Music of the Month; Knights Errant


We’re getting there lads

At this point, I should just give up on planning what to do, when or how. While not intentional, ever since my career shift my plans have been thrown out of the window. Just this week I was thinking how I should do whatever I had planned, but then noticed how the month was at its end. Might as well stop planning.

However, I do have two things I want to do this month, despite my current track record; typing out a comparison between Muv-Luv Alternative Integral Works and the Codex. This wouldn’t be a review, not exactly, but rather a somewhat throughout view how the two books are different from each other and why. There are large differences, but I’ll cover those when we get to the post itself.

The second planned stuff is Switch related, Hori’s portable USB hub stand. The standard Switch dock is one of the worst designs Nintendo had done to date. Not only it seems to scratch the screen of the main unit, but it’s also absolute waste of plastic. It’s an interesting brick that looks like a two-minute hack job. Nintendo fucked this one up badly, but again, we’re get back to it in the review. I’ll most likely ditch the original shell and purchase one of those DIY kits that require you to salvage the original PCB from the official dock.

There’s been a lot of post materials in the recent weeks that I never got around. These would’ve made good posts unto themselves, but might as well discuss about them here in short.

The first is Langrisser I&II getting remade once again. While I intended to cover a lot of materials about Langrisser in past few recent years, Re:Incarnation did me in. The game’s trash and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. There is also the mobage, which both looks and plays better than the 3DS bastardisation. Whether or not Extreme was right to go back to basics and remake the first two games once more is up the question, but at least they’re not fucking up from the get-go like they did with Re:Incarnation. The first two games in the series are the most revered, and after Dramatic Edition, bundling them together seems to be par-for the course. While the new designs by Ryo Nagi aren’t bad, they’re terribly generic. Extreme probably realised that Satoshi Urushihara’s artwork is part of Langrissers charm and will include DLC code for his illustrations to replace the modern ones. It’s a great touch for the longtime fans and an option for newcomers. I admit that I have a bias for Urushihara in general, but what’d you expect from me? Of course, modernisation brings out changed UI and such, but that’s again expected. You’re remaking the games, after all, might as well improve all little things that were little cumbersome the best you can.

I’m just hoping the music will keep its synth-rock roots more or less intact. We’ll just have to sit back, wait and see.

Of course, when talking about Langrisser, somebody will mention boobs. This is a nice way to discuss the new physics engine in Dead or Alive 6 and how PR can function. Whether or not Yohei Shimbori, the director of the game, just sucks at PR or intentionally wanted to cause an uproar by discontinuing the Soft Engine only to come out much later to say that they’re going for more realistic physics engine is up in the air. It reeks of being planned so DoA6 wouldn’t fall off the discussion chart against Soul Calibur 6 and the like. While he states that he thought there’d be misunderstandings, nobody really should believe this. Either they had the new physics engine in mind from the get go and never stated this to cause controversy, or they had to go back and plan how to mend the situation for their favour. DoA used to have characters the flowed nicely, but with this new engine, everyone and everything looks extremely rigid and unnatural. Hopefully they’ll be able to achieve the natural flowing effect Soft Engine had to it down the line. Fat chance, I know.

Whether or not Shimbori stating that reducing the bust size was to make the characters appear more human was calculated shot or not doesn’t really matter, as all this ends up being him trying to cover his bases. Furthermore, it’s ignoring that bug busted woman exist in abundant numbers and flatties should stop being jealous of them. Dead or Alive Extreme 3 raised some hell and was never released in the West, but ended up being Play-Asia’s most selling title because of this. It’s pathetic that a game series that had fan service as its most prominent selling feature for years now suddenly tries to become visually more serious. Will they make the fighting more realistic and cooler to go with the graphics? Of course not, even when they should have put the effort into the gameplay and remove it from being a weaker version of Virtua Fighter. They’re lowering the standards for the game’s play with retarding the countering and adding Fatal Rush, which is essentially one-button super alá Soul Calibur V‘s Critical Edge.

We’ll see how all this translates into sales.

 

 

Inspirational changes, Dead or Alive

Seems like every time we get a new Dead or Alive, something about it gets a rise from people to whatever direction.  For better or worse, DoA gets decent amount of press whenever a new entry gets announced, but mostly always for the wrong reasons. DoA Extreme 3 got marred in the press for both having cheesecake and for not being published in the Western regions, making it the best selling title Play-Asia ever had.

