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Thanks but no thanks, Yaiba, I won’t take a suck

The last couple of years have seen a marked increase in sensitivity among gamers and the press, often in discussions about the industry and sexism. Some arguments about a specific game’s issues with women can be too easily dismissed as unimportant to the overall value of a release. Then there’s the rare trailer that should render any discussion moot; a trailer so jaw-droppingly wrong that your brain refuses to believe it could exist in modern times. Sometimes you get trailers like this one for Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z…

Where do I start? There’s Yaiba’s hateful, aggressively sexual way of talking to the woman he calls “Sugartits.” There’s the pioneering of the nonsensical, childish insult, “Take a suck…” And there’s Yaiba’s last line of “Just shut the fuck up,” shouted emphatically at the impossibly understanding woman on the other side of the conversation. Each moment seems to top the last for being the most repulsive.

There are so many troubling things here that it seems impossible to think anyone wouldn’t be grossed out on some level by this. It’s not just the dialogue--it’s the spirit of it. It’s just so angry, so crass, and lacking any irony or wit to it. This trailer is blunt in how its only interest is shouting insults at a woman, and it thinks that’s really compelling.

Watching it leaves me with a lot of “hows.” How does this exist? How did the dozens of people involved in making this game actually approve of this trailer and then share it with the world? How was there no one internally that didn’t anticipate any type of backlash and then cancel this ad? I hope this trailer happened because someone in the chain of command thought this would garner buzz for being so “edgy.” Otherwise, the creators of this video seem to think it appeals to a large number of gamers. But gamers aren’t childishly misogynistic enough to like this; at least I really, REALLY hope that’s not the case.

Watching it also got me thinking of a similar trailer. This video for Shadows of the Damned was excessively raunchy and childish too…

...but Shadows of the Damned’s trailer doesn’t bother me in any way like Yaiba’s does. I wouldn’t show it to my parents to prove how professional my chosen field is, but SotD’s lowbrow humor at least has some cleverness to it. The joke isn’t about laughing along with a character that bellows “I’ve always known exactly where to stick my sword...” at a woman; it’s about protagonist Garcia Hotspur’s endless references to penises. Both represent the troubling boys club mentality that’s prevalent in the community, but SotD did it with more than a little self-awareness. That kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude is something Yaiba desperately needs.

Despite the actual feelings it elicits, this trailer was meant to create interest in Yaiba. Until now, few had really been paying attention to Yaiba. The pre-release apathy was understandable, thanks to its combination of tired gaming tropes like zombies, ninjas, and cyborgs, but that perception could've potentially changed via a memorable video. And it has… from indifference to distaste. Now I want to play the final game, because I have to see if the actual dialogue could be this bad, if the main character is as unlikable, and if the low opinion of women is as prevelant as this trailer implies.

But until everyone can judge how much of the actual game is reflected in this two-minute embarrassment, I’m left wondering if this will be the last such trailer we’ll ever see or the first of many more to come. Will this type of backwards crap become a thing of the past once it’s clear that gamers have outgrown this kind of immature behavior? I want to think that the reaction to Yaiba will dissuade the next publisher from putting out something as bad as this, but history makes me think otherwise.

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editorial

20 comments

  • Frostttty - November 4, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    I think people are just too sensitive. There's nothing particularly wrong with this trailer, Yaiba is meant to be a dick, that's why he talks like a dick, acts like a dick. I mean he got sliced in half who wouldn't be pissed off?
  • winner2 - November 3, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    If this punk somehow beats Ryu I will buy a disc and shit on it. The fact that this exists at all has me worried. Ryu murdered this sheep like everyone else, and now this prick is going to fight him again and win maybe? That's on the same level of power inconsistency as anime like bleach and naruto. Please let this crap be murdered so hard in review that not even one person buys it.
  • ObliqueZombie - November 3, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    Wait... What? "Take a suck"? What the hell does that even mean? You're right, Henry, this is stupid. I'm not sure why the game has to be sexualized so much or why the protagonist just has to be a completely unlikable dick, but the game itself might be fun. Wait, was that a crude, unsubtle reference in the end with that truck? This definitely doesn't look like me kinda game. At least the combat looks killer.
  • BiscuitWheels - November 2, 2013 7:59 p.m.

