Dragon's Crown: Introducing The Amazon

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Dragon's Crown: Introducing The Amazon

Dragon's Crown's character roster is now complete.

"I like big butts and I cannot lie," wrote warrior-poet, SirMixaLot in his 1992 musical celebration of the female posterior, Baby Got Back. The Baron of Badonkadonk would no-doubt approve of Dragon's Crown's Amazon, whose hips make the jump from child-rearing to bear-rearing.

Of all the outlandish character designs in Dragon's Crown, the Amazon intrigues me the most. No, not because of the ludicrous degree of flesh on show, though I imagine that's enticing to some, but because she's a character archetype you rarely see outside of ancient, seedy fantasy novel covers. Female videogame characters tend to be pretty, yes, but few look like they know what a barbell squat is. It's interesting to see the character in motion, as many, myself included, presumed her unique frame would present some animation problems. The ridiculous width of her hips implies she should walk like ED 209, but Vanillaware seems to have dodged that issue by making her walk cycle consist of tiny baby steps. It looks kind of weird - much like the rest of the game - but no more so than say, the Fighter.

As is the case with pretty much every Vanillaware game, Dragon's Crown's art style has been its most controversial aspect. Controversial in every meaning of the word, as many have criticized the game's hyper-sexualized art direction. Kotaku's Jason Schreier quite famously dismissed the game as being "designed by a teenage boy." Director and artist, George Kamitani, objected to that slur against his maturity in the strongest terms and decided to prove his point by, uh, kind of implying Schreier was gay.

Controversy aside, there are genuine, gameplay-related reasons to be excited about Dragon's Crown. Vanillaware has an unimpeachable track record in the 2D action genre. If the game is half as good as Muramasa or Odin Sphere, then it'll certainly be worth playing when the PS3/Vita exclusive lands on North American shores this August.

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I find the art in this game (visual and sound) really nice, if I get round to buying it im deffinatly playing as the Amazon. I love me a berzerker, their naked but they don't care, they just hit stuff with axes. Its why I love Vaike and Basilo so much in FE:Awakening, GET SOME!!!

Damn you Vanillaware, for making the internet feel offended at a character design! Now we must be inclined to confirm our immaturity at not being able to deal with this through redundant argumentation, exaggerated masculinism and feminism, homoerotic overtones, sexually repressed white knighting, manifesting non-existent controversy, and ironic meta-theories!

Huh, seeing just the concept art threw me a bit off-guard but watching the way they animate in game combined with their combat abilities...this looks like CRAZY good fun!

Can't wait to pick it up, I've always been playing mage-esque classes in RPG's/MMO's so I hope the sorceress kicks ass :D

I do kinda wonder how people that call this "hyper-sexualized" would react to some of the Skyrim mods out there (came across a beauty the other day that gives the Talos statue in Whiterun a massive erection).

When you mention "hyper-sexualized" I'm really kinda expecting SM outfits, whips, porn-like moaning and strap-on unlockables (strap-onlockables?) that can be used for 'special' attacks.

Okay, that article was alright, but... did anyone else notice the article itself was about The Amazon but the picture for the article on the front page uses the Sorceress?

Either the author uploaded the picture of the wrong character by mistake, or they uploaded the character with a ton of controversy around her on purpose to increase traffic.

Either way, not impressed.

Nope, still don't like the head of a small child on the body of steroid junkie look.

Really not digging it.

It's like watching Serina Williams in white face and an ax.

Gonna get this to piss off the White Knights.

Also cause I love brawlers.

RetroMenace:
Okay, that article was alright, but... did anyone else notice the article itself was about The Amazon but the picture for the article on the front page uses the Sorceress?

Either the author uploaded the picture of the wrong character by mistake, or they uploaded the character with a ton of controversy around her on purpose to increase traffic.

Either way, not impressed.

The escapist does that all the time, using pictures of supposedly sexy girls for thumbnails is kind of their thing.

Jynthor:

RetroMenace:
Okay, that article was alright, but... did anyone else notice the article itself was about The Amazon but the picture for the article on the front page uses the Sorceress?

Either the author uploaded the picture of the wrong character by mistake, or they uploaded the character with a ton of controversy around her on purpose to increase traffic.

Either way, not impressed.

