When gamers go into a review they’re looking for information and detailed and thorough depictions of the gameplay, the mechanics, and the story. When gamers happened upon IGN’s review of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, they were met with criticisms about sexism and sexiness.
The review was published on August 28th, 2018 and was written by Jared Petty.
Sankaku Complex spotted some of the more illuminating criticisms made by Petty, where he wrote…
“I’d also be remiss not to mention some of the cringe-inducing sexualization present in Dragon Quest XI. What does a side quest tasking me to dress up female party members like fetishized bunny girls really add to the Dragon Quest experience?”
Apparently, sex appeal and fan-service are foreign concepts to Petty. They’ve been common staples in JRPGs since the 1980s.
Nevertheless, the real whopper is Petty’s issue with consent regarding a long-running innuendo joke in the Dragon Quest franchise regarding “puff-puffs”. He writes…
“Dragon Quest’s long tradition of ‘puff-puff,’ a pseudo-sexual metaphor coined by Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama, also returns in Dragon Quest XI. Dragon Quest games have long included semi-lewd puff-puff references as a sort of Easter egg, and Echoes of an Elusive Age leans too heavily into that tradition. At times it’s played for laughs… a cliffside puff-puff turns out to be just some bungee jumping, and another proves nothing more than an innocent makeup application. But one optional encounter really put me off. I was invited into a girl’s dim bedroom where I received a puff-puff in a dim room, and when the lights came back on, her father was standing there. She revealed that he’d delivered the puff-puff in the dark. The consent implications troubled me. I didn’t find it funny.”
The final summary from Petty was mostly favorable, save for his criticisms of the parts mentioned above, where he wrote…
“Dragon Quest XI excels when it emphasizes fighting bad guys, exploring dungeons, and finding treasure. It’s a visual feast populated by a cast of colorful monsters more engrossing than its main characters. Uneven story beats and some icky bits sometimes slow Dragon Quest down, but superb mechanics remain the focus, making Echoes of an Elusive Age a top-tier JRPG for the modern age.”
These criticisms did not go unnoticed by the JRPG fans who flocked to IGN for an early review of the new JRPG.
In fact, the comments that were made on the YouTube review netted them a bunch of downvotes.
Some also wondered if the criticisms about the sexy-time affected the overall score, which was an 8.8 out of 10, putting it snugly in the category of being “Great”. But the fact that Petty referred to the sexy situations as “icky” bits in his final verdict left a bad taste in the mouths of some fans.
They didn’t hold back in excoriating Petty in the comment section.
Others were less pointed in their criticism toward Petty’s inability to enjoy sexy women, and more-so Petty’s inability to point out some of the features they were most looking forward to in Dragon Quest XI.
As usual, there were people in the comment section calling “both side” “dumb”, and attempting to take the Centrist position.
There was even someone who ran to the defense of the reviewer, claiming that the opinion of the reviewer should be respected. However, The individual was quickly countered by another poster who pointed out that people looking to buy the game deserve to have the information presented in an honest way that wasn’t misrepresented.
The YouTube comments were just as harsh, with IGN catching flak for being hypersensitive about fan-service in a Dragon Quest game.
Basically, this is just further proof that the culture war is far from over. But on the upside a lot of gamers and normies are openly fighting back and making their displeasure known about the identity politics being featured in their game reviews.
(Thanks for the news tip Stealthmasta)
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