Dragon's Crown

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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:13 pm

    http://undergroundgem.com/

    ENB just put up his review site and his review of Dragon's Crown for those who are interested.

    I may have gotten to read this yesterday and give him a few suggestions of my own.  Though they were super minor, give it a read I thought it was very well thought out and has me considering getting the game.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by sparkly-twinkly-lizard on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:20 pm

    well... that was informative and... depressing, every time I learn something about people in general or in specific I always get depressed, which leads to me burying my head in the sand and becoming even more socially inept...

     thanks though.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:27 pm

    Nice review Tolvo. You may wanna give him a heads up that just because he personally doesn't find something sexy or empowering it does not mean that's how society at large feels about it. Maybe he doesn't like really skinny models... and maybe manly power tools and sleek cars aren't his thing. They are still there for everyone else. Really sad to see the whole point dismissed in a sentence without any apparent research or consideration into why the deal became a subject. I'm all for focusing on the gaming aspect, but if you are going to touch on a subject that means a lot to 40% of the gamer playerbase, maybe give it some due research.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:28 pm

    He did say it was fair for people to see it that way and that it was an issue, just one that didn't personally effect him.  He did a good deal of research for it.  He just said personally it doesn't effect him, not that it isn't an issue.  He even brought up the sexual objectification of female characters in game that need to be rescued.


    EDIT:  "Frankly, they have a point. The game is not very even-handed in its treatment of female and male NPCs."
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:33 pm

    It's his review and he can do as he likes ofc. I'm sure it'll be very successful as well. However This is my feedback. Countering feedback with "but I did" research doesn't detract from the "it doesn't show" - his personal feeling on the instance has zero impact on the subject, and sounds like he is using it to dismiss the concerns. Again, could not be intentional, still sounds like that.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:36 pm

    "In short, I agree with the complaints of feminist critics in general, even though those issues carry far less weight with me "




    So it is mainly that line that you have issue with then?

     
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:39 pm

    I'm not gonna dissect it. Again take the feedback or leave it. He dismisses the core of the "scandal" in a sentence  (that wrongly nnames the critics as feminists) and that saddens me. This is the last I will say about his review.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:41 pm

    Well I just want to understand is all, I could talk with him about it and maybe he could look at it further.  I'm trying to take the feedback, I just want to understand it is all you know?  I like to ask questions and understand the thinking behind why people dislike something, why they interpret it in a way.  I know very subtle things in a written toneless piece can completely change how it comes off if even it is only a single word.  

    It's not my review and I only gave very minor suggestions, I'm just talking with him so criticisms I can tell him about directly and he can hear and examine if maybe there are things about his review he poorly explained.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Reaperfan on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:49 pm

    FexDS wrote:
    sparkly-twinkly-lizard wrote: the "titty" scandal juutas mentioned is in regards to how ridiculously sexualized the characters are, i.e women have huge hips and breasts larger than their heads, but the male characters got over exaggerated too (pecs as big as two normal people) so I don't see what the problem really is. also i

     Ok let me explain then. Huge overdeveloped macho male = male power fantasy. Rawr I'm so strong and manly! Me crush!. Huge T&A female = male sexual fantasy. Oh would you look at those jugs! Hence saying the unrealistic male justifies the objectified female is wrong. 

    The game got bashed because the art choices are sexist and really obviously so. And yeah, that happens a lot and in most videogames and as such it is a hot topic right now. And lots of arguments about how "well don't play it then" fall flat on their faces as it's the equal of telling people living in N.Korea "well move to other country then problem solved!" 

    Either way, I enjoyed Muramasa on vita- won't be picking this item up and I hope the devs have learned they can do better on the art department.

    Does every instance of this kind of thing have to devolve into a sexism debate?  Can't overly-ridiculous character design or art style just be that, overly-ridiculous?

    I don't see the male characters in this game as a power fantasy.  As a male, I see characters like Kratos and Dante as male power fantasies.  They're grounded and/or developed enough to be just barely relatable so that you can just barely project yourself onto them.  These Dragon's Crown guys are just...cartoons.  You aren't supposed to be able to relate to them on a recognizable level.  I don't look at them and think "I wish I were like that."  I look at them and think "this is gonna be a gratuitous spectacle of mayhem that would make even Michael Bay wince."  I wouldn't play this game for the fantasy, I'd play it for the spectacle.

    I won't comment on the female characters specifically, as I'm not a woman and as such lack perspective on what would be an accurate assessment of their views on the issue.  However, in the broad scheme of things I believe what's going on with this game's art direction can best be summed up by two tropes known as Up to Eleven and Refuge in Audacity.