With the announcement of DoA6, you’d think things would’e been gone as usual. Well, in a way they did, with part of the consumers wondering what the hell was going on, and part celebrating titillation getting toned down significantly.  Because of eSports, of course.

Yohei Shimbori of Tecmo had an interview, where he states that the new DoA was inspired by American comics and movies. He wants people who play the game feel proud, as he puts it, while playing the game. Sidestepping the issue why should people feel proud while playing a game, the reason why things are changing in the first place is because during EVO tournament 2017 some of the DoA fans felt embarrassed. Whether or not these fans were the players or not is not mentioned.

The issue, of course, is how sexy the characters are. These fans they interviewed wanted the game to be cooler. The problem of course is, the game already looks cool.

Shimbori’s logic and source is sound. American mainstream cape comics certainly have moved away from showcasing the human physique in demigod form in favour of more realistic depictions and detailed suits, though at the same time the sales of these comics have tanked thanks to low quality of the comics themselves in general. Shimbori wanting to take inspiration from these comics, following similar path seems to be the right way, emphasizing on the suit fashion. While Shimbori emphasises on female characters, this is true across the board, especially with Marvel comics.

A major attraction for Dead or Alive has been its visuals and fun factor not found anywhere else. Taking that visual side away and replacing, for example, Kasumi’s now iconic outfit with an extremely generic blue-black full-body outfit looks lazy, detracts from her unique look in the gaming market and clashes with her intended original design. The cherry blossom petals and other moves don’t fit the character anymore, now that she’s wearing a supposedly more combat-sensible suit.  Let’s make a look at her DoA5 and DoA6 versions.

Wait, they gave DoA6 outfit high heeled sandals? While I may be talking about her iconic outfit, it was not her initial default outfit. It’s from completely different design perspective from the DoA6 design, and a direct comparison would be like apples and oranges. The iconic design doesn’t exactly render well in the modern style DoA is going for, as its intention originally was to be semi-cartoony to begin with. It clashes with the semi-realistic take. It would have been better to update that design rather than going completely away with it, as now we’re getting what’s supposed to be cool. Funny enough, if DoA6 is supposed to be less about the curvatures of a woman’s body shape, they failed. With skintight leather, it’s all about the curves. It may not be as sexy, but you might as well have her fight in black and blue body paint. It’s not exactly cool either in the sense Shimbori’s intention are.

Furthermore, majority of the DoA fans like the series’ aesthetics. DoA5 had a slight backlash against its style and take, but the dev team took this to their heart and tweaked things a little. Character models have been an issue with fighting games recently anyway, from banana hair and punched face Ken in Street Fighter V to pretty much everyone in Marvel VS Capcom Infinite, especially potato faced Chun-Li. However, DoA has always aimed follow the Virtua Fighter route with simple yet striking design, with their own flavour of fan service and certain level of risque that’s unique to it. In essence, one of DoA‘s winning elements has been its visual design that gives just enough glimpses with rather anything more. The sheer amount of outfits in previous titles has kept the players busy unlocking stuff as well.

The end problem of course is that DoA‘s fame and money has been made with Japanese influences, something the fans and core audience are attracted towards to. The loss of Soft Engine, an element that was part of the visual nature of Dead or Alive, feels cheap at best. Dev team’s emphasize on trying to make sweat and damage to be more a thing sounds more what you’d expect from a Mortal Kombat title. The audience that is there doesn’t want the game to look brutal, but to look beautiful. I doubt many Japanese fans want to see Kasumi’s face pummeled into mush, outside ryona fans.

There’s also the magical words of making the game more accessible, as mentioned in this IGN Live E3, with one-button combos to be a thing. DoA and VF controls have been the simplest out of all mainline fighting games, and simplifying them to this point seems like gimping it. Devs can claim that it simply adds a layer to the game, but that’s never been the case. It’s just to make one or two combos a constant.

This seems like a major step away from the series roots and nature. All this is ultimately to attract the expanded audience, or the audiene that considers the series problematic, sexist or otherwise offensive in content. The idea of expanding market is all good and fine, but not at the expense of the brand and franchise itself. At this rate, they should’ve rebranded the franchise altogether, or even better, start another fighting game franchise to run along Dead or Alive, much like how Tekken has Soul Calibur.

