Escapist Podcast: 090: Nintendo Bails on E3 and Dragon's Crown's Breasts

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090: Nintendo Bails on E3 and Dragon's Crown's Breasts

This week, the Escapist crew discusses the fast approaching Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3) and Nintendo's recent decision to cancel its big press event. We also discuss some of the recent controversy around Dragon's Crown and the lack of diverse female characters in videogames.

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Space marines are bald because of Bruce Willis

Everything in dragons crown is super exaggerated like the warriors upper torso or the sorceress upper "torso". The sexual appeal of the characters be it hunky dwarf or busty sorceress does not appear to any worse for either side in that game but it is somewhat juvenile. It does not seem that the women have it worse somehow and once again I don't feel the game is a feminist issue at all. It's just a silly exaggerated overly sexualised game and that is all.

Publishers are somewhat old fashioned and they need to get in touch to what gamers actually think at the moment but more importantly try new things in hopes of hitting a niche. Get some more peoples opinions rather than just do little studies. Although getting publishers to try new things and trying out some variety is an uphill battle so good luck with that. Variety in game play, variety in characters or variety with anything is not something they want to try right now even though they should. Hell the people that stand out in a significant way will get more sales then the those that don't or at least I hope so.

Again variety instead of the grim/dark trend. Still Valkyria Chronicles is way to upbeat for a game about warfare and it just feels wrong. The lets go kill some monsters and then get ice cream is something that just does not appeal to me.

Killing Floor

Wow, Greg watches pron for the plots. I suppose you learn something everyday.

I swear, Susan has an addiction towards burritos.

If my memory serves I think Dragon's crown has the most diverse bunch of women (based off of appearances alone) than most other games that come to mind. The archers fairly tame, the Amazon is toned (women can have muscles too, well I be damned) and the Sorceress is... boobs.

I can't help but get the feeling that we're not allowed to have any "fun" anymore based on the possibility that somebody might get offended by it. If the sorceress started saying that she needs to get back to the kitchen and make some cupcakes for the boys, then people can start getting angry.

It's about time we stopped giving a toss about what our female characters look like and focus on if they act right. Why can't we have protagonists that are sexy and empowering/interesting?

Unreal Tournament is a nice title.

I like The tall, thin, Big breasted, dark haired, women with skin like snow.

Favorite Title has to be either Shining Force or GodHand. I think both of these game titles really bring a strong imagery to the table (and the fact they were both fun doesn't hurt either)

On the topic of "Boobs and the gravity which they defy", Even as a Male gamer, there I find myself being less and less "entertained/amused" by this style of art and more disenchanted with it. I do like Odinsphere a lot, and I imagine Dragon's crown will be pretty good as well (or I hope it will), but if I wanted to look at [insert naked or nearly naked bodypart here] I could grab it for free from the internet. When I am playing a game, the only thing bouncing across the screen is the bodies of enemies, the grenades I throw or a soccerball from Fifa....or some sort of gelatinous blob game which may eventually come about.

Love the Podcat guys, keep up the great work

Does anyone have a link to the box art study? At least from how it's described as being a study of a correlation between box art and sales... well, that's meaningless. Or, not completely meaningless, but, given all the other (uncontrolled) variables involved, just looking at 1) box art and 2) overall sales doesn't mean much.

Lots of fun guys. Thanks for entertaining me for an hour during a boring day at work!

As for game title.. will definitely agree with Half-Life. I would call it the second great game PC game I ever played. It short, sweet, simple, and symbolic of so much that I find fun, interesting, and engaging in gaming.

My own submission, though..

Thomas Was Alone

It has my name in it! Why wouldn't I love it? Totally feeds my ego and narcissism.

What's funny is this isn't really a problem in Japanese genre stuff, where male characters are often sexualized in highly ridiculous ways actually aimed at women (waifish prettyboys); the problem is more the Western genre stuff that has the problem of Conan not being what women find attractive but being a male power fantasy.

It almost seems like the very Japanese stuff, like console rpg's, where the male and female characters all have impossible Barbi-style proportions would end up - if translated to reality - just be like the OC's version of California, a world where everyone, male and female, is a supermodel.