    For those not in the know and who aren't willing/able to read those links, tropes are simply recurring trends and elements in media.  The trope "Up to Eleven" describes when a work decides to go to extreme lengths in one aspect, with the extremism itself being what makes that part of the work interesting rather than the aspect itself.  "Refuge in Audacity" is a related trope to this that occurs when the particular aspect that happens to be extreme-ified is something that is likely offensive to someone in the target audience, but because the aspect is presented so blatantly and beyond the norm, it becomes acceptable in the mind of the audience because it no longer falls within the audience's expectations of how that subject is normally presented.

    Doesn't it just make more sense that, rather than trying to weasel money out of immature teen and preteen boys by nefariously designing their characters to exploit their weak psyches at the expense of an entire gender, they were instead just trying to make something generally flashy and awesome?  And since realism does nothing but tone things down in a viewer's mind by making it relatable to something mundane they'd come to the conclusion that the most effective way to pull this off is to make absolutely everything as unrealistic as possible?

    Can't we just have fun with video games again?


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:53 pm

    Well Reaper I say there is some reason for the criticism, looking at video footage the damsels in distress are not balanced in comparison to the men that can be felt up.  In regards to the main characters, I don't really see much issue with the playable ones dye to the more normal depiction of the elf and the Amazon being a bit of a power fantasy for women in a way.  She's not a very attractive character but one that is muscular, can fight at melee, etc.  

    But yeah, the captured females thing is an issue if you ask me.  Which would be dealt with pretty easily by just adding weak submissive male counterparts, if they did that I feel the game would be pretty well off.

     EDIT:  Though I should clarify I haven't played it, only seen some footage of the game.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:05 am

    Reaper, the two best examples of those concepts I can think of would be my aforementioned Blazing Saddles and the S*** episode of South Park. Both use offensive words repeatedly and illustrate those concepts pretty well. The reason those are successes to me is that they both make a point that centers around the offensive material/concept in question.

    If the game has a story to similar effect than the over the top characterizations could actually be a good thing. I haven't seen anything indicating that's the plan but since it's a video game I get why the focus is on the game. If there's no tie in to social commentary, personally I'd be inclined to avoid the game. I'm all for absurdity but I'm too cheap to spend much on it biggrin 

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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:13 am

    It's actually a sort of interesting thing I've been inspecting in Dark Souls.  Dark Souls has damsels in distress, Reah and Dusk.  But Logan, Griggs, those two are pretty incompetent and need rescuing.  Lautrec seemingly has to be rescued by you or Oswald.  As I said I think it would be fine if not just women were helpless and they added more dunces in distress.

    The Amazon seems fairly like a power fantasy for women, giant and muscular.  Maybe just if  they had covered her skin a bit more things wouldn't be interpreted as sexual.  Frankly to me I can't see anything sexualizing about the Amazon but to others it seems to bother them so I try to consider that.  The sorceress yes she is sexualized, but there is a powerful female character and a more average female character to play as to counter that.  

    Sort of like in Warcraft, one can play as Elves.  Their females are highly sexualized with large breasts and thin waists.

    At the same time you can play as Orc women, larger than men with six pacs and muscular broad shoulders.  Troll women with facial tusks, monstrous features, and savagery.  Female Dwarves which are short and stout.  The Orcs even aren't exactly ugly just fairly plain looking.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:28 am

    Reaperfan wrote:Does every instance of this kind of thing have to devolve into a sexism debate?  Can't overly-ridiculous character design or art style just be that, overly-ridiculous?

    Every instance doesn't devolve into a sexism debate. And overly-ridiculous style is still open to criticism, as everything else.


    Reaperfan wrote:I don't see the male characters in this game as a power fantasy.

    Irrelevant. Your personal stance on the color blue/green does not change the fact the majority of people see the color blue and associate it with health.


    Reaperfan wrote:As a male, I see characters like Kratos and Dante as male power fantasies.  They're grounded and/or developed enough to be just barely relatable so that you can just barely project yourself onto them.  These Dragon's Crown guys are just...cartoons.  You aren't supposed to be able to relate to them on a recognizable level.  I don't look at them and think "I wish I were like that."  I look at them and think "this is gonna be a gratuitous spectacle of mayhem that would make even Michael Bay wince."  I wouldn't play this game for the fantasy, I'd play it for the spectacle.

