Posts Tagged ‘George Kamitani’

Having trouble taking your eyes off this sexy photo of the Sorceress from Atlus and Vanillaware’s fantasy action/role-playing game Dragon’s Crown? Ok, well I’m having a bit of a hard time too. Game creator George Kamitani’s vision since 1998 when he was creating this game at the time for the Sega Dreamcast was to “have a game that would stand out from all the others”. Based on the artbook I received with my pre-order those concept drawings were nowhere near what I’ve seen today. It just goes to show that Dragon’s Crown has clearly come a long way in the 15 years that followed. Of course with all the praises from most media members including myself for the “sexy and edgy” art design there are others who greatly disagree including one reviewer deeming the material as “juvenile” and “one-sided and gross”.

Ok, so let’s go with the argument that supposedly George Kamitani went a little too far. We’ve got a game that features a woman with an enormous rack, an Amazon warrior wearing a G-string, and other female characters posing in rather compromising positions that pretty much send the message of “Fuck me now!” With this in mind Dragon’s Crown can be summed up as the closest thing to soft-core porn. All that’s needed is a “M” rating from the ESRB, and then teenage boys will be jerking off to source material in no time.

Now let’s look at the other side of the argument. The side that views Kamitani’s sexy and edgy art design simply as art. I stated this in my review for Dragon’s Crown where I said:

“I know there are people who may not like some of the female poses that look a little oversexed, but honestly it’s just art. The way I see it is that art is meant to be looked at as well as appreciated or even scrutinized. In the case of Kamitani’s depictions of the female body featured here in Dragon’s Crown (from the Sorceress’ huge breasts to other females in rather compromising positions) keep in mind that this is a fantasy game so this shouldn’t be treated as such a big deal.”

With all that said I want you to keep one word in mind from my statement. “Fantasy“. Dragon’s Crown is set in a “fantasy” world based on one man’s unique vision. Basically his game features some large breasted women in scantily clad clothing, in compromising positions, or portrayed helpless in scenes of bondage which to some is considered bad taste by portraying these women as helpless playthings. Now before some of you pass judgment on this “fantasy” I would like to add this statement. Keep in mind that what one person might find offending, others will find artistic. What really amazes me is all the heat that Dragon’s Crown is receiving considering the fact that this is not the first time this type of sex appeal has been portrayed in a video game. Who remembers Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball, the female characters of Kitana, Mileena, Jade, and Sonya in 2011’s Mortal Kombat, Cammy in the Street Fighter series, Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series, and Custer’s Revenge on the Atari 2600?

I want to share with you a couple of things that I’ve learned through my years in journalism classes in both high school and college. There are a couple of phrases that stand out in regards to media. When you watch the news on television or read a newspaper how many times has the first story or headline been about a fatality? Well in the news world the phrase is “If it bleeds, it leads“. Now in the world of advertising there is another phrase that is used to help sell products and services. “Sex Sells“. Don’t believe me? Well think about it. Sex appeal is everywhere on television, film, print media (books, magazines, newspapers), billboards, music, the internet, and even video games. Put a good looking woman behind a cash register and she can sell anything to anyone. Sex Sells. A hot waitress at Hooters. Sex Sells. A female bartender, or a girl serving shots at a nightclub. Sex Sells. A big breasted female sorceress in a fantasy video game. I think you understand now. Sex sells and everyone’s buying. Deal with it.

Now for anyone who may find this offensive, or thinks that this selling point only exists in today’s world, I’m here to tell you that you couldn’t be more wrong. This type of advertising has been around since the early days of man, the Roman Empire, and even Medieval Times. Sex sells is still a concept widely used in the present day, and will continue long after you and I have left this world to the spiritual afterlife. Maybe we need to stop being so radical and politically correct about everything we see, and what we really need to do is just accept it. I’m not saying that you have to agree to it, but just realize that you can’t shelter yourself from it all. You can however keep it away from your children with a little parental control.

In closing, should the inclusion a big breasted female sorceress, or overall female portrayal in a video game be considered as offensive? No. There’s no need for the ridiculously overhyped negative circus. Just understand that it’s only art. Enjoy it for what it is. Besides, it’s ok to have an opinion. Just don’t complicate it with a bunch of useless nonsense, or downscore a game because of it.