In contrast, the Western comicbook style stuff leads to things like Black Widow's high heels while the rest of the Avengers look serious and ready for business; or games with huge gunbros on one hand and supermodel style women on the other.

Heres the thing with the main stream 'sexy' look... its boring! The socerous has a nice look which fits the style of the game so I don't really have any quarms with her (I have a thing for red heads) but in general whenever I see a 'hot' girl in games userly it falls flat because she bores me to tears.

Its my biggest problem with most anime, you know the ones im talking about, the girl who litterally does NOTHING but stand there and scream the protagonists name like a squarking bird. Say what you want about Bleach's piss poor story and use of cliches but at least its sexualised chracters (which is basically all of them apart from Kenpachi and Yamamoto) have a personality thats entertaining, if maybe shallow at times... and yes I understand Orihime has become that squarking bird but she used to be fun...

image

Quick side note, Greg may be thinking of Hilde (Soul Calibur 4 & 5)

image

I've always thought she looked pretty awesome myself.

I have always had a very concise opinion on sexy girls in videogames but I am generally too lazy to explain it in detail. I won't do that ('Cause I'm a sloth) but I will at least try to summarise it here. Sexy girls DO have a place in the industry. whether it is on super stylized games like street fighter where everyone seems like roman gods made real or on JRPG's where everyone is a moving anime concept art. They are also not a problem stupid "Good and evil, white dude saves the world because he has inner demons but a heart of gold and so he does it because he must" games made to appeal to the biggest demographic in the world, they have a place and can even be fun in that. Hell, a sexy girl can always have a place on ANYTHING. The fact that she is smoking hot will not detract from the quality of the game itself.

The problem lies on the fact that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN on every single game has to be a woman that, on the real world, would be on the cover of every fashion magazine on earth. That alone diminishes possible designs for women, making every woman not only attractive, but just plain beautiful. Then you have to go alone and diminish that range even more. Why? Because we have to appeal to the biggest demographic we can. Our girl has to be A) White B) With hair at least on the neck and C) Have the measurements of bloody Aphrodite. This basically destroys any hope for variety in designs in gaming, making every single character have to fit into these set in stone qualities.

This lack of variety hurts people on both sides of the issue (or people who support a balance like me). The way it affects people who don't want sexy women in games is obvious, but I think that their opposite-minded folks fail to notice how this affects them: It deprives them from more hot women. Even if for you the type of woman mentioned above is "the perfect woman" there is still attractiveness to be found on, say, black women, asian women, latino(latina?) women etc. Not even going into the range of different ethnicities; A woman CAN be attractive without having proportions that guarantee that she won't be able to buy lingerie at any normal store. I want to write more, but as said I'm lazy so I'll leave it at that.

Personally I have nothing against Sorceress' design per se, but the ingame physics is just too much and frankly unnecessary, since we all see, she has big boobs, they don't have to bounce (if you can still call that movement bouncing)

And just so I don't talk only about boobs, favorite game title: Hard to be a god (but that is a bit cheating, since it is a book and even a movie I think, but the title is just so enticing), so just a game title I would go with Ragnarok, it's just a strong word and you know there will be a great battle.

Pepsik:
Personally I have nothing against Sorceress' design per se, but the ingame physics is just too much and frankly unnecessary, since we all see, she has big boobs, they don't have to bounce (if you can still call that movement bouncing)

And just so I don't talk only about boobs, favorite game title: Hard to be a god (but that is a bit cheating, since it is a book and even a movie I think, but the title is just so enticing), so just a game title I would go with Ragnarok, it's just a strong word and you know there will be a great battle.

Well, it IS a Jap game...

Kristian Fischer:

Well, it IS a Jap game...

Yeah, I know, but I can understand some overwhelming bounce once in a while, or in a good scene in cinematics, but I just saw the trailer and it was like everytime she changed directions (and you do that a lot in this kind of game), just too much even for Jap game. Or maybe it wasn't too much, but combined with the size of those things, it's just too visible.

Ah, good to see somebody else liked the old Xbox controller. Man, that thing was a dangerous weapon =D

And about the whole "Dragon Crown" stuff, I must say I'm apathetic about the whole thing now. There's been that many "sexism in games" (which this stuff has tied into) debates, that I really don't care any more either way.