    Besides the fact that your personal stance does not represent any majority nor the intentions of the developers... Do you not see that the "extreme" of the male is their "power"  features and the "extreme" of the female are their sexual features. Defending this on the basis that it's too extreme to be empowering or sexy completely misses the point that the very design is based on sexism. Extreme male = more muscle; extreme female = more sex.



    Reaperfan wrote:I won't comment on the female characters specifically, as I'm not a woman and as such lack perspective on what would be an accurate assessment of their views on the issue.  However, in the broad scheme of things I believe what's going on with this game's art direction can best be summed up by two tropes known as Up to Eleven and Refuge in Audacity.

    No one woman can tell you about "our" perspective either. And if you look around many males found issue with this designs too.


    Reaperfan wrote:For those not in the know and who aren't willing/able to read those links, tropes are simply recurring trends and elements in media.  The trope "Up to Eleven" describes when a work decides to go to extreme lengths in one aspect, with the extremism itself being what makes that part of the work interesting rather than the aspect itself.  "Refuge in Audacity" is a related trope to this that occurs when the particular aspect that happens to be extreme-ified is something that is likely offensive to someone in the target audience, but because the aspect is presented so blatantly and beyond the norm, it becomes acceptable in the mind of the audience because it no longer falls within the audience's expectations of how that subject is normally presented.

    I disagree with your second assessment. There is no character doing anything audacious, and the art designer was not trying to make a statement and take it to the next level. He simply made extreme design that reveal basic sexism in extreme proportions.


    Reaperfan wrote:Doesn't it just make more sense that, rather than trying to weasel money out of immature teen and preteen boys by nefariously designing their characters to exploit their weak psyches at the expense of an entire gender, they were instead just trying to make something generally flashy and awesome?

    No, it doesn't. You are assuming that only "immature teen and preteen boys" have any desire for these overtly sexualized females. A quick google search will quickly dissuade such misconception, and further this isn't about their "marketing technique" but what is being criticized is the presentation as an art choice. Was this really the best they could come up with? Well then, how sad.


    Reaperfan wrote:And since realism does nothing but tone things down in a viewer's mind by making it relatable to something mundane they'd come to the conclusion that the most effective way to pull this off is to make absolutely everything as unrealistic as possible?

    And this does not change the fact that what they decided to accentuate were the power features of the male and the sex features of the female. Everything you present brings back the core issue which is: males seen as power, females seen as sex. It's bs and it's being called out and defending it makes you look sad.

    Reaperfan wrote:Can't we just have fun with video games again?

    I have fun with videogames all the time. I created the forum you're posting in. How about we start admitting that hey, maybe these old tired tropes and this deeply engrained sexism is out of date and should start moving out?


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:37 am

    Personally I think we shouldn't look at it from the female perspective.

    But not the male perspective either.  As an outsider, neutral.

    Are things not equal?  Well let's acknowledge that.  How bad is the imbalance?  Is it very small?  Well that's very acceptable, consider it margin for error.

    Is the difference big?  Well then that's something to look for.

    It it meant to make fun of the backward views?  Well that is something to consider.  Recently a single critic has spoken out against DLC Quest for having a damsel in distress.  That is a game designed to parody everything about gaming, everything is based off of getting points to buy DLC, the whole game is a complete parody including the damsel in distress thing.  They even mention it in dialogue saying things like saying that you need to feel like you are important so there is a person to rescue.  Who ends up saving the day at the end?

    Ending:
    A horse in armor.  Eh tu Bioware?
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Ghadis_God on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:39 am

    Though it doesn't excuse anything, I would like to point out that the character designs are very much an homage to Conan-era power-fantasy and all the sexism and objectification that goes along with it. It's a throwback to a bygone genre, one that was rooted in the sexism of its time, and has been revived in modern times with both the good and bad.

    Also, Fex, it's not fair to say the male characters such as the Fighter and Dwarf aren't objectified. Not sexually objectified, maybe, they certainly weren't created for someone to masturbate over, but objectified all the same. They have no personality, they simply exist to be hunks of muscle and are worth only what they do in battle. All the characters might as well be fighting robots, which brings me to my next point: you can't objectify a character. A character is already an object, created by a writer and an artist the same way an architect and builder make a house. So does the Sorceress objectify women in general? No. She's a cartoon, and as far as I can tell not having played the game, does not comment on women in general, nor does her existence claim that women in general are nothing but sex objects.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:55 am

    Ghadis_God wrote: Though it doesn't excuse anything, I would like to point out that the character designs are very much an homage to Conan-era power-fantasy and all the sexism and objectification that goes along with it. It's a throwback to a bygone genre, one that was rooted in the sexism of its time, and has been revived in modern times with both the good and bad.

