Stolen Pixels #185: Bayonetta

By Shamus
on Apr 13, 2010
Filed under:
Column

I haven’t actually played the game, so I’m making fun of it by reputation and based on the footage I’ve seen. I hope you’ll allow me this indiscretion. The games I played this weekend (Bob came in Pieces, and Majesty 2) did not present me with any obvious opportunities for humor.

A bit more about Ms. Bayonetta after the break. Mildly NSFW:

In the comic I mentioned that I don’t find her very attractive, which is a shame since finding her attractive seems to be about 50% of the game. I actually find her to be a little gross.

Back in 2006, I posted an anecdote about a time when I was tasked with building a female character and how it turned out looking like a man in drag because I didn’t know what I was doing.

bayonetta.jpg

Bayonetta actually looks (to my eye) like what I forged in my incompetence. (My model had a much bigger bust and slightly shorter legs, and a longer torso. (The long torso was what really killed my model.) Then again, at least I didn’t give her a tiny head!) So some of my distaste comes from seeing my own hackjob work reflected in Bayonetta.

To be fair, I really doubt Bayonetta’s form is a result of someone handing modeling work off to a programmer. I guess it’s a design decision. Someone on the thread at The Escapist mentioned that Bayonetta was designed by a woman, which makes her appearance even more perplexing. Is it parody? Was she making fun of men with her stick-bug female lead? The game seems to be making fun of the player, and itself, and maybe even the artists and almost certainly the people who funded it. There are so many layers of satire in here that it’s impossible to critique the thing without being accused of simply not getting the joke.

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  1. ccesarano says:

    While Bayonetta certainly looks like a fun game, the over-sexed trailers and marketing completely killed my interest. Heck, even the over-the-top nature of it when I played it at GameX is enough to make me shrug my shoulders and throw it aside.

    I’ve been constantly told that the whole point is to be over-the-top, and that in a sense it is even a self-satire. Well, that’s nice and all, but do we need shallow games making fun of other shallow games when the truly deep ones are so uncommon? As it is Bayonetta is actually par for the course and is anything but what our industry needs right now.

    Then again, a lot of people I speak with want to know why I’m so obsessed with being able to show these games to parents and relatives without being embarrassed. Apparently it’s not a problem at all and everyone else just doesn’t “get it”.

    Fighting giant-ass monsters and shooting someone on a broken clocktower falling into magma WOULD sound interesting if so many games weren’t already doing that sort of stuff. I’d rather play a game that has some emotional or intellectual meaning. Which is precisely why I can’t stand Bayonetta. It may be a super fun action game, but the only separation between it and other super-fun action games would be the heroine (and let’s face it, what sets her apart from Lara Croft?).

    • Gahazakul says:

      Actually the campy nature is very entertaining as a whole, but what sets this game apart from others is the combat. The combat in the game is fan-freaking-tastic. It has the depth of Devil May Cry with the approachability of God of War, it’s quite amazing. The fulfillment from the ridiculous action you pull off on screen can be breath taking. The over sexed nature is really giggle worthy but it feels they did that on purpose. It is always so far over the top and done in such a silly way that it doesn’t feel like spank material, more that you are supposed to grin, giggle and go “now really”.

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      As a general rule, slapping a “self-satire” label on something doesn’t cure bad design, laziness, or incompetence. That applies equally to games, writing, architecture, movies, fashion, music, or any other artistic endeavor.

  2. Volatar says:

    Woah. That is way weird. I was just reading that “How to Make a Woman” post just yesterday….

  3. Gandaug says:

    I have only been aware of Bayonetta in the sense that it is a game and that it exists. I’ve seen some screenshots and read an article or two about the protagonist.

    Not until I watched what I presume to be the opening movie on Unskippable did I have much of an opinion on the game. Now I have no desire to ever be subjected to even a screenshot of the game ever again. That was horrible in every conceivable way. What the hell were they thinking? The guys the do Unskippable could have remained silent through the entire movie and let it speak for itself.

    I guess this whole thing has more to do with Bayonetta herself and not the god-awful game she’s in. Yeah, she doesn’t do a thing for me either. She looks like she suffers from some horrible disease more than anything attractive.

    I’m with Shamus. Tali>Bayonetta.

  4. Dev Null says:

    The “Girls do (not) have…” in the mini-comic comes across as a bit of over-generalisation. I’m not saying you think all girls look the same (in fact your post rather nicely proves that you don’t) and I agree with you that the woman in that picture is pretty unattractive if not somewhat inhuman looking, but the repetition of that phrase makes it sound like the parts list for a plastic model that all women match.

    (I’m not sure I’ve conveyed this well enough above, so I’m just going to flat-out say it: I am NOT accusing you of being somehow sexist. I am trying to point out a possibly unintended effect of your style in this particular comic; art critic, not social critic.)

    • LassLisa says:

      Yeah – my first reaction definitely went like, “Hey! I have broad shoulders, and it does NOT make me look like a man!”

