Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bears In Games - Dragon Age Of Gay Dating

Dragon Age is here! Dragon Age is Queer! Get over it! Yeah, it ain't just Zevran who can get man-on-man action in Dragon Age! And he's not the only gay character either!

Bears In Games tackles the important subject of Dragon Age this week. It's true, there is gay banging in Dragon Age, involving elves, dwarves, humans, Qunari, you name it! But that's not the only reason a lover of the bearish type should purchase the game; for one thing, it's Dwarf character model is pretty damned hot. And you can make everyone in your party through off their clothes and go adventuring in just a jock strap. So we start off by having a look at the character creator, which honestly has some of the best options for creating a hot character that we've seen. Perhaps second only to Saints Row 2. Then we take this Dwarf adventuring, and see how much better the cut scenes are once you remove the clothing. (The answer? Infinitely better. Particularly when your father notes how great you look "in your great grandfather's armor.") Finally we finish with Kevin the Dwarf, Johnny's custom character, based on a heterosexual friend of John's, as he breaks hearts across Ferelden.

Bears In Games - Street Fighter Mantacular Part 4

Street Fighter IV! And more Street Fighter IV! We end the Bears In Games One Year Anniversary Street Fighter Mantacular by seeing what our favorite Street Fighters are up to now. Plus: a very special montage.

Johnny and Robbie go head to head with some Street Fighter IV action! But, first, Johnny has to admit that he hasn't actually unlocked much in the game, due to the draconian unlocking policies. Which is too bad, because Gouken is totally a bear. Actually, everyone is looking a whole lot more ripped these days, from Chun-Li's Bear Thighs to Ryu's throbbing pectorals. And then there's Rufus. Johnny loves Rufus! He's so pleasantly dumb. And everything is capped off with a look at the cutscenes of Zangief and Rufus, and finally a Bears In Games One Year Anniversary Montage aimed at everyone's favorite gay bear character! Shananana!

Bears In Games - Street Fighter Mantacular Part 3

Part 3 just checks out one game - but when you realize that it's Marvel Versus Capcom 2, you can understand why it takes about twenty minutes to go through all the burly, sweaty manliness that is contained inside.

If you are a fan of comic books, you might want to skip this one; Johnny and Robbie know next to nothing about them, and confuse "X-Men" with "Ultimate X-Men" or something shameful like that, and can't figure out why they're trying to slip in TWO Wolverines. But Marvel Versus Capcom 2 is a beartacular filled with bears and bearishness. Just exactly who is hot in this game? Lessee. Thanos? Maybe? Wolverine definitely qualifies. Sabretooth, yep. Zangief, of course. ("His big, burly shoulders are good to... HUG ya!") When ANAKARIS was alive, perhaps? Juggernaut! Gay Russian Colossus! M. Bison! The Hulk! Sadly, the Marvel fan seems to be much more on the bearish side than the Capcom side - apparently they didn't take enough characters from Saturday Night Slam Masters.

Bears In Games - Street Fighter Mantacular Part 2

We continue our unwanted assault on Street Fighter with Street Fighter III, which along with Gem Fighter is considered the pinnacle of 2D fighting. Also, we look at Gem Fighter. Played at all the events on the Hard Core Tournament Scene.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike is one of Robbie's favorite games, and all kidding aside is thought of as possibly the premiere 2D fighting game. It's sheer skill, and the heights you can reach as a player are pretty crazy. You won't see much of that here, of course. It's just Johnny and Robbie picking apart the lack of bears in the game, and Johnny making frequent Streets of Rage II references which apparently just fly over everyone's heads. Skate! He's like Skate! So Hugo IS one of the Andore brothers, which explains the appearance of Poison during his victory pose. And he's the one bearish guy in the game, but he looks like a sad combination of FAS and repeated blows to the head. He's based somewhat on Andre the Giant, who was hot but never much of a looker.

