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.