      And I think the hips are probably just because of the way she’s standing – she definitely has normal hips in the game.

      • Winter says:

        Yeah, you’re definitely not given 100% female features if you’re a girl and 100% male features if you’re a man. Even really exceptional-looking women often have masculine features–and of course, women who develop their bodies also often develop more masculine features… which suggests that a lot of what we read as “masculine features” are actually not gendered at all (or at least not to the extent we think) and are instead about physical development.

        Of course, messed up physiology is a plague–even this artist isn’t 100% photorealistic (nor does he try to be, if you look at the rest of his gallery).

        Anyway.

        Bayonetta is really weird and at a certain point even if you’re doing something ha-ha ironically it’s still getting the original message across as well as the satire. (Insert Republicans don’t get Stephen Colbert link here, i guess?)

        Maybe that was the point? They can draw in the neanderthal oglers and the “I’m only playing this game ironically” crowd?

        Whatever it is, i’m not going to figure it out any time soon–i can’t bring myself to play the actual game. Maybe i’m missing out, but there are enough good games out there.

  5. Factoid says:

    I think this is kind of an awkward pose. Bayonetta actually has pretty flared out hips (at least in cutscenes, it’s possible that her in-game model is slightly different) it’s just deceiving in this picture because she’s kind of cocked sideways.

    The hips might also appear somewhat more straight because her legs are so long and her waistline is so high the proportions are off.

    So I’d say her hip to waist ratio is about normal on the x axis, but it’s all screwed up on the y axis.

    Ever since the first commercial though, I was very confused about her look. The tiny head and glasses really confused me. It’s like from the neck down she’s a completely stereotypical japanese action heroine, but they gave her the head of a normal sized japanese school teacher.

    • acronix says:

      At least that one´s an alien.

    • eri says:

      Tali is nerd bait. She’s designed to be cute and lovable, talented, yet vulnerable in all the little ways, not to mention mysterious, in order to appeal to every single nerd in the entire universe. BioWare did a great job in creating what is effectively pornography.

      • Robyrt says:

        Mass Effect 2 is not “pornography” in any sense. Sex occurs strictly off-screen and is never described. Your crew members never show any additional skin or appear in sexual positions.

        Bayonetta is more sexual in any given screenshot than Tali is in her entire appearance. That’s an intentional design choice.

        • Ell Jay says:

          I think “effectively pornography” means that it intentionally incites arousal, not that it shows cheesy sex acts.

          • eri says:

            Sorry, I’m not sure I phrased that as effectively as I could have. By “pornography” I meant that Tali is essentially designed from the ground up to appeal to a particular group of people (that is, most BioWare fans) in a sexual/romantic way. Everything from her physical appearance to her personality is constructed around it. She appeals to you because she was created to appeal to you in a very specific way.

            I give BioWare’s writers and artists credit for this, but it is also essentially manipulation. Frankly, I feel that characters like Ashley and Liara are far more “human” in that they are not necessarily appealing to everyone… and you might even have to put up with things you don’t like about them. They are far more realistic in this respect – Tali is perfect, with any flaws being part of that equation of perfection. This comes out more in Mass Effect 2, admittedly.

      • Gandaug says:

        Though I voted Tali over Bayonetta my vote was really just based on the two options given. I agree with your assessment of Tali.

      • Samuel Erikson says:

        “BioWare did a great job in creating what is effectively pornography.”

        I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about.

      • Justin says:

        Tali isn’t pornography. She’s erotica. The difference is that erotica is supposed to provoke arousal without offending anyone, whereas something becomes pornographic as soon as someone takes offense.

      • Ramsus says:

        I agree with your assessment of the character and long ago came to the same conclusion. On the other hand this in no way stops me from finding her to be as attractive to me as they wished her to be.

        Of course it might also have something to do with the fact that compared to most other game characters (who you aren’t playing) she has something close to an actual personality as opposed to just being an archtype.

  6. Drexer says:

    Actually, even though I’ve only had two or three chances to play Bayonetta on a friend’s PS3, I haven’t quite had that impression. Part of it might be because of what I’ve read in this Moviebob / GameOverthinker article and this analysis from a female gamer.

    On the sliding scale of idealization, I much prefer the Bayonetta perspective than the female characters that sometimes appear in Halo/GOW or similars. Heck, Bayonetta seems to me about as much of an idealization of females as Dante or Kratos are of males(and it is by no coincidence that this idealization occurs in this type of games where the barrier of reality is stretched thinner).

    Her most defining and jarring characteristics might very well be her breasts and legs, but it works. Her whole figure flows pretty well(and I would say that picture you have really make her hips seem quite small when I would consider them average), and adding her a bigger head or nearing her shoulders would just make her seem too weird and similar to most anime characters in some over-sexualized moe anime.

    As it is, I find she reminds me of the drawings of Mohiro Kitoh, the creator of Narutaru and Bokurano, where the characters had a more ‘thin’ design and their bodies seemed much more similar to usual human proportions.