Gem Fighter makes Johnny uncomfortable. It's based on the cute Super Deformed versions of the Street Fighter crew from Puzzle Fighter, but they're back together again for a... fighting game! And a very playable one, too. It's a little reminiscent of Mighty Final Fight, the NES SD adaptation of the burly-man filled arcade hit. So why does it make Johnny uncomfortable? Because they keep dressing Zangief in vaguely fetish-wear type outfits, except that it's a cutesy, silly version of Zangief that no sane person should find attractive. So it's driving Johnny to therapy, you see.

Bears In Games - Street Fighter Mantacular Part 1

Bears In Games is a year old! And we celebrate with the manliest game series of all time, Street Fighter! Join Johnny and guest-host Robbie as they plow through Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter EX 3, and the Street Fighter II Anniversary Edition!

Super Street Fighter II HD Remix is the first subject of our analysis, and we pick apart its Udon take on the Street Fighter characters. It's a great looking game, though some background animation perhaps has a little bit too much GI Joe quality about it, however there's one part of the package that isn't quite up to par: and that's Zangief's package. Seriously, it looks like he got some kind of strange groin reduction for this HD version. Johnny is happy enough with his purchase of the game, simply because it's great to have a definitive version of the epic 2D fighter, but Robbie is glad that he didn't spend money on it. Ah well, there's no pleasing everyone.

Street Fighter EX3, however, is a real head-turner. What looks like digitized FMV turns out to be "computer graphics" of "models" based on the 2D Ryu and Ken fighting! Who knew! The photo-realism is blinding. BLINDING. Also great is the classic cast of characters, sure to please all Capcom die-hards: there is Sharon, Skullomania, and of course Doctrine Dark!

Then we head over the the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, which enables you to see who would really win in a fight: Street Fighter II Zangief, or Street Fighter II Turbo Zangief! We've always wanted to know, now is our chance to check it out. Seriously, though, it's a great way to see how the character art and moves progressed over the years. Zangief went from a kind of deformed troll to the muscle stud that he is today during this time, so it's worth playing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bears In Games - Epic Final Fantasy Extravaganza Part 3

We bring this exhaustive Final Fantasy retrospective to a close! And how! From the childlike characters of Final Fantasy IX to the strangely serious Final Fantasy XII, with a little Tidus, Yuna, JPOP, and Charlie's Angels all thrown in!
Final Fantasy IX brings a sad dose of agreement among Johnny and Max. Yeah, it's more fun when we disagree, but neither of us have any great love for the game. It's not a bad game, just has a slightly off-putting art style. It harkens back to the look of the sprites in the NES era, but gives them a slight tinge of "Tender Moments". And as for bears, well, you've got the Liotta-like Steiner, and... Baku. If you don't mind a pig nose and some sort of mouse ears. Sadly, though, it's hard to find anything really hot when it's done in that art style, that continued into the DS remakes and Crystal Chronicles series.

Final Fantasy X makes Max angry, while Johnny just is ambivalent. It's got a different soundtrack, and charted a course that the last eight years of JRPGs have followed with both graphics and presentation. Oh, yeah, and Fry from Futurama is Tidus. Or Herbie. And it's a fairly bear-free zone, unless you like Auron, Wakka, or Kimahri, all of whom aren't quite in the bear category. Though some of the Besaid Aurochs do actually qualify, specifically Keepa and the one with the goatee. Oh, and the Al Bhed.

If you want arguments, Final Fantasy X-2 is sure to satisfy. Is it a disgusting rip-off, recycling two year old assets into a weird, insulting Charlie's Angels knockoff with bad J-Pop? Or is it a fast paced, light-hearted, and musical journey? Depends on who you ask. But you don't have to look to hard to see some gayness between the effeminate Logos and Ormi. And all those guys we mentioned above are back.

Finally, FINALLY, we look at Final Fantasy XII, and... don't really find much to talk about. There's Vossler, and Cid, and... Baasch, but all those seem like reaching. Everyone is super slim. It is kind of neat that it takes place in a semi-persistant world of Ivalice, previously seen in the Tactics games, as well as Vagrant Story.

So... what's next? Johnny and Robbie are gonna take on something big, hairy, and burly for the Bears In Games 1st Anniversary Special!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bears In Games - Epic Final Fantasy Extravaganza Part 2

Johnny and Max now dive deep into Final Fantasy VII, with all its gay dates, bears, musclemen, and group assault. Also: Final Fantasy VIII, where magic meets Sweet Valley High. (Or is Sweet Valley High already magical?)

