Due to the subject matter of this entire week, some items may be NSFW. Barring some terrible graphics, we’re sorta aiming for PG-13 screenshots here, but, given everyone has a different threshold, anything potentially offensive will be behind the “Read More” links du jour. Just so you are aware…
Wankery Week is back! I always wanted to see an even ten WW entries, so we’re going to have our usual M-W-F updates this week, but instead of ROB choosing the games of the day, we’ll be deliberately looking at three “thirsty” games that were released in 2017. Just like last year, Wankery Week is an examination of sex in videogames… or what passes for sex in videogames. As a reminder of our “rules” from last year, we are not here to judge anyone that might have purchased a game entirely based on half naked cooking, we’re here to look at the finer points of games that are clearly marketed with an eye on fleecing horny boys (inevitably boys) of their hard earned videogame dollars. So without further ado, let’s start with our first topic of the week:
Underwear and you.
Underwear is a basic part of getting dressed, right? Most of you reading this are wearing underwear right now. And you’re not even thinking about it, are you? It’s just a thing, and you probably put more daily effort into your hair, teeth, and maybe armpit hair than you do your underwear choice. I see myself in my underwear every damn day, whether I want to see such a thing or not, and it’s no big deal. And, while I’m thinking about myself in my undies, I want to note that I have no idea what underwear I’m wearing right now. Boxers! I know that much, but color or design has completely escaped my memory, should I have ever noticed such a thing in the first place. Look, it’s not my fault if I get dressed in the dark. It’s early!
And Mario is in much the same boat. After years of playing Mario games, I still have no idea what our mustachioed hero has on under those overalls. It’s a recent revelation that we found Mario has nipples, so I’m guessing that boxers or briefs won’t be answered for a good long while. We just saw Link’s underwear, but that was just one Link, and he wasn’t even left-handed, so he clearly doesn’t speak for his entire line. Star Fox may have metal legs, but he certainly isn’t taking off his pants. Ness is glued to those shorts, and Captain Falcon would lose some acceleration if he lost his speed suit. Donkey Kong and Pikachu care not for such things. We haven’t seen the underwear of a single character from the original Smash Bros…
Oh, wait, forgot about Samus Aran. We’ve seen her practically naked.
What could be the connection?
Speaking of which, there is at least one male that has been leaving it all out there since his debut, and it’s this funny fellow:
Look at Sir Arthur, running around in his boxers. Ha ha! And, for anyone curious, here’s how Arthur looks in his most recent appearance during Marvel vs. Capcom Infinity:
Which makes sense! Only undies Arthur is of course referenced in a few intros and random special moves, but he’s not defined by it. He’s a knight! He wears heavy armor! Pretty obvious iconography all around.
And, similar to Arthur, we have an 8-bit heroine that is known for being a goddess of war, but also getting stripped to nothing when armor isn’t available. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s Athena on the NES:
And here’s Athena in the recent trailer for SNK Heroines:
Though if you want to claim that’s a different Athena who just happens to be wearing the same next-to-nothing, here’s Goddess Athena in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum:
Notice a trend? Athena was only in her underwear probably about as much as Sir Arthur, but for some strange reason, it’s Athena that carried that trait forward to modern consoles. Arthur is known for incidentally winding up in boxers, and Athena isn’t allowed within 50 ft. of a top to this very day. What could be the connection?
So it’s kind of funny that the videogame industry simultaneously acts like underwear is completely normal and something that can obviously be used to score points with the legions of horny gamers. Many recent titles include character creators that go out of their way to make “naked” into “not all that naked”, and then offer “now that’s what I call naked” equipment like the ever popular battle bikini. And this goes back to at least Dragon Quest 9 (part of the surprisingly arbitrarily horny Dragon Quest franchise), and even has graduated to the occasional DLC “costume” that allows you to more effectively strip your chosen heroine. This seems to happen constantly in games with customizable female characters, from Fable to Xenoblade (how does Sharla get more clothes, but somehow appear more naked?). The only franchise I can immediately think of that is honest about the whole “so you wanna see nudity, eh?” thing is the Saint’s Row series, and that’s a group of games that basically feeds on its own vulgarity. But that’s a good thing! Own your underwear! It’s better than renting!
But, for everything we’ve seen in gaming (underwear being fetishized or “just a part of life”) there is one thing we haven’t seen: weaponized underwear.
School Girl/Zombie Hunter is a pretty lousy game in general. It’s the story of five randomly “chosen” schoolgirls attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse that is currently laying siege to their school. Thus, the majority of the gameplay consists of skulking around a school, gunning down zombies, and then the occasional “base defense” mission that involves shooting zombies while not walking around the school. While this could certainly be a fun experience in the right hands, SG/ZH seems to get everything wrong when it comes to the actual gameplay. Zombies are either proper Romero zombie-speed or Snyder super quick, so you’re either strolling through a lackadaisical shooting gallery or beset by light speed death at all times. And the “maps” of SG/ZH aren’t any fun, either, as they’re the same four or five locations reused endlessly, except there’s a different arbitrarily blocked stairway or “exit” every other stage. This is pretty much Hell for my sense of direction, and not the good kind of Hell you want to see in a zombie game. Confusing Hell! I am not a fan.
