Has everyone turned gay? Are all a bunch of soft panties playing games these days? A goblin trying to sniff a bra? Gross, if you have the sense of humor of a plank. I happen to appreciate a mature joke and all I did since starting this game was I couldn`t stop laughing. The voice acting is great, the story is a pretty decent parody and well, yes, the gameplay sucks big time, lots of bugs, the tactics is crap and so on, but blaming M rated humor because you`re a touchy damsel just pisses me off.
Not only is Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts light in the strategy department, but its misogynist humor is awful and insulting.
- Some cool monster designs.
- Horrible humor built on a foundation of misogyny
- Little strategy to the combat
- Crash bugs and incomplete localization.
Strategy role-playing games typically come in two flavors: games in which you either amass large armies of units (such as King's Bounty) or those in which the focus is to gather a group of heroes (such as the Disciples series). Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts takes the Disciples route, so the basic setup should be familiar to anyone who has invested time in the genre. Unfortunately, the game is let down by a plethora of problems, including a shallow combat system, incomplete translations, and a slanderous sense of humor that makes this an uncomfortable and tiresome experience.
In Grotesque Tactics 2, the emo star of the first game, Drake, must form his own adventuring guild and assemble a group of misfit adventurers. The guildmates you acquire are an assortment of characters that are little more than stereotypes, such as the jive-talkin' black man, the ditzy blonde, and a holier-than-thou angel that loves nothing more than to bicker with a dark undead adventuress. If you thought cookie-cutter characters was the only unoriginal aspect of the story, there's some bad news. Drake suffers from the most well-worn plot trope: amnesia. As he regains his memory, you learn more about his past with some of his companions and the deadly fog that's plaguing the world, which has driven you underground to The Sanctuary (not only is it a safe place, but it's also your quest hub).
The story isn't interesting, and the same goes for the quests that you pursue in this tale. Within The Sanctuary are several factions--the mercenaries, the elves, and the humans--and you spend a great deal of time running among their bases and multiple dungeons as you accomplish tasks to curry favor. Your reputation with the various factions is important; as you gain more rep, you earn more quests and advance the plot (for what it's worth).
Early on, many of these quests are tedious, such as those that involve cooking meals for people. What's worse, you may receive a quest that sends you into a sealed-off area that can only be unlocked by completing a different quest. Grotesque Tactics 2 doesn't make the natural order of quests clear, and this, combined with quests that require you to interact with multiple character, makes for a lot of running back and forth around the Sanctuary. Such quests serve as mindless padding between the combat missions and makes you pine for the moments when you can use your sword rather than fry up some vittles.
Unfortunately, you face a different set of problems during combat. While exploring on the map, your companions march with you. But you can't set their marching order; the AI takes care of it. So when combat starts, they're all in a jumble, and when combat ends, they sometimes spread out. This can be problematic if they initiate another battle while spreading out, especially if you're not ready for a battle. When combat occurs, it's pretty standard turn-based fighting. You control your team against the AI foes, who are about as smart as a colony of sea sponges. They generally rush into the fray, targeting your guild members willy-nilly. And they never focus on healers; they just attack whoever is in range first.
The options available in combat are limited. As you level up, you can acquire and boost abilities on your character's skill tree. The sad thing is that a number of skills on these trees duplicate skills of other characters, so combat suffers from the lack of variety. And the skills on these trees are bland. Combat never feels truly tactical--fighting is all about simply whacking a foe, using a limited area-of-effect spell (that's centered on you, so you can't even fling a decent spell at your opponent), or shooting an arrow at the enemy. The only real tactical option comes with back attacks, which grant more damage.
The execution of combat is spotty, and the localization of this German game is a real issue. You receive the "Translation is missing" option in some conversation menus. This message also appears on some doors and gates in the dungeons; while the information isn't essential, it's nice for things in your game to have names. Sometimes, these names are still in German. The game also has some crash bugs, including one annoying crash that happens whenever you try to put more than three points into one of a character's skills, limiting his progression on that portion of the skill tree. These flaws point to one thing: The game isn't finished.