    Of course, that outside that idealization scale, ALyx Vance takes the top floor.

    • SatansBestBuddy says:

      Hmph, I knew reading the comments before posting the GameOverthinker video would show that somebody else did it before me.

      Anyway, I’ve played Bayonetta, and really, the fact that she’s supposed to be oversexualized isn’t shoved into your face in every cutscene ala the opening, it’s in quite a few, but not every one. (my favourite is when she catches a bus with one hand then casually toss’s it behind her; dunno why, it just looked so freaking cool to me)

      Bayonetta’s also got some of the best action in a game I’ve ever played, with some truly epic boss fights. (when Yahtzee mentioned them being the size of the moon… yeah, he wasn’t exagerating, though the game might be)

      I’d say don’t pass on this game just cause you don’t like the character being “unrealistic” or “oversexualized,” as that’s not being fair to what really is a very good game. (plus, there’s a LOT more to make fun of than just Bayonetta herself)

    • Winter says:

      Heck, Bayonetta seems to me about as much of an idealization of females as Dante or Kratos are of males

      Funny you say that, because i pretty much just shake my head at Kratos in much the same way i shake my head at Bayonetta. One form of idealization is clearly much more of a minefield than the other, though.

  7. Rhykker says:

    I don’t want to come across as defending Bayonetta, but I can’t say I agree with everything you brought up.

    Yes, Bayonetta’s proportions are inhuman, but this is, as you suggested, by design.

    As an artist, I interpret Bayonetta’s proportions to be modeled off comic-book women.

    The small head is explained by the fact that in comic books, heroic figures tend to be 1-2 “heads” taller than traditional figures, and this extra height is invariably added to the legs. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Bayonetta is 2-3 heads taller).

    Regarding the shoulders-vs-torsos… It’s a popular misconception among amateur artists that the hips have to be wider than the shoulders. The opposite is, in fact, true. I’m not suggesting a woman should have football-player shoulders, but shoulders that are slightly wider than hips is considered “sexy”–at least by contemporary standards.

    Also, although classically the hourglass shape of wide hips and a big bosom has been considered to be most “sexy,” in recent years “boy hips” (not sure of the exact term) have become incredibly popular. For whatever reason, small-hipped woman that have the bodies of 12-year-old boys have become more popular than the hourglass shape.

    Are you justified in not finding Bayonetta appealing? Absolutely. I’m no fan of boy-hips, either. I just feel your image is a little condescending to the artists, because you make sweeping claims that are influenced by your personal taste and some incorrect assumptions.

    Sorry, but I guess I can’t agree with everything you’ve said over the past few years. Still a long-time fan of your work.

    Peace,
    -Rhykker

    • Draconis Ravenus says:

      Agree with you entirely, Rhykker. I think it’s refreshing that a woman in a video game is being pushed beyond the Lara Croft school where everything is sex, sex, sex, & all women look 99.9% identical.

      Generalizing is always a sticky subject, and going so far as to boil down every woman into “they can’t have wide shoulders” wasn’t very funny, and as you said, not accurate, either. I like women with broad shoulders. Especially swimmers and volleyball players. Mmm.

      I’d hate to see what you’d have to say about a Picasso exhibit, Shamus. “Women don’t have two eyes on top of each other in profile.”

      I’m not super into Bayonetta’s design, either, but that’s mostly because I’m soooo not attracted to moles, and every time I see Bayonetta that little black beetle on her face calls to me. Yech.

    • Deoxy says:

      “It’s a popular misconception among amateur artists that the hips have to be wider than the shoulders. The opposite is, in fact, true.”

      Um, not to be rude, but BULLSHIT.

      When I was in college, there was a girl on campus who’s shoulders were noticeably wider than her hips. Just one. And EVERYONE knew EXACTLY who she was, because it was so freakishly weird. Several thousand students, plus faculty, family, etc…. One. And I’ve never met another. Did I mention that I’ve traveled to well over 30 countries on 4 continents?

      (Edit: To be fair, she was generally considered to be quite attractive – she was very athletic, and all her other body-ratios were normal, including hip-to-waist.)

      Sure the hips don’t have to be WIDER than the shoulders, but they usually are (almost always among women who have children).

      “Also, although classically the hourglass shape of wide hips and a big bosom has been considered to be most “sexy,” in recent years “boy hips” (not sure of the exact term) have become incredibly popular.”

      Incredibly popular… with who? Thin and athletic is certainly “in” more than it used to be, but get away from the relatively small crowd of people who follow fashion and what’s “in” on an hourly basis, and “incredibly popular” fades to something more like “nothing wrong with that, I guess” in about 2 seconds flat.

      “For whatever reason, small-hipped woman that have the bodies of 12-year-old boys have become more popular than the hourglass shape.”

