At E3, SoulCalibur's Objectified Women Felt Like A Relic Of The Past

In SoulCalibur 6, Ivy Valentine will be as she always was: wrapped in stringy cloth, balloon-breasted, mostly naked. She wields a snake sword that extends into a whip, a dominatrix's weapon that's helped land her in innumerable knock-off porn videos and pin-up images. As one the Soul series' most recognisable fighters, Ivy has always looked like a caricature of a pubescent boy's preposterously-proportioned ideal video game lady.

Ivy's over-the-top appearance may have fit in quite well with the boys' club mentality of the late 1990s when she was introduced in the first SoulCalibur. 20 years later, at an E3 with down-to-earth playable female protagonists in Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, The Division 2, The Last of Us Part 2, Battlefield 5, and other headlining games, Ivy in SoulCalibur 6 seemed a little out of place, buried deep within publisher Bandai Namco's booth at the back of the show floor.

It's not just her bandaid attire; it's that, by sticking to their guns (or, here, sword-whip), Bandai Namco has pigeonholed what could be a stellar fighting game for everyone. As a series, SoulCalibur almost didn't live to see a seventh iteration, said SoulCalibur producer Motohiro Okubo, speaking with Kotaku in a small interview room behind that booth.

"SoulCalibur actually was in a little bit of a crisis as a brand. The company climate wasn't really encouraging another instalment for the franchise," said Okubo.

The series may have been seriously wounded, but the soul still burns, for now, as SoulCalibur 6 will be released for PC, Xbox One and PS4 on October 19. This version, Okubo said, maxed out the volume on what makes SoulCalibur feel like SoulCalibur, which seems in part to be a doubling down on its playable seductresses.

In 2018, when so many mainstream games are casting a wide net across a redefined notion of what it means to be a "gamer," Ivy feels like a bit of a relic of a past's mainstream, like lead paint or cocaine for toothaches.

Last week, I met with Okubo to ask him a burning question I've had since I first laid hands on SoulCalibur 2 in 2003: Why do the series' women still look like sex dolls?

SoulCalibur 2's intro has stuck with me, a little bitterly, since I was an overcompetitive 12-year-old craving another game to dominate at. The fighter Taki, in a skin-tight red suit and no bra, would land on the ground, breasts jiggling everywhere. A moment later, the camera cut to Ivy, who dramatically shimmied her torso before extending her whip.

It was a sort of girl-on-girl action that, to me, felt explicitly designed for straight boys my age. As the camera angles changed, breasts were the first feature to appear. Sure, I didn't have to participate in everything.

But just from seeing the opening scene of this blockbuster fighting game — the moment when a game states its goals, makes its pitch, and reels in its audience — I knew that worming my way into the game's culture, battling other players and getting competitive would be harder for me, even though I loved the gameplay, the stages, the single-player mode.

SoulCalibur's pitch was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unlike group-hangs when friends and I played Mario Party, Super Smash Bros., and even Burnout, SoulCalibur was a struggle to get in on. Boys I played with were significantly less likely to hand me a controller after a loss. Talking about SoulCalibur at school, these players would smirk at me when I'd weigh match-ups.

In the tyranny of kids, who uncritically absorb and perpetuate whatever rules or structures they see, I wasn't a part of SoulCalibur's target audience. Years later, at a liberal college, I remember following friends into a room where SoulCalibur 4 was being played on a television. I love this game, I said, to a group of new faces who didn't believe me.

In my interview with Okubo, I felt that I'd been presented with a golden opportunity to hear the response to a question I'd had for 12 years, a question about why a game I've loved still feels so off-putting to play. "I've played SoulCalibur games, and I used to play a lot of Cassandra. I was playing Sophitia just now," I told Okubo after playing a few rounds of the upcoming game.

"I noticed that, in this version, her breasts are more prominent. You can see up her skirt. Ivy, still, is wearing not that many clothes. When I play a game like SoulCalibur, I feel like it's not for me. I feel like it's for men who might be interested in these characters. I've always sort of felt that about SoulCalibur. Is this something you consider?"