But what really sucks the joy out of Grotesque Tactics 2 is its humor. Sometimes, it seems to be poking fun at genre conventions, but the humor isn't sly--it's downright disrespectful. Nearly every female non-player character has a ditzy or sultry voice and is dressed in a skimpy getup. A number of these characters also make come-ons to you, and the dialogue is frequently laced with innuendo. The gear for your female guildmates is either a dress or a leather outfit, all of which seems more appropriate at a strip club than in an adventuring company. Holy Avatar, the demigod character, is a blond Adonis that keeps a harem of adoring maidens. You even have to steal one of their bras in a quest for a goblin that wants women's underwear for "sniffinz." (Gross!) And though women bear most of the brunt of the game's offensive characterizations, that's not always the case. For example, Deacon, the black character, talks in jive and keeps hitting on one of the female characters. Without wit or charm, Grostesque 2 ends up merely serving up more of the same stereotypical shlock that it intends to satire.
Grotesque Tactics 2 seems intended as a light take on a serious genre. Instead, it's a sexist disaster that is offensive when it means to be funny and flat when it means to be fun. Rather than deep combat, you get mindless tactics. Instead of interesting character progression, you face bland skill trees. The game isn't stable and is unfinished in parts, and the story leaves little impact on you. This all adds up to make Grotesque Tactics 2 one of the worst strategy RPGs in recent memory.
"The gear for your female guildmates is either a dress or a leather outfit, all of which seems more appropriate at a strip club than in an adventuring company." Scantily clad women in a video game, preposterous!
the game is broken, incomplete and it charge $20 (-10%, i preordered). Not the worst game but its not worth your money
Bad review, really bad. GameSpot you need to move this employee to some other department...I suggest dry cleaning
Oh God, stop being so PC. This crap is getting crazy. This is a parody, and why does it parody these things? Because the archetypes and stereotypes are in regular video games already. This game has way more problems than sexism or crude jokes.
this is simply not true. here all female characters of GT2 nurses = they are sex phantasies correct maidens = naive fellowers of the super arrogant Halfgod Holy Avatar THATS IT! Felja = normal elf elven characters = normal angelina = she flirts in a normal way Sweet Violence = nope Synthia = nope Ivvy = Parody character of Gothic 4 Zara= nope You find in 80% anime movies & comedy movies more sexual things then in this game.
@i11m4t1c: What's insulting about this game's representation of women (and note, it's not the only thing mentioned here that is "out of taste") is not the clothing in particular. It's the fact that, and it's here where I go by the description of the reviewer, almost every woman character in the game speaks with a sultry voice, is scantily clad and the game at some point asks for you to fetch a female person's undergarments for "sniffinz". And as I mentioned before, derogatory male stereotyping is not a veritable problem here as far as I can see, so it would be wrong for him to even make that argument, no? And I've never said that misogyny and female stereotypes are the same thing, I read my comments through twice to make sure. As for context, I find it ill-found and stupid in this game. Therefore, I also find it insulting. That's why I said "proper" context, not just "a" context.
Such a predictable response from a supposed feminist, who by your own ideals should view misandry as important as whatever nonsense constitutes as misogyny these days. Ya know, that whole equality thing?
@calvinsora First of all, there's no need for me to debunk the claim of whether or not women will be offended by the game. I can't decide that for them and I haven't made any claim of whether or not they should or shouldn't be. My problem was with how short sighted and selective the reviewer was in only examining one side of the gender stereotypes that exist in the game, along with the broader context of every other game the site reviews. Misandry mentioned in "various media" isn't what I'm addressing, nor did I ever doubt it's existence, since I was talking about game reviews on this site, and this review in particular. As I said previously, it's not a matter of one canceling the other out, but how only one of them is ever examined. Furthermore, you're using "misogyny" and "female stereotypes" interchangeably; don't. They aren't synonyms. But if you define 'blatant misogyny' as any female character that isn't wearing enough clothing for your taste, then wow.... Oh, and I don't know what you mean by "proper" context, but the game does provide context for why the female characters dress and sound the way they do. Basically, one of the characters in your party has an all female fan club who follow him around, which is why they all sound like bimbos. However stupid of a reason that is, you can't say there's no context for it. Hate it all you want, I think it's retarded too, but the fact is the context exists.
Don't give me this crap. I've seen enough places on the internet turn to utter garbage the moment any sort of even vaguely feminist perspective is brought up to know how this plays out. Crying about "political correctness" and "misandry," how surprising. Oh, and cries of "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEN!!!" The fact that this stuff is so prevalent makes me ashamed on several different levels.
