Thursday, July 10, 2008

Birdo Meets Captain Rainbow (Not a Gay Joke, I Swear)

Can we please talk about Captain Rainbow?

“But Drew, what the hell is Captain Rainbow? Also, why do you suck worse than some horrible machine designed to remove milk from cow udders?”

“No, stupid!” I say. “I don’t suck! Why would you think that?”

Why would you think I suck? It’s unfathomable, your insane logic. Meanwhile, my very sane, normal person logic pushes me to examine Captain Rainbow, Nintendo’s newest title in recent memory to feature a protagonist that has not already appeared in another game. This is remarkable in that Nintendo has introduced very few genuinely new series in recent years. For example, Smash Bros. Brawl, the game that pitted Nintendo’s mightiest mascots against each other in comically violent combat, included very few faces from recent outings. There was Olimar from Pikmin, which premiered all the way back in 2001. And that’s it. Newer additions like the Animal Crossing folks or the Nintendogs or Professor Layton didn’t make the cut. Captain Rainbow, however, is a kinda-sorta badass who wields a yo-yo, thus making him an ideal candidate to throw down upon the better known Nintendo stars, whether they be Italian plumbers or effeminate elves.

I’m not sure, however, that Captain Rainbow has any real fighting skills, at least based on footage of his debut game that hit game blogs today.

See below: very little rock-em or sock-em.



Lack of face-beating notwithstanding, what is notable about the above video, however, is Birdo, even if she’s restyled to the point of looking even more disturbing than ever. The game apparently takes place in some fictional-upon-fictional video game island populated almost by obscure Nintendo characters. Based on the video, Birdo apparently wants something. What, I couldn’t tell you. Gender reassignment surgery? Perhaps that’s the point of the game — running favors for video game has-beens and allowing them to attain strange new genders. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s notable that the first video of something called Captain Rainbow features a character widely reputed to be the first tranny in Nintendo history. Really, that title — Captain Rainbow? Maybe that flies in Japan, but I have to imagine that Nintendo will re-title the game for an American release, if for no other reason than “Captain Rainbow” sounds like a playground insult against someone’s masculinity. The rainbow lends the title to a decidedly gay interpretation — whether warranted or not — and it will be interesting to see how Americans receive it.

I, meanwhile, am happy as a clam, both to see Birdo out and about and to see a new game from the people that previously offered something with the title Giftpia — which tricked players into delivering presents for fun and whose name managed to badly combine the words “gift” and utopia.”

Let’s hope for an American release, if for no other reason than I want to find out what the hell Birdo wants.

[ From Kotaku, Press the Buttons, Infendo, GayGamer, and, like, everywhere else ]

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