Here's what Okubo said: "Of course, I am a man, as well as many of the people on the development team. That's something that we should probably consider if that's the opinion of a female perspective like you in the future. We weren't necessarily going out to try and intentionally make something sexy for the purpose of being sexy."

That's a little difficult to believe, I told him. In 2011, SoulCalibur 5 director Daishi Odashima circulated a SoulCalibur breast size and shape guideline on Twitter, which delineated the exact proportions developers went for when designing their femme fatales.

An ad for the game released in Japan cut out Ivy Valentine's face, instead displaying a gargantuan pair of meticulously-shaded breasts wrapped in a fur coat. Another zoomed in on her arse, naked except for a thong.

In past games in the series — and in SoulCalibur 6, too — the, fighters' clothes will fall off when they are damaged. This is a common feature in sexy anime games like Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, High School DxD, Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. In Bandai Namco's presentation on SoulCalibur 6, a spokesperson emphasised the mechanic.

"Visually, we realised that the game has to be exciting for people playing, but also, spectators have to be excited as well, too. From round to round, if you continue to land these hits, characters' armours break, costumes change. You could be in your underwear by the end of a match."

This isn't deliberately sexy?

"It's interesting you say you don't set out to be sexy," I continued, "because SoulCalibur has traditionally had really elaborate breast physics in the game. That doesn't exist for gameplay, of course."

"I think, as a result, the characters as a result end up being sexy," replied Okubo. "That's not something we can deny necessarily, but in the process of game design, we just really try to go after what we think would be cool actions, cool movement, strong, powerful movements. That is kind of a byproduct of this pursuit of trying to find what we think is pretty cool."

What the designers of SoulCalibur find to be "cool" often ends up looking a little like a fantasy-skinned Playboy centerfold. Okubo says that SoulCalibur's fighters are reflections of their weapons, one of SoulCalibur's defining features as a fighting game. "There's a weapon and there's a character designed around it. If it's a massive ax or a sword, naturally it'd be a more hulky type of male body," said Okubo.

"With Ivy, we felt her character with the weapon she wields has a very cold, icy, type of feel, which is this very cool beauty we were trying to express in the character. That was how those characters came to be."

SoulCalibur 6 is looking like a strong entry in the series. The E3 demo plays great, and the graphics look like its predecessors' wet dreams. With the series' future in crisis, Okubo said that with this new entry's "strong, powerful movements," the team wanted to "pursue that SoulCalibur-ness throughout the development."

Is SoulCalibur 6's Ivy, then, a cry for help, a summons to the fighting games' core fan base?

If SoulCalibur 6 feels out of place at E3 2018, that's in part because of where Bandai Namco hopes to place it, alongside the rest of gaming's mainstream appeals. But the era of The Last Of Us Part 2 is also the era of Senran Kagura, of games that don't feel the need to pretend to be something they're not, to pretend that the titillating scenes got there by accident.

It's common for a game's producers to talk around criticisms, attributing one cause for complaint to some cool, special feature about the game. It's similarly common for a game's producer to backpedal when it's clear they're trying to have their cake and eat it, too.

That's part of the job — to make the game appeal to everyone. Yet it can't simultaneously be true that SoulCalibur didn't consider a female perspective, didn't set out to be sexy, designed fighters exclusively around weapons and, also, doubled down on the breast physics in SoulCalibur 6.

Seven years after SoulCalibur's last instalment, we're in a different climate in games. It's classier to call something what it is.


Comments

    Call the PC police, someone's upset on the internet.

      You know opinionated editorial pieces have existed since the dawn of the newspaper right?

      By all means you are allowed to disagree with the article or it contents, but it makes a more rational argument if you actually state some reasoning for your opinion.

    Soul Calibur in general hasn't prominently featured their female characters in such a way really, aside from Ivy. For the most part the female characters are generally modestly dressed. Ivy's the outlier really.

    Also Kotaku: "Here's many cosplay photos of women showing skin!"

      "Here are people doing a thing they like doing!" isn't the same as "I asked a game creator about the game's clear and prominent appeal to a specific demographic through a very specific visual style and he was all coy about it".