@i11m4t1c: The misogyny is examined simply because it's blatant. There may be slight traces of male stereotyping, but not to the extreme where it becomes apparent that it actually merits mention. There's stereotyping in all mediums, it's only when it's extreme and insulting where it needs to be commented on. Again, you present the other side of the argument without in any way debunking the veritable claim of the game being insulting towards women. No way how you spin it, that's a bad feature, particularly, as I mentioned, if there's no proper context. Though I did make an error in saying his "point" was proven by the comments below, that was wrong on my part. They are, rather, adding to the problem. As for male stereotypes not being discussed, that's false. I've heard discussions about that in various media (the marine example I took is a popular retread there). As for the "insulted" part of my comment, I was talking about the men who were commenting (and who in general forgive anything under the guise of it being "a joke", like the "kitchen" and "sandwich" "jokes"), who are also most assuredly all male seeing what they typed.
@calvinsora The reviewer presents a biased, poorly argued, one sided argument where only misogyny is examined, but not it's parallel, and suddenly his point is "proven" when people call him out? Wow I didn't know it was so easy to dismiss criticism. And it's not that male stereotypes in other games justify or balance out any existing female stereotypes, it's that the former is never even examined or mentioned at all. Are you seriously claiming that there's no trace of male stereotypes in this game at all that should've been mentioned in this review? Besides, for all you know, the concept artists and graphic designers for this game were female so it's slightly premature to start feeling "ashamed" for anyone. --------------------------------------------------- @Mewchu333 "Promptly swarmed?" Really? In case you aren't perceptive enough to notice, there was actually an ongoing discussion in the comments below consisting of many different view points, but don't let that get in the way of your victimization complex.
Calvin, you really played the game? I don't think so. The game is a Comedy RPG with parodies stereotypes and RPG clichees -> sometimes! There also some very tough women for example Sweet Violence a very cool character. Btw. this game has lots of female fans. For example here a review from a female journalist: http://digitalhippos.com/gaming-review/pc/review-grotesque-tactics-2-dungeons-and-donuts Grotesque Tactics is a simple IndieComedy RPG with some tactic elements like Deathspank with some more party members and a turn based combat system. It's also not really a strategy game, gamespot put this in the wrong category.
Good thing I waited to buy until reviews came out. I took part in the prequel, and boy did I ever regret it. I criticized the developers on their forums and they assured me that the second would be better. Apparently not.
Thanks, commenters below, for proving his point. There's finally a person who dares to criticize such simplistic and insulting stereotypes that have invaded many games of today. There's nothing "funny" about scantily clad women and jive-speaking black men if there's no proper context. There's no overly stylized representations of men here or white people (or any other race for that matter that is of note) so obviously this is a game that gets its kicks from being insulting instead of being genuinely funny. By the way, it's NOT an argument to point out other injustices to try and hide the injustices of another. There being stereotypical representations of men in other games (see every buff Marine game) does not excuse derogatory depictions of women in another. I'm quite ashamed of men right now.
Spectacular. Reviewer writes review in which he complains about perceived misogyny in a video game. Promptly swarmed by internet men who are outraged at the very idea that someone would dare to suggest that misogyny even exists. Good job proving the reviewer's point. Kudos to the reviewer for actually mentioning these problems, by the way. These comments are proof enough that these are issues that need to be addressed.
When is Gamespot going to allow us to rate a review? This is actually the worst review I've read on GS in 10+ years of being a fan.
I bet the reviewer doesn't think that its misandristic that men are used for their bodies as mules and objectified for those positions by woman to go die for them in the millions in wars and get affected by 80% of work related deaths becuase woman demand they do they jobs they don't want to do. No, becuase he's - another - brainwashed feminist, but don't worry it's basically a requirement to get any writing job nowadays.
Kudos to the developer for earning a whiny review from someone who needs to look up the word misogyny. Poking fun of is not hating. Or maybe you can't take a joke, so all derisive humor is hatred to you. In the future, don't play a game that you know will piss you off.
