I have a love hate relationship with this game, but its mostly that I may adore it too much.
So Chantelise starts this list off with an obscure 3D action adventure doujin game that features a rotatable polygonal 3D landscape and sprite based animated characters that you may have seen the like of in the recent release Time & Eternity. I actually played this on a Japanese exchange student's laptop and she explained it to me as I couldn't read much kanji. I therefore don't know too much about the story but as it has been translated and put on Steam that shouldn't present any problem to enjoying this game. Basically one sister named Chante was cursed into being a fairy and now Elise and she try to break the spell. The world itself surrounds a single town holding a variety of shops including a fortune teller that provide the girls with the things they need to explore the dungeons outside. Physically attacking enemies is basic stuff, but magic is controlled by collecting colored gems defeated enemies drop which then coincide with a particular element and add an entirely new layer to what could have been a boring dungeon diver which Chantelise is thankfully not. My only complaint was that it was too short even at 12+ hours, I wanted more.
A Chinese Mythological/Historical RPG.
Seal of Evil places the player in control of a party led by Lan Wei, a Baiyue witch capable of casting spells drawn from the natural elements such as fire and water. Controls are click or hold to move and attack like so many of the RPGs PC is known for, but it is the setting that sets this game apart. For fans of ancient China and the spiritualism associated with the culture it is truly special. Lan Wei and party fight Snake Gods, journey through magic forests, and seek out stones with the power of heaven to set their country to right and defend it from a looming invader. Seal of Evil features an equipment and item crafting system in which combing things like gold, pearls, or certain types of wood that you collect in environments and from enemies or adding these ingredients to things you already have make or improve new weapons, armor, and other items. Though it can be slow going at times and lacks more modern conveniences like arrows pointing out the next destination, Seal of Evil is filled with side quests, dialogue choices, and wonder characterized by its unique rooting in China.
What happened when Alice grew up and the Wonderland in her head wouldn't let her go.
Creepy with some potentially frustrating platforming would summarize Alice for many, but I would like to add: brilliantly gothic and sadistically inventive in there. Alice Lidell grows up in an insane asylum after a fire takes her home and loved ones, and while the sequel "Madness Returns" goes further into detailing her tragic past, the original game had me not only clamoring for that very sequel but the proposed American McGee projects Oz and Grimm. Alice returns to a warped Wonderland twisted by her own insanity, fears, and malice meeting even more demented re-imaginings of the Mad Hatter, Red Queen, Tweedle Dum and Dee and more especially if you include the sequel. Alice journeys through forests filled with giant mushrooms, slices playing card soldiers to pieces, and goes through one highly disturbing school, none of which I want to ruin for anyone who hasn't played it. She fights mainly using a carving knife (her vorpal blade from the poem Jabberwock in the books) but with other things as well including a croquet mallet, jacks, and one really cool watch that freezes time, but not Alice. I only couldn't place this higher on the list because I believe it is better known now than it once was.
Based on the novel series of the same name by Robert Jordan.
As Elayna Sedai, the player is cast in a first person game resembling a shooter, but with a twist, she uses artifacts to fire off a variety of spells. For fans of the books, the game can be a nice addition to the lore, though some of the terminology and setting may not mean as much to non-fans and might even make the story feel lacking or bloated, depending on tastes. But if for no other reason than being so similar to Hexen in its approach to fps, Wheel of Time stands out, and while linear with multiplayer that wasn't pushing any real boundaries at the time or now, Wheel of Time still offers a highly atmospheric world with deep characters and narrative coupled with a good time.
Not for everyone but this game is a special hybrid of rpg and sim.
I know several entries on this list probably won't be popular and may have many of you out there saying "whosawhatnow?" but that's what's great about games, there is so much variety. Recettear for instance is all about a young girl taking on the debt her father left behind and using her skills at bartering and haggling to turn the business around and satisfy the fairy she's in hock to. Recette also has to dungeon crawl by accompanying an adventurer to find new things to sell. More advenurers open up as you play to escort you on these excursions and the combat improves as these adventurers grow. I was originally attracted to this game as a fan of Rogue-esque games and Harvest Moon, so if you've got either itch...of course if you find the catchphrase "Capitalism, Ho!" offensive, well there it is. I only just found out that this has been released on Steam now, so you have ample chance to give it a go.
#5: Homeworld (PC)
A Space strategy including an expansion and a sequel that will challenge any RTS fan.
