Posts Tagged ‘Dead or alive’

They’re gunning for your hobby.This time, from the inside.

March 9, 2015

It’s been awhile, I’ve just started working a second job to support my “lavish” lifestyle. While I was busy slaving away for the man, apparently about two weeks ago, my favorite person in the world, Anita Sarkeesian, had some kind of get together with video-game developers in New York City, right in my backyard! according to a Kotaku article, Ms. Sarkeesian had a bit to say about how she wanted video-games to change or better yet “8 Things Game devs can do to make things less shitty for women” The list has been conveniently posted down below for you, dear reader.

  1. Avoid the Smurfette principle (don’t have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less “girl” or “woman.”)
  2. “Lingerie is not armor” (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
  3. Have female characters of various body types
  4. Don’t over-emphasize female characters’ rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character’s.
  5. Include more female characters of color.
  6. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
  7. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic
  8. Include female enemies, but don’t sexualize those enemies

On the outside, the majority of these make sense, I mean the smurfette principle is right on point, I feel the same way about token black characters who are just “there” and number five is great as well, I would love to see way more women of color in video games, as I stated in a prior article, they’re even more under represented than men of color who aren’t even really that present to begin with. Heck the majority of these are reasonable and like I said, I agree with a  few of them myself. So let me take a moment to applause and say that on those two points I definitely agree with Anita, bravo, you’re actually starting to make some kind of sense.

But let’s get down to the real nitty gritty here, real talk, people are still afraid of sex and the topic of sex in general.

Don’t over-emphasize female characters’ rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character’s.”

“Lingerie is not armor” (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects”

These two points and a few others got my eyebrows waggling as I slowly started to make a not so subtle connection

This all reminds me of America’s and the West obsession and fear of sex, any media historian who’s worth his or her salt knows that Sex and media in general have had a tumultuous relationship since the time that they were able to figure out how to put people on film and record the. From not being to show a couple sharing a bed together to how much of a woman’s upper body could be shown before it’s considered nudity. For decades film directors have gone on to challenge film censorship, pushing the envelope every time. Films like Stanley Kubrick’s ‘A Clock Work Orange with it’s graphic depictions of violence and Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Basic Instinct“‘ for it’s portrayal of Homosexuals and Lesbians as well as it’s approach to sex came under serious fire from critics and the general populace alike, Kubrick himself at one point, allegedly received death threats for ‘A Clock Work Orange’ , all because people felt offended by his vision.

At one point, 'Basic Instinct' had people people in a tizzy as well

                                             At one point, ‘Basic Instinct’ had people people in a tizzy as well

These films are just two of many  that  were controversial during their time periods and drew the ire of many a critic  because at their respective times, the images they depicted were only ever talked about in hush tones. The public railed against them because they were “offended” it battered their moral compasses, they were simply unthinkable. Now a days, a film like “A Clock Work Orange” would be considered tame, the only parts that I think would raise eyebrows would be the parts dealing with sex because…well America and the West in general have a serious problem with sex.

Let’s step away from films  and back to video games, I feel like there’s a movement being made, a movement where people who are comfortable with the games they play  are being shamed for the games they play and the developers who produce these games are being made to feel ashamed about what they make. We’re going backwards ladies and gentlemen, were as films and television have had their ropes of censorship loosened, gamers, developers what have you not, are having those same ropes tightened not by the ESRB not by misinformed parents, but by critics and the gaming media it’s almost like an internalized lynch mob to a degree.

Let me give you a few examples, last week it was announced within the Dead or Alive community that DLC costumes that oversexualized characters, would result in soft bans from tournaments. The decision was made to try and “legitimize” Dead or Alive, so to “legitimize”DOA, they had to make a part of the game, customizing the look of your character, a ban-able offense. Fans of Dead or Alive are no stranger to it’s overly exaggerated characters, heck there are three DOA games that aren’t based on fighting but on having key characters frolic on beaches, playing volleyball. This is a series of  games that have been the object of criticism since the early days of disc based gaming. Who is the competitive community trying to fool? or a better question, who is the competitive community trying to not draw attention from?