      It's really very clear that they've doubled down on the sexygirl factor for this game. The fact that he's being obtuse about it shows that he isn't telling the truth. Everyone likes looking at hot people. All he has to do is be honest and say "I really like me some big thighed bondage chicks"

        His comment is more pointing out the seemingly hypocritical double standard at play here - on one hand here's an article saying that fictional women showing skin is a relic of the past and on the other they'll happily post pictures of real life cosplayers wearing much less than this. In fact cosplayers themselves have and will continue to cosplay as these kinds of characters.

        Once again though, Soul Calibur is one fighting game series that has never really objectified their female characters - with the one exception of Ivy. The rest of them are modestly dressed, although yes it's true that due to the game's clothing physics, sometimes you can catch upskirt shots, but so what? Even Taki, who yes, wears a pretty skintight body suit, is actually fully clothed from head to toe.

        By the same token though, the same observations from this article could be made about the male characters as many of them are shirtless or are wearing tight fitting clothes that emphasise their physique.

        I can think of much worse offenders when it comes to objectifying women in fighting games (I'm looking at you, Dead or Alive).

          I didn't misunderstand. I specifically addressed that. A woman putting her own self in a position to be looked at in skimpy clothing isn't the same as a media industry that puts all women by default into it. They are not comparable.

          Upskirts just happen. Accidentally. Sure. It's not like the game had to have people design a costume and engine that specifically allows that or anything. And characters designed to be male aspiration is not the same as characters designed to be male desire.

          It's not even really about objectification in that sense. All media objectifies everyone to some extent. It's that they try to dodge the topic. I fucking love Dead or Alive partially because of how ridiculous the "sexiness" is. Dead or Alive is much less bullshit about the whole thing because they don't pretend they're doing anything else. They're all about the stupid titties. They revel in it. they shout it from the rooftops. Soul Calibur would be less weird if they just went with it instead of trying to pretend they accidentally made a nearly naked dom mistress with tits the size of a human head.

    My partner spent Saturday grind out Diablo3's new season, and guess what she thinks of her character all levelled up with revealing armour? She says, that she is "hot".
    I don't know hundreds upon hundreds of female gamers but the ones I do usually don't mind the "sexy" characters, half of them wear more than they do on a night out. When like soul calibre comes around with the over the top boobs, it inspires more laughter than it does some reaction of being a boys club or overly sexualised. Why?
    Sex sells and believe it or not women do buy into that big time as well.
    Yes it can exclude people but you cant please everyone. I feel very discriminated against when ever the protagonist is some muscle bound hulk, talk about setting unrealistic body expectations.

    Seven years after SoulCalibur's last instalment, we're in a different climate in games. It's classier to call something what it is. Classier? I am still trying to figure out what you are calling it? It seems that you don't like things to be sexy or sexed up. Not liking sexy things is classy?

      What I got from the classier comment was if you want to make a game with boobie physics and destroying clothing to reveal women's underwear then say you are doing it to titillate the player.
      Not some half arse excuse about how you focus on the weapon and cool and powerful moves that accidentally lead to upskirt shots and prominent boobs.

      They are clearly spinning BS and it comes across as such. Lying isn't classy, you you want to make a game there a large number of design decisions are made to make it 'sexy' then say it.

        He did say it though.
        What we also got was selected answers from the interview.
        To me it appears it may not have been the original intention but as he concludes "I think, as a result, the characters as a result end up being sexy," replied Okubo. 
        I don't have any intimate details of the production of soul calibre but I know from other games that release concept art, the finished product is often no where near what the original idea was.

          I took that quote as him saying "yes our characters are sexy, but it is a result of these other goals we had for the game". And that doesn't exactly ring true: a lot of these features don't sound like unintended side effects, so why not just own it?

            Which features though?
            If you look when Soul Calibre came out, it was at the time Street Fighter was king, King of Fighters and Killer instinct weren't far behind. Jiggle physics were all the rage, I think SNK pioneered that, making a busty bouncy character wasn't just done for the sake of it, it was to keep up with the times, with what competitors were doing. If it's jiggling and jiggling good why not show it off. Each company was trying to out do each other, fighting games were and now with resurgence a big thing, you had to be bold to make a mark in the community.
            With selected quoting this article does not give enough information to give a unbiased interpretation.

