Happy belated 4th, everyone. 🙂 I think I ate a bit too much, which means I'm gonna have to row a little extra this week, but whatever.

Are more girl gamers hardcore these days?

When I read the latest NPD study , I began to wonder: although they attribute the rise in female gamers (up to 28%) to the Nintendo Wii, I'm wondering if the Wii could act as a "gateway console" to heavier gaming. I think we all know that any studies that say females comprise half the gaming population are completely inaccurate; they're calling the chicks who play a little Flash game at work "gamers." But this latest study utilizes stricter requirements and I certainly believe that many girls out there love playing the Wii. For the most part, this doesn't really help the hardcore guy gamer, who still interacts with his favorite hobby in a very different way. The cute Wii chick isn't going to identify with the hardcore RPG fanatic. At the same time, I'm thinking that besides the fact that the Wii is essentially "gaming Lite," it's still somewhat related to stuff like MGS4 and FFXIII. Sure, it may be a distant relation, but the interactive video aspect is still there. So I ask, might this ever-increasing population of girl gamers also include a healthy portion of hardcore followers?

I've received several e-mails in the past from girls who very much love gaming and are kinda sick of guys refusing to believe that love. Now, while that does – perhaps indirectly – prove that such girls are still in the minority, at least it also proves that they exist . Therefore, there may come a day when women will enjoy the most intricate, advanced pieces of gaming technology available. You watch; when MGS5 comes out, there will be just as many girls waiting in line as guys. …okay, probably not, but I'll bet there will be more than there were in the MGS4 line!

Don't sleep on Shadow of Destiny PSP

I tried to get people interested in the recent announcement of Shadow of Destiny for the PSP (you can sense my appreciation of that game in the article), and I'm repeating my plea. For those of you who really gravitate towards fresh, unique titles, and for gamers who list designers like Team ICO amongst their favorites, you really shouldn't miss this game. It was one of my most memorable experiences of the PS2 era, and to this day, I want to put it back in and try for another ending. The concept is just fantastic: someone is hunting you, and although you don't know who or why, you know you have to stop your own death. The Homunculous (sp?) will take care of you in the world between worlds but in reality, you must find a way to keep the killer from striking. It may be one of the last true examples of an adventure game, as it requires only your noodle; success relies on solving the immediate problem (how you died, and how to stop it) and the ultimate problem (who is trying to kill you and why). It's really worth a look and when it releases later this year in handheld form, I urge you to pick it up. You won't be disappointed.

I'm just wondering what Konami might add. There's every chance in the world that they'll toss in some upgrades or enhancements of some kind, and I'd be interested to see if there are gameplay updates. Perhaps new branching storylines…? If you're one of those people who always complain about too many sequels on the market, do yourself a favor and play Shadow of Destiny .

Personal gaming update

I'm in sort of a dry spell right now after beating inFamous . I will play RE5 after getting it for my birthday and the only other game I had intended to play was Virtua Tennis 2009 , but as you can see, it turned out badly. I love Top Spin 3 but I'm bored with it now and as some of you know, I'm currently in the process of replaying Final Fantasy VIII . However, I've not surprisingly lost my momentum after stopping to play inFamous and now I have a brand new urge: replay Final Fantasy X . I always swore I'd play it again after finishing way back in 2002, but I never have and I've been kinda craving it… I'd like to think I can play and finish it before next month, and I really can't think of anything else I want to play right now. All the stuff I really want doesn't arrive until the fall or later ( Uncharted 2: Among Thieves , Assassin's Creed II , God of War III , Gran Turismo 5 , Heavy Rain , White Knight Chronicles , Modern Warfare 2 , etc.).

Nothing else, really. Oh, and as for my latest editorial , I'm really enjoying reading the responses. Good stuff. 🙂 Just please, don't think I'll ever tell you who the singer was…some files will forever remain confidentially sealed. As for my own semi-sticky situation in terms of personal stuff, that too must remain quiet. It's just too…sensitive.

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