I would have loved to make my first review of Dragon’s Crown a gleaming article full of praise and nuance, but it looks like I’m going to have to break down the game’s art style so all you super sensitive types can get past the box art and actually enjoy the damn game. If you’re already on the level, then feel free to skip this review and wait for the content review. Alternatively, you can keep on reading for your own personal enjoyment. Do whatchoo want. I ain’t your mom.
First of all, if you read the review I did of Vanillaware, you’d know that it’s a group of 20 or so incredibly talented artists from different game companies who wanted to get together and make gorgeous video games. Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, Murumasa: The Demon Blade, and Dragon’s Crown; gorgeous goddamned games, and I don’t just mean visually. Each and every one of those games had depth and replayability like I’d never seen. To this day, nothing compares. A game that relies on sexualization of characters to sell itself would lack such qualities.
Yet, some people feel that Dragon’s Crown’s quality should be assessed entirely by its box art. If you’ve played GrimGrimoire and seen Ms. Opalnaria’s bust and survived the time loop, or battled with Queen Odette’s jiggly skeleton funbags and saved the world from the dragon Leventhan in Odin Sphere, you already know that this is just a trending controversy. I know it’s unheard of, a game that has boobs that doesn’t sell itself with boobs, but bear with me.
Yes, Dragon’s Crown is by far the one of the boobiest games I’ve ever played. However, it’s also the muscliest. Male and female anatomy are done up to the point of satire, which normally would suggest that no one in the real world is expected to look like this, but all the same has apparently incited grievance. Now, I know that today’s world is one of cracking down on sexual stereotyping, but there comes a time in life when you have to know to treat things as tongue-in-cheek.
Yes, the Sorceress has boobs bigger than her head, and they bounce around jovially when she does literally anything. Yes, the Amazon has an incredibly muscular butt and legs that compete with Chun Li’s. But have you seen the Fighter? He’s got a chest like a goddamned upside down triangle and a waist like Jessica Rabbit. If I as a guy am supposed to strive for that type of body, then clearly there’s something very wrong with modern beauty. There is, incidentally. I’d say the same about the lady bodies, but seriously, you can just piece it together. Anyway.
One reviewer (who shall go unnamed, but feel free to run a Google search for a quick laugh) complained about the design of the female player characters, saying that they were hypersexualized. In response, a member of the Vanillaware art team tweeted a picture of several half-naked dwarves, suggesting perhaps that might be more up the reviewer’s alley. Several screens of butthurt text ranting and raving about homophobia and sexism and what have you later, it became clear to me that it’s possible to completely misinterpret the anatomy as idyllic instead of absurd stylistic fantasy.
If you as a video game playing individual STILL find yourself offended by the art style despite the heuristics presented before you, go look at literally any MMORPG and tell me that the underboob and high heeled greaves are stylistic and not implemented solely to get horny gamers to dump money and time into such games to get even skimpier outfits. Stylistic on one side, marketing ploy on the other. See what I’m saying?
If, by some random lapse in self-awareness or perhaps by the inability to see past your own sensationalized opinions, you still find yourself offended by the imagery presented to you by Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown, I sincerely hope you’ll go to your local hardware store and fuck yourself with the wrong end of a shovel. You don’t deserve to enjoy this game.
Next review will be about actually playing Dragon’s Crown! Won’t that be fun? Hint: It’s really fun and challenging. Be back soon!