doa no

Moving on, NetherRealm studios, the developer best known for “Mortal Kombat”, a series of fighting games that were the center of the “violence in video games” debate during the mid 90’s. Announced that they were going to make their women more “realistic” as in toning down their busts and level of skin exposure…that’s “realism” in a game where characters literally rip their opponents head’s from their torso’s or freeze them dead in their tracks and smashes their bodies to pieces. Just who is NetherRealm trying to appease? their fan base has been around for decades and has happily been enjoying game after game that the studio has released. This sudden move to “realism” seems coincidentally tied to the current dialogue that’s been hammered into people’s heads from Kotaku and Polygon. “You characters are too sexy, tone them down or face ridicule”

The level of violence is acceptable but the range of cupsizes  aren’t ? Before I go on that’s one thing I’d like to point out, what is it with people being offended by fictional women who’s bust size is anything over a C? From Lara Croft of ‘Tomb Raider ‘ to Ivy Valentine of ‘Soul Calibur ‘ I mean really it seems as if as soon as you cross into DD territory, folks literally fall out of their chairs and onto their laptops to pontificate about how “obscene” a character is…just a little thing I had to throw in before I got into my next example.

Dragon’s Crown,

If you’re not familiar with Dragon’s Crown, it was a side scrolling arcade like beat em up that looked Dungeons and Dragons-ish. The big issue that critics had with Dragon’s Crown was with the designs of two of the game’s playable characters, the Sorceress and the Amazon. Apparently Jason Schreier of ‘Kotaku’ had this to say about the design of the extremely busty Sorceress

“This is the newest trailer for Dragon’s Crown, the Vanillaware-developed game that will be out this year for PS3 and Vita. It features the sorceress, one character from the game. As you can see, the sorceress was designed by a 14-year-old boy. Perhaps game development studios should stop hiring teenagers? At least they’re cheap, I guess.”

Apparently If I don't mind this art, I must be prepubescent right? RIGHT?!

                       Apparently If I don’t mind this art, I must be prepubescent right? RIGHT?!

(Source)

Mr. Schreier has long since apologized for his comments but the use of Ad hominem to make a point? I could literally go on for hours about how off hand comments like this are what makes issues like this almost impossible to talk about. This western obsession that correlates  anything inherently sexual in gaming must be only for prepubescent boys  is in and of itself sexist. I’m a grown man of 28, hold two degrees, TEACH as an adjunct and I had absolutely no problem playing Dragon’s Crown. The same went for the many gamers who went out and bought Dragon’s Crown and enjoyed it for the excellent game that it was.

Closing thoughts.

I have had such a difficult time writing this piece, there are obviously things that need some serious changes within the gaming industry and a lot of them have to do with how people are portrayed. I’m all for changes that will make the medium more accepting and open to people. However at the same time I can’t condone making someone feel bad for making or playing the games that they like. Where do we draw the line between what’s acceptable and what is out of line? when does it start to go from free speech to censorship? I do know that carrying on, attacking one another or making jokes at each other’s expense is not the way to go about things and that acting offended while actively offending others doesn’t bring about any positives either just more negatives.

I’ll leave you with this quote from  from Dual Shockers on the subject of the Dragon’s Crown controversy. I feel that his statement though made in 2013, still holds true in 2015.

“Ultimately, I find absolutely ludicrous that we’ve spent years upon years fighting the censors and defending our hobby from the pundits on Fox News, but now we’re turning into the censors ourselves. We’re becoming the Fox News-style pundits that ride on controversy. It’s ludicrous and extremely depressing”

He goes on to say-” We’re not exercising criticism, we’re not doing journalism. We have become the bullies we so fiercely fought against for half of our lives.”

What are your thoughts? do you think there’s an issue of censorship? are people being too sensitive? or is there a need for change? Can a happy medium be reached? Share in the comments section!

Dead or Alive Community aims to ban players for sexy costumes on characters

March 1, 2015

Well, this isn’t too surprising in the year of our lord two thousand and fifteen just after a few days  Anita Sarkeesian’s NYU lecture on “changes” for video-games as a whole,we have this little gem ripped straight from Eventhubs,

“This is a movement that was discussed by several members of the community to try and help turn around the image that has plagued the franchise. DOA has always been known for its over-sexualized females and just that alone has pushed people away from even trying the game. Sex Appeal in the DOA franchise will never go away but we, the community, want people to take it seriously and started the costume ban at offline tournaments to force people to focus more on the game play aspect of the game. This is a soft ban and is at the discretion of the tournament organizer (TO) running the game at the event. However we HIGHLY encourage people to not use the suggested costumes on stream for something like Top 8.”

