A recent review of Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight for the PS4 from Gamespot scored the game 8 out of 10, docking a point off the total score because the game featured the “oversexualization of females”.
The review was published on November 27th, 2018 [backup], and reviewer Michael Higham dedicated a paragraph to address his biggest concern with the game, and the reason that it wasn’t a 9 out of 10, writing…
“There are also a few shortcomings in Dancing In Starlight when it comes to presentation. “Life Will Change”, an empowering song with infectious conviction is paired to a fairly cheesy music video. But what’s much worse is that the female cast members (who are also high school students) get oversexualized in the Last Surprise music video, which is some sort of bizarre burlesque show that’s out of touch and wholly unnecessary.”
It’s almost as bad as when Gamespot whined fitfully about Conservatives being portrayed as good guys in Far Cry 5.
Now if you’re curious what Higham is talking about, you can check out the video below from YouTuber DismArchus, which features the cabaret performance from the game featuring the girls.
Undeterred by his impression of what he witnessed in the game, Higham decided that the only way he could be justified with his existence is if he struck at the windmill of sexism with his knighted sword, unsheathed at the hilt from his glowing white armor. Without hesitation Higham slashed the score with great justice, showing the world his warrior skills when it comes to sociopolitics. And with that, Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight fell from a 9 down to an 8.
Obviously, the community at GameSpot weren’t having any of it, and promptly began to rip into Higham like an ostrich feeding on an plump, aloof snake.
Sorry Chippiez, Japan used to be the light. With Sony’s new censorship policies for PS4, life and hometown are being bulldozed to make throughway for dance halls filled with hygiene-free teenagers who have an unhealthy obsession with smelly carpets.
Now some people might think that the community bagging on Higham for his review score might seem like an overkill of criticism against his criticism. However, this plays into a much bigger problem with the culture of review scores: the aggregates affect developer/publisher relations and investor outlook on these products, which is what happened to Obsidian when they failed to get their bonus and had to downsize after being one-point off the Metacritic target for Fallout: New Vegas, as reported by Destructoid.
It’s an unfortunate conundrum of the current review/sales perception ecosystem that publishers and game journalists have concocted. In some cases low Metacritic scores can affect developer bonuses, which in turn can cause them to close up shop, regardless of how the actual game sells.
Capcom also recently stated that they would prefer to have higher review scores than high sales. There’s this impression that there’s a longer tail-end in sales if publishers can appease the erratic whims of game journalists.
Anyway, Persona 5: Dancing In Starlight is set to launch in the West on PS4 starting December 4th, 2018.
(Thanks for the news tip NeonPanda)