Dead or Alive: Paradise Director Fires Back at Critics

Not long after the ESRB retracted their online ratings summary of PSP game Dead or Alive: Paradise, the "creepy" and "voyeuristic" game is in the spotlight once again, with director Yoshinori Ueda claiming the game is not "soft-core porn".

In an interview with Eurogamer, Ueda fired back at critics claiming the game is sexist, saying "We’re certainly not trying to degrade women. They have beautiful bodies. We’re trying to show off the beauty of their bodies but we’re not trying to be degrading about it – we’re trying to show that they are beautiful characters."

Ueda counters accusations that DoA:P’s excessive mammaries have nothing to do with game play by asserting that DoA:P isn’t really a game anyway, at least not in "the traditional sense".  "What we offer is a selection of things to play and activities to have fun with. The players have the freedom to play Paradise however they want," Ueda said. "For us, the goal was really to offer a little bit of paradise to the users, and we hope that people playing the game will be able to come away with the feeling that they’ve visited paradise."

GP: So it is a game, it’s not a game, it’s about the characters, it’s about whatever the players want… Ueda’s point unfortunately gets lost amidst the contradictions. It’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that his game actually attempts to honor women, while dismissing that some may feel degraded. And while various branches of modern feminism offer competing arguments about whether women should or shouldn’t to take pride in having an attractive body, the characters Ueda features in DoA:P aren’t real — they’re not human.  Of course, this isn’t a new issue, as the Dead or Alive series has been controversial for the sexualization of its characters since Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. But does anyone else see something inherently chauvinistic about having a male director assert that all he wants to do is show off women’s beautiful bodies for other people’s pleasure?

Dan Rosenthal is a legal analyst for the games industry.

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  1. Arell says:

    And people have been critical to the DoA games since 96, especially after the fist Xtreme Volleyball edition.  You think this is new?  You think they just now noticed this?  Or do you think that because they’ve complained about these games in the past, they’re not allowed to comment when a new game comes out?

    The issue of this particular article isn’t about the negative attention given to Paradise.  It’s about the dev being an assclown in his response to that negative attention.

  2. Neo_DrKefka says:

    It’s like Sexy Beach by Illusion (Makers of Rapelay) except the sex and the nudity and glitches

  3. Aurontsubaki says:

    Dead Or Alive has been around since ’96 & they’re just now realizing what the content in them are? Welcome to New America. these crooked lawyers & critics have too much time on their hands.

    What we got here is failure to communicate!

  4. sharpshooterbabe says:

    You & I have the same views. I agree with you totally.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  5. hellfire7885 says:

    Indeed, rather than that he should have goen with a sort of "If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to look" approach

  6. Arell says:

    I have no problem with media, games included, that is intended for the purpose of titilation.  A little bit of "cheesecake" isn’t a bad thing, and is quite natural.

    I do take issue with a developer, particularly a male one, telliing women how they should feel about it, though.  If a woman finds it offensive, then it is at least offensive to her.  I also notice that when others don’t agree, or are uncomfortable with liking something that offends someone else, they marginalize that person’s opinion.  Labeling them as "prudes," "old maids." or simply stating that they don’t know what they’re talking about.  This happened the last time we talked about this game, and that in itself is fairly mysogynistic.

    I also agree that it’s really disingenuous to try and pass this game off as anything more than what it is.  It’s a game designed to get male gamers hard-up looking at idealized, stylized, and sexualized computer characters.  Nothing more.  That’s not inherently wrong, although I think in DoA:P’s case the women aren’t exactly portrayed in a positive manner.  You can have titilation without turning the subjects into vapid stereotypical boy toys.  And it doesn’t help that all that cgi flesh is wrapped around gameplay that’s mediocre at best.

    So if you want to buy it and "get off" on these virtual beach babes, then do so.  But don’t treat those that are offended by it like their opinion is invalid, and don’t act like the game is some highminded affirmation of female empowerment. 

  7. Ratros says:

    So age and taste in gaming makes an opinion count?  Meh, I really wasn’t into Galaxy, and don’t think it’s that great of a title (good just not the holy grail that most people make it out to be). Is my opinion the shit now?

    I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

  8. Arell says:

    I think it’s more fair to say that "an employee of the ESRB" posted a judgement of the game, not the ESRB itself.  The ESRB was not condoning a morality call against the game, they made an error in allowing it to be posted without proof-reading it.

  9. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I´m not saying if the word is wrong, I´m just saying it´s weird all this mediatic boom the game got. I´m just saying this is not shockling.