              All the quotes in the article sound like Okubo is trying to deflect the question. It is possible that the author has consistently quoted him out of context, but they sound like the kinds of responses someone doing PR would give if they don't want to answer directly.

              As far as jiggle physics go, most of these games have quite exaggerated movement so it doesn't just seem to be about realism. So the simpler explanation (and I think more likely one) is that they were competing on sexiness. I don't say that as a pejorative: rather that it might be simpler to just be honest about it.

                In the article the quote are very selective, almost selected in a way to convey only the authors message and given the authors previous work and shown bias in the face of fact, I am erring on the side of caution in making a decision.
                Realism? I never talked about realism, I was talking about a marketing strategy, it was a competition.
                It wouldn't be simpler to say it, not the way that PR and all those lovely things work in a western world, let alone saying that in Japan.

                  Sure, but on what basis do you think the game developers were competing on? It's not a feature that affects the game mechanics. Women taking part in these kinds of martial arts would most likely be wearing a sports bra to try and minimise jiggle, so it isn't necessarily about realism either. The obvious answer is that the game developers were competing on sexiness of their female characters.

    So serious question:
    Does people's definition of "equality" mean absolutely everything must be level and presented in the same neutral tone or does it mean that variety is permitted as long as it is present in equal amounts on each side?

    We've made progress in better female representation and there's now a larger variety present across the gaming landscape but I'm not sure it's healthy to have every single game be like that. I feel there's room for the cheesecake games just like there are movies that have eye candy for males and there are movies that have eye candy for the females. Everything in moderation.

      Mine is every one is equal. Things can be presented in any tone they want as long at there is no discrimination involved. A skimpy dressed woman in a game is no different to a skimpy dressed man, if you can do one, you can do the other.

        It’s funny some of the mentions in the article since clothing destruction is gender neutral in Akiba’s Trip. In fact you spend more time stripping male opponents then female, and as a (by default) male character a lot revolves around you running around in your boxers trying not to get naked. (And the international edition has pics of the boys getting Nellie in cut-ins)

        On the subject of Soul Calibur and objectification, does Voldo continue his stripperific gimp wear with hilarious cod pieces, thongs and pierced nipples? (The double standard regarding nipples and male toplessness has always been a head scratcher)

      For me it is that both male and female characters have the same level of depth. SO the good example of that is how much detail can you give when you are describing a character without mentioning their appearance and occupation.
      Also particularly for female characters that their story isn't just a love interest.

      I think what you are saying about movies is right and there can be a whole range of movies, but currently we don't really have the Rom-Com or Drama version for games. For girls that like action movies that is great but their isn't really much else.

      But gamers need to be willing to embrace or even allow those sort of games. Look at the vitriol that gets spat when somebody mentions being able to interact with a world in a manner other than using a gun.

        No Rom-Coms for games? There's plenty of Visual Novels

          I was thinking more along the lines that the primary target market for Rom-coms are women.
          I admit that it isn't something I follow closely but my feel is that the primary target market for the visual novels is male. But that perception could just be because of the number of boobie based VN that appear on the steam homepage?

          What is the gaming equivalent to a 'chick-flick'?

            I dunno. One genre for games that I do know is dominated by women is hidden object games.

        I think what you are saying about movies is right and there can be a whole range of movies, but currently we don't really have the Rom-Com or Drama version for games. For girls that like action movies that is great but their isn't really much else.
        Triple A games no, but I have played plenty of indies which market their appeal to either gender, some more specifically woman. So people are trying, but males are still the biggest audience of games so it does make financial sense to market more towards them.

      There's room for cheesecake. Just don't bullshit people about it. Nobody makes porn and says "well we were making art with strong female characters who are confident in their sexuality". they say "We made a movie where hot women fuck 6 guys at once".