    And it is sad that we have modern developers chosing to pay homage to the lamest aspect of previous eras, keeping those lame aspects modern.


    Ghadis_God wrote:Also, Fex, it's not fair to say the male characters such as the Fighter and Dwarf aren't objectified. Not sexually objectified, maybe, they certainly weren't created for someone to masturbate over, but objectified all the same. They have no personality, they simply exist to be hunks of muscle and are worth only what they do in battle

    I believe what you are trying to say is that the male "power" obsession isn't fair to men. Yeah it isn't. Two wrongs don't make a right.

    However the term objectification was used on this instance to talk about a specific and recurrent societal issue. It is not an isolated word: unfortunately in our society this is a very prevalent issue where females are often qualified by their beauty and defined by their sexual appeal. How many ugly actresses do you know? That are fat and unshaven and don't care about makeup or keep a lipstache? Now how many men? This disparity and disconnect extends to other forms of entertainment including virtual representations

    Ghadis_God wrote:
    All the characters might as well be fighting robots, which brings me to my next point: you can't objectify a character.

    But they are not fighting robots. They are shown as male and female and... oh really are you really gonna try that one?


    Ghadis_God wrote:A character is already an object, created by a writer and an artist the same way an architect and builder make a house. So does the Sorceress objectify women in general? No. She's a cartoon, and as far as I can tell not having played the game, does not comment on women in general, nor does her existence claim that women in general are nothing but sex objects.

    Oh, yes you are... I'll start by explaining why argument is preposterous. Social media, art, television, drawings, characters... they don't exist in isolation and have nothing to do with society. They are woven into our collective society as a reflection and an influence to it. The repeated presentation of women as sex objects has deepened the view of women as sex objects and created more representations (real and virtual) of this. It is a pervasive circle that thrives from arguments like yours. In order for this sexism to go away people need to stop indulging in or accepting it. Characters are representations of real things, and in this case they represent females or they would not be female, and those females are sexualized to an extreme, which leads to deepening the notion that female = sex. This affects the real world you live in and the real women in your life, whether you try to deny it or not. Things don't happen in isolation, they happen as a whole. The world can and is changing, and if you really feel like these things should not be issues then don't make ludicrous arguments like the above.


    Last edited by FexDS on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:56 am

    Aw why don't you respond to me.  You don't like what I'm saying that much.  D:
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by nsane32 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:14 am

    eh its made by japan I just take it with some salt and ignore it no reason to linger on the subject especially since every one has their own thoughts on it no one person can be correct on the matter


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:28 am

    ... Thats pretty racist and I'm going to give you the benefit of thinking you did not mean it that way. Either way no, ignoring issues does not make them go away. It actually makes them stay and become more engrained.


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:41 am

    I think someone else said it best when they said that the solution should not be to stop making games for teenage boys (though judging by some of what the industry churns out, it seems to have a very draconian view of what maturing boys want) but to also make games for everyone else.

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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:44 am

    Actually a thing I wish they would do is what I do as a writer.

    When I create characters they are characters first.  I'll write someone maybe as a sleazy person, a powerful figure, a deceptive jerk, etc.  Then I do a dice roll to determine gender, then another for ethnicity.  That way my characters are defined only by their functionality in a story and not gender or ethnicity.  I think that would help out, though by chance you can end up with some risky mixes.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by WhatDoesThePendantDo? on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:48 am

    Tolvo wrote:When I create characters they are characters first.  I'll write someone maybe as a sleazy person, a powerful figure, a deceptive jerk, etc.  Then I do a dice roll to determine gender, then another for ethnicity.

    But what if you roll a 2 each time?

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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by nsane32 on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:48 am

    well there is a ton worse games than this one which is why I find it weird that its this that gets hammered

    @Fex each part of the world has their own customs so no its not racist just expect like how Football of drunken idiots is expected from the U.S


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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by Tolvo on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:52 am

    1-100 roll.  The most recent population numbers say 49% female, 51% male.  Thus 1-49 is a female, and 50-100 is male.  As such, it is highly unlikely I will just land on the same thing multiple times, sometimes more men may sprout up, sometimes more women.  It isn't my fault, that's just the statistics from a neutral factor that is the chance of a dice.
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    Re: Dragon's Crown

    Post by FexDS on Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:54 am

    Are you trying to say that it's a Japanese custom to produce sexist stuff? And this somewhat should justify it? Yes my country has as much of a sexist history as any other, I however take objection to your implied assertion that this is to be expected or culturally justifiable.


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