In the end, the devs are going to do whatever they want, eSports interviews and all. Perhaps the end battle of DoA5, where tacticafully black clad Kasumi fights her iconically clothed clone was a prelude to come. Forget exciting and interesting new design, we’re in an age of homogeneous coolness.

They could do better, but in the end, they’re bucking on already past trends.

20 out of 40

Sometimes I just have to sit down and look at my game library and think how many of these games I can play as they are without bothering with online connectivity, updating or needing to consider whether or not I want a character to have a five dollar add-on to power up. Most of my games are complete packages, sold as they were finished. No product is ever truly finished, there are always things that should be tweaked, fixed, added or so on. Perhaps it betrays my stance on how games should be sold as (or rather, anything) where options can be bolted on, but are not necessary as such.

A discussion with a younger friend noted that this line of thought is exactly what I should consider DLC as. The core software is purchased, and it can be enjoyed as is. If I want to get the nice bells and whistles, then I can throw some money at it to add those optional components on. Otherwise, I can always just ignore the content and concentrate on enjoying what is on the table in front of me.

I had to argue against this, of course. While my comparison did turn against me, I had to note to him that modern DLC is not just about trinkets that would serve as optional, like costumes in Dead or Alive  games or Oblivion‘s horse armour. No, modern DLC has changed from being additional content to the game and have become more like expansion packs that exist from the get-go. Even that comparison is rather weak, as expansion packs were new content that added to the game rather than being designed to be part of the main package. It’s like if you would need to buy Red Alert: Aftermath to gain access to the units and maps in the game proper. Or as it was in case of Mass Effect 3, the game’s real ending was part of DLC.

While it is true that the production costs have risen in the game industry, they have not risen the way the big names overall want to paint it as. It has been largely chosen by these developers to push technological and graphical elements to the limits while employing celebrities and writers to work on their games. This is weird, considering games with less emphasize on these things tend to succeed just as well, if not better in some cases. Look at the latest Super Mario game and consider its resource expends compared to whatever was EA’s latest big Tripple A title. While graphics do make an impact on the sales, the industry forgets that this is an element of computer game culture, much less part of console gaming, where visual design over graphical fidelity matters more.

Perhaps thanks to Capcom, fighting  games and their DLC are not in favourable light, overall. With Street Fighter X Tekken, all the DLC characters were found on-disc, and the purchase was just to unlock them from disc. Calling this DLC was a stretch at best. Similarly, Marvel VS Capcom Infinity had all of its most interesting cast members in the DLC section as well most work put into them. It didn’t help that these characters were present in the game otherwise, telling that pretty much the same deal had happened. Street Fighter V was made to be a platform that Capcom tweaked and expanded upon with Seasons, and they dropped new characters unto it as time went by. Maybe this was a way to keep the players interested on the long term without releasing a completely new title, but it hurt the sales quite a lot. It didn’t help that SFV wasn’t received all that well on the game play department either, which really just made people to wait Capcom to release further versions of the game, like they all always do. Well, Arcade Edition is coming out, but still has the seasonal bullshit welded to it,

Arc Systems Works have been more transparent with their practices to a point, where they’ve recently announced intentions to make additional characters for Dragon Ball Fighters Z DLC, as well as adding DLC characters into BlazBlue‘s and Guilty Gear Xrd‘s later iterations, making it largely unnecessary to purchase them, if you’re willing to wait.

However, ArcSys has dropped the ball with BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, as they announced that half of the cast will be DLC. 20 characters out of 40 will be treated as additional content for you to download. Sure, buy the collector’s box the get download code for All-in-One pack, but if you’re a lowly peasant, be prepared to dish out the dough for twenty characters if you want a complete package. I am using the term “complete” here as it is clear that everything’s planned beforehand and intended as the core package. Certainly it is cheaper and easier to develop DLC as the game’s proper development goes toward the end, which betrays the mentality in which game development nowadays aims to maximise profits at the expense of the consumer. It’s like buying a chicken sandwich, and then hearing that the second half of the chicken needs to be purchased separately, though it is cut from the same piece of meat.