* Source of linked Polygon review written by Danielle Riendeau

If you asked me a couple of months ago about the game Dragon’s Crown I would respond to you with this phrase. “What’s Dragon’s Crown?” Before E3 I had no clue about this game, but during the show I became more aware about this action/role playing adventure. However, most media members were paying more attention to a certain Sorceress’ large rack. Breasts aside, as the professional journalist that I am, I was able to look past the succulent tits and focus in on what’s important. What I can tell you is that beneath all the scrutiny Dragon’s Crown is actually a very entertaining fantasy adventure filled with tons of action as well as satisfaction.

Developed by Vanillaware, most known for games including Odin’s Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Dragon’s Crown is a hack-n-slash brawler featuring six adventurers on a quest for the Dragon’s Crown which is said to give them control of a dragon. Considering the fact that I’m a veteran of titles like Golden Axe, Dungeons & Dragons, and numerous Gauntlet games I found myself quite comfortable with the brawling style that’s presented in Dragon’s Crown. The combat moves are very simplistic to perform which never left me frustrated at any point during the game including the epic boss battles. Truth be said, once I started playing Dragon’s Crown I became addicted.

On this adventure six classes were available for me to select from. Right off the bat I chose the Fighter which looks like a badass knight. I was able to customize my character in terms of name, colors, and creative messages (I did a few Gauntlet ones for the nostalgia). The Fighter is more of a “tank” character allowing me to get a feel of the game. Then I started playing as the other characters testing out their unique strengths and weaknesses. Characters including the Dwarf and Amazon are also good starters with their melee and limited magic attacks. As for the other characters the Elf is great at ranged attacks with her bow. The Warrior and Sorceress are both weak in terms of melee attacking, but are awesome with their wide range of powerful magic attacks as well as summoning the dead to fight for them.

Questing in Dragon’s Crown can be achieved in solo gameplay which allows me to work on character progression as well as allowing the selfish part of me to keep all the loot I earn. I can also gain companions that I resurrect from the dead to join me on quests along with a rogue thief to open treasure chests. Of course this game is also even better with a few friends to join in on the adventure. Dragon’s Crown excels with both couch and online co-op for up to four players. There is a catch. The ability to play online is an unlockable option so I needed to gain some experience first before joining others. At first I thought this sucked because I wanted to join the online arena right away, but I guess having some battle experience was much better than questing with a bunch of noobies who’ll die more than actually help.

Now if there’s one thing that I really love about Dragon’s Crown it would have to be the artwork. Game creator and lead artist George Kamitani has created some absolutely stunning hand drawn visuals that are nothing short of breathtaking. When I would clear a room full of enemies I would just take a moment and stare at the beautiful backgrounds in 1080p. Character design is also well done, but also features the game’s biggest scrutiny around mostly female characters like the big breasted Sorceress. Kamitani has stated that he “wanted his game to stand out.” Well congratulations George because you definitely succeeded in that. I know there are people who may not like some of the female poses that look a little oversexed, but honestly it’s just art. The way I see it is that art is meant to be looked at as well as appreciated or even scrutinized. In the case of Kamitani’s depictions of the female body featured here in Dragon’s Crown (from the Sorceress’ huge breasts to other females in rather compromising positions) keep in mind that this is a fantasy game so this shouldn’t be treated as such a big deal. Then again I’m a guy, and I’m sure most females would probably disagree with my opinion.

With all the fun that was had in Dragon’s Crown from all the questing, killing, and looting I did unfortunately have one gripe. When multiple characters were on the screen (either teammates or enemies) things can get quite chaotic as I would lose focus on where I was in the battle. At times battles can get very involving (especially in multiplayer) where there is so much action taking place on the screen. I love seeing all the magic attacks and the huge bosses at the end of each level, but there was a moment or two where I was lost in the shuffle and I didn’t notice where my character was which led to a few cheap deaths as well as a misuse of health potions. Given the fact that I have unlimited lives this concern was only a minor inference, because I was just too busy having fun while collecting some epic loot.

What was once considered “under the radar”, Dragon’s Crown has jolted into the spotlight and it’s praises are well deserved. This fantasy action/role playing game is a lot of fun to play and features nearly endless replay value with multiple difficulties unlocking when completing the game. I also liked the bonus art book (sadly no hardcover) that I received for pre-ordering the game early because the art looks absolutely fantastic. For those who deem the game’s artistic depiction as “gross” or “immature” need to stop being so politically correct, and just desensitize yourself while enjoying the game for what it is.

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Developer: Atlus, Vanillaware
Platform: PlayStation 3
Players: 1-4
Price: $49.99