The escapist does that all the time, using pictures of supposedly sexy girls for thumbnails is kind of their thing.

I had a long think about this statement. Then I went and scrolled through the past two weeks of stories. Know how many female thumbnails we have? Five. Know how many thumbnails are dudes with beards? More than five.

Why is the picture on the front page link of the sorceress' face? Honestly, I'm starting to believe that gaming journalists really are conspiring to pretend that her concept art is the only thing in the game.

I'm really liking the gameplay style in this trailer. I was already planning to play the amazon because so few game characters look anything like her, and spinning attacks and flaming dive-kicks have confirmed me in that decision.

I like that, for all the moaning about gendered differences in presentation, the actual gameplay trailers all consist of an overly serious narrator describing how awesome each character is at smashing faces in. It's almost as if internet pseudo-intellectuals with chips on their shoulder can't understand Japanese and are treating the game as a series of pretty pictures because they're incapable of deciphering anything else about it.

Daystar Clarion:
Nope, still don't like the head of a small child on the body of steroid junkie look.

Really not digging it.

I'm not really seeing a small child on an adult body head here. I just find her design not to be very attractive.

I want to punch your website repeatedly for using a picture of the Sorceress instead of the Amazon. How would that even work, by the way? All the searching is done using text strings, right? So the only way they could get your misleading thumbnail is by googling for "Dragon's Crown Amazon." So they're gonna see the picture of the Sorceress in their search results and go "nope, that's not it."

Misleading headlines are one thing, but this is just confusing. If this actually bumps your numbers, please let me know. Because I just... this shouldn't work. I can't think of a pathway that would MAKE it work.

Unless they just saw the thumbnail, read the headline, mentally substituted "Introducing the Sorceress," and went "Oh boy, internet controversy!" *click.*

But if that's the case, why not just link to the Sorceress reveal from the frontpage again? If that's what people came for... just give it to them.

Trying to trick them with the wrong thumbnail makes no sense to me, any way I slice it.

Grey Carter:

Jynthor:

RetroMenace:
Okay, that article was alright, but... did anyone else notice the article itself was about The Amazon but the picture for the article on the front page uses the Sorceress?

Either the author uploaded the picture of the wrong character by mistake, or they uploaded the character with a ton of controversy around her on purpose to increase traffic.

Either way, not impressed.

The escapist does that all the time, using pictures of supposedly sexy girls for thumbnails is kind of their thing.

I had a long think about this statement. Then I went and scrolled through the past two weeks of stories. Know how many female thumbnails we have? Five. Know how many thumbnails are dudes with beards? More than five.

Well, I don't count all the times I've seen it, not do I feel the need to go back and check. I just happen to notice the use of sexy pictures to get more clicks a lot.

Geez I thought people already knew what the Amazon look like given to how everyone would be inform (look up the rest of the exaggerated cast or didn't bother) about the game thanks to that controversy.

Anyway she certainly look like a force to be reckon with and I got to admit the animation is really impressive, so fluent like but that normal coming from Vallinaware.

I am fine with all the character models other than the Sorceress, and even then it's mostly how bouncy she is. I get that the whole point of all but the Wizard and Elf is to be insanely over the top, but she would make DOA blush.

Grey Carter:

Jynthor:

RetroMenace:
Okay, that article was alright, but... did anyone else notice the article itself was about The Amazon but the picture for the article on the front page uses the Sorceress?

Either the author uploaded the picture of the wrong character by mistake, or they uploaded the character with a ton of controversy around her on purpose to increase traffic.

Either way, not impressed.

The escapist does that all the time, using pictures of supposedly sexy girls for thumbnails is kind of their thing.

I had a long think about this statement. Then I went and scrolled through the past two weeks of stories. Know how many female thumbnails we have? Five. Know how many thumbnails are dudes with beards? More than five.

You guys contribute to beard culture, in which it's okay to objectify men with beards as nothing more than rugged awesome fighting men. Those of us who can't grow beards are left out in the cold with no facial hair to keep us warm.

Ah the Amazon, voiced by Atsuko Tanaka (a.k.a. Major Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell. Also Impa in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)

Jynthor:

Grey Carter:

Jynthor:

The escapist does that all the time, using pictures of supposedly sexy girls for thumbnails is kind of their thing.