Homeworld was difficult to place on this list initially, not because it isn't a superior title, but because it is hard to say that the main character is female. However, the Mothership AI voice is definitely a lady and after diving into this series for far too many hours to be healthy, she became a dependable presence that I sometimes miss when playing other games. Aside from an absolutely fantastic soundtrack that ranks among the best in this genre if not in all of gaming, Homeworld is the perfect blend of resource gathering, management, combat, and difficulty all bound by a tragic tale of a people longing to voyage to their "homeworld". Along the way they will be raided by pirates, attacked by foes who seek their extinction, and somehow find a way to build their own fleet of space-faring craft to see them home. Utilizing the truly 3D environs of space, Homeworld tasks the player with scouting new regions, sending out and guarding collectors, fending off fighters and capital ships, researching new designs, and keeping the all-important Mothership which contains the colonists and all of their technology and history. There are two different races to play as and color patterning is chosen to represent them, they also each have their own style of craft. Cataclysm and the sequel only add to the depth and lore and should also not be missed.
Representing the Princess Maker-style game.
Long live the Queen fills a particular niche, hopefully without getting too perverted, else I could just make a list of eroge. The main objective is raise a fourteen year old girl for 40 weeks until she reaches her birthday and coronation. The player sets her study schedule and builds her capabilities in things like economics or diplomacy or strategy facing challenges along the way which put those skills to the test. On weekends opportunities for changing her mood arise and different moods mean different proficiency at learning during her other studies. The game has elements from choose your own adventure games and different endings based on choice and performance, it is possible too not to get her to the coronation at all. Long live the Queen is particularly challenging and yet incredibly easy to get the hang of.
A steam punk, post-apocalyptic science fiction-based RPG.
Maya, that girl with the gun and blue ponytail from the picture is the main character though this game is really more of an ensemble cast featuring a ninja, a grease monkey mechanic girl toting a wrench, and even a robot. Each character both fill roles in the party in terms of their combat use, but in the group dynamic as well, lending their personal slant to the situations and changing some dialogue based by who is currently in the party. Septerra Core is still one of my go to games on the PC to this day because of its story and combat system. Though many games do what it has done, it does it with a certain flair that has always stuck with me, and I frequently post it on these boards when asked what my favorite PC games or RPGs are, give it a try because there is a lot to like.
Picked over the original since it appeared on console as well, but should be taken as a representative of both as they are both worth the play.
Cate Archer is a former thief now know as The Operative, a mix of Austin Powers, James Bond, Maxwell Smart, and every other colorful 60s-based spy show you want to mention, only she looks most like Emma Peel from The Avengers TV show. Her villains range from a large Scotsman in a kilt to a large Nordic opera singer and each can be as thoroughly entertaining as the next. NOLF is a first person shooter with Sixties style, some hilarious dialogue throughout including Boss monologues and guard exchanges. It also features creative gadgets such as Cate's exploding lipstick or lock pick/laser barette. If I could sum up NOLF2 itself into a single sentence which also separated it from its predecessor it would be: Katana sword-fight with lady ninjas in a trailer park as it is hit by tornadoes.
The latest in the "main" Touhou series of games picked to represent the series as a whole since I didn't have that option.
Touhou has been around since 1995-1996, and is considered a homebrew staple among many PC SHMUP fans. As a doujin (fanmade) game itself it is interesting that Touhou has over two dozen games made by other people ranging in genre from Visual Novel to Fighting to Card Battle to Strategy, though a lot of the games have been translated and given patches into other languages including English , some are still in Japanese and go unappreciated. The core Touhou games are hardcore shoot 'em ups (SHMUPS) with blistering "bullet hell" gameplay which is rewarding to those players with patience enough to practice. At first you may die midway through the first level, but in time earn a real sense of accomplishment by beating the game on its hardest difficulty setting. Each Touhou game introduces new levels, characters, mechanics, and wonderful musical score that can't help but delight fans of old-school MIDI tunes.Touhou features an all-female cast both as protagonists and antagonists. Everyone has supernatural ability be they a shrine maiden, spirit, witch or something else entirely though the two most frequent player characters are Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame and all the characters have loyal fans who do everything from write fan fiction to create artwork. As a game, an iconic piece of pop culture, and the very definition of successful indie creation, Touhou is truly amazing.
I hope this list helps any current or prospective PC owners out there who might have thought "Hey, what are some good games starring female protagonists?" with some titles that may not be so likely to show up on other lists.
List by Sohogojo (04/04/2014)
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