As a person who has ran tournaments himself, I can honestly say I’m perplexed, telling my tournament participants which DLC outfits that they can use on a fictional character, outfits that they bought with their own money or else face being banned from my event seems a bit overreaching to me and largely unnecessary.

dead-or-alive-5-2

The Dead or Alive community is no stranger to the attire worn by characters within the Dead or Alive games and the majority probably pay no mind to it, why? ..that’s not the focus of the game.  I feel like the people who put forth these guidelines are most likely ashamed of the game their community is based around. Let me dissect this one line,

Sex Appeal in the DOA franchise will never go away but we, the community, want people to take it seriously and started the costume ban at offline tournaments to force people to focus more on the game play aspect of the game.”

Instead of worrying about what people are focused on, why not focus on actually building the community and having more events? Worrying about what outfit Hitomi or Ayane is wearing should be the last thing that the Dead or Alive community should be heaving any quandary about. There should be a bigger movement focused on promoting the game and bringing in more players so that the community itself can grow.

To those who feel uncomfortable about what the clothing that other player’s characters are wearing remember, you don’t have to buy that DLC and if it really bothers you..maybe  Dead or Alive is not the game for you but telling others players what they can and can’t put on their characters is completely ludicrous.

PS4 version of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round features more “realistic breasts”

February 20, 2015

I’ve been a long time fan of the Dead or Alive series, I started with 3 on the original X Box, dove head first into ‘Dimensions‘ on the Nintendo 3DS and happily threw down in DOA 5 on 360 and DOA 5 Plus on the PlayStation Vita (cue Amazing Grace).Hell, I even dabbled a little bit in the first ‘Extreme Beach Volleyball’ and I swear the Volleyball parts are actually why I played the game!.

When it came to the actual fighting  I’ve never been the best at it, I’ve tried to have as much fun as I could as someone who isn’t particularity good at fighting games. Being a fan of Dead or Alive also means I’m not stranger to some of the more “cringe” inducing elements of the series, from the scantily clad women to some of the characters looking seriously underage and…Zack.

One thing I’ve noticed is that each iteration at some point draws attention to the voluptuous forms of all the female characters, from the characters getting dirtier and sweaty during their fights to being able to manipulate the camera around them after they have won or lost(Granted that the same can be done with male characters). That stuff is really whatever to me and is something one can over look and not pay attention to. But what do you do when Sony posts up videos showing how a new software engine improves the movement of the women’s breasts?

dead_or_alive_5_ultimate_89

That’s right, PlayStation Japan released a video showcasing the power of the “Soft Engine” that’s being used in the models for the PlayStation 4 version of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. The engine makes the breast movement more  “realistic”in comparison the version of the game that’s available on the PlayStation 3.

See I could rant and rave about sexism and apparent misogyny and post up pictures of Anita Sarkeesian but you know what? this is exactly why I love the Japanese. As cringe worthy as this is, they really don’t give two shits about all the things that have become a firestorm of controversy in the Western gaming, they just keep making the games they want to make. Which I must applaud them for doing this despite the hostile atmosphere that’s become the new normal when dealing with the topic over sexualization of female characters in video games.  You can check out the video below, just make sure no one is around your cubicle or something unless you’re like me and just don’t care.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is out and available for several home consoles and PC. If you want to go a round or two on Live or PSN, drop me message with your PSN or Gamertag!

Dead or Alive:Last Round Stream-Screenshots Galore

January 22, 2015

Earlier today the kind folks at Koei /Tecmo games streamed a bit of their next installment of the Dead or Alive 5-Last Round. Being that I’m a bit of a fan of the DOA games(Started with 3). I decided to tune in and grab some screen shots from the stream.



Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.22.13


Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.28.42 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.29.01 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.29.05 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.29.13 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.29.57 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.31.30

Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.33.01 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.34.15 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.34.18 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.35.21 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.36.36 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.51.14 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.51.58 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.56.25 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.58.03 Screenshot 2015-01-22 11.58.21

With an emphasis on customizing hairsyles and a plethora of costumes, Last Round is shaping up to be an interesting addition to the DOA 5 line up. Though I admit I was a bit unimpressed by how there’s a bit of an emphasis on making some of the characters like Hanako extra kawaiiI , I’m sure many a hardcore Dead or Alive player will be focusing on the new mechanics and pummeling one another online instead.

As for me, let this image of from ‘Chuck’ sum up how I felt.
DOA:Last Round will be released this coming February(17th) for various platforms!

Screenshot 2015-01-21 18.03.25