Note: This piece does not accurately reflect my current beliefs, and I would approach this rant a lot differently if I wrote it more recently.
TW: Sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, sex negativity, mentions of rape and pedophilia.
It is very rare that anything I write in regards to someone of any notable status is ever going to be seen by the person in question. As a result, I know how rare it is to be able to have myself heard by the people I talk about, so I try to write as if there is a chance it will happen just so that if it does, I can take full advantage of it. I know that people are complex human beings who have their own feelings and reasons for doing things and that it should always be possible to have a mature discussion with someone.
As such, after reading his recent review of the PC Port of Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni, and would like to offer Mr. Jed Whitaker a word of advice. Think of whatever it was that got you into your current position as a writer for Destructoid, and everyone and everything that helped you get into such a prestigious position in the game industry. Think of everyone else who helped you hone the skills and or pull whatever strings that helped you get here when hundreds of thousands of other and, let’s not kid ourselves here, far superior writers struggle to gain even a decimal percentage of the influence you have. Think of just how lucky you are to be in such a prestigious position and take a look at your most recent “review.” Think to yourself just how successful you are that you can openly put out something as soulless and effortless as this and have it published on one of the biggest video game journalism sites in the industry. That you can get hundreds of thousands of pissed off gamers that are supposed to be your target audience and tarnish the name of your site even further, yet still keep your job when people have lost everything for much more benign fuckups. Be sure to thank whatever god or entity there is that you have this job because if this were based on the quality of your effort alone, you wouldn’t even be qualified to clean a McDonalds restroom.
And yes, I am saying this without reading any of Mr. Whitaker’s previous work, and I am doing so because I don’t need to. Even if he has written some of the most brilliant, insightful, and eye opening media critiques ever put to pen it still would not change what I have to say. The reason I say this is because a piece of writing like this only exists when someone just does not give a fuck. When they don’t give a fuck about their fans, about their career, about their reputation, about their employer’s reputation, or about the people who spent hours of their days working on this game and that were kind enough to send you a copy of for review, only for you to not even put in the effort to do a proper review.
Now let me get one thing straight; there is nothing wrong with saying a game is shit when you got a review copy from a developer. However, anyone with a conscience might be a bit more considerate before libeling its developers and player base as pedophiles without taking the opportunity to provide any constructive criticism. Let me just say that, as someone who has been an active GameFAQs contributor for about 5 years, that if this review were submitted to GameFAQs as a user review, it would be rejected, or it would be up for a little bit until it gets flagged as a troll review, which will prompt Allen, the site’s administrator, to look over it and then promptly delete it.
Furthermore, this review is only 591 words long. The bare minimum for posting on GameFAQs is 400 words, but even then, just breaking that limit does not ensure that it wouldn’t get rejected. This is not a review, it’s a fucking forum post! This is what constitutes a “professional review” these days. However, it’s about time to take a look at the actual content of the review in question. You can read the review in full here (don’t worry, it’s an archive, not going to reward Destructoid any clicks for this piece of rubbish.
Another day, another shitty port of a Vita booby game releasing on Steam, and wouldn’t you know, it’s buggy as hell. Heck, it wasn’t all that great to begin with according to CJ’s review of the original release which I more or less agree with, at least negativity wise.For those unfamiliar, this is a game by the Senran Kagura producer, another ‘popular’ booby game series, only instead of being a fighting game, this is more of a button-mashing beat-’em-up similar to the Warriors series. Spoilers: You never get to see tits because I guess Japanese developers like teasing or at the very least frown upon child nudity; can’t blame them, most people do. There are robots that grab boobs and incestuous kissing, however.
So yes, Jed is another sex negative slut shaming chauvinist who is unable to see past women’s bodies. If you have big boobs or a sexy body, that’s all you are to Jed. Senran Kagura is a series that is known for having one of the strongest and most well developed female casts in gaming, or at least it is to those who have played them that aren’t thinly veiled male chauvinists attempting to virtue signal their respect for women by disrespecting women or 2nd waver bigots who are likely TERFs as well. On top of this, I’d like to make note of the casual xenophobia thrown in here.