      Women with the bodies of 12-year-old boys have been more popular in high fashion for decades. How popular that figure actually is among the general population varies quite a bit… from “ick, don’t put those in normal commercials” all the way to “I suppose we can tolerate them in most commercials for a little while”.

      Even the famous Twiggy, famous for being thin and not “curvy”, actually had a body ratio quite within normal bounds. Seriously – few men and even fewer women find hipless-ness attractive in women.

      • Draconis Ravenus says:

        So… you.. you keep track of the women you meet who have wider shoulders than hips? How do you go about doing that? Do you pull out a notepad when you meet them? Or just make a mental note to mark it down for later? Ah, I jest.

        Seriously, though, do a google image search for “female swimmers”. I’d bet my neighbor’s broken down jalopy of a car that you’ll find several attractive women with wider shoulders than hips.

        My guess (as somebody who has not traveled to 30 countries on 4 continents) is that your freak friend from college had wide shoulders in conjunction with freakishly narrow hips. The combo would indeed be odd. But your scientific tagging of “wide shoulders in the wild” is hardly enough to call bullshit on God (or Darwin… take your pick).

      • Johnny Hazzard says:

        While females are generally considered to have wider hips then shoulders post puberty, it does not entirely hold true. usually it would depend upon hormone levels present. Which supports Draconis opinion of athletic women.

        I find it interesting that the generalization of shoulder width to pelvis width is weak enough that it is not used as a basis of measurement in foresnic identification of a skeleton’s sex

  8. midna says:

    According to Mari Shimazaki, Bayonetta’s designer:

    ‘When a female character appears in an action game, her limbs often seem thin and short. That is why I tried to make her more appealing as an action game character by adjusting her proportions and extending her limbs.’

    From http://platinumgames.com/2009/04/17/designing-bayonetta/

    What’s interesting is that you could probably add ‘to the presumably male audience’ after ‘more appealing’ in the above quote – it doesn’t really make much sense otherwise. However, given the highly sexualised delivery of the game and Bayonetta herself, it’s difficult to believe any player would be turned off the game by more realistic female body proportions!

    EDIT: Rhykker, as a female gamer I find your implication that finding Bayonetta sexy is practically part of the gameplay experience to be far more condescending. Yes, females (and males) come in a variety of body shapes and sizes, but I imagine that basic differences in proportion (not measurement) between male and female body shapes don’t vary much. Pointing out that Bayonetta is about as anatomically feasible as a Barbie doll is not patronising the artist.

    For the record, I have no issue with Bayonetta – she’s clearly a creation of fantasy and works well within the game world she inhabits. I won’t be playing Bayonetta not because I’m on a feminist rampage, but because the type of gameplay doesn’t appeal to me (hell, I find Dante to be much more my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be playing Devil May Cry any time soon either!) As seen in the quote from the designer above though, it is mildly depressing that ‘strong female character’ STILL mostly = ‘sexy/big boobs/impossible proportions’ in any game that wishes to be a commercial success. And based on how I read the post, I think that’s basically what Shamus was saying too.

    • Draconis Ravenus says:

      Rhykker’s main point, which I agree with, is that Shamus’s critique of the character design isn’t 100% accurate. Look up a biological specimen chart; women’s shoulders are absolutely capable of being wider than their hips. To say otherwise is silly, almost to the point of being laughable. It’s like saying “Men are *NOT* 5 feet tall.” Quite often, yes. Yes, they are.

      The comic doesn’t say “Women tend to have narrow shoulders.” It says “[Women] do *NOT* have broad shoulders!” The phrasing leaves zero wiggle room, and in my opinion, it does belittle the artist. He’s saying they screwed up the design… but he screwed up the critique!

      I don’t mean anything against Shamus by that, but if you’re going to come out with a baseball bat on the character design, it really helps when you don’t swing-and-a-miss it.

  9. Henebry says:

    There’s also a long tradition of ambiguous gender being sexually attractive—at least to some viewers. Perhaps not you.

  10. swimon says:

    I never found her that attractive either but I guessed that was because she was so clearly designed to be sexy. Yes it’s a part of my psyche that gives me no pleasure but whenever something tries to sell with sex I just become cynical and resentful (I’m guessing it’s some sort of evolutionary trait to fear manipulation that has been turned up to 11 in me). That said you do make a good argument for it being her just not being all that attractive, her tentacle fingers are especially creepy.

  11. Shamus says:

    Wow. So many people taking issue with generalizations? If this was in print I would understand, but in a quasi-comic, it’s really odd to have people insisting on clinical accuracy.

    The stuff I wrote is like the stuff you see in the “how to draw” books. I wanted this to look like a teacher correcting the work of some hack aspiring artist by talking down to them. That’s probably why I used “girls” instead of “women” or “females”? Maybe?

    And sure, women CAN have broad shoulders, large hands, or whatever. But once you get a lot of those attributes together on the same model you end up with creepy man-woman or a character that plummets directly into the uncanny chasm.