Final Fantasy VII. We all know it. Some of us love it. Some of us think that it's overrated and a step back for the series. But Max and Johnny are surprisingly agreeable on the subject, with both thinking that it is a great but flawed game, and one that pushed the JRPG genre as a whole in a new direction. But did you know about all the secret gayness in the game? Seriously. You can get molested by a group of big burly bodybuilders. There is much Cloud calling men Daddy. You can go on a date with the big bear Barret. Really, it is the most bear-filled of the Final Fantasy games, with two of the AVALANCHE team being big guys. Plus, to get on the date with Barret, you have to treat the women horribly, which is amusing in itself.

Then we move on to Final Fantasy VIII, and, thankfully, Johnny and Max have some spirited debate. Johnny likes the draw system, Max does not. So what does Final Fantasy VIII have to do with bears? Not a whole lot, really. There are two real bearish characters in the game, and one of them looks like Robin Williams. Which is not a good thing. The other, Ward, is Max's secret dreamboat.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bears In Games - Epic Final Fantasy Extravaganza Part 1

Johnny and guest host from Max take a good, hard look at the first four Final Fantasies. Provided that you think Final Fantasy starts with Final Fantasy III.

Final Fantasy III starts us off with its slightly creepy child-warrior look, and confusingly androgynous protagonists. But all is not lost in this game: it does feature one of Final Fantasy's hottest bosses, the Djinn! So that's something right there.

Final Fantasy IV does have a chubby bear as a playable character, but it's Cid. And Cid in this game could, based on your viewpoint, either look like A: a potato, B: a biker bear, or C: a gollywog doll. He's got some freaky lips. Other than that, not a lot of bears, though it does have girls wearing inappropriate bikinis. And is Yang a bear? He ain't hairy, but he is burly.

Final Fantasy V is a critical darling but overlooked step in the series. It had a great implementation of the job system, but not much of a plot. The beauty is in the excellent combat. So what does it offer us as far as bears go? One of the protagonists is an older guy with a moustache, and he and the hero, Buttz, seem to be cruising their mysterious (or Mister-ious) pirate friend. They think he's hot.

Final Fantasy VI drastically changed the way that games dealt with cinemas, characterization, and presentation. Does that mean it has good characterization? No. It just has it, period. And this is a big step forward for the JRPG genre. So while some of the dialogue is clunky and terrible, there are definite emotional high points. Also, is Sabin a bear? Sure he is. Because they say so in the game.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bears In Games - The Daily Lives Of Domestic Bears

Elite Bear Agents, Bears In Sims, and a slightly off topic look at Midnight Club: Los Angeles make up this week's too hot for TV episode of Bears In Games!

Elite Beat Agents is a bizarre music action game from INiS that just so happens to feature a lot of big guys, bears, and chubby guys. A spin off of the Japan-only Ouendan series, you tap along with the beat to progress the story. We take the time to look at four different bearish characters, and pause momentarily to see what secrets a young girl's dead father holds. Snotty Japanophiles will tell you that Elite Beat Agents has nothing on Ouendan, and that the music list sucks. Perhaps I have more tolerance for the sort of cheap licenses this game pulls, but it's not so bad. They generally go with the action on screen, and hey, it's got YMCA for the wet-suited bear Captain Brooke, David Bowie's Let's Dance, and Jamiroquai's Canned Heat! That's more songs that I like than the average Guitar Hero game. But I do have a terrible taste in music. I did miss out on some bears, though; the multiplayer features some exclusive story modes that I can't really show via emulation, and one of them has a very hot (for the creepy / funny super deformed art style, I mean) shirtless fat guy in a leather vest and hat. Hey! And did I mention big bear in wetsuit? I think I did. Moving on.

