Bayonetta: Too RisquÃ©?
Bayonetta just came out this week. That game looks like it really takes the Devil May Cry type experience to the next level, but one thing was strikingly awkward about it: the entire game is filled with explicit sexual references that are creative and imaginative yet feel completely out of place and can be more awkward than enjoyable.
I actually dislike writing about this subject as it doesn’t fit my persona or the spirit of this website, but it is so prominent that it has to be discussed. This is a major game release, from a big designer, and this is a big part of the game.
Personally, I don’t generally advocate it, but I really enjoyed lots of sexualized content that is hidden throughout games: God of War 1+2 had the humorous mini-games, Grand Theft Auto had the street walkers, the gentlemen clubs, and the girlfriends, and Yakuza had the hostess bars and girlfriends.
However, what was nice, was that if certain content didn’t gel with your tastes, or you had some company or family around where it’s just not a good time for that kind of thing, or you were just in the mood to enjoy a regular non-sexualized game, the sexualized content was very obvious and easy to avoid when the player chose to do so.
With a game like Bayonetta, the sexualized content is thoroughly baked through the entire experience, that it is unavoidable.
On a related note: GTA 4 is one of my favorites, but it really annoyed me that the game surprises the player with a very explicit sex scene right in the opening cut scene. Almost all the other risqué content throughout the game requires the player to really seek it out on purpose. But that one scene plays for brand new players, it hits you without warning, and it wasn’t just simple nudity, it was S&M stuff which can be horribly awkward when you have family in the room.
Bottom line: I’m not advocating censorship, but I would like games to keep this type of sexualized content hidden somewhat, so that it can be found by those who want it, and avoided by players who don’t.