      People can like or dislike whatever they want. People can make or not make any media they want. But if you're going to make something that is specifically made for and by hetero guys who want to see hetero women being objects of lust, just fucking admit it.

      When someone says "Hey, I like the fighting in your game, but I've never really liked the way all the women are giant titted jiggle monsters who wiggle around almost naked. What's that all about?" the answer is something like "The whole team is straight dudes and we fucking love us some giant anime titties and jiggle. So we made that. I'm glad you like the systems we built, but I guess the visual design we like isn't for you." The answer is not "Weeeelllll... we made weapons and and then organically designed characters to suit weapons and the artistic process is a magical thing that just coincidentally ended up producing giant anime tittiemonsters and we are powerless to change that."

        I guess that position holds up if you're willing to be consistent with it. Do you see many recent Hollywood decisions for the thinly veiled hollow marketing tactics that they are (see: Ocean's 8, recent decisions around characters & storylines with Disney films, etc.), or do you see them as art where strong non-white male characters are all being suddenly told simultaneously with no connection whatsoever to each other. To be clear, I want with more diverse storylines and characters and ideas in films or games. It's just that these decisions, to have "strong women" or people of colour at the forefront of media right now so suddenly is because the cynical executives have seen a social movement and are repositioning to make copious amounts of money from it. They call it one thing when it's really something else. This happens constantly with mass market media, and we naturally give far less scrutiny to the times when it benefits us.

        I totally agree with you. Own what you're doing. The author of this article is dead wrong / missing something crucial when she says things like:

        When I play a game like SoulCalibur, I feel like it's not for me. I feel like it's for men who might be interested in these characters. I've always sort of felt that about SoulCalibur. Is this something you consider?
        or
        That's part of the job — to make the game appeal to everyone.

        The key element of branding is differentiation. It's not your job to make your product appeal to everyone, it's your job to find and serve your target demographic as effectively as you can. Do you know what we write down at my agency when a client says their target demographic is "everyone"? We write "no target demographic". It's a sign of strong branding that people feel left out, it means that they are targeting correctly. We all can't have a slice of the same pie.

        This idea that all games can mean all things to all people is nonsense, it's an unobtainable goal, and it's going to lead to the same homogenisation of gaming that created the videogames boys club the writer decries in this article.

          I don't even know how to answer this without writing a novella. Of course it's cynical. That's why it was nothing but white dudes and tits forever. That's why it isn't now. The market wanted that thing, but then the market didn't want that thing anymore and the cynics refused to change it because they had no safe data to analyse. Now they do, so they are changing to be relevant in the market going forward. The fact is I don't really care why the media improves, I care that it does. And it is improving specifically because the people making this same shit again and again had enough people bluntly ask them why.

          I really don't see how more people from different life experiences making more things with a wider range of character and story experiences can possibly lead to homogenisation. She didn't say the game shouldn't be allowed to exist. She wanted to know why he made a teenage boy tit fetish game with a really solid fighting game hidden underneath because. She can't understand why they're still chasing a mass market that doesn't exist anymore. The market isn't 13 year old boys with permaboners anymore. This is now a niche product, but not by design.

            The fact is I don't really care why the media improves, I care that it does.

            If we do the right things for the wrong reasons we're creating, at best, temporary change. We need to do the right things for the right reasons, only then will we create meaningful and long lasting change that doesn't replace an old problem with a new one.

            And what if we looked at the data and it told us that the bulk of the console triple A market is STILL in fact 13 year old boys with permaboners? Would that change your mind about your last point?

              No. Because cause and effect are real things. If you only make a product for one audience, you'll only get one audience and the cycle perpetuates. That's the kind of logic that wouldn't make a black superhero movie because it wouldn't sell.

              You have to build it if you want them to come.

                That's the kind of logic that wouldn't make a black superhero movie because it wouldn't sell.

                That's business logic. We're yet to see the viability of black superhero movies. We've had one mega smash that's been supported because a multitude of factors (including but not limited to: novelty, place within a larger pre-established mega-franchise, political turbulence, etc.), but are those numbers sustainable in the long term, across many films and many genres? We don't know yet.

