Pokemon X&Y Aside

God dammit I just saw the player characters for the new Pokemon games and I think you all should have your days made more miserable too.

Presented without comment, Calem (???):

And fucking Serena:



  1. 13thlemur says:
    …..can you expand on this? I’m not sure what’s to be upset about? Is it the really gendered outfits? I don’t think it’s any worse then any other generation.
    1. actonthat says:
      See how one of them looks like they’re going hiking and the other will flash you when they lean over?

      I think we’ve reached the point where a protagonist that would reflect what a woman would actually wear in the woods is not an unreasonable expectation. We’re taking steps back! At least Hilda had a ponytail and shorts (no matter how ridiculous they were). And Kris’ outfit could even have been called practical. I mean, she’s wearing thigh-highs, for God’s sake!

      1. 13thlemur says:
        Hilda’s shorts were shorter then Serena’s skirt here. And Hilda didn’t have anything covering her legs meaning she must be freezing and would be getting scratches and scrapes if she were to go hiking. None of the female protagonists outfits have been practical especially when you put them next to the male counterpart. I just don’t see any regression just stagnation.
        1. actonthat says:
          Her shorts were indeed insane.

          The details here make this worse for me. At least Hilda’s outfit was plain. Everything about this screams, “FASHION.” And it should scream, “POKEMON TRAINER.” The thigh-highs, pleated skirt, purse, frilly collar… at least characters like Hilda and May had the wherewithall to bring a t-shirt. And Rosa’s outfit actually seemed like it could even be practical! Rosa made me hopeful.

          The details here compared to past outfits are just so much more patronizing to me, like I couldn’t genuinely be interested in this game unless the girl was dressed like she was shopping on Fifth Avenue. Never even mind that this is supposed to be a 10-year-old…

          Though now that I think about it, Gen-4-Protag’s ridiculous “It’s cold so I’ll wear a scarf, jacket, and boots but no pants” look may be the absolute worst, like the idea of a girl showing no skin, even in the dead of winter, was unthinkable.

          1. 13thlemur says:
            For the sake of my sanity I pretended that Dawn in Platinum was wearing some nice heat insulated white tights. Also, you sure she’s supposed to be 10? I thought the PCs were getting older. At least, I know Black/White had older protags and I assumed Black/White 2 had older ones too.
            1. actonthat says:
              I think they were 12 or 13 in BW2? I would actually love to see another older protag more like Wes. I wish GameFreak could grasp that their original audience is adult now and might like a more mature and involved game… instead, MOAR EVOLUTIONS OF OLD POKEMON because apparently this appeases my need for change.
              1. go.a says:
                I have no idea why people even care about the age of the PC since it’s never mattered ingame at all. It’s irrelevant-they’re all part of the same “ambiguous anime style kid” trope.
              2. Farla says:
                Well, here the problem is that it’s a matter of pre/post puberty. If you’re sticking breasts on a fourteen year old, you’re accurately depicting her sex. If you’re sticking breasts on a ten year old, you’re raising the possibility you’re a creep who wants to have sex with one.

                In terms of story, I really do think you get a different feel from the fact Pokemon’s always been about very young kids setting out to get superpowered god monsters. And Colosseum’s different tone was really bolstered by the fact its protagonist was much older.

          2. Farla says:
            The details here make this worse for me. At least Hilda’s outfit was plain. Everything about this screams, “FASHION.” And it should scream, “POKEMON TRAINER.” The thigh-highs, pleated skirt, purse, frilly collar…

            Yeah, it’s all the stuff I’d yell at people for when they described their OC setting out.

  2. Hadithi says:
    She’s about as covered up as every other generation. Her skirt has pockets, which is nice. She’s got on sensible shoes.

    I mean, she’s not perfect, but she seems about as decent as any other sprite.

    1. actonthat says:
      It’s not even that she’s not in head-to-toe camo, it’s how wildly impractical her outfit is for anything but a runway. I mean, seriously, “wearing sneakers” is the bar for acceptable female outdoorsing outfits now? She’s carrying a purse!
      1. Hadithi says:
        That’s not what I meant. Obviously it’s sexist. Obviously she’s not equipped to go on an adventure.

        What I was trying to say it’s not any worse than any other Pokemon female sprite we’ve had, and I don’t know why anyone would expect the sprites to get better.

        I haven’t heard of anyone petitioning or complaining to the Nintendo in Japan about female Pokemon sprites, so why the hell would they change them? It’s the same thing with complaining on a blog. This isn’t going to change anything. This won’t make the sprites better, because they’re not looking at this.

        How would they know they’ve done anything wrong when they’re hearing no complaints and girls buy Pokemon games at the same rate as boys?

        1. actonthat says:
          I’m not sure I understand your point. Things are horrible and not getting better so no one should complain out loud?

          edit: Also, people argue about the portrayal of women in games and comics, like, constantly. Have you really not seen this come up…?

          1. Hadithi says:
            Of course not! I’m saying that simply going on the blog and saying, “Ugh, another sprite like this”, it’s much better to actually do something.

            Tell people to start writing letters to Nintendo, at the very least. Complaining about it on a blog doesn’t do much. Nintendo is never going to see this, so they’ll never know there’s a problem.

            I’ll also add I don’t understand why Farla seems so much more furious over these sprites than she did the sprites from Black/Black 2. It’s about the same level of suck as we’ve seen before.

            1. actonthat says:
              The post is mine. Blogger rather bizarrely hides the author of the post in tiny text in the bottom corner. People also have a tendency to think we’re the same person, which doesn’t help…

              She was rather vitriolic about Black 2, though, and I actually thought Rosa was dressed very well (though the rest of the sprites were disgraceful).