    I guess the ultimate point was the the art decisions they made on purpose end up looking (to me) like the errors of a newbie. Which is an odd design choice when the goal is to make the character as sexy as possible.

    But really, the image above was slapped together in a few minutes to help illustrate what I was talking about. I might have worded it / presented it differently if I’d spent some time on it. I think I spent more time on this comment than on the text that went into the image.

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      Welcome to the internets. Any generalization not labeled as “opinion” with a giant red stamp will get complainers validating their special-snowflake status because you didn’t overgeneralize in a way that adequately represents them. Just snicker, resolve to offend someone different next time, and roll on to the next thing.

    • Drexer says:

      The thing is, my point and I think the point that most people want to stress here, is that those details fit together. IF you kept Bayonetta with her usual figure and smaller hands she would look ridiculous, and if for instance you shortened her shoulder width, she would seem like just another ‘bobblehead’ female. The whole build of Bayonetta ends up flowing together very nicely, and from what I’ve asked around my friends, no one seems to think of her so much as ‘weird’ as you do.

      Or perhaps it’s because they’ve played/seen movies of it? A 3D character is only as good as its walk cycle after all.

    • Draconis Ravenus says:

      You can’t see how hilarious this is, Shamus?

      In my mind, at least, your comic’s “raison-d’etre” is in pointing out the flaws of their work. You mentioned it’s hackish and the work of an amateur, so you’re calling them out on it. Fine.

      … but when we put you to task for making a comic that is anatomically inaccurate, you’re confused why we’re holding you to such a strict standard. Because the whole point of your comic is anatomical accuracy! If your points are wrong, the whole thing falls apart! The only difference between your comic and their bayonetta model is that they are doing it wrong on purpose.

      It’s like if I told you that you don’t know how too spel, but than I go on a wrant full of typos. That’s a terrible example, though. My spelling is flawliss.

      • Shamus says:

        I do believe it’s not unreasonable to make generalizations in a comic and expect people to be able to fill in the “In most cases…” themselves.

        So no, I don’t think it’s “hilarious” that you’re holding my ten-minute illustration to the same standard of quality as a 20,000 polygon model produced by a multimillion dollar studio over the course of months, particularly since my image was simply intended to be illustrative.

        • Draconis Ravenus says:

          That’s kind of my point, though… I’m not trying to rake your nuts across the fire to be a jerk, I just don’t think your generalizations hold up *as* generalizations. If you said “women don’t have 6 fingers” and I countered with “I’ve seen a girl on the news with 6, so you’re WRONG, FOO’!”, then absolutely, I’m being a major tool about it & should be able to dig your drift and catch your sway.

          But I stand by the argument that the statements in the comic are not really accurate, even as generalizations. Not once-in-a-while-inaccurate. 50ish% of the time inaccurate. I won’t rehash them again cuz they’re all listed in the forum several times over already.

          You hold games and media up to an inscrutable level of detail regarding their consistency, which is where a great deal of the enjoyment I personally get comes from. So to me, the reader, I don’t care that they have months and millions and you spent 10 minutes on a drawing, it’s still very hard for me not to hold you up to the same standards you hold them up to.

          I’m sorry you’re not amused by it, though, and I do apologize if I’m giving you undue grief. It’s just odd to listen to you point out every minor flaw in games like Mass Effect or Champions Online, and then just shrug your shoulders and say “I did it in 10 minutes” if your own work has a similar gap.

          • Shamus says:

            I guess there is where we disagree. My generalizations hold up, because they’re are almost tautological. I never said “women have shoulders narrower than their hips”. I said, “women don’t have broad shoulders”. How broad is “broad”? Well, broader than average.

            The only definitive thing I said was that those are man-sized hands. I stand by that. Her hands are immense.

    • Psithief says:

      I do understand that in order to say anything at all you have to generalise.

      I congratulate you on being so highly thought of by your readers that they feel the need to point out the slightest exception to whatever you say. (Maybe it’s a cultural thing where they are from?) You’ve reached the level of respect that people once had for competent journalism, and these are your letters to the editor.

      I’m just going to keep coming back here to read about the experiences of this one programmer guy reporting on popular culture.

    • Dev Null says:

      Can’t speak for anyone else, but I just mentioned it because I thought the effect was probably unintentional, and I thought constructive feedback might be useful to you. Certainly wasn’t taking issue with it. And I’ll admit to almost not posting – and eventually posting with the clarifying footnote – precisely because I was: a) afraid you might take it personally (which to your credit, you don’t really seem to have done,) and b) I was a bit afraid of the standard internet lynchmob “Yeah! Let’s gettim!” response… which we got a bit of, but mostly at least couched in the polite terms I’ve come to expect from this crowd. In retrospect, I should have sent a private mail.

      One thing I think we often forget in forums like this is the multiplying effect of the “me too” response. When one person tells you that you’ve left your shoes untied they’re just trying to be helpful; when a dozen people do it in a row – no matter how politely – its hard not to get a bit defensive.