Despite the transparency, this sort of approach really drains the juices. There are consumers who have already stated that they will skip the Dragon Ball Fighters Z just to wait its second version, which will fix bugs, make balance better, add new characters and moves, because that’s how things seem to work. I am glad to see that no other fighting game has gone Street Fighter V‘s platform approach, where you purchase a very weak base, unto which everything else needs to buy bought for. Though free versions of full price games with limited characters and content have been a thing with DoA and Tekken.

The big question is, especially with fighting games, at which point we will cease from seeing complete, fully realised releases in favour of each element being sold as a separate, “optional” addition. At that point, we’re probably pretty screwed, and so would be the industry.

A service provider should concern themselves with the customers, not with the industry

When a service provider listen to the consumers, the question that they may face is to section of the consumers they should listen. There is no definitive answer, especially if you want to expand your market. On one hand, listening to the existing consumer base would seemingly give straight answers to what they want . However, it’s absolutely true that nobody really knows what they want until they have been given a series of options to choose from.

Observation is the key. You observe your existing and possible consumers to see what they need. This does not mean following news articles or the like, but actual people on the street. Follow the flow of the money, see where it’s going. However, it’s also true that service providers can’t ignore s the press too much as that could reflect them in a negative way. This seems to be the main fear Koei Tecmo has with Dead or Alive Extreme 3.

According to Koei Tecmo, they are not going to bring DoAX3 to the West because of the discussion how to treat female characters in video game industry. What’s there to discuss? Each and every developer has all the rights to decide how they treat and showcase their female characters, which are literal objects  and 3D models just like everything else in games. If it’s distasteful to you how a game portrays anything, you’re free to vote with your wallet. It’s a free market, and preventing anyone from publishing their product on the market is absolutely idiotic .

It is clear that it’s the social justice warrior  movement and Kotaku that has been driving an extremist feminist agenda in the game industry. Whether or not the developers listen to this movement is up to them, but they also need to question if this section of people are their targeted audience. Looking at the content of DoAX3, it’s highly doubtful that they intend for this group to purchase into the game. A laughable thing about this whole thing is that people who would rather not see DoAX3 released in the West seem to be either puritanical Christians or sex-negative feminists. Just like Bart Simpson once said, the human body is a thing of beauty.

There is a petition up for the release of DoAX3, so if you’re interested in the game, it might be interesting to you. It seems people have taken this to their heart and have been contacting Koei Tecmo directly via social media, e-mail and through their own sites. This is pretty much the exact opposite as the petition to remove Grand Theft Auto V from the stores a while back, but what makes this petition completely different is that the customers are behind this. The GTAV petition was from people who would not have bought the game anyway, which begs the question why would any company want to listen non-purchasing consumers and limit availability of their stocked product for paying customers? Then we return to the whole image thing.

Image to a company is their lifeline. Companies need to keep a positive image of themselves in the minds of the consumer. If negative views prevail, the image will become negative as well. This image is very rarely based on logic or reason, and has always something to do with the emotions of the consumer. Currently you hear these news  bits about university students getting their feelings hurt and needing safe spaces to segregate people from each other like back in the day, and so it’s not surprising Koei Tecmo would choose to keep itself away from this. Still, we need to question if it’s worth keeping a game unreleased from a region simply because of a fad in the West. However, DoA series already has a certain image of itself, and DoAX would not have changed it to any direction, thus making this more or less a completely moot point.

One thing I need to pick up is that what Koei Tecmo’s representative said is that the game industry is having problem in treating women, not the consumers. What the hell does a service provider care what the industry thinks is right if the consumers are willing to pay for it? This is like with Nintendo; the game industry applauds every time Nintendo does something that sells like shit like N64 or GameCube, but hates whenever they make money like the DS or the Wii.   It’s apparent that game companies need to stop listening to the industry itself, press and the like included, and concentrate fully on the consumers’ side and cater to them, not to the industry.

You’d think that in 2015 people would’ve already gotten over things like this. I used to be in disbelief  when I saw people getting offended over fictional characters’ proportions or the like, but it appears that fighting for fictional stuff is worth more than fixing actual problems in the world. At least I do this blog as a hobby, for free. Insert your own favourite meme here.