                The numbers, with only 12.3% of the U.S. population being black, would indicate that black culture focused films delivered in high frequency and volume wouldn't resonate with a large percentage of the population. Be careful about pushing back on this argument with a "just because it's black doesn't mean white people can't enjoy it" position, because that runs the risk of jeopardising the "because it's focused on men, women can't enjoy it" narrative that is the bedrock for articles like this, and positions like yours.

                Do I think it's fair or justified or good that people who can't relate to characters they see on screens because of physical differences? No way. In fact, it's what I'm fighting against when I say "women shouldn't need to play as women to enjoy games, and vice versa". But I am above all a pragmatist. Just because I don't want something to be true, that doesn't make it untrue.

                I think we can absolutely increase the amount of diversity we see in games, but that should be through new and exciting ideas and creators that fully justify themselves in the ways they need to. It can't just be through just destroying what's there, or replacing every existing character with a female equivalent. That's a bandaid solution to a bullet wound problem.

      Oh by all means, make whatever game you want. But it's the height of cowardice to pretend it's anything other than what it is.

      Which is how the article came to be. "I like jiggly femdom characters" is the answer, not 'Well we put a cool feature in and design really precisely and it just happens to turn out random upskirts and bouncy breasts". That's rubbish, it's obvious rubbish, and why go to the effort?

      I also agree that it's good to see some blackface and swastikas around, each to their own right?

    Fuck don't know if people aren't getting the point here, the article is NOT saying that the game is wrong or shouldn't exist, it's saying that if you make this kind of game just be up front and say
    "yeah we made a game you can fap too but it also has other stuff to do"

      From what little there is of their conversation, he doesn't deny it either.
      "I think, as a result, the characters as a result end up being sexy," replied Okubo.
      I'm pretty sure he actually said it.
      The other thing to take into consideration as well, is terms and ideas like sexy, don't often translate well from Japanese.

        That is true, compared to some of the stuff I saw over there this is like G rated maybe PG.

        Exactly, this article demands Japan get woke, and fictional characters conform to the bland and inoffensive, how about, no?

        This is a translation that doesn't convey the meaning. What he is saying here is that this happened as an accident of the artistic process.

        "We designed the weapons and then we built characters that suited the weapons. So when one character ended up being a 6 foot tall white woman with silver hair, tits the size of volkswagens, and barely-there fetish gear, that was not at all a result of our sexual proclivities. It just turned out that way"

          I should say the translation doesn't convey the nuance of the meaning. On paper that sounds like exactly the way Japanese people speak. But Japanese people speak in obfuscated ways by default.

      It feels like it's saying both though. The second half focuses on the conversation about whether it's intentionally going for sexiness but the first half definitely has a negative tone about that sexiness.

        That's pretty much the point: SoulCalibur has always gone down this path. The producers shouldn't try and dance around it - just be open that there's giant breast physics and skimpy characters because that's part of the series' appeal. It's not a call for the series to change or revamp itself; if anything, Cecilia's arguing that - like Senran Kagura - it should lean into its roots and be honest about that.

          As I mentioned in my other posts, it was the nature of the games at the time, the breast physics were all the rage, they literally were the in thing written about in magazines. Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Killer Instinct, they were all doing it, a lot of it I think was just trying to one up the competition, to single out just Soul Calibre seems to disregard the market as a whole at the time, when it comes to jiggle physics that is. A lot wasn't about being sexy, it was about something the competition didn't have.

          That's not what the article title implies however

          As I mentioned a few times earlier in this thread, Soul Calibur is one fighting game that *hasn't* ever really amped up the sex appeal of their women. Ivy is the ONE female character in the series that you could argue this doesn't apply to...she's the exception rather than the rule. The rest, while they might look attractive, are modestly dressed, and many are fully clothed from neck to feet.

      We do get it. What we also get is that this guys job literally requires him not to say his game is for fapping to.

      Not just for ye olde Japanese PR but like in this instance I don't see how someone who writes an article with these opinions therein would actually be satisfied should they admit to deliberately sexy design.

