A couple weeks ago Girl Fight, also known as BlazBoobs, Strip Fighter, and Misogyny Kombat among the denizens of the vast RipTen office complex, was announced with one of the most pandering press releases I’ve ever seen. Here is a taste:
Get Ready to Lick the Competition with Girl Fight, Coming Soon to Xbox LIVE Arcade and PSN. Take on the world’s most lethal and dangerous women in this digital arcade fighter from Microprose and Kung Fu Factory… Brutal. Deadly. Gorgeous. Veteran executive producer Microprose and developer Kung Fu Factory announced today that Girl Fight is coming to Xbox LIVE®Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®Network in spring later this year. With hair flying, long legs kicking and the ear-piercing shrill of deadly vixens, Girl Fight is a unique all-female, fast-paced spin on arcade-style fighting games.
I made sure to rag on it because just from the tone of the press release and the ad art I could already entirely picture what this game was going to be even without seeing a single screenshot. It was always a possibility that I could mock it thoroughly and then be proven wrong when the game was eventually released. In retrospect, I guess that makes me a pretty shitty journalist. Luckily I’m a video game journalist, which is increasingly related to journalism the same way building a popsicle stick bridge is related to engineering, so I can make all the reactionary statements I want.
In this case, I sort of knew I wasn’t going to be proven wrong anyway, and after a possibly accidental XBLA marketplace listing, we finally have a few screenshots that accurately prove why we can’t have nice things. Girl Fight appears to be a rudimentary fighter wrapped around the ever popular Sex Sells model of consumer tendencies. Each character seems to be more scantily clad than the last, which is impressive since the most cloth clothed character is actually wearing less pants than Donald Duck. Official images are supposed to make your product seem great by accentuating its strengths, and Kung Fu Factory clearly agreed since most of these screens focus on crotch shots and cleavage in a way that makes the fan service in Gurran Lagann seem practically understated.
This isn’t even getting into the actual quality of said screenshots, which I was willing to ignore since I had assumed this game would not be released for quite a while. However, the XBLA listing pointed to a March 19th release date. These images do not look like a game that could possibly ready for release in a week and a half.
Look, I’m not the best feminist ally in the world – I dig Rumble Roses, was quite entertained by Suckerpunch, and don’t think every one dimensional female game character in a bikini is as inherently misogynistic as it is creatively lazy - but at some point more people have to get more vocal about their disapproval of games like this. Even if you are one of those weirdo “men’s rights” cats that couldn’t care less about the plight of women, especially women gamers, you need to take a step back and realize games like this should be just as offensive to you and your misguided belief that misandry is actually a thing. Earlier I said the fighting game is wrapped around the half naked chicks as opposed to the half naked chicks wrapped around the fighter, and I’ve yet to see any indication otherwise. It might just be the cynic in me, but I sincerely doubt the elevator pitch for Girl Fight was “an intricate fighting game based in a intelligently designed cyber world” instead of “lets make a game with a whole bunch of half naked broads, nerds love that.” The T&A chicken tends to come before the gameplay egg in games like this, because this is what a lot of companies think the average male gamer wants. A huge portion of this industry view you as a hamfisted sub-creature made entirely out of wallets who will throw money at them if they give you the sweaty computer tits you so crave. Are you really happy with that? Are you really a ham wallet creature who values computer tits over quality?
I guess if our progress up until now is any indication, you probably are. I’m just going to pretend otherwise so I don’t jump off a bridge.