And yes that PS4 Abridged video is excellent =D

That Christopher Columbus movie is called "The Magic Voyage"

Here's the Nostalgia Critic review of it http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/30565-the-magic-voyage

crazy_coug99:
I swear, Susan has an addiction towards burritos.

I actually don't eat them that often. But I reallllllly like them. It's also just fun to say.

(Roll a cat up in a blanket, that's a purrito.)

Revenge Revisited:
That Christopher Columbus movie is called "The Magic Voyage"

Here's the Nostalgia Critic review of it http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/30565-the-magic-voyage

YES! That was the one. I saw that film in like fifth or sixth grade when we had a substitute for the day.

Argh the game names thing is tough.

Humm, Grim fandango? Carmageddon?

It's difficult to think of ones off the top of my head.

Here's where I stand.

I admit it. I love the Sorceress's design. At the same time, the Amazon's clothing annoys me. Yeah, I don't mind absurd anatomy (directed at males or females), but absurdly skimpy clothing pisses me off. It always comes across as the artist is trying way too hard to be sexy, and doesn't have any real idea of how to do it.

Incidentally, this is nothing new for Vanillaware. Characters in Odin Sphere (Queens Odette and Elfaria) had nearly the exact same proportions as the sorceress. It's funny that people picked up on it now (I also find it sad that the poor elf, who definitely is not as stacked as the other two females in DC, gets ignored).

I stand corrected. The Elf did get a mention! One thing she seemed to miss is that all the characters are comically exaggerated. The Knight (huge heroic V-shape), Dwarf (bulging muscles), and the Wizard (slender Bishonen with flowing white hair (female fanservice character?)) are all extremely stylized and/or idealized... Well, maybe not the Wizard being exaggerated.

And speaking of Ivy. Her alternate outfit in SCI was my favorite too.

The idea of boxart vs. boxart on the same game works. I've seen it in action. When Command & Conquer: Generals came out, it had three boxes: One focused on the USA, one for China, and one for the GLA. The US covers sold out first for whole weeks before anyone touched the Chinese covers, which sold much more slowly once the US ones were gone. I don't know if anyone ever bought the GLA covers.

Well, first off, I felt very annoyed how frank and upbeat you guys were, but which was helped by fire emblem: awakening. Playing that on hard/classic is a nightmare when under pressure, even though you can take your time in planning out every movement and attack you make. I guess I won't do that next time.

Anyway, about the sorceress's proportions, I'm on the side of people that think it's so blown out of proportion it's more comedy than something you CAN take seriously.

But, the problem that there are ONLY those types of characters that're attractive... that's about right. And yet, I keep buying games with those people in it. Even fire emblem seems to have that going for it, though it does have a large cast of characters to keep up with.

As for the grimdark thing... Well, I guess it depends on how the game uses that to me. But then again, I tend to gloss over AAA, sometimes getting maybe one or 2, and tend to go towards a bit more niche titles. Think Shin Megami Tensei(devil survivor spin offs), Etrian Odyssey kind of way. I am all for variety of course, but I think I lean towards that side the most.

EDIT: Forgot to say, but I never use ad-block things. I'm too lazy to install them. And right now, it wouldn't benefit me, since I mostly use the game sites that live off of ad revenue. Well, benefit me in the sense that it would benefit you guys. So that I keep getting great articles and vids on here.

I've always liked Silent Hill as a title. Theres something about it I like. Its the name of the town but it also kind of discribes it and sets the tone pretty well

Another great one guys. Thank you.

Lashani, you should speak up more. You almost come of as timid and that is a shame.

Susan:
I will admit to buying a game based on having a hot woman on the cover:
image
If it was not for Karin being on the cover I am pretty sure I would never have picked up this game (though to be fair I did go home and look up a few reviews before returning to the store to buy it). Became one of my favourite games but I would have missed out completely if it had not been for the box art (and why has its brilliant battle system not made it to this console generation *sad*).
Then again I was never even close to pick up x-blades. :p

Finally: Is Janelle any closer to recovering? She really is over due for another podcat appearance. I (probably we, but it is rude to speak on others behalf) miss her :)

Best titles for me.