    Luckily the announcement of Dead or Alive 6 means that I can go play that instead and boycott these scantily-clad sexist shenanigans.

      I feel like 3 people missed this rather obvious joke. Knee-jerk reaction toothed "sexist" label perhaps?

        That was supposed to be "to the label "sexist"" not "toothed sexist. The joys of phone posting, and also dodging moderation hell.

    Isn't Ivy's counterpart is Voldo?

      Yes. His design is a blatant stereotype of what young women most desire.

      And why not? He is one sexy freak.

    It's not just that they're going for the DoA 'hypersexualise our female characters' approach (remember when DoA5 was all like 'I'm a fighter!' and then had all those creepy as fuck DLC costumes?), it's that a lot of the new designs are terrible.

    Xianghua, for example, has a dreadful new costume that's nowhere near as cool as anything she had in SC1 or 2. The latest incarnation of Ivy's bondage bosuit is the worst version of it yet (I'm all for bodysuit wearing fighters (Cammy is my fave SF character) but at least make the bodysuit actually *function* as clothing).

    On the bright side, Ivy's always had really nice alt costumes that make her look way cooler than the default, so hopefully those show up in VI and I can be cool aristocrat Ivy again (Although I'm probably just gonna main Taki, who's default outfit is... weird, but hopefully she gets some cool alts this time around).

    I loved the breaking costume stuff. Especially when combined with the character creator. Used to make "normal" looking costumes and take them online, only to intentionally get them broken to reveal some hideous / hilarious abomination. Always funny

    Yeah I was pretty bummed about SF4 and 5 for the same reason. I have 2 young daughters and I don't think it's cool for them to see a bunch of (mainly) bad ass looking male fighters, and then have almost every female character be some kind of sexy ass hooker looking thing. Sure Chun Li is always cool but a lot of the other characters are just insane with the boobs and the ass and the poses.

      Give your girls Tekken to play. Everyone looks good. Guys and girls all look classy in their own right. Not only that but you can dress the characters up in the clothing available to unlock by just playing.

        Haha. They more watch me play, and I've been a street fighter guy since '92, but you're totally right. I should try and branch out. Just so stuck in my ways!

    *Reads article authors name and groans at an almost illegal volume*
    what about the men with abs showing? thats so fucking not fair but who cares about us right?
    nobody gives a fuck its a game.

      Although the article is a bit all over the place and is hard to gather the authors exact direction with the piece, yes she does some it up at the end, but parts of it almost seem to drift off or attempt to add some personal emotional element to it.
      Your response makes me think you didn't bother reading it at all.

      If it was that every single male character was just abs you'd have a point, but that's not the case. Male characters without a doubt are always more fleshed out and varied character and design wise.

    Such a well written article. I really enjoyed reading it. Cheers!

    I have to agree with those who are implying that they are tiring of this site. Not specifically this article - just the slight trickle of social justice warrior. It's not that there isn't a good point to some of the things - it's more that I'm just here for gaming news and we're in this odd time where the actions and opinions of a few men are often being transposed to many - and I'd rather avoid politics when I'm relaxing and just playing a game.

    Reading that part about going to your mates dorm and seeing soulcalibur on the TV reminded me of this time I was playing street fighter 4 on the arcade cabinet at gametraders in the city, I was smashing everyone that came through, there were even a bunch of avid street fighter players who were just rotating through after getting beat. Then this chick jumps on the machine....I told her go arcade mode not versus or you will end up losing your money, she chose versus mode and I shook my head in disbelief. She chose Ryu and I was playing Bison....I did my usual thing and started talking trash and well....she gave me an absolute belting. I played her 4 times before I realised that I needed to give up, go back and re-evaluate my life decisions.

    The only people who see skimpy clothing objectifying women are the fat ugly ones. No one cries about video game guys with their masssive muscles and full sets of hair, leaving us balding fat men feeling inferior.

    It's just a game, go cry about something that matters. You know, maybe something like the human rights atrocities happening in the Gaza strip

    the boots are hot as hell and the tits are amazing, just stop complaining about things that are not problems!

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