The Sims 3 was a big release this year, and it's better than it had any right to be. Honestly, it's just a polish of the Sims 2. But the Sims 2 needed a solid polishing, so hey! On the Bears In Games Facebook Page, I asked for anyone who wanted to be in an episode of Bears In Games for the Sims to sign up, and I actually got a few replies. So we've got Jack, a would-be writer and then sometimes paramedic / heartbreaker, Tom, the guy that pretty much everyone had a secret desire to kiss, Robbie, who watches a lot of television, and of course me, who in this case becomes a police officer and lounges around in underwear a lot. Oh, and has some anti-social habits.

Finally, I review Midnight Club: Los Angeles. This game sucked. Looks pretty in cut scenes. But the motion capture sucks, the characters are awful, awful people that you'd never want to have a conversation with, and the amount of T-Mobile product placement made this game virtually unplayable for me. Fools.

What's next on the Bears In Games plate? Well, I've recorded Final Fantasys III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, X-2, and XII and should be recording audio for that with Max from this weekend! Get ready for a pileup of Final Fantasy fun. Given that I was stretching the capacity of Blogger's 100mb upload limit with this one, I may have to break the RSS feed version into two chunks. Because that's a lot of Final Fantasy. Also getting Robbie (from the Sims) over for the Bears In Games One Year Anniversary episode... the subject? It's a secret. A sexy secret.

If you want to see Bears In Games in better quality, you can always check out the Bears In Games youtube channel:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Manhunter: New York Let's Play!

Yep, got a Let's Play of one of my favorite adventure games of all time: the bizarre, dark, horror-adventure game Manhunter: New York!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bears In Games - Manly Sports And The Bears The Do Them

Firstly, Johnny checks out the Bears of Beijing 2008! Or should it be BEARjing? Huh? In this episode of BearsInGames, Johnny is inspired by the hot burliness of Olympic athletes Manolo Martinez and Matthias Steiner into renting and playing a few events in Sega's Olympic tie-in Beijing '08. Did it deserve the critical drubbing it received? Can you play as your favorite bearish men? In short, yes, it did, and no, you can't. All you need to see about this game is contained in the video. Plus: a bulge-tastic montage. Next up: Legends of Wrestlemania for the 360. Ah, wrestling. Johnny has already covered Capcom's fantastic take on the subject, so let's look at how the WWE has brought together some of the best wrestlers of all time into one game. With Bam Bam Bigelow, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Arn Anderson, King Kong Bundy, Andre the Giant, The Iron Shiek, Nikolai Volkoff, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, you're not wanting for hot burly bear wrestlers. Though hopefully you like them well-muscled; most are disturbingly shiny and on steroids. (I mean, more steroids then usual.) Also: Johnny Barnstorm and Wil "Dubs" take on men online in oddly polite encounters! Lastly, UFC Undisputed: is it a fighting game or hardcore bear porn? Seriously, Johnny can't tell. There are just some points during the training where... well... let's just say that it sure looks like the fighters are really, really good friends. And having sex. UFC tries hard to be awful; the soundtrack is about ten decibels louder than any other game out there, and there's about an hour of recorded dialogue of the guy who runs UFC ranting about how it's the ultimate match of the ultimate fighters and they're modern day gladiators, and... ugh. But the game itself? Damn good. Nice to watch. Though the fighters themselves are modeled sans crotches. Weird.

Jus' a Quick Plug Of My Let's Play!

Hey folks, I'm doing a Let's Play of Codename: Iceman on my koobert youtube user, so feel free to watch it of you are a fan of watching other people play through early 90s Sierra On-Line games.

If you aren't, well, that's understandable.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bears In Games - Which WRPG Makes The Best Bear?

Unlike the set characters found in Japanese RPGs, western RPGs almost exclusively deal with created characters, with modifiable skill sets, gender, background, and most of all, looks. The downside is that this can lead to lifeless tabla rasas on which you are supposed to project yourself, egotist that you are. The upside? Big hot bears in RPGs! Who doesn't want that? So, firstly, we look at Bethesda's shake at the hugely popular Fallout franchise. How hot can a man wandering the nuclear wastes get? (If Mad Max's leather bound bears are any help, plenty hot.)Then we head over to the fantastic futurespace that is BioWare's Mass Effect, and finally check out the creepy troll-things that you can create with Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bears In Games - Musclebear Smorgasbord Extraordinaire