They bleed pixels

Bloodbowl

My main thought on the whole sexy debate is does it make sense in game logic? If it is stylized and everyone dressed in such an absurd way sure why not have it. If only a few women dress in bikini armor when all the guys are in full armor the girls feel out of place.

As to positive games:
I tend to like the darker stories over the happy ones as they have more at stake and it is plausible that the "heroes" may fail or die/lose everything. I hate stories where good always prevails over evil and good/evil are clear cut. This type of story make positives hard but when it happens it carries more weight.

Also does positive mean working for the government? If so I always back the empire in star wars games where you can choose your side.

Burritos are awesome.

If Chipotle ever went out of business I think I'd cry.

As far as favorite game titles I would have to say Mirror's Edge. I just think it's cool sounding title.

I'll add Phantasmagoria as a great game title. I actually played it based on the name alone.

Speaking of diversity, I would much rather play a character that is opinionated, inquisitive, selfless, feisty, funny, and sarcastic, with A cups, as opposed to a vapid, self-absorbed diva with D cups. To me the former is "sexy" while the latter is not, no matter their physical attractiveness.

AkaDad:
I'll add Phantasmagoria as a great game title. I actually played it based on the name alone.

Speaking of diversity, I would much rather play a character that is opinionated, inquisitive, selfless, feisty, funny, and sarcastic, with A cups, as opposed to a vapid, self-absorbed diva with D cups. To me the former is "sexy" while the latter is not, no matter their physical attractiveness.

I think that the true sign of progress will be when cup size is irrelevant (which will probably only happen once developers are willing and able to create a more plausible variety of characters in games that are meant to be vaguely realistic).

Also, out of curiosity, are there really adults who play games based on how attractive the characters are? What kind of games/why?

Did anyone else have movie day every couple weeks in 2nd grade? It was never anything educational, just the weird 80s fantasy flicks like The Neverending Story.

Remember Final fantasy X? It had that same mage trope - that big breasted goth chick that even leaned over after every fight. It was still a decent game regardless, even with the horrible voice acting. Said character even had a nice personality. She was guarded, protective and caring without being overbearing.

Favorite game name - Einhander. Hearing the name one would expect it to be a crazy viking hack n slasher like Rune, not a space shooter. It just sounds awesome, like Highlander or Zweihander.

Love "The Magic Voyage" just saying lol

cynicalsaint1:
Quick side note, Greg may be thinking of Hilde (Soul Calibur 4 & 5)

image

I've always thought she looked pretty awesome myself.

I believe he was actually thinking of Charlotte:

image

Right name, right genre, wrong game. Charlotte is from the samurai Shodown/Spirits series.

bravetoaster:

AkaDad:
I'll add Phantasmagoria as a great game title. I actually played it based on the name alone.

Speaking of diversity, I would much rather play a character that is opinionated, inquisitive, selfless, feisty, funny, and sarcastic, with A cups, as opposed to a vapid, self-absorbed diva with D cups. To me the former is "sexy" while the latter is not, no matter their physical attractiveness.

I think that the true sign of progress will be when cup size is irrelevant (which will probably only happen once developers are willing and able to create a more plausible variety of characters in games that are meant to be vaguely realistic).

Also, out of curiosity, are there really adults who play games based on how attractive the characters are? What kind of games/why?

I've never played a game based on that metric, but I would imagine some people have. I'll admit that I have for movies and TV. For instance, anything with Keira Knightley in it, I'll watch.

bravetoaster:

AkaDad:
I'll add Phantasmagoria as a great game title. I actually played it based on the name alone.

Speaking of diversity, I would much rather play a character that is opinionated, inquisitive, selfless, feisty, funny, and sarcastic, with A cups, as opposed to a vapid, self-absorbed diva with D cups. To me the former is "sexy" while the latter is not, no matter their physical attractiveness.

I think that the true sign of progress will be when cup size is irrelevant (which will probably only happen once developers are willing and able to create a more plausible variety of characters in games that are meant to be vaguely realistic).

Also, out of curiosity, are there really adults who play games based on how attractive the characters are? What kind of games/why?

Yep. I know a guy who will, if given options, always pick the game with the most scantily clad/large breasted girl. He also, perhaps unsurprisingly, has no idea how to treat women like actual people in real life.

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