But School Girl/Zombie Hunter wasn’t ever very concerned with repetitive or bewildering gameplay. SG/ZH wears its target demographic on its barely existent sleeve: this is a game for horny, straight men. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s basically softcore pornography, and there is nothing about this package that would suggest otherwise. Would you like to see teenage girls get their clothes torn away on a level by level basis? Dress up a harem of women in costumes ranging from “sexy swimsuit” to “sexy nurse outfit”? Maybe have a hankering for evil zombie clones, which are somehow a thing? It’s all here! But! There’s a catch! This is the first thirsty game I can recall (though I’m not trying that hard) that actively discourages underwearing around…
But there’s a reason! It’s so stripping can be more interesting!
For reasons that are never explained (it’s possible it is explained later, but I only made it to Chapter 4 of 5 before determining I had better things to do with my life. And there is surprisingly little documentation on this title online) it is mentioned that zombies “go crazy” for women’s clothing. Presumably the zombies are just as horny as the players? Regardless, by pressing the touchpad during any level, your chosen girl may throw off her outfit into a heap, and zombies will swarm said laundry. This allows the player to direct zombies to a particularly advantageous location (very useful during escort missions), and, incidentally, means you’ve got a near naked woman on the screen. Everybody wins! Except zombies! And anyone in the immediate area with the tiniest bit of dignity!
A “strip now” button is pretty flagrant, but, as we all know, it can always get worse. Throwing off your clothes to placate zombies is one thing, but how about an item called “underwear trap”?
In what I hope to God is a first for a videogame, SG/ZH includes a timer for how long any one of the five main characters has worn their underwear. Yes, of course you can change your character’s underwear choice, why would you assume otherwise? At first, I assumed this was some manner of pervert counter that existed exclusively so someone could masturbate more easily. But, no, there’s a gameplay reason for the underwear timer. Starting at about Chapter 3, you gain the ability to encourage your chosen heroine to take a shower. This leads to a short, PG-13 shower scene that could easily exist exclusively so the audience may enjoy the site of a bare bottom. But the side effect of showering is that the shower girl changes her underwear, and thus gains the ability to use her old, worn pair as an “underwear trap”. Said trap attracts zombies, and drains their health. And, of course, the longer the underwear has been worn, the more potent the bomb.
School Girl/Zombie Hunter features the skanky drawers weapon, and encourages the player to utilize the skankier drawers, the better.
So what can we learn from this… choice? We already know that a great many men are obsessed with women’s undergarments (in this case, I’m assuming women that are attracted to women have less of an obsession with their mate’s underwear, but feel free to tell me I’m wrong on that point), and the implication here seems to be that men would carry this obsession forward beyond death. Or is it something even more insidious than that? Is it a confession that men are as good as mindless animals (what else would you call a zombie?), and cannot be forgiven for their actions if used panties are in the immediate area? Or is it all just a silly joke, and a parody of overactive, horny men that seem willing to step over their own mothers for a whiff of feminine musk? Yeah, I’m sure a game that fetishizes women in every other situation is “just joking” about men being unrepentant, lustful beasts.
Underwear is underwear, and, while I refuse to judge anyone that is all about that particular kink, maybe things would be a little better around here if we could just let an entire gender pick up a six pack of Hanes in peace. Homer Simpson in his underwear is always a joke, Lois Griffin doing the same… not so much. Maybe we could get somewhere closer to equality in this one simple thing in our lifetimes, and then we could move on to the other stuff.
And maybe, just maybe, then we’ll live in a world where I never have to type the phrase “underwear trap” ever again.
Please, think of the bloggers.
WW #8 School Girl/Zombie Hunter
- System: Playstation 4, though the graphical fidelity tells me this was intended for the Vita at some point.
- Number of players: Supposedly there is five player online action available, but this game came out four months ago, and I bet the servers have already been abandoned.
- Could you play this with someone else in the room? Probably not a great idea. Half the time, the zombie fighting and general clothes tearing is akin to your average Resident Evil, and that isn’t too bad. But then you start tossing underwear at the undead, and it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here.
- What’s in a plot: This is one of those lame zombie stories where there has to be a secret lab and a complete explanation for exactly why the undead are stalking the halls of a local high school. That never ends well! Just let zombies be zombies! Frankenstein’s Monster Mash is a totally different genre!
- Favorite Protagonist: I want to say that most porny anime games have clearly defined characters, if only because that allows the writers to clearly define the fetishes involved (again, see Senran Kagura), but the heroines of this title are all pretty forgettable. Stern woman that cares about her friends, stern woman that doesn’t care about her friends, the friend that is being cared about, and an idol singer. All that said, the fifth girl, Mayaya Himeji, gets my vote, because she’s the only one that appears to have a distinct personality (which is basically Pinkie Pie, but selfish). Granted, she’s also probably the most annoying character (she calls zombies “cute zom-zoms”), but, again, she seems to be the only one that is the tiniest bit memorable.
- Did you know? Apparently this title is a spin-off of OneeChanbara, better known in America as OneChanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers. Unfortunately, I do not know where the rich mythology of both of these franchises intersect.
- Would I play again: Nope. This game gets repetitive really fast, and drags on with no greater reason to move forward than “maybe you’ll see a tit”. Sorry, school girls, but you’ll have to deal with your own zombies from here on.
What’s next? We’re going to bring a whole new meaning to the phrase “hot rides”.