@i11m4t1c: You raise a very good point about the validity of saying the female characterisation might not be negative. I haven't played the game so don't know. From what the reviewer said, it seemed like only male characters were given any depth and individuality while the many female characters present just basically played the superficial role of lust object. ____________________________________________________ If there were more variety in the women portrayed I don't think it would be worth mentioning in a review. If it was a running joke I don't think it's problematic either. Personally speaking, I don't have any issue with the object of the reviewers criticism but perhaps if I were a woman or buying it for someone else then the information he passed on might help her/me decide to buy this game or not. __________________________________________________ Like I said, I think stereotyping and gender issues in gaming would make a fantasitc feature article and all the stuff you brought up should be considered. I think its a bit too academic and too big an issue to raise in the average game review. In this particular case though it seemed worth mentioning to the reviewer and I can see why he did so.
@laowaigeez I assume the positive male stereotypes you mean involve toughness, strength, etc. Why aren't the sultry-voiced/hour-glass-figure/barely-clothed features of the female characters in this game (or any other) considered positive? Attractiveness is no doubt a positive trait. You seem to be addressing how men aren't offended by these male stereotypes as much as females are by their respective stereotypes, and thus arriving at the conclusion that the female stereotypes that pervade the medium are the worse of the two. This would be a leap in logic since it fails to consider that women are simply worse at handling it, or just overly sensitive. For instance, if the internet cut out for both of us right now and I react by crying while you go find something else to occupy your time with, does it automatically mean I'm affected more? That it's worse for me? Games like Gears and CoD are called ultra-violent, but games like Grand Theft Auto are called ultra-violent AND misogynistic. What part of the word "violent" fails to adequately describe (fictional) violence against women? Rap music faces the same sort of criticism. That's why I'm dismissive of the idea that female stereotypes are worse. It isn't worse just because they're less tolerant of it.
the guy who reviewed this has huge issues with women and/or was raised by a feminist. Since he seems to think any representation of women in any sexual way makes a person a misogynist.
@i11m4t1c: Firstly, I think that your original point was an interesting one. The suggestion I wanted to make to you (and I'll do it much more clearly here) was that in general male stereotypes are either positive or neutral and rarely negative in games. There might be individually negative character portrayals of men but these are often contrasted with more positive ones. The reviewer here suggested there was a completely negative portrayal of practically all women in this game. I can't think of a computer game that does that with men. __________________________________________________ The gaming industry and gaming culture are incredibly male dominated which is why I think the above happens and it's worth mentioning when it happens in a game's review. A general discussion of stereotypes in gaming would be a great read but better looked at in a feature essay not an individual review.
@biggest_loser I'm not defending Postal. I think Postal 3 is a retarded game that never should've gotten made because of the pervasive immaturity that's evident in every aspect of the game, all of which was pretty much covered and done far better in Saints Row 2 & 3. My point was it's wrong to pick out one thing, like what you can do to women in Postal 3, because it implies the rest of it was fine if only they would've left women alone. That's context: to evaluate something within the frame of what it's associated to. That's why it matters if something is done/said facetiously, sarcastically, with the intent of parody, etc. When you ignore that, you'll miss the point entirely. The reason why you're point about Postal 3 is so obscenely stupid is that you remove the context to make it seem worse than it is. The game doesn't instruct you to do it against women in general, but rather enemies that happen to be women in a certain mission. Plus, aside from that mission the player is able to shoot it at ANYONE. It's like this: in Fallout, you can kill people who are Asians, White, or Hispanic. But I could just pick ONE of those and say "Fallout let's you kill Asians, therefore it's racist against Asians!" This completely ignores the fact that the game has no prejudice to any particular race, since you can kill anyone of any race. That's no different from what you're accusing Postal of.
Oh.. I see, unless you're the good guy, who (with a 100% competent strong woman only) is out to save the world, it's wrong.. cause you can't ever go against the normal accepted construct and have a game that's "just because" becasue it might be wrong. Just because YOU don't like it, doesn't mean it shouldn't exist or that becasue you only like highbrow classy humour, doesn't mean that should be the ONLY thing in games..
@i11m4t1c: What is the context then? Yes you can do all this crazy stuff but for what reason? Contextual or not it doesn't make it right.