Literal objects

Think if your favourite character or the design this character has both in appearance and in character. The hair, its colour, the sex, clothing, accessories, nature, roughness and so on. Think also about the fact that many other people like the design as well, perhaps even more than you to the extent of wearing the character’s clothes and acting like this character. It’s all made to draw you in and please your eye.

It’s the same basic principle as with Sex sells. Characters are created to sell larger products, often product families, and are part of the content any entertainment product has. This is nothing out of ordinary and is something we all do; we buy stuff we like to look at. Be it pottery, cutlery or any product ever, we buy them because they attract our eyes and please our visual centres.

As with the previous post about character designs, it’s natural to aim for perfection. Imperfection doesn’t sell. To use a classic example, Lara Croft was created to be a perfect woman because it could be done and because it is something we look for. If Lara Croft would have been a massive blob instead of that fit one we got, Tomb Raider would have seen shit sales despite the well received gameplay.

As said, characters are made to sell products. They are part of the whole content. To compare to a painting, the frames are there to hold the content, every stroke and every colour, every character and every shape. They need to be in balance and complete each other in some way. The whole will suffer if part of the content simply sucks.

Lara Croft is also a woman who got better looking with age. She will never look ugly or old, and she never should. She is a fictional being and characters in fiction have very little reasons to age if they are timeless, like the Simpsons family or most comic book characters. Each new game sanded Lara’s image more towards that attractive perfection, but you can see her change to reflect time as well. It should be said that attractiveness sells, not sex.

Then again, I never found Lara's design to be all that attractive, but everybody have their own likes and dislikes
Then again, I never found Lara’s design to be all that attractive, but everybody have their own likes and dislikes

It has been said that Lara Croft encourages objectification of women. This, of course, is largely bullshit. If this was the case, then the same would apply to almost any and all characters that were designed to look like men, as they are grossly exaggerated in perfection. Much like with how games cause violence it has been argued that they cause all sorts of objectification and hate towards the farer sex. Again, this is bullshit. It takes a person that is easily influenced or otherwise already possessing some kind of mental illness to be influenced to that level. If children can see through this fiction and take as fiction, why can’t adults? That would be because certain kinds of people want to over analyse everything and see hidden meanings and messages that simply are not there.

Senran Kagura has seen its farer share of shit thrown at it from the Western media. For example Swedish news magazine Aftonbladet crucified the upcoming European release of Senran Kagura 2 because of its fanservice. How the article reads can be summed as Tits and ass are bad, which is all sorts of strange. You’d think nowadays we could already celebrate any sort of glorification of human body and sexuality, but lately there has been this strange pushback to make things less attractive. Let’s come back to that a bit later and concentrate on this Aftonbladet article for now.

Anime doesn’t sell in West. It is a product of a different culture, and that’s OK. Western stuff sees the same fate in Oriental regions as well to similar extent. These are differences we should be celebrating and indulge ourselves in. There is no valid reason to change other culture’s products to fit your own culture in order to make it less offensive. With the same effort you might as well produce your own product. Wallet voting works the best still, and those who don’t like the cute sexiness Senran Kagura has in its design are completely free to choose not to buy any from the product family. There is no reason to push your own views and agendas and keep such product from being produced and sold. The article mentions how the author sees no parody or comedy in the whole sexy ninja thing, but this person is looking too deep. Senran Kagura has always been rather mindless when it comes to the design. It’s about schoolgirl ninjas getting in racy situations, and it’s turned to eleven. It’s a cleaver parody in a way that it’s in your face and you are supposed to laugh at it. It’s tits on 3D screen after all, it’s something everybody thought of after hearing about a 3D screen. On the other hand, it is done well enough that people who do want this sort of thing are free to take pants off and pleasure themselves.

The Collector's Edition is a prime example of stuff that only a hardcore fan would enjoy. The mainstream wouldn't want to own any of these
The Collector’s Edition is a prime example of stuff that only a hardcore fan would enjoy. The mainstream wouldn’t want to own any of these. There’s also a Happy Boobs edition, which seems to churn some people

However, the author makes a misstep by assuming that people who enjoy a good pair of tits and ass, cartoon or not, have some sort of degenerative view about women. I don’t know any person who enjoys a good pair of T&A that think any less of women than people who don’t enjoy T&A. It’s so damn asinine, especially when it comes to video games where these are objectified representations of ninja girls with anime style.

