Friday, July 27, 2007

Didn't I Already write this post?

I was very excited about Rogue Galaxy when I first heard about it. Level 5 left me in love after Dark Cloud 2 so my hopes were high. However, Rogue Galaxy did not turn out how I envisioned. It falls short of Dark Cloud 2 in gameplay, story, and most importantly: feminist stuff. Dark Cloud 2 did a great job of balancing between its girl and boy characters. Max and Monica were given equal attention in both story and gameplay, thus creating a gender equality which went to defy some game conventions. Monica was fully clothed, (not counting secret cat outfit) and fought with a sword, a rarity in video games. While Max was the brains compared to her brawn, and he fought with a nontraditional weapon, an honor usually assigned to a women. Developer: "Girls can't handle anything as phallic as a sword, we better give her an umbrella."
Because of these and other great elements that seemed to intentionally defy conventional roles, their follow up game seemed to be a sure hit. How wrong I was.
[spoiler warning]
Meet Lilika. The sexualized, exoticised only woman of color within your party, and one of two women out of 8 playable characters. Her origin story isn't much better. Of course the only woman of color in the game has to hail from a "backwards" tribal jungle planet. A planet that the white skinned offworlders end up saving. Jaster and friends expose to the poor savages that the god they worshiped was none other than a vile monster causing many problems in the village. So using the power of an almighty gun, Jaster helps the silly silly savages by killing their god. I've found that Imperialism leaves quite a bad aftertaste.
The character of Lilika is fairly interesting, but how can she be taken seriously while looking the way she does. I mean a tiger skin bra? Really? How can the game itself, nay, all of video games be taken seriously when characters are portrayed in this manner. This is why I get embarrassed to tell people I'm a gamer.
I had a possible ray of hope in acquiring her alternative outfits, but I should have known better. I have to say that giving the only woman of color in the game an outfit called "Royal Servant Clothes" is pretty insulting. On top of that, her bow is pretty worthless in combat. The one saving grace is that she doesn't have bunny ears. Shame on you Level 5, I thought you were better than this.

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