              Honestly, I’ve been so dissatisfied with every aspect of this gen except the actual pokemon designs I’ll probably pirate it. GameFreak doesn’t seem to really try anymore in any respect, and after the waste of money the last game was… I’m not chucking $50 down the drain.

              1. Hadithi says:
                Ah, that makes sense. I didn’t see it was you who posted it.

                Honestly, Gen IV was what made me the most mad. Her winter outfit? I mean, the rest of them, fine. There are plenty of girls who dress that way, and Japan isn’t often known for their characters dressing sensibly. But REALLY? You can’t even ditch the short skirt in the middle of a blizzard? Her legs should have a strip of black running around them from the frostbite.

                I like a few aspects of the generation. Introducing a new type to balance dragon out is nice. The mega forms are pretty cool, since they could take pokemon that are almost usable and make them actually useful for playing.

                Honestly, though, unless I get a decent plot…I don’t know how excited I’m going to be about these games. Black/Black 2 was bogged down by the plot – it got in the way. The interesting parts were shoved aside to the very end, and the side characters too away a lot of the fun battles. I want to be a hero, and the game kind of robbed me of that.

                The attempted morality of last generation just made me feel bad about playing it. I agree with Team Plasma, and being constantly reminded that I’m forcing possibly sapient creatures to battle until they faint is a real bummer.

                I just want some black and white morality, some cool villains for me to fight, and a rival I genuinely want to battle.

              2. actonthat says:
                Yeah, Gen IV was definitely the worst. I have no idea what they were thinking with that outfit.

                I’m apathetic-to-curmudgeonly about the new type and fourth evos. It’s more of the same and is only new in a rather limited context. Though, like I said, some of the new pokemon designs I do really like (though some of them are awful– hello, animated toy sword!).

                I think most people want more, but frankly, there’s not really any reason for them to give it… they’re going to make the money either way and there’s little incentive for them to create something really new. I mean, it’s not like we’re dealing with devs like Valve or Gearbox that seem to actually enjoy the creative process and satisfaction of their customers. They seem tired of the whole thing.

              3. Hadithi says:
                They do seem tired of it, which is also annoying because fans would happily accept some change.

                A new Pokemon Snap? Fans are begging for it. Same with a Pokemon MMORPG. It’s one of the first thing any Pokemon board will bring up when talking about what they want from pokemon.

                A Pokemon version of Nintendogs, a grown up version of Pokemon with serious stakes, Pokemon Colosseum reboot.

                There’s loads of stuff they could do, but Nintendo seems terrified to try anything new. You’d figure they could, considering how massive they are, but they just won’t.

              4. 13thlemur says:
                “….and satisfaction of their customers.” Forgive me if I’m mistaken but I as far as I’ve seen they haven’t really dropped the ball there. A lot of people loved Black/White and I’m pretty sure Black/White 2 did well too. I know popular by no means equals right but if you’re talking about people responding to their recent releases, outside of this place I largely see positivity.
              5. actonthat says:
                You have clearly not seen Pokemon’s Facebook page. It is a bigger RAEG with each “new feature” announcement.

                I also think you have to distinguish between “pleased” and “placated.” Was I happy with BW or BW2? No, but I bought them both anyway. The games are going to do incredibly well regardless, which is obviously why they’re so content with the status quo. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan– particularly an older one– who was wowed by Gen V, and further, I don’t think GameFreak cares, because they know the sales will be the same either way.

  3. infinitestrike says:
    Well the player characters are now customisable, but I have no idea if I can make the female character wear more appropriate clothing – http://www.marriland.com/pokemon-xy/new-features/4840-character-customization
    In my opinion, the default sprites used for advertising should show those possibilities – eg skin colour is customisable so one of the two trainers could have been darker skinned. It’s pretty telling that the “canon” designs that aree used in advertising, movies and anime don’t really change the status quo.
  4. Ember says:
    There’s some screenshot evidence that the “eye-contact = FIGHT!” rule may have been waived. Because we really needed the difficulty level to go down even further.
  5. purplekitte says:
    One thing–you know how in anime characters wear ridiculous clothes? Within the laws of gravity and not counting hair colors, it’s actually surprisingly accurate to what trendy teens wear in Japan. The girl sprite’s outfit is totally impractical for hiking, but would be normal for walking around Shibuya. If anything, the boy’s is extremely plain and boring. I think it’s because of having to wear school uniforms so much, but street fashion gets highly complex, customized, and unique with lots of layers and accessories. Also, while women don’t wear skirts exclusively the way they do in anime, they do so a lot more than is normal for American girls. It’s not sensible for a pokemon trainer in tall grass, but someone in Japan would find the girl familiar and the boy like someone who messed up his clothes and had to change into his gym clothes for the rest of the day.
    1. Farla says:
      But that’s sort of running around the problem – the boy gets a plain outfit for the same reason the male character generally looks rather generic, he’s there to be a blank slate, not to have personality of his own. And the non-generic elements we see here are focused on practicality – he’s got good boots and long pants tucked into them, a good solid jacket with a high collar, and a decent sized bag. He’s not the eye candy, and what traits he has make him look like he’s competent.

      The girl is being fashionable at the cost of practicality, which is the sort of thing girls are expected to do, and she’s more customized, which is the sort of thing you see from characters that aren’t assumed to be stand-ins for the player.

  6. Hadithi says:
    Female clothing actually good for travelling finally leaked: http://i.imgur.com/iQ07sNL.jpg

    Possibly no gender restrictions on clothes. Short hair possible. Fuckin’ awesome day.

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