By that I mean they are literal objects in the game environment. Almost anything and everything is objectified in a video game.

Senran Kagura won’t make high amounts of sales, because not everybody enjoy the kind of overblown parody about sexy ninja trope it uses, even if the gameplay would be actually pretty good. I wrote It’s similar how some people don’t enjoy Muv-Luv Extra’s over the top parody of romance comedies. Senran Kagura enjoys all the attention it gets and doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s a tits and ass comedy. The general audience will give it a look and smirk at the series, thinking that it’s just another pervy thing Japan. The core fans in the west recognize this as well, and they’re not shy to enjoy the series to its fullest. Unlike some Dead or Alive fans.

Dead or Alive is another game series known because of tits and ass. It’s an older series for sure and ever since the first game graced arcades, Saturn and had a version on Playstion, people have known the series for its perfectly built physiques both in women and men. One of the more known elements, even among people who have never played the series, is the age slider that does something. Often I’ve heard it called as the boobie slider as the general idea is that it allows larger physics modelling on chest bounces. From gameplay perspective, Dead or Alive is just Virtua Fighter with a dedicated counter button. It’s never seen as good game as Virtua Fighter, but in the overall culture even VF was pushed down in favour if Street Fighter. What has kept DoA alive thus far is its sexy ninjas and the dedicated fanbase it has. The difference between the sexy ninjas in Dead or Alive and Senran Kagura is that Dead or Alive takes itself deadly seriously.

Then again, Dead or Alive 5 is getting Senran Kagura costumes. It would only make sense to have the two titninja series cross over properly at some point
Then again, Dead or Alive 5 is getting Senran Kagura costumes. It would only make sense to have the two titninja series cross over properly at some point

Dead or Alive has a definitive anime influence to it. The characters are more or less anime archetypes themselves and their designs reflect this just as much. Unlike with Senran Kagura, Team Ninja decided to aim for more realistic take, most likely after seeing the success both Virtua Fighter and Tekken.

The developers knew what they had in their hands and what they aimed for. The whole sexiness thing in Dead or Alive is as intended and is meant to attract the customers’ eyes. It is then incredibly stupid to see tournament people banning people for using costumes that are made to give the characters more attractiveness. Sure, after some complaining, the tourney people changed the outright ban to soft ban, which essentially is just a recommendation to not use said costume set.

The stance was first Think of the children! to which I ask Who the fuck buys their kids a game with boobies on cover and 16+ label on the cover? Then again, if you are able to raise your kids well enough and teach them about human bodies well enough, they won’t be growing into some sort of women hating bastards. Seems like this later turned into Think of the women! to which I can only say Women laugh at this. There is a difference between fiction and reality, and making one seems to become harder and harder to people nowadays. Hell, the only women who actually have commented on the tits are the ones with flatter chests while the more endowed ones have simply made comparisons between their bust sizes for laughs. Next one, the one we have now, is We must look more professional, to which we can all say You’re playing a fighting game with female ninjas with their tits bouncing everywhere with assess bare. If you want to look professional, don’t be an idiot and force incredibly stupid limitations on goddamn visuals. You won’t seeing people taking your more seriously if you begin to enforce your own made up shit because of some agenda. Actually, from the general view we can say that these people need to grow up and stop caring what other people think of their hobby and start enjoying it to the fullest. If they’re embarrassed by the costumes or how people giggle at the bouncing tits while they play the games, there’s a huge problem in their self-esteem and no bans can help in that.

If somebody feels offended by stuff on the screen, they have every single right to fuck off and enjoy something better. They clearly are not the target audience and they are completely free, once again, to vote with their wallets.

These handful of people who seem to rule on the tournaments that are not affiliated with the license owning company or have anything to do with the development team want their titty ninja fighting game taken seriously. You don’t show your distaste for sex appeal by limiting it from the userbase, you do it by voting with your wallet and making your voice clear by means that may effect the product rather than its userbase. These people do not reflect on the views of the whole community or the userbase the Dead or Alive franchise has. Even Team Ninja came in and said that they won’t remove the design elements that have existed in the franchise from day one.

