Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown is an enthralling 2D beat-em-up, but contrary to expectations this game is not about satisfying mechanics, incredible attention to detail, or magical atmosphere. It’s about tits and ass. For my own edification I’ve collected the tits and asses into one image.
Watercolors Are Sexy
Unlike the women in Hydeland, men are manly. Very manly. You may also notice the men in the image below are fully covered and they feature highly unique faces.
The less sexually charged women below retain the same big eyes, heart-shaped faces, and cleaving cleavage as in the first image, but with a touch of modesty.
In lieu of the humble Elf exposing her body, a Dark Elf Beastmaster agreed to flaunt the massive orbs of her species.
The Dwarf and the barbarian Roland stand out as the only men to expose any flesh, but like their brothers they each have unique faces to establish individuality.
Let’s Play ‘Count The Muscles’
The Hobgoblin Chef stands out as the only female to break from the tits/ass paradigm in Hydeland. For some reason the green monster with the meat cleaver isn’t sticking her ass in the air, and her obese tits are covered by a burlap onesie.
Working The Meat
Also worth noting is the lolicon treatment of Tiki the fairy. This isn't Tinker Bell. Julia Roberts was a grown-ass woman who fit in a tea kettle. Tiki seems to be an underdeveloped elf with a penchant for just-ripened fruit.
Can I Masturbate To This? Nope.
There also seems to be an absence of assertive homosexuality in Hydeland. However, after being insulted by a journalist prior to release, the game's director posted this depiction of dwarf bonding, which is delightful in spite of his remarks. One would think these handsy, oiled dwarves could've added to the macho motif of Dragon's Crown, but maybe they were deemed too manly to be included in the game.
Dwarves Enjoying Eachother's Company
Everything about Dragon's Crown is wonderfully rendered, to be sure, but Vanillaware's exaggerated female forms push the boundaries of what's palatable, even in today's plastic-obsessed media. With strange breasts that jumble around like balloons losing air, faces that barely deviate from one another, and gigantic butts pointed at the player like card swipers, these T for Teen women are more vividly abnormal than Real Housewives or surgery-addled porn stars, and unlike the male cohort they exhibit an unsettling degree of sameness (unless holding a magic staff between your ass cheeks can be considered a genetic distinction).
In crafting this world in which other forms of sexuality and less-than-perfect women do not exist, Vanillaware disregarded entire demographics. If this was intentional, i.e., a mystical hetero universe without ugly chicks, perhaps it could've been explored in the narrative. Otherwise, treating both sexes and all the grey areas in between with equal enthusiasm would go a long way toward establishing a broader contingent of fans.
One can only hope Kamitani and Vanillaware expand their creative vision in the future, because the level of quality they've achieved in this, their eighth game, is unparalleled. Writing this post was intended as much to explore the beauty of their craft as to call out the narrowness of their art.
#1. Shepard, despite being a mechanized human, refuses to break into more than a walkish jog unless under serious duress. I see the sights Commander Shepard. They're very pretty. Can we go now. I need to walk the dog. Don't you have anywhere important to be?
#2. Things you'd never notice, Bioware wants you to look at them anyway. Especially the fragile crates. And things on the other side of the wall.
#3. Everything Shepard encounters must be identified at the top of your eyes, you the creepy bastard staring down from your couch at Shepard and her crew. You, the guy whose eyeballs get literally bloodshot whenever Shepard gets hurt. Oh, you checked in a mirror and they weren't really bloodshot? Well good job ruining the illusion. Jeez.
#4. All enemies must be enclosed by brightly colored half-circles. No guessing here. They'll tell you where they're hiding.
#5. There's no more spinning the camera while riding the elevator, just some straight-laced technical drawings of the ship. You need to focus, goddammit.
#6. Shepard is required by the Illusive Man to keep pictures of her crew glued to her ass, just in case you forget who's right there on your screen.
I've played a few missions and these are my impressions, so maybe one day when I have time I'll start again, and some days later I'll finish.
UPDATE: I finished.
#7. I will never sign up for the Systems Alliance if it means I have to mine the galaxy for raw materials.