Writer, programmer, and artist with Project BC.



Go Make me a Sandwich: Sexuality in Bayonetta (and other games)

@ S. F. LaValle: I find the "normal" level of fanservice in games irritating. For example, Lulu in FFX annoyed me, but Rikku and Yuna were fine (before the sequel, anyway). I tend to find ridiculous character designs annoying in general, but fanservicey ones especially so since it's such a prevalent problem. As a girl, it annoys me to see female characters derailed by obligatory sex appeal. I also have a problem with similarly derailed male characters, but they almost never show up in video games.

I'm ambivalent towards characters like Bayonetta and Lara Croft. If overt sexuality is part of the character and it makes sense in-universe, I don't have a problem with it per se, but I dislike the motive behind the creation of such characters.

Edit: @Crimson_Legionnaire: I don't have a problem with either of those characters. A guy not having a shirt on doesn't make him a sex object, though. His lack of a shirt is a statement of his manliness, not an attempt to attract female gamers.

Go Make me a Sandwich: Sexuality in Bayonetta (and other games)

I don't have a problem with attractive characters of either gender. What I do have a problem with is characters that are explicitly designed as fetish objects or fantasy embodiments or characters whose oversexualization breaks immersion (hello @ walking around in an incredibly impractical bikini and no one comments on it), is unrealistic, is disrespectful to the character, or otherwise detracts from the character as a serious character. If you stick a huge rack and plunging neckline on your female lead and all the camera shots point towards it, she becomes more about the tits than her personality. Unless it's used as a character point (which is never), it's ridiculous and distracting.

That said, although blatant fanservice targeted at either gender annoys me, I see it as a symptom of the real problem, not the cause. Female characters in general in games aren't taken seriously. I think we need more complex, interesting, well developed characters of both genders in games, but female characters suffer more than males.

Again, I have no problem with sexy characters. Everyone likes looking at attractive people, including me, and there's nothing wrong with that. But the sexiness should be implemented in a subtle, tasteful way that isn't character-derailing and doesn't distract from what's actually important. There's nothing inherently wrong with scantily clad women, but there's a time and a place. If you're looking to fulfill your sexual fantasies, go look at porn.

Forever's End Review

Yeah, I don't see a need to lock it.

Just so everyone knows, a discussion about the rating system has been started on the forum:

Review scoring: standardization, professionalism, etc.

Perhaps instead of an average rating, there could be a breakdown by how many people gave a game what rating. This won't be too obnoxious if there are only five options. The site can use an invisible average for purposes of ranking.

I also don't like the idea of rating reviews. Too many people would downvote reviews they personally disagree with.

Review scoring: standardization, professionalism, etc.

author=Feldschlacht IV
Whether you like it or not, RMN is the face of the RPG Maker community to the rest of the world and it should be treated with the sort of professionalism that that entails.
Yes, the professionalism that entails that of a free hobby. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any standard for our craft, there should! But the standard of professional games, with million dollar budgets, expert teams (of people who get PAID TO DO THIS, MAKING GAMES PAYS THEIR BILLS), collective tons of resources, and all that jazz? Fuck no.

No one's saying you need to have a huge budget, but there are a lot of fantastic games made by one person out there. Fun is a much bigger issue than production value. There's also nothing wrong with doing this as a hobby, and no one is saying there is.

Review scoring: standardization, professionalism, etc.

I definitely agree that a word rating is a hell of a lot better than a numerical one. That's a fantastic idea.

I also think five increments is a good number. If you want more specific information, read the review.

Review scoring: standardization, professionalism, etc.

If I play an RM game, I play it to have fun, and if I read reviews of it, I want those reviews to compare it to other ways I could spend my time instead.
In which case, you'll want to compare it to professional games... which you can't do if we don't use the same fucking scale.

I object to the rating scale as it exists, but I don't necessarily disagree with that for the reason you said. I was unclear about that in my post, however. I'm somewhat ambivalent on the subject.

Review scoring: standardization, professionalism, etc.

I think adopting a game magazine-like score system is silly when you consider that the reason professional review scores are so high is pressure from game companies. We have no such restriction here. Limiting the score to only the upper end severely undermines the entire review system, and this applies to professional game reviews as well, because you eliminate the obvious benchmarks and institute invisible, arbitrary ones instead. This is not only confusing for the reader but makes it harder for review scores to be consistent between different writers. A 2.5/5 should be an average game regardless of who made it or what engine it was made in.

As for RM games specifically, in my opinion, it's intellectually dishonest and encourages complacency to have lower standards for RM games than other games, regardless of whether they're indie or mainstream. If I play an RM game, I play it to have fun, and if I read reviews of it, I want those reviews to compare it to other ways I could spend my time instead.