Y’know, we’re a bit early but this entry has turned more into Another take on customers in that some customers we see bunch of people ruining other people’s fun.

I can understand people writing to providers, I can get behind it. I can get behind the idea of doing your own thing to make a stance. What I will never support is to push one’s own view on the larger crowd and prevent them from using or enjoying a product any provider has sold.

What’s even more asinine in this case is that the banned costumes have no rhyme or reason to them. Often than not the default costume may be more revealing and sexy than a banned one. Hell, just take a look at Kasumi’s and Nyo-Tengu’s default costumes.

Because this is classy enough outfit to be used
Because this is classy enough outfit to be used
Fetish material, much?
Nyo-Tengu’s kimono may be revealing, but it’s also well designed. Those small bells on her tengu getas are small detail that I simply love

Then you have ninja body armours banned despite they covering more skin and actually having more logical choices as the costume. imgur has a gallery for some of the banned costumes, and they’re not really anything special. Most of them, if not all, are just standard fare for Japanese costumes, filling the quotas for swimsuits and Santa Costumes. One could make an argument for the bans in that they cater to certain fetish, but in that case the whole damn game should be banned. The whole ban list has something like 120 costumes and then some, and you can see all the costumes in the DoA wikia. Are they in good taste? They in just as good taste as the rest of the game franchise.

Some people say that the whole costume ban has been overblown in proportions. I call this bullshit. It  is a prime example of agenda driven people going their way out and limiting the use of full content of a product because it doesn’t fit to their views. When they’re on their own and with their friends, they are free to do whatever they want. When they come across the moment where they dislike the content the providers produce and have delivered, it’s time to stop giving them money and find something else to put money into. Games themselves are not serious business and they should not be taken as one, but games industry is nothing but serious business. It doesn’t help that the community was actually silenced in various sites regarding the whole DoA costume ban debacle, like on Reddit. It’s absurd to think people in charge of tournament scene are this small minded. They are there to serve the core consumers, not govern them.

Both Senran Kagura and Dead or Alive are extreme examples. They both employ character design that is aimed at certain audience and use recognizable shapes to emulate body shapes that people just like. Liking representations of certain body type does not translate to anything negative or positive, it tells something about people’s preference in terms of visuals and nothing else. Even that most likely won’t hold water, as most if not all people have wide variety of preferences across the board. Of course, these 3D objects in games are made to be oogled at. That does never translate into Women are to be oogled at. Y’know, because games aren’t real.

A customer holds power over the provider, but when another customer tries to push control over another customer because of their agenda, views of likings and actually has some level of power to do so, then we have a situation where a person is abusing their power. It’s not about growing a thicker skin, it’s about everybody having the freedom of enjoying their things without anyone taking it away from them. You don’t teach kids to take away toys from other kids and break them just because they don’t like that particular toy or the kid.

You don’t need to agree with what somebody is saying or enjoying, but sure hell you shouldn’t silence them or take their fun away. Illegal issues notwithstanding, of course.

If bikinis or swimsuits are too sexy, then why the hell people are allowed to sunbathe on the beaches or otherwise wear skimpy outfits during summer?
If bikinis or swimsuits are too sexy, then why the hell people are allowed to sunbathe on the beaches or otherwise wear skimpy outfits during summer?

We can discuss whether or not either Senran Kagura or Dead or Alive are in good taste. I would argue that Senran Kagura is definitely not, but that would be as intended and part of its charm. Dead or Alive on the other hand dances on the line, but not really making a definitive jump to either side. Then again, Senran Kagura is making fun of Dead or Alive to a large extent while still delivering similar content with a different paint.

Any and all character designs objectifications at their core. Not sexual or anything like that. While they may represent reality, they are like shadows in that they are not the objects themselves that cast the shadow. If you only look at the shadows, your world view will be twisted. Every character is an object made to make money. Very few things have universal appeal, and they are complemented by all the various niche designs that exist out there. Far too often these objects are seen as something we should be rather than what they are; fantasy. They are something we can be inspired by, or something we even admire, but very rarely something what we should be. Only a fool would think they should become a character either in their looks or nature.

Well, this post went far too long. Have some music to take the taste away.


Of course, there are those timeless characters that inspire us to become the best we could be and to see all the good we have