    Talk about trying too hard. Holy crap.
  • Danomeon - November 2, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    I really wanted to play a moronic hack-and-slasher game with cel-shaded zombie blood and ninja action, but this is a huge turnoff. There's a certain point when campy writing turns into complete laziness, and this is a perfect example of that. There are clever ways to execute a sleezeball womanizer character, (That spellcaster fellow from Lost Oddyssey comes to mind) but this is just lazy writing.
  • Nikku7 - November 2, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    I usually feel that Henry over-reacts to things such as this (or at least goes on too many rants about it) but I kind of agree with him on this one. That trailer goes too far, but I don't think people should be too offended by it. Whether or not they have intended to make the main character very stupid and unlikeable or not is my question. If they think their character is cool or funny because of this, .... Yeah, they're taking the wrong approach as far as I'm concerned.
  • alex-roy-bristol - November 2, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    @tomasfr: Garcia isn't sexist, he's just sexual. As for the video, I honestly don't think it was that funny, but the gameplay looks great, and the character SOUNDS like a cocky bad-guy should! He think's he funnier than he his, he's violent, he doesn't give a single shit about what others want, he's rude and he's a sexist pig who wants only one thing more than to fuck everything he sees: to kill shit. Sounds like a bad-guy to me to be honest. Now, if they still use DOAX logic and female-representation in this game, THEN it could be bad, but as of now he seems more like Calvin Kandy: defiantly the bad guy.
  • Danomeon - November 2, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    @alex-roy-bristol I think the character's "Cocky bad-guy" attitude is forced and lazy, though. He just uses really obvious sex jokes and penis gags to appear like a womanizing a-hole. It's a really EASY way to make him the bad guy. Imagine a character who just uses the N-word to describe all black people. It's not really clever writing to get you to hate that character, it's really lazy writing to get you to hate that character. This writing succeeds at making the character a sleazeball, but it does so in the cheapest and most uncreative way possible. I much prefer slick bad guys like Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2, who at least have some level of charm and creativity being put into their bad-guy schtick. Sure, most of the jokes were crudely written, but I'll take Butt Stallion over "Boobs, hah!" any day of the week.
  • Swedish_Chef - November 2, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    "Name's Yaiba, but you can call me Yaiba the franchise killer, has a nice ring to it don't you think?"
  • g1rldraco7 - November 2, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    I can see why The radar crew was concerned, but this reminds me of Suda 51. i'm sure the writers knew what they were doing. I'm a girl and yet I want to play this game when it comes out, does that make me a weird girl? If so you can suck it because it doesn't matter who plays and likes these games as long as you have fun :P
  • TKTOWA - November 1, 2013 11:36 p.m.

    I actually don't see anything wrong with this trailer. So what if it's painfully immature and stupid? Sometimes an unlikable main character is what's needed. Games aren't always going to be generic enough to please any and everyone. Some of us would like a brainless, moronic action game in between our wine tasting and intellectual debates. Sheesh.
  • ObliqueZombie - November 3, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    I think the point is, they don't want it to be "intellectual," they want it to be less crass. I've never played my games and thought, "wow, I really wish I could just hate my character."
  • TKTOWA - November 1, 2013 11:33 p.m.

    I actually don't see anything wrong with this trailer. So it's painfully immature and sexist? Well, not everything has to be rainbows, lollipops, and pleasing to any and everyone. Sometimes an unlikable main character is exactly what's needed. Video games aren't always for the high-brow intellect. Some of us want a brainless stupid action game in between wine and cheese parties.
  • TKTOWA - November 1, 2013 11:38 p.m.

    Gamesradars bad connection with facebook made me think this comment wasn't posted. Disregard :P.
  • watevermanimlost - November 1, 2013 11:28 p.m.

    I watched the trailer..... I think you're making it a bigger deal then it actually is. I mean when you read it, it sounds bad..... but when you actually watch the trailer the inflection of the characters voice conveys it in a less offensive manner. The character is in a rush to kill Ryu he ain't got time to listen to some chick who may or may not have a dastardly plan afoot. It's just the way the character is. I mean.... it would be weird if he was happy go lucky while killing thousands of zombies in a revenge story..... wouldn't it? They seem to be have made him like a knockoff deadpool.
  • dangomushi - November 1, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    I actually had no idea Inafune was a part of this. I'm proud to be among those who supported Mighty No. 9, but this heinous presentation diminishes the integrity of all involved. I'm sure the guy didn't write the thing, but this sorely misses the mark of what I'd expect.
  • Xtapolapopotamus - November 1, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    I want to believe this is just some gimmick to gain attention, but given Team Ninja's past games (specifically DOAX Volleyball and the like), I'm not so sure. Regardless, this was a really tasteless, stupid, crass and just unenjoyable trailer. The gameplay seemed like it was OK, until the finale with the leg lights and all that. Very facepalm-worthy.
  • tomasfr89 - November 1, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    Wow. That trailer makes Duke Nukem and Garcia Hotspur look like sensitive, considerate supporters of the feminist movement. I pray that people realices how horribly misguided that ad was.
  • somedude - November 1, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    I'ts all a gimmick, if you start talking about it, then mission acomplished for the Marketing Dept. But probably all the morons in the media will start talking about it, trying to be the paragons of virtue and political correctness, and then they put all games in the same bag making a bad name for other mature content but awesome games, and blah balh blah, the story goes on ad infinitum. Just ignore it, nobody will become a womaniser for playing a game, just like you don't steal a car and kill people for playing GTA. Still, this game look awesome!!!
  • tomasfr89 - November 1, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    And I fell right into it. Motherf*ckers...

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