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Bayonetta II - Wii U Exclusive. EDGE 10.


Moz
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I've read a chunk of the Polygon review, and I completely disagree with Gies's interpretation of the game's overt sexual style as sexist. Bayonetta is a sexually confident character, who uses her own sexuality as a potent weapon against her enemies. Her sexuality is her own, she's not a victim of it being foist upon her, and it's not something which is being exploited for anyone else's ends. She revels in it, uses it, and commands it to devastating effect.

As mrpranny hinted at, I think the feminist movement is in danger of tipping the scales, and giving license to the criticism of happy, sexy women, who are confident enough to enjoy it and indeed... flaunt it.

Spot on. The Guardian also has an article up on this subject matter.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/05/lara-croft-bayonetta-female-games

Bayonetta presents us with a truly empowering woman who’s unapologetically feminine, sexual and confident. Dismissed by many as an objectified fantasy, she is a woman without compromise who refuses to be ashamed of her body, who in one sequence giggles seductively as she grasps the pulsating heart of a heaven-sent deity and asks: “Do you want to touch me?”

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The sooner people stop listening to Polygon the better.

They exist purely to produce click bait articles and reviews. If it was a few times you could call it difference of opinion. But it happens every time! And on the other end of the spectrum we get Sim City getting a 9.

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The sooner people stop listening to Polygon the better.

They exist purely to produce click bait articles and reviews. If it was a few times you could call it difference of opinion. But it happens every time! And on the other end of the spectrum we get Sim City getting a 9.

Yup, despite some flashy web skills, they are by quite some distance, the least respected games site on my radar.

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A picture caption in Edge's review criticised those things too, pretty much the only hint of criticism of the game in their whole review. But they emphasised that it only applied to certain costumes:

Costumes range from the respectable to the cringeworthy. While Bayonetta's default design shows how to walk the tightrope between sexy and sexualised, put her in a schoolgirl uniform and it's another matter entirely

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Probs worth pointing out that feminist protesters are actual living humans with agency over their bodies trying to make a political point, while Bayonetta is a fictional character presumably designed by a heterosexual man whose thought process can be roughly summarised as "ooh boobs".

Bayonetta is designed by Mari Shimazaki, a woman.

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She was "created" by a man though apparently, so I'm tentatively sticking to my overtly-fetishised guns on this one.

There are blog posts on Platinum's site about her character design. There is a lot more thought put into it than just boobs, which is not what Bayonetta is about anyway.

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This sexism stuff is getting a bit out of hand now. Even if the game were somehow sexist, which it isn't, it's a niche videogame on a niche platform, ignore it rather than give it way more exposure than it ever would have had before you decided to take up some cause and thereby elevate its importance.

Anyway, it's not sexist it's just a fucking good game. Let it be, all this political gaming stuff and the current surge in pseudo feminism is starting to border on censorship without thought and undermines genuine feminist issues at the same time.

For the millionth time the comments on sexism and female tropes isn't saying you can't have them... It is saying be aware of them and learn from them and maybe consider other paths in future

Maybe one in which bayonetta is exactly the same but we don't get her crotch splayed in front of the camera when she does a special move ;)

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There's enough worry to go round and everyone deserves their own opinion on any subject. I can see how Bayo is a bit cringey, but like that Guardian piece says - she's a total kickass and the one in charge of her own sexuality etc. I can't be bothered to reiterate the article but the good thing is it makes me want to play Bayonetta right now.

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You'd figure the themes of religion and a witch (not to mention her half and half background) bashing on angels all day would get the bigger concern from the media if this was oh...even 15 years ago?

But no. Boobs. Because that's what's topical, and because the wider spectrum of gamers won't have a clue what Bayonetta even is. We're talking about the opinions of specialist niche gaming sites, at best.

It'll probably get featured on Fox News six months from now in a latest 'bashing gaming as a complete medium' attempt, though. Even Animal Crossing managed getting on the news.

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I just think people take a lot of these things far too seriously. There are genuine important issues that feminists face and tits in videogames are pretty low on the list I would have thought.

It's an issue if it forms part of an unbalanced ecology. There's no need for Feminism to focus down one issue at a time either and nor should it, it's about attempting to turn a tide, not plug leaks.

I find Bayonetta to be an immensely irritating character and the sexuality grates on me (although to be fair, almost all sexuality grates on me) and I wish it wasn't quite so one note. Whether or not she's been designed by a woman or a man is really neither here nor there either, the works of women aren't intrinsically feminist - but the game is absolutely designed to titillate at points.

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It's an issue if it forms part of an unbalanced ecology. There's no need for Feminism to focus down one issue at a time either and nor should it, it's about attempting to turn a tide, not plug leaks.

I find Bayonetta to be an immensely irritating character and the sexuality grates on me (although to be fair, almost all sexuality grates on me) and I wish it wasn't quite so one note. Whether or not she's been designed by a woman or a man is really neither here nor there either, the works of women aren't intrinsically feminist - but the game is absolutely designed to titillate at points.

Sexuality grates on you?

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People talk about Bayonetta as though she exists in a vacuum. I mean, they're fine with saying she's a representation of sexism, but when it comes to calling out Kamiya as a sexist, misogynistic pig, they often fall short. Do they lack the strength of their convictions? Or do they intuitively understand that it's more complicated than that (as, I suspect, we all do)?

It's easy to imagine how the principle of "sex sells" have been applied to her design: Bayonetta is sexual. She poses provocatively. She does dirty talk. She is almost nude sometimes. But if you're going to take the principle of "sex sells" to its logical and only conclusion, she falls very, very short of being effective.

For starters, Bayonetta is as an older lady. I bring this up because in a world where women are routinely made to feel less valuable and attractive the older they get, depicting her as anything older than a twenty-something (or younger, even - urgh) doesn't seem too smart. Her proportions could easily be described as grotesque - indeed, that's what I see when I look at images of her. But perhaps that was their intention? Oh, and her tits aren't nearly big enough. Not by my standards of course, but to someone with more cynical motives than Platinum, it would be a no-brainer to focus on those instead of the legs.

She's also got short hair now. I'm sure that's symbolic of something in this context, I'm just not sure what.

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me like Platinum haven't been trying very hard to meet anyone's standards, be they feminists or misogynists - which is probably why the debate rages on four years later. If we're agreed on that, then might I advance the idea that, maybe. Platinum have created a new paradigm here? It's precisely for this reason that artists shouldn't work to a criteria of exceptions - of things NOT to do - when creating female characters, not least because that way lies another, equally unrealistic depiction of women that is just as unhelpful as the one we've left in the past.

In any case, and if by no other virtue than the fact she has quite the opposite effect on me than what was supposedly intended, I don't think her character is sexist.

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yeah you're right

my taste in video games should be dismissed because you didnt agree with me that one instance where i praised a combat heavy third person shooter for its great mechanics and you disagreed with me

I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU

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Giant Bomb 5/5 and 9.8 from Gametrailers. Best reviewed game of the year?

From the GT review:

Much like the character herself, the way Bayonetta 2 handles unlockables is surprisingly unconventional. There are so many outfits and weapons that can be earned, with none of them hidden behind pre-order bonuses or DLC. As if that werent enough, the game comes with an enhanced version of the original Bayonetta. Rarely are we so rewarded for a purchase. If only this were the norm instead of the exception.

So true.

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