for Cameroon what Never Alone (2014) did for Alaska’s native Iñupiat people. It’s to be the first installment in its local developers’ planned Kiro’o Tales, which hopes to advocate for African culture through games, comics, and cartoons. Last September, Aurion earned $50,000 in a…


This story about gay marriage in a videogame shouldn’t be big news, but it is

This is going to be a short article because there aren’t two sides to tell. In Nintendo’s upcoming Fire Emblem Fates, it will be possible for your avatar to bond with an NPC of the same gender during a war and eventually get married. Polygon reports that relationships between men will require the purchase of the Conquest edition and relationships between women will require the purchase of the Birthright edition. Alternately, those who purchase either one of these editions will be able to download a third story line that allows for same-sex marriage for either gender. These relationships are optional,…


Fire Emblem delay was a double-edged broadsword for Nintendo and its customers

Fire Emblem: Awakening was greatly anticipated at the Kill Screen offices. In fact, it still was until just a few days ago, nearly a week after its official release. Many physical retailers had not received their copies by last Sunday, February 4th, due to a shipping delay. Numerous parties involved gave their two cents: Nintendo claimed the fourth was always the “shipping date,” not necessarily when stores would have it on shelves. GameStop said they only ordered enough to cover pre-order, with walk-ins needing to wait until Friday the 8th at the earliest. Even Amazon initially had a disclaimer on…