Depends on what the fight was.
If they were vying on a brawn-only basis, Batman. Brains? Nancy Drew.
But if you asked my ten year old twins who would win – then you’d have a real battle. Because when it comes to electronic games, boys see things one way, and girls, another.
See, my son LOVES the new Batman game for Wii Batman: The Brave and the Bold the Videogame (full disclosure – I received a free review copy, he played it.) I was impressed with how it looks less like a game and more like the actual cartoon…uh, excuse me, animated series. (seriously – when did it become a bad thing for kids to like cartoons?) My son likes the story, he loves the graphics, he thinks it’s easier to learn than some of the other, more complicated games I’ve gotten for review.
My daughter. Not so much. It’s not that she doesn’t like it, it’s just that she’d rather play her new PC-based game, recently released for Nancy Drew’s 80th (!) anniversary (and yet she still looks so young! how does she do it?!) Nancy Drew, Secrets Can Kill. (also a free review copy) My daughter doesn’t care much for battle games. She never says the six most dreaded words a mother trying to get her son to go to bed ever hears: “Let me just beat this level.” She likes that the Nancy Drew game allows her to solve puzzles – not just fight her way out of things. She likes that there’s a main character who’s a girl. And I like that the girl characters in this electronic game (unlike so many others) aren’t built like porn stars.
Her Interactive, the company that puts out the Nancy Drew series of games calls themselves a “pioneer of fun and inspiring interactive adventure entertainment based on female play preferences.” Which is basically PR-speak for “we make video games for girls.” And all gender stereotyping aside – there really is a difference.
Take the Kirby/Owls of Ga’hoole mash up. Bet you can guess which of my twins likes Kirby’s Epic Yarn (didn’t get a demo – just a demonstration! It’ll be in stores October 17th). It’s a cooperative game where players can help each other get to different levels, and where there really isn’t anything to “win.” It’s all about Kirby, the famously cute little critter – back for the first time since the Nintendo 64 days, who in this game, is made of yarn, and living in a patchwork world. The graphics are adorable, different, and look…well, tactile…if that makes any sense.
Here, see for yourself.
This is the kind of game my daughter would love. It’s the kind of game my son wouldn’t necessarily admit he could love…but I bet he would. Even a ten year old boy gets sick of blowing things up now and then. And the yarn graphics are inventive and funny. Even I love it. And I stink at video games. (I got a chance to play for a few minutes at a press event The coolest thing for me: when Kirby goes “behind” something, the “fabric” bulges out, and you can see him bulging behind it. So cute.) Bottom line: Kirby’s Epic Yarn is sweet, you’re not competing with anyone. and the graphics are cool and interactive without being violent or epileptic fit inducing. Wins the mash up for me.
Except for one thing. A few months ago but I received (gratis) a full-box set of the Guardians of Ga-Hoole books. The game Legend of the Guardians, and the soon to be released movie of the same name are based on it. I haven’t seen the game yet, but all I can say is: my son, whose favorite thing to say (after, “let me just beat this level”) is “I hate to read.” had to be threatened with loss of a playdate to get him to put down the third book in the series and go to bed.
On the strength of that alone (as well as the fact that in all the years I’ve been getting free electronic games, I have never before been given good old fashioned BOOKS – yay Warner Bros Entertainment!) I am shamelessly promoting the game, and including this quote from the press release:
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole – The Videogame is being released in conjunction with the highly-anticipated feature film from critically-acclaimed director Zack Snyder. The video game provides fans with the ultimate extension of the movie by allowing players to create their own Guardian of Ga’Hoole and experience the film’s storyline from a new perspective.
Hey – my son LIKED reading these books. That’s already a new perspective. Can you imagine how he’s gonna feel about the game? I can hear myself now: put down the owl…or else.
And you have to admit — it does look pretty cool:
Even so, I kinda like the cute little yarn guy better.
And since it’s my blog, Nancy Drew and Kirby win the battle.
Hey – I didn’t say it was fair. I just said it was my opinion.