Johnny takes a quick look at games that feature men of the muscular persuasion; first there's Pit-Fighter, Atari's arcade classic from 1990 which used the then-impressive digitized graphics of musclebears, beefcake models, biker bears, and men in tight gear aplenty in a bare-chested brawling. Could anything be more heterosexual? Then we move to Altered Beast, the Genesis launch title that devotes itself to getting your big muscleman as pumped as possible before donning his were-whatever fursuit. Then Johnny takes on reviewing a hard to find Japanese PC release, Ie, Tatemasu! by Underground Campaign. As you can tell from the screenshots, this is unlike anything he's looked at before: it's a hardcore construction simulator. Keeping in mind load bearing pillars, wood density, and Tokyo Building Code, you must create a house within a strict time limit, while maintaining very, very, very close relations to your coworkers. Very close. Things get sticky, and you're up against a wall against the mounting pressure of time limits and budget overflows, but still worth playing. Repeatedly. 30 seconds to five minutes at a time. To wrap it all up, there's Punch Out!!, a game Johnny's so incredibly bad at that words fail to describe it. Oh, yes, there's also big bears, musclemen, and a possible appearance of the hanky code on Bear Hugger.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Johnny's Been A Guest Star

Yep, when Johnny hasn't been busy making DVDs and Blu-Rays, or working on the BearsInGames podcast, he's been engaging in some other podcasts!

You can hear him in two episodes of the fantastically vulgar That's What She Said Podcast, as hosted by the never-exacty-polite Christian, Frank, and Brian, and has been harassing and generally hassling the fine folks over at The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Films, another great podcast for in-depth-yet-hilarious takes on the business we call show. Gack. He's even had a voice mail on Gamers With Jobs, which means that he's only one degree of separation away from the inimitable Jeff Green.

Also been beefing up the number of ways that you can get BearsInGames, including:

- Facebook, the fan page for BearsInGames (Plus it doubles as a great facebook list of nerdy gamer bears and cubs).

- Twitter, @johnnybarnstorm and @bearsingames, at least, until they shape up their servers enough so he can trust @bearsingames to work properly.

- XBL BearsInGames

- is a good email address to use!

Bears In Games - The Gayest 16-Bit Games Of All Time (That Aren't Cho Aniki)

Just what is the gayest 16-bit game of all time? CHO ANIKI! But, that's a bit of a foregone conclusion. And at BearsInGames, we like betting on the underdogs. So we're counting down the top five gayest games during the wonderful era that brought us the Blast Processing of the Sega Genesis, the Mode 7 scaling and rotation of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the... Johnny Turboness... of the Turbografx-16! Watch in awe as we look at beefcake Boris Vallejo paintings, chubby bear giants in metal briefs, bear thugs with crotches the size of cantaloupes, rescuing Madonna during her Like a Virgin phase, the precursor to Soul Calibur, bad 90s press junket commercials with far too many crotch shots, secret passages into XXL London, the single gayest secret character of any game ever, and the best sprite-based animation you've ever seen! Plus even more Haggar!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bears In Games Episode 5 - The State Of Gays in Games

How are gays portrayed in modern video games? Johnny takes a look at what gays look like to game designers, and the hows and whys of their use in the games we play. We check out the Just Us Guys store owners in Aruze's Shadow Hearts: From the New World, Makoto from FROM SOFTWARE's Enchanted Arms, Jann from SEGA's Valkyria Chronicles, and Bernie and Brucie from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. How do they stack up? Are gaymers going to enjoy their video game counterparts? Are any of them big burly bear men? Don't get your hopes up.

You can follow BearsInGames on twitter with the user @JohnnyBarnstorm. Sadly, I did make a @BearsInGames but have had problems consistently accessing this profile. Dang it.

Got any ideas? Feedback? Email me at!

Next time: The Top Five Gayest 16-Bit Games That Aren't Cho Aniki!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New Digs, New Gamertag, New Show

Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know that I went dark for a while because I got a new job, new digs, and heck, even went to a new country. But I'm back and working on a new episode! In the mean time, feel free to add my new gamertag to your XBL list!

gamertag: BearsInGames