Just about everyone has made a “Japan is insane” joke, but the joke has gotten old a long time ago and now it’s just bitter and sad. To still see people making this joke comes across less like a silly gag and more as if they actually have a vendetta against Japan, or at the very least their video games and animation. These major gaming sites will almost always hold anything that looks too anime or otaku like to ridiculous standards that they will never hold western games to and instead attack Japanese culture as a whole instead of trying to understand that maybe not everything is like in Amurica.
And no it isn’t a valid argument to compare more lax standards of sexuality to Sharia law, although maybe he would actually prefer the latter. It is amazing just how hypocritical these faux feminists in the gaming community are in regards to blatant xenophobia against the Japanese despite the focus on intersectionalism. If you don’t believe me, I have, on more than one occasion, been called a pedophile by TERFs for having an anime girl as my Twitter avatar, an anime girl that wasn’t even a small child. A lot of these same disgusting bigots have claimed that Japan “has a serious pedophilia problem” and or that anime is creating or encouraging pedophilia. Is this really the type of crowd you want to associate yourself with Mr. Whitaker? Also, Senran Kagura isn’t a fighting game.
Instead of going in-depth and reiterating things already said in our Vita review, I’ll just give you a quick breakdown. You play as a selection of big (and identically) titted teens sent to an island to cure them of a virus that makes them turn into weapons. During battles, which are button-mash fests consisting of the same few combos that every character does, sometimes their clothes rip while they look into the camera in horror, which is more than a bit rapey. Eventually, the girls are fighting in just their panties, because of course they are.There’s some kind of shallow relationship sim buried in here that consists of running past characters and collecting their piss-yellow hearts over and over between stages. Doing this enough eventually unlocks special conversations, most of which have nothing to say (like most of the game, but I’ll get to that) or just over-the-top stupid conversations about pubic hair color and boobs, which are neither funny nor sexy. There are real-time conversations between the repetitive story’s stages, during which the girls’ boobs jiggle crazily every time they move; I mean these things look like water balloons floating in space, even fully clothed. It just looks awkward.I didn’t take in much of the story, mostly because I’ve never played a game with so much dialogue that does little to nothing but artificially extends a game that is already too long for its own good. Characters literally discuss what food they would like to eat and the weather or randomly talk about groping each other out of the blue for seemingly no reason. After around two levels worth of these scenes, I started to skip them all but the very end. No regrets.
This is not the first time I’ve touched on this subject, as a while back I did a rant about Lousie Mensch claiming that Keijo was child porn because one of the characters had a flat chest… then proceeding to post a nude image of said character in the same article and thus contradicting their own claim. But hey, there was at least some argument provided there, but what do we have for this one, the schoolgirl uniforms? Oh gee, well then apparently there are a lot of child porn videos over on Pornhub because anyone who wears a schoolgirl outfit instantly becomes underage. Oh and stop trying to label anything as “rapey” that doesn’t involve unconsensual sex. You sound like a fucking TERF!
Port-wise the game runs smooth and doesn’t appear to drop any frames, even during boss fights which are in contrast to the Vita version. But for a stable framerate, you’re basically trading stability in for headaches. In my time with the game, I experienced various crashes, the game refusing to recognize the controller I’d been using, the audio cutting out, and eventually the game refusing to work while my controller was plugged in. This is why I didn’t bother with the online modes or any other supplementary modes — I don’t have enough time or patience to deal with bugs on good games, let alone ones I loathe.Not only is this game buggy as hell, but it offers nothing of value whatsoever. All the characters look nearly identical aside from one or two, the boob physics are awful, the combat is repetitive, and there is little to no variety. Hell, even across the tons and tons of underwear I unlocked, most were just reskins. If you’re looking for fun gameplay or anime girl tits, you’re better off looking elsewhere.