  12. Neil Polenske says:

    Shamus, I’d strongly recommend taking a look at this as an alternate perspective on the proportions issue. It’s done by one of yer Escapist friends, Movie Bob.

    http://gameoverthinker.blogspot.com/2010/02/episode-32-i-heart-bayonetta.html

  13. Mari says:

    Entertaining strip. Also, I’m female. My torso is quite long and my shoulders broad enough that I have that Dynasty look going on after ripping all shoulder pads out of my clothing. I also have man-hands which causes me to not get along at all well with most cell-phones and other pocket devices that don’t use a stylus.

    Not criticizing your premise because I know I’m in a minority (as evidenced by the fact that I have to buy special sizes of clothing to accommodate my freakish torso and carefully select my wardrobe to deal with the wide shoulders). That said, Bayonetta still looks freakish to me.

  14. Mex Headroom says:

    Any reason you can think of for why the Escapist isn’t rendering in Safari? Tried it from both my work laptop and iPad and nothing beyond the site’s header graphic comes up on either.

  15. Mex Headroom says:

    Any reason you can think of for why the Escapist isn’t rendering in Safari? Tried it from both my work laptop and iPad and nothing beyond the site’s header graphic comes up on either. Scratch that, work system is fine now.

  16. rofltehcat says:

    You know why this game is so strange?
    It is japanese.
    From the plot, catch phrases etc. it tries to be a manga. And remember? Manga often have nothing but people with strange proportions.

    • Drexer says:

      Actually, the most usual manga is made with female characters with small shoulder width, big heads, wide hips,and small hands. Really, Bayonetta goes against most standards of anime and manga, so I find the “it’s Japansese” argument quite silly.

      • krellen says:

        It’s actually Japanese trying to be Western. When you narrow things down to that subcategory, Bayonetta fits the trope much better. Your “usual” manga female is Japanese being Japanese.

  17. LassLisa says:

    I bought the game after playing the demo and reading all the glowing reviews by other people who (like me) thought they would hate the objectification and then were totally won over. Then I saw the opening scene and had major doubts. It really is some of the most egregious stuff in the entire game – my boyfriend was looking over my shoulder and we both just kept cracking up (I kept wanting to cover the screen out of embarrassment that a game I bought was this ridiculous/awful/cheesy/oversexualized). It’s almost painful to watch that scene (and a few others), because it’s just so overdone…

    Then I started playing the game and there was basically none of that. I LOVED it (especially now that I can fast-forward through the loooong cutscenes). The combat is really engaging and interesting; sexuality definitely runs through the game as a theme but Bayonetta’s always very obviously an actor and creator of her own image. So I find I like it better than “they’re both great warriors, she just wears a chainmail bikini because it’s… uh… more comfortable!” It feels like there’s a reason for it in the story (as opposed to the story being just a vehicle for this chick to get naked).

  18. Kdansky says:

    At least one person on the internet agrees with me: Bayonetta is not sexy, only slightly creepy. I find her fifteen miles long legs (and arms, fingers and neck, OHMYGOD that neck) quite disgusting. These probably fall into the uncanny valley. I have not played the game and I am not going to buy a PS3 for that, but I wonder if the combat is really all that great. I have seen someone play and it looked like a DMC + GoW crossover, where they took the pretty parts of both and removed all the difficulty in it. All I saw was button mashing.

    But a lot of people here say positive things about it without coming of as fanboys (well, some do…), so I might try to get a few minutes in at a friend.

    • cord dog says:

      Ive actually thought that her appearence was supposed to be like that considering she is an adult female and it has beem said that longer limbs are more attractive feature on a woman. Also, they wanted to give her a more mystical look considering shes a witch. As for her proportions, i think the only thing wrong is how long she is. Her head looks like a normal size instead of your regular riduculous pumpkin head animu characters seem to have. Her breasts arent oversized or too small. Her shoulder measurements are absolutelty correct for an actual female. Her torso is perfectly lengthed for a woman her height. But again, they could try to make her look more ethereal with the long limb things. I find it incredibly sexy. I cant understand why so many guys prefer loli jailbait underdeveloped moe characters over hot, luscious lipped normal looking girls. Its starting to disturb a little…

  19. Yar Kramer says:

    For the record, bickering about generalizations aside, I giggled at the actual Stolen Pixels comic.

  20. Noumenon says:

    If you look at this image of women standing in the anatomical position, it appears that almost all of them have shoulders as wide or wider than their hips.

    (Image is not exactly porn, but not at all safe for work. Kinda fascinating chance to see what it would really look like if you could see average people naked.)

    • Kdansky says:

      Great series. Just don’t click on anything :)

      It also shows how we have a distorted view on beauty because absolutely all of them look way uglier than the average TV/Porn-star. Why? Because those that we usually get to see in the media are already the top few percent, and usually heavily shopped to boot.

      • krellen says:

        I don’t know about you, but most of those women fit my standard of beauty.