I didn't say he should have talked about what's acceptable in TV in this review, he should b*tch about it in his personal time however on his own blog or something if he is going to whine about it being present in this game, not every games HAS to have highbrow humour, just like not every movie has to be sophisticated and elegant. If you look at the quality of games they've gotten worse because gamers.. are dumber, no more are you taught the concepts of the game through playing you're given tutorial tips and have your hand held through the process, so I guess the entire game genre in it's entirety needs to be raised in standards. The humour isn't that bad, there's far worse in movies, and TV (mostly the dumb girl) and no, the reason you listed isn't why adults think games are for kids, honestly, how many parents research the games they buy their kids? If they were looking for "complex narratives" you'd not get 13 year old's screaming "f*ggot!" at you while trying to play call of duty.. But yes, we are getting off topic, the humour isn't that offensive, it's not "misogynistic" especially not by the standards america holds in regards to women (see using women to sell sex, to sell objects)
@biggest_loser The mistake people like you make is that you completely ignore context. Take your Postal 3 argument for example: You're complaining about a game that let's the player maul people's faces off with badgers. Why pick one thing out of context, when IN CONTEXT, the entire game is full of nonsense like that? It's not the "shooting cum at women" part that tipped Postal 3 over the edge into "gutter" terrority. And secondly, misogyny is horribly overused by the PC crowd, don't deny it; the same goes for racism. Again it goes back to how misogyny is seen as worse than misandry. Think of all the games where a female character is portrayed as "strong" or "independent" by simply acting like a total b**** to other male characters.
@laowaigeez That's moronic. First of all, Gears was just one example. There are hundredsssss of FPS/fighting/hack n slash/etc games that have characters based on male stereotypes, so even if Gears' views of gender were 'positive' and 'admirable' as you say, you still fail to address my point. But more importantly, why would you even argue that female stereotypes are worse? All you're doing is just proving my original observation on how sexism only seems to be taken seriously when women are involved.
@DigitalSpooker: But the point is that he's reviewing the game. Why would he suddenly talk about whats acceptable in TV land or movies in the middle of a review? Its a review of a game not an essay on misogyny. So no he's not hypocritical. Don't try and flip it back on his personal flaws. Adults still think games are for kids because they see a lot of games that don't have sophisticated concepts or narratives. This game isn't going to change that. Who am I? I'm a gamer who wants to see better standards of writing in games. Why would we want humour that is stupid and idiotic? Wouldn't you want to play something that is very clever or are you one of these people who jumps on the word sophisticated as meaning a chess-playing Harvard graduate? Sophisticated is still funny. You can be whoever you want in a game but surely you want the richest experience possible, instead of being limited to everything that is puerile. I think by talking about roles you're really going away from the topic: we're talking about specifically humour and injecting that in a game with some purpose or reason.
Yes, but how many of the people whining over this ignore what we see in TV and movies? to ignore it in the everyday world but b*tch about it in a game is just hypocritical, and the reason people don't think highly of games is more two part, the first part, being most adults still thing Video Games are for kids (key word being games) and the second is parents aren't doing their duty to parent, thus allowing games like these into the hands they're not meant for. Some games are aimed at low brow humour (see Postal, Duke), others are highbrow (see: portal 2), but who are you to say that all games must adhere to "intelligent" humour as seen in Portal 2? The whole point of a game is to immerse yourself as someone different, you aren't yourself, you're that character who, is going to be a lot different from you, that's why I enjoy games because I'm not myself, in one game I'm a macho prisoner who's tasked with saving the world, or a reluctant ex-soldier who ends up helping terrorists save the world from a greedy corporation, or to be a sex obsessed relic of a previous era, or just to be that d*ck who goes around on a shooting spree for NO reason.
@DigitalSpooker: Just because its rife in what we see every day doesn't make it right. He's also reviewing this game. He's not reviewing TV, movies or ads, he's reviewing the game and he's entitled to critique it as it is. That's his job. Perhaps if he wrote a film review he might come up with the same points. Sexism IS everywhere in the world, particularly the Internet I might add, but we have to take it one case at a time!
The same complaints about this humour, mirror what western culture has come to embody... we use "sexy" women to sell, beer, cars, or anything for that matter, only the people that are deemed in society as "attractive" make it in the TV, Movie or in Advertising. does it hurt to have to think the same thing you whine about in a video game, is what you see every single day when you watch TV or a movie? The same "misogyny" you detest in this game is rife in what you see every day.
