Star Ocean 5 joins the army of games desexualizing female leads, staff seems annoyed

Shots were fired earlier this week when Blizzard opted to change a victory pose used by its main character, Tracer. A fan questioned why the character had to show off her butt to the camera, naysayers dropped a series of overused three-letter abbreviations to angrily describe them, the forum erupted into 15 pages of insults, and Blizzard stepped in to confirm that it would be making the change.

No ifs, ands, or buts. Blizzard showed with stern authority that it will welcome as many into its game as it can without offending anyone. The removal of the “Over the Shoulder” pose must not cripple the game nearly as much as some believe, and Blizzard doesn’t seem to mind. That’s not the feeling I get from the developers behind Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness and their similar situation, though.

In an interview with 4Gamer, translated by NicheGamer, Game Director Hiroshi Ogawa and his team come off as annoyed that they were forced to adhere to “Western criticisms” and not show teenagers in sexy underwear, jokingly saying that decision was “distressing.”

“Recently, there’s been a lot of flak from overseas countries saying that if you put teens in ‘sexual’ underwear, it’s not good. So we increased the amount of clothing.”

Screenshots provided in the interview, which we will not post here, are not horribly explicit. The change looks like “18-year old” Miki merely moved from a modest pair of underwear into an even more modest pair of underwear. We know this because up-skirt shots are still possible in Star Ocean 5 even after the change, somewhat missing the point.

The changes are minimal at most, and noticeable only if you go looking. Artistic integrity compromised! Star Ocean 5 already ruined and officially the worst game of all time! Well, not really.

Character Designer Akira Yasuda also voiced his opinions.

“Recently there’s been a trend in games where if you put out a character that shows a lot of skin, later on you might have to make a lot of revisions, ‘although she’s erotic, there’s not a lot of skin showing’ is the feeling you get. In fact, [Star Ocean 5] got a rating of C [ages 15 and up] by CERO.”

Of course, this is all coming from a game that features a woman who wears a chessboard as a business suit. But that’s okay. She’s 25.

Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness (13)

Hey, how about that amazing JRPG world, excellent battle system, colorful characters, and galaxy spanning plotline. I’m sure those play just as big a role in this game as the main character’s choice in undergarments. The ESRB won’t even notice the old swapperoo, but at least tri-Ace can say “We tried! We really did!”

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness releases for the PlayStation 4 in 2016.

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