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Critique, News

Approach with Caution: Legend of Korra game

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**Warning: Excessive gif usage ahead**

In game Screen Shot

I don’t if you’re aware of this but the Legend of Korra is pretty great. It’s the literal spiritual successor to Avatar: The Last Airbender – get it? ‘Cause Korra is the reincarnation of Aang and it’s also a sequel and… Nevermind. Anyways, the Legend of Korra centers on one heck of a cool character Korra, whom I adore. the show is not without it’s ups and downs but generally it’s beautifully animated, has excellent action sequences and has compelling and interesting characters.

So when I saw that the Legend of Korra was being turned into a game I reacted like any other regular ‘ole fangirl would: with reaction gifs.

Wheeeee!

Woohoo!

Yass! … *clears throat*

Anyways, I have been saying this for years, the world of the Avatar would make the best setting for a video game. And people around the internet seem to agree. So finally, we all get what we’ve been asking for what seems like an eternity. A Legend of Korra game which features a few of my favorite things: Female led action games, compelling and unique combat mechanics and animal spirit guides. Only, I don’t know if you read through that link up there but there’s just one problem… Platinum Games is making it.

Wait, what?

 

You know, the studio behind such fanatastic action titles like Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance and that little game that I might have had a problem with before: Bayonetta.

 

Google search bait – “Bayonetta_crotch.gif”

Basically my reaction

Also this

Everyone let out a frustrated sigh with me. Look, far be it for me to judge a game that isn’t out yet but the developer is making me nervous. Platinum Games has an excellent track record of creating deep, reactive, epic action games. Their combo systems in both Revengeance and Bayonetta are off the chain. Which speaks well for the potential combat mechanics in the LoK game. The only thing is that they also have an obsession with objectifying women. A lot. Like, women can be really powerful in Platinum Games’ IP but only if they’re naked while doing it. Or about to get naked. Or about to be bludgeoned to death if they aren’t naked. You get the picture.

In this scenario Platinum Games is the corrupt cop.

This is what makes me so nervous. Korra is not about the over emphasized nudity or overt sexuality. In fact, what most people think when they see Korra is “damn, look at them muscles.” Korra is all about kicking butt, while also fostering her personal growth from an overly arrogant super bender into the savior of the world. Her journey over the last few seasons has been phenomenal and while I don’t need the game to emphasize that point, I’m concerned that outside of high octane action and exploitative representations of female sexuality, Platinum Games suffers from being a pony of few tricks.

Women’s bodies aren’t tricks Platinum Games.

So to sum, I am anxious about the amount of needless and gross “ass-et” highlighting camera angles we could potentially get for this game and also about how flat Korra is going to come across. She is more than just a punch first, scrappy fighter. She’s a wonderfully complex character who I don’t want to see reduced to one facet of her personality that hasn’t been prominent in ages. For now I am very cautious about this game release and I would ask that you would be too. I am not going to be going out of my way to shovel more money towards Platinum Games until I am sure they handled their source material with the respect it is due. Because as you know, Korra is the Avatar…

You gotta deal with it

Legend of Korra Season 4 returns: Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Legend of Korra Game releases: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

 

About the author / 

MarenWilson

Maren Wilson has a BA in History and Sociology. She is interested in game design and gender performance in games. You can usually find her staying up too late with games she’s already beaten or getting into “debates” about historical inaccuracies online.

1 Comment

  1. dreadsci September 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    With you all the way on this journey. Gifs and all. After all, the last Avatar adaptation went so well…

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