There's a really ugly trend among gamers at the moment where they're so afraid of having the "boys own club" invaded. It happens whenever someone uses the word misogyny or they talk about women in games. Que the kitchen/sammich jokes. Its always the same excuse: Oh just joking! Its meant to be a "parody", a "satire!" It happened with Duke and its the same with this. A parody or satire of what exactly? Its hardly a parody if its there so we can all grunt and go 'oh yeah!' This sort of "humour" is put in with little purpose other than to excite young boys. Its like gamers who suddenly talk about "feminism" like its a school yard insult. They don't know what it is. Have a look at Postal 3. You're asked to suck up balls of cum with a vacuum cleaner and shoot them at women. Its not about being politically correct, its about raising the standard of writing a little beyond the gutter. If you want people to take this medium seriously - and they should because it has a lot of potential towards narratives and such - then we don't need this rubbish. Why aim so low when we've seen how popular and funny games can be with intelligent humour? (Portal 2)
I'm well past my teenage years, but I don't think that stealing a bra for a goblin to "sniff" is by any means "gross" or insulting to women when in a humorous, or sarcastic, or gaming context. With that said, if the game truly doesn't have any sober sounding or normally dressed women, and every female in the game speaks in a ditsy or air-headed way, and dressed like a stripper, then that would indeed be something to criticize and refuse in a game, unless it is put in a perfect, justifiable, creative fictional context. Like if the game, or more precisely the game's story starts by explaining the fictional world, where women somehow are bred to be the way, but hopefully there is at least ONE respectable female character trying to fight all this or whatever, something like that...if there isn't such a context, then I'd agree with the reviewer specifically on that point. Yes, a game where every female dresses slutty and speaks air-headedly is just dubious, fishy, and questionable. With that said, I still disagree with the reviewer than the bra stealing incident is to be included in the criticism, and perhaps there may be other examples where I'd disagree with him on.
Wow, the reviewer comments that anatomical proportions in Soul Calibre offended him, and 9 people thumb him down. Way to live up to gamer's stereotypes, guys. This is the kind of idiocy that gives gaming a bad reputation.
Jason Wilson....you're an idiot. Ignoring the fact that you obviously didn't play the first game because the humor is identical, any moron can tell the humor in these games is laced with sarcasm and is not meant to be taken seriously...besides the fact that it's originating in a country where TV commercials contain more "offensive" content than this game does...wake up and realize not everyone's unable to separate the joking tone of a game from reality.
Seems like this review was aimed at a general audience, and not at the usual group of male adolescents who think that bra jokes make "adult humour". Interesting. One small step for mankind, one giant leap for the "world of gaming" ^^
@i11m4t1c: The nastiness, disrespect and dislike shown to women that Jason calls out in this game seems to deserve the label "misogyny". However, games like gears of war don't seem to deserve the title "misandry". These games' male characters are "positive" advocates of malehood which are to be admired and idolised, no?
I'm not advocating gender based stereotypes, but if you're gonna call out "misogyny," then all the video games that feature male stereotypes like Gears of War should also have half of their reviews dedicated to discussion on the game's view of gender. But no, you only have to take sexism seriously when it's women it seems. Step it up Jason.
Oh, and btw, people are getting way too sensitive about the role of sex in video games. You have to look at how sex is used, and what genre it is in, and you also have to keep an eye out for generalizations. This reviewer didn't take into account that the game isn't meant to be taken seriously. They aren't trying to convince the person playing that women are nothing but sexual objects. Let me lay out a simple rule, just because something involves sex and women, doesn't make it misogynistic. It is all about context, characters on the whole (not just their looks), and genre. I think people also forget, at the end of the day the characters aren't real and no one is getting hurt. There is no reason to be uncomfortable.
I thought the game was bad in pure gameplay terms, but I also definitely think the humor was boring and misogynistic. It's not "satire" to just play off the same stereotypes and worn-out cliches. I wasn't offended, but I was just really annoyed by how juvenile and sexist it was.
My god... this review was written by a 10 year old or from a priest in a medieval church. Grow up. sad, sad review.
What an awful, biased review. Not everyone is offended by the things Jason mentioned, and especially not in a humorous RPG like this one.