        • Shamus says:

          I’m right with you. Maybe it’s just that I’m old, but all I saw were young, healthy women.

          I would be interested to see a study comparing men’s tastes between guys who watch TV / read lad’s mags / view pornography, and those who don’t. (Which, now that I think of it, might just break us up by age.) I notice a lot of guys my age (40-ish) prefer natural looking women, and the younger set prefers the sorts of ladies that Kdansky describes. Is it age that mellows out our taste? The media we consume? Or is this just a generational gap as body types go in and out of style? (As someone mentioned Twiggy above.)

          Additional thought: That site said it was “pornomedia”, but… is that what people are calling porn? Looked pretty clinical to me. I honestly thought it was an artist’s guide until I was the bit at the top. Looked a lot like the artist-type books I used during my unfortunate tour of duty as a 3D modeler.

          • krellen says:

            No, if you click on the images and go to the parent site, it’s much more traditional and stereotypical porn behind it. I’m not sure what prompted this particular display, but it’s not really being sold as the typical porn the rest of the site peddles.

            • EwgB says:

              I’ve seen those images on other sites and as far as I know, they are all from some study on female bodies done by some university or whatnot. How they ended up on the porn site, I don’t know. Or why for that matter. Many of them are indeed attractive in my eyes (though I am from the younger generation and have seen my share of porn), but they don’t exactly fit the typical porn sterotypes, even the weird ones. And as already pointed out, the clinical layout doesn’t make the images particulary arousing.

          • Eric says:

            It’s age, the one thing I’ve noticed with men is the older you get, the more you hit.(wow, I was trying not to be crude, and I feel like I failed.)

        • Kdansky says:

          I did not want to imply that I find them ugly. It’s just that they are not as sexy as Jessica Alba, Sasha Grey, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez or whoever tickles your fancy, and I am probably not the only one doing the comparison. But I fear many people (especially younger ones) would not realize that those “normal” girls are also pretty.

    • erratio says:

      Heh, spot the one that’s had breast enhancement! Maybe it’s less obvious in isolation but with this cross-section it’s bleedingly obvious that breasts just don’t naturally look like that.

    • Shawn says:

      Okay, my favorite part of that was the rockin’ 90s fashion. Man, I miss girls in stripes and Doc Martins.

  21. bbot says:

    The most cogent analysis of Bayonetta I have yet to see is this screenshot. (NSFW)

    (Ba dum tish)

    Also, the image in this post didn’t show up in the RSS feed, since it used a relative instead of an absolute link. Since I read RSS feeds in Google Reader, this breaks.

  22. MadTinkerer says:

    1)I’ve read that the reasons for Bayonetta’s particular proportions are for visual clarity first and sexiness second. Like the profiles of Team Fortress 2 characters being designed so you can instantly tell who is what from waaay across the level, Bayonetta is designed so you can instantly tell what she is doing (hands over there, feet over there, upside down, rightside up, somersaulting, ect.) at any given moment. The player being able to tell what she is doing at any given moment is important considering the visual chaos that goes on.

    2) I’ve read that pretty much everyone who plays the game feels that the controls are intuitive and it’s easy to tell exactly what’s going on despite everything happening very fast. So it worked.

    3) I haven’t played Bayoneta myself, but I have played Devil May Cry and if the above two points are true it’s a HUGE improvement. So I’ll put up with a little bizarre anatomy for the sake of gameplay. Just like I already do in TF2.

  23. Felix says:

    In college I was on the rowing team and dated a female rower: 6’1″, fit and trim at 175 lbs, long legs, broad shoulders, calloused hands…

    There aren’t many out there with those proportions, but damned if she wasn’t good looking. Perhaps we’re not used to that body type being held up as a sex object?

    • krellen says:

      Having looked at a few images of exceptionally tall (real life) women, I’ve reached the conclusion that Bayonetta is only out of proportion if you operate on the assumption that she is a typical 5’6″-ish woman, rather than the nearly 7-foot woman she actually is. Her proportions are approximately the same as that of other 200+ cm women I have seen.

      At least her game model. The concept sketch still has freakish insect limbs.

  24. Zack says:

    Now I am biased, as I date a Russian engineer, but Tali was just pure hotness. I felt cheated that the choices for relationships were :

    1. Racist religious fanatic.
    2. Emotionally immature alien with poor social skills.
    3. Infatuated subordinate with self esteem issues.

    None are a potential partner for the most successful human in history.

    The two most attractive characters were in my mind :
    1. Tali – Brilliant scientist hoping to save her people.
    2. Joker – Funny and deepened by having struggled with adversity and won.

    Both were accomplished on their own and had done something worthwhile with their lives. Kaiden was the only one of the official love interests that seemed remotely plausible. But Joker and Tali were the only ones I felt were attractive and accomplished enough to be a real partner to Shepard.

  25. Sungazer says:

    Off Topic:

    I played part of the demo and stopped playing during the first fight scene. I love action games like God of War and the new Ninja Gaidens, but I just couldn’t feel like a bad-ass while that j-pop/rock was playing.