I had a long think about this statement. Then I went and scrolled through the past two weeks of stories. Know how many female thumbnails we have? Five. Know how many thumbnails are dudes with beards? More than five.

Well, I don't count all the times I've seen it, not do I feel the need to go back and check. I just happen to notice the use of sexy pictures to get more clicks a lot.

Honestly, the only things I can even remember having women in are things where it's relevant. Bayonnetta, Top Five with Lisa Foiles, this. To be honest putting the sorceress instead of the amazon is an easy mistake.

WarpZone:
I want to punch your website repeatedly for using a picture of the Sorceress instead of the Amazon. How would that even work, by the way? All the searching is done using text strings, right? So the only way they could get your misleading thumbnail is by googling for "Dragon's Crown Amazon." So they're gonna see the picture of the Sorceress in their search results and go "nope, that's not it."

Misleading headlines are one thing, but this is just confusing. If this actually bumps your numbers, please let me know. Because I just... this shouldn't work. I can't think of a pathway that would MAKE it work.

Unless they just saw the thumbnail, read the headline, mentally substituted "Introducing the Sorceress," and went "Oh boy, internet controversy!" *click.*

But if that's the case, why not just link to the Sorceress reveal from the frontpage again? If that's what people came for... just give it to them.

Trying to trick them with the wrong thumbnail makes no sense to me, any way I slice it.

Or, alternatively, I try to stick to one particular thumbnail per game because it makes them easier to find in the jumble of different thumbnails.

Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumbnail to something more relevant.

You know, I approve of artistic liberty. We are also allowed to not or not like what the artists draw or not.

That being said, I feel a weird mix of strangeness and arousal with the females of this game. If I buy it I will be to embarassed to play it with anyone.

Final words: The industry needs more people with art styles that are not fanservice instead of making the artists that like it to not draw it.

Grey Carter:

WarpZone:
I want to punch your website repeatedly for using a picture of the Sorceress instead of the Amazon. How would that even work, by the way? All the searching is done using text strings, right? So the only way they could get your misleading thumbnail is by googling for "Dragon's Crown Amazon." So they're gonna see the picture of the Sorceress in their search results and go "nope, that's not it."

Misleading headlines are one thing, but this is just confusing. If this actually bumps your numbers, please let me know. Because I just... this shouldn't work. I can't think of a pathway that would MAKE it work.

Unless they just saw the thumbnail, read the headline, mentally substituted "Introducing the Sorceress," and went "Oh boy, internet controversy!" *click.*

But if that's the case, why not just link to the Sorceress reveal from the frontpage again? If that's what people came for... just give it to them.

Trying to trick them with the wrong thumbnail makes no sense to me, any way I slice it.

Or, alternatively, we try to stick to one particular thumbnail per game because it makes them easier to find.

Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumb nail to be more relevant.

Okay, I can understand using the same picture for a game for easy organization, but it just seems a little bit weird to use a different character than the one that's being talked about for a thumbnail. Like, the game's title or something like that would've made more sense in my opinion.

Regardless, it's your article so you can do whatever I want. And it is a pretty good read... and that picture of the amazon river actually made me chuckle quite a bit, so I'll give you props on that.

I am okay with this conclusion.

At some point I'm really bored of the "discussion" that doesn't really go anywhere (yes, we need to talk about it, but we don't actually do so, just dither about on the same talking point), so for now I'm just gonna see how the game plays.

You know what, to me, the game looks like it could be a lot of fun, and to tell you the truth, I kinda like the over-the-top art-style (even the oversized flapping mammaries of the sorceress). I actually find the art-style refreshing change from all these attempts at realism; if I want realism, I simply wake-up in the morning. I don't pay some game developer $60 to fail at it. Even more so, when I play a game, reality is the one thing of which I don't want to be constantly reminded. I want a fantasy world that consistently operates by its own rules that I can immerse myself into as a break from reality. Even more, I grew up on the side-scrolling beat-'em-ups of the 80's, and, like many geeks, I love fantasy. So, something like this has perfect appeal to me. To me, this game has style because an artist actually sat down and came up with an actual look and feel to the game, rather than trying to blindly calculate his way to blandness.

A word on the sorceress' oversized flapping boobs: grow-up guys. They're just body parts. Let's move on. Maybe I've just gotten old such that sort of thing just doesn't shock me into a religious fervor anymore. Yeah, I like T&A the same as any other heterosexual male, however, I don't have to lose my mind about it in every context in which I see it. I like to think I have much better control over myself and my reactions than that. Also, I take the viewpoint of a particular passage from The Bible: Sin comes from within, not from without. Basically, it means that one's issues are the result of one's thinking and perspective on matters, not the things you see, hear, touch, etc. You are the one that decides and determines your reaction in any given situation, not the things going on around you, and certainly not other people. The problem with the sorceress isn't her big flapping boobs; the problem is people's reactions and thinking concerning such imagery. Honestly, folks, there actually are women (I've seen them, and I'm sure some of you all have, too) in real-life who have large breasts, just as proportionally large as the sorceress'; yet, we don't launch into a massive crusade to have all such women undergo immediate breast reduction surgery. Really, think about your reaction and the real reason you are reacting the way you do. Yeah, seeing the sorceress' boobs make me laugh only because they are just ridiculous, but I feel I have a bit more control over myself, my emotions, and my reactions that I don't have to lose my mind and feel hyper-offended just cause I see them. Honestly, if they were really that problematic or offensive to me, I just simply wouldn't buy the game, no need to launch into a crusade.

Now, having said all that, I do understand that the video game industry has a basic "Boy's Clubhouse" bias that seriously needs to be addressed. Honestly, speaking as a male, I would actually be thrilled at seeing the introduction of games that directly appealed to female carnal desires simply because, while that may not be the best approach to achieving a mature balance and dialog on the overall issue or approaching sexuality in games, it would at least introduce some parity in the content of video games. If you're going to be lewd and sexist, might as well go all the way and fully explore the gamut.

(By the way, the elf looks like the most fun to me, but that's because I always like playing physical ranged characters.)

Just my opinion.

Grey Carter:
Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumbnail to something more relevant.

You have all my love.

(I laughed out loud when I saw the new thumbnail on the front page after reading some of the discussion in here.)

Grey Carter:

Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumbnail to something more relevant.

Oh Grey you snarky bastard. I C what u did thar.

OT: I love Vanillaware's design, both in gameplay and visuals (seriously, Muramasa is like a painting in motion and a very good beat em up to boot, go play it.) so I'm super excited for this, controversy be damned. Also I think this needs to be said more often in relation to said controversy: lol Kotaku.

I dunno, this character kinda looks more like she was designed by Rob Liefeld. I mean, look at that woman's spine. SPINES DON'T WORK LIKE THAT!!!

look i dont mind half naked characters, i grew up on golden axe for crying out loud, but come on that just looks ugly. whats wrong with your spine, your ass is not meant to be 5 feet from it at all times, its like there having a bad break up and neither want to be seen in the same room.

*starts working on a new SITcom*

im going to say that i see what they were trying to do with this character, come on it looks like a old fantasy movie vibe and thats honestly awesome, and the game looks fun and all, But it just urked me a bit just looking at that one.

Grey Carter:
Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumbnail to something more relevant.

REAL rivers do not bend that way Rob Liefeld!

Nah, You got the right attitude with this thumbnail. There's a reason you're my favorite corespondent on this site.

Grey Carter:
Snip

image

Bravo.

Between this thumbnail, and the Guacamelee article as a whole, I've chuckled quite a bit at your news posts today

Not to say I don't normally but today's were pretty excellent

Grey Carter:

Or, alternatively, I try to stick to one particular thumbnail per game because it makes them easier to find in the jumble of different thumbnails.

Regardless, since this is apparently a huge deal to some people, I changed the thumbnail to something more relevant.

Nice. I see what you did there and I think your avatar deserves sunglasses for that one.

Daystar Clarion:
Nope, still don't like the head of a small child on the body of steroid junkie look.

Really not digging it.

cannot...unsee

cannot... 0_O

~

in other news, to thread

Grey is awesome, leave him alone

D: T_T

Her thighs still creep me out. Why are they so blocky?

RaikuFA:
Gonna get this to piss off the White Knights.

Also cause I love brawlers.

You go out of your way to buy things that you THINK will piss off a group whose numbers are greatly exaggerated even though the very idea of pissing off anyone by buying a game is very much ridiculous? Well different strokes for different folks I guess.

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