    My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  10. DarkSaber says:

    "11-years old Halo lover" automatically makes their opinion worth shit.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. GamesLaw says:

    I don’t think creepy is an inappropriate word to describe a game based on photographing crotches of wet girls in bikinis, even moreso because they’re not actually real.

    — Dan Rosenthal

  12. DarkSaber says:

    Sales are not an indication of quality. Halo and the CoD series sell well too.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  13. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    (Man, you get annoyed easily with anything, lol)

    The backlash against this series is not very compeling because the game has good sells despite the fact that some persons just happen to hate boobs on their games. If it´s good or bad, it depends on the people who buy it.

    My only complain about Paradise is that is not a fighting game for PSP as I would liked, like Soul Calibur for the PSP.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  14. DarkSaber says:

    Backlash against this shtty series has been building since the first game. Personally, I couldn’t care less about the game or the sexism. It’s the pathetic justifications and defenses from the fanboys (and now the developers) that annoy me.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    The problem is it looks like the press is actually having problems with this game, even whe is the third installement of the series. Kotaku has used the term "creepy" at least on 3 articles. Remember the ESRB made a judgement on the game (it was deleted, but we won´t forget it on a long time). Is there another game bashed morally by a rating association?

    We have characters like Ivy on Soul Calibur and again, there wasn´t too much fuzz about it (I know there was fuzz, but not like this). Many fighting games has characters like her on their games.

    Why is this so new or rare that a game news site has to mention it over and over again? Yes, it´s a Dead or Alive, it was expected. It´s sexy, it´s weird, and it´s hardly to be a milestone on videogames history.

    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  16. Michael Chandra says:

    So it’s softcore porn. Who cares. We got tons of different hentai out there, fanservice things, normal porn, both soft and hard, we got famous actresses getting nude in movies, etcetera. I don’t see the point in going after this one specifically, it’s nothing important compared to all those model photobooks.

  17. Bennett Beeny says:

    As with everything else, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If enough people feel the same way, the developer will stop making it. Isn’t the free market great?

    Personally, I don’t own the game and I’m not thinking of getting it. But there’s nothing wrong with others buying it, playing it, wanking to it if that’s what they do. These aren’t real women, they’re not being exploited – they’re pixellated cartoons. Getting upset about what amounts to softcore cartoon porn is as ridiculous as getting upset about violent games. They’re games, not reality.

  18. Arell says:

    Toplessness doesn’t get you an automatic AO.  Context and ammount of screentime counts, too.  Just look at the M rated God of War and Conan the MMO.

  19. hellfire7885 says:

    Eh, sex sells, and Tecmo knows it, thus they try to sell sexy games.

    heh, I remember one politician who tried to claim that the first of the series had a topless option. Hello AO rating, meaning Tecmo would never do such a thing that would limit their audience.

  20. GamesLaw says:

    Two problems with this comment.


    1) "It´s funny, because the previous games didn´t got that level of attention from the game press." 

    Actually they did. DoA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, as I mentioned in the article, was a huge controversy. Even the original DoA fighting games were questioned as being very sexual.


    2)Not matter how positive or active is the role of a female character, there will be someone complaining about the sexism on every videogame ever created.


    Nobody’s complaining about the fact that the game has big-breasted women in it. What they’re complaining about is that the developers attempt to spin it as being somehow honorable towards women that they should submit themselves to scantily clad, compromising poses for your pleasure because "at least we made them pretty".

    Just be honest about what your game is. If you market it as a hentai game or bishoujo game, it’d be more accurate, you’d get to do more of what they obviously intend for you to do, and people don’t get duped into buying something shitty because they think that there might actually be a real game buried underneath.

    Ironically that was the saving grace of DoA Xtreme Beach Volleyball: it was actually a pretty damn good beach volleyball game with some amount of depth to it, and the critical review scores took notice of that and gave credit where credit was due.


     — Dan Rosenthal

  21. DarkSaber says:

    Samus isn’t "disguised" as a man. She wears a suit of bulky power armor that happens to render her gender-neutral.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  22. Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    I  realized that there is not a single one way to portrait female characters that would make everyone happy. Too beautiful = bad. Realistic = bad.

    Not matter how positive or active is the role of a female character, there will be someone complaining about the sexism on every videogame ever created.

    Somebody said that Samus is a drag. A woman diguised as a man. Without taking count on Zero Suit Samus, Samus is perhaps the most positive female character in video games history, and still she gets criticism like that. (so very woman in uniform like police officers or soldiers are also drags?)

    DOA Paradise is hardly a game that anybody can take seriously. We know since their first two installements (for Xbox