I've been multitasking a bit lately: working on stages for the film, composing a soundtrack with a music producer and, with an artist – developing one of the main characters of the film who is (surprise-surprise!) a young attractive girl – a romantic interest of the other one who is male.
While looking for references and such I decided to take a break a watched the latest episode of Conan O'Brien's "Clueless Gamer" where he played the latest game from the Final Fantasy series - Final Fantasy XV.
It was all fun and laughs for me until I saw the female mechanic character named Cindy:
Yes, this is supposed to be a mechanic. Yes, they proudly display her on the game's website:
And yes, this is the most uncomfortable, awkward and pathetic attempt at a "sexy" female character I've seen in a videogame for a looong time.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love the female form, especially when portrayed well, and especially sexy.
But this... This is just...
I believe everything should have its time and place and be, well... logically sound. Even when it comes to entertainment products. With Cindy Square Enix clearly overdid it.
Consider the following:
You have a character that does this:
Looks like this:
Talks like this:
And strikes poses from the Victoria's Secret catalogue, like this one:
Really?.. Is that what a female mechanic is supposed to look like? A boobs- and panties-out, skimpy-clothed mess of a trailer-trash? I never knew that.
Maybe it was because at some point during development SE realized that they had a party of four metro-sexual men as main characters of the narrative and decided to compensate, I don't know. What I do know though is how female heroes were portrayed in the previous games. Although there were skimpy costumes for some of the characters they didn't seem to be out of place and were more of a fan service sort of thing for those who took their time to unlock or buy such clothing in-game. It was never such and awkward in your face presentation, especially not in the first hour of the game.
And then as if to add insult to injury Director Hajime Tabata said that "Cindy was not meant to be an erotic character, but energetic and outgoing, and he didn't want to change the current concept. He talked about moderating the way she's presented, rather than covering her up".
Yeah. Riiight... I guess this is why there's a distinctly visible tan-line under her ultra-short shorts.
Or maybe instead of erotic you tried to make her sad and pathetic? Well done then! Well done, indeed. If you're trying to appeal to the male demographic just admit it and don't try to weasel your way out. SE. Have some dignity.
Final Fantasy isn't the first Japanese game to have overly-sexy characters, but I believe this is in fact the first AAA-title to do it so tastelessly and trying to cover it up with good intentions. Remember Dead or Alive game series? It sure had its share of overly-sexy character designs, but, first of all, they never tried to cover it up, openly discussing the physics of the breasts, and it's, well, meant to be hilarious and absurd with over-the-top character designs and nonsensical trivial story, it doesn't make you feel awkward and sorry for the developers who obviously had lots of fun making the game. And of course it's not an RPG which tries too much to be so serious and then trips on it's own shoelaces with pointlessly forced sexy characters, like FFXV does.
Well... Let's wrap up with another sexy mechanic – this Overwatch D.VA character fanart by Li Chunfu. It's well-done, on-character and most importantly, Mr. Li genuinely intends his females to appeal to male demographic, be attractive, and sometimes erotic and doesn't try to hide this fact which is what people with self-respect do.
Well, enough of my rants and sexy mechanics ... Back to work!