  26. jubuttib says:

    Sungazer: Ever tried playing Painkiller and replacing the music with Princess Bride by Kotoko? Great fun. =)

  27. Vin says:

    What on earth are all the complaints about??? Did anyone SAY Bayonetta was supposed to be REAL or even real looking? She looks as she is supposed to look, a GAME character, nothing more nothing less. If you want real, then don’t look to a game to give that to you, sounds like a bunch of jealous females ranting about there BF/Husbands sexitary. Yes REAL girls have this and that but we aren’t looking at a REAL girl in this game, Bayonetta is VERY FAR from being anything REAL.

    The only winning move, is not to play.

  28. Star says:

    I have broad shoulders and I’m a girl…

  29. Zombieshake says:

    At first, I thought she was kinda hot from the trailers. What really killed it for me was how hard the game was pushing that I should find her sexy. If a video game character is hot, it shouldn’t need to be pushed into your face every five minutes

    though, ironically, I’ve read somewhere that Bayonetta (Other than having giant legs) is actually one of the most anatomically correct video game women models. I guess this is a case of Reality is Unrealistic for a sexy woman.

  30. Mariedel says:

    My brother advisable I would possibly like this web site. He was 100 % right. This article truly designed my day. You could not envision just what amount time I had put in for this info! Many thanks!

  31. Roy Terada says:

    Me myself, I’m asexual. It’s your choice to decide whether or not that makes my opinion matter more/less. But seeing as this game can come off as sexually appealing to men in their older teens and 20s, I enjoyed it just for what it was. The implied sexual scenes were all jokes. Even the ones that were clearly sexual, the ones that didn’t have a punchline, gave the game a flare that other games are afraid of doing. On a side note, the sexuality of this game can be called sexist, but I think that would be completely wrong. It’s not sexist, it’s not making fun of women or defining them by showing Bayonetta. However, it may make women insecure or make them feel offended. That being said, this game isn’t meant to appeal to women. It’s meant to appeal to teenagers looking for a good action RPG with a very interesting female protagonist, which the market lacks. And any real gamer who is female will enjoy this game, cause they’d appreciate women getting a thumbs up in the video game industry. For men, when we look at heroes like Link or other protagonists, or anime characters we are inspired to be like them. It’s only natural, in my opinion, that when female gamers see Bayonetta, they’d feel the same.

    Honestly, the only flaw with Bayonetta is our own society. Nothing sexual can be innocent in our lives, as it’s human nature to see it defined as such. Bayonetta is a game with action, adventure, story, and depth. And the true appeal of this game is how it doesn’t try to change to appeal to everyone. Like how most of the bosses or enemies are hideous when unarmored, or how some bosses have ugly cherub faces. I love dragons personality, and Fortitudo comes off as strange to me since the body is literally a face, and the dragon heads don’t have eyes. But it’s DIFFERENT. And different is what this market needs and any real gamer will appreciate.

  32. Kenji says:

    So I’m guessing this isn’t a girl cosplaying as Bayonetta? With virtually identical body figure and proportions?

    http://www.mypornolife.com/content/sdcc_bayonetta.jpg (google search, I swear)

    • Shamus says:

      The woman in that picture is in no way “identical” to polygonal Bayonetta. The polygonal version has broader shoulders, is much thinner, has a smaller head, and has hands that are about twice as large.

  33. Kenji says:

    So I’m guessing this isn’t a girl cosplaying as Bayonetta? With virtually identical body figure and proportions?

    Bayonetta cosplayer with body like Bayonetta’s

  34. meamoi says:

    1. Girl’s figures vary. There are definately girls that have those proportions. Not the most common, but not the lease common either. You’ve obviously only ever seen “ideal” women, which means you need to get out more, and spend less time in front of a screen if you think all girls are proportioned the same.

    2. It’s a video game. Bayonetta’s proportions are no less realistic than Wolverine. Sure, Bayonetta has sexy features to her (as does wolverine with his skin-tight crotch outfit) but that’s not the primary design theme of the character. Bayonetta is designed to be a female power fantasy character the same way that wolverine is designed to be a male power fantasy character. Broader shoulders generally are used to convey a sense of strength & heroism, a straighter body portrays stability and control,larger hands play into pretty much any “power” character (just look at Sonic the Hedgehog, for example, made by Sega as well, Bayonetta even references sonic characters a few times.) And power fantasy characters ALWAYS have smaller heads, because it makes their bodies look bigger.

    So, to answer your un-asked question, no, Bayonetta isn’t meant to be a sexual fantasy character. She’s meant to be a feminine power character.

  35. that good point, the name bayonetta imply cleary that shemale has Bayonet military war is knife, mean she got giant clit for her duty has wardyke/iron maiden, she even state she like making more than taking care of them. that gothic gnostic teaching of scared feminine, oops cat out of the bag

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