Square Enix says it didn't set out to make the upcoming game The 3rd Birthday "erotic" but if gamers take it that way, well, that's just the way it goes.
The vicious beasts threatening humanity aren't the only ones to suffer at the hands of Aya Brea, the heroine of The 3rd Birthday, an action-RPG set in the Parasite Eve universe. Her wardrobe apparently takes a beating too, shredding in fine Captain Kirk style to reveal ever-greater portions of skin as she bravely fights on. But it's not an attempt to draw in young, overly-hormonal teenage gamers with some sort of latter-day Strip Poker, according to Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase. It's just the reality of what happens to people's clothes when they battle evil.
"You may actually find some of the features erotic or sexy. But that's not our intention, really," he told Eurogamer. "For example, Aya, as she continues to fight, sometimes what she's wearing gets ripped and torn to reveal more of her skin, which lots of gamers may find quite sexy."
"But we didn't do that because we wanted to show her in a very sexy light. It's more like that's reality," he added. "If you keep fighting obviously you'll get ripped and damaged and injured and wounded. So we just wanted to make it plausible and realistic. That's all."
Plausible and realistic, and that's all? I haven't been in a fight since grade five and while I was only squaring off against a jerk named Chad rather than world-rending evil, I distinctly recall that strategic nudity did not result. Is it possible that Kitase's true intention here wasn't to deny the eroticism, but to highlight it? Surely not.
The 3rd Birthday is being developed exclusively for the PSP and is scheduled to come out in Japan in late 2010 or early 2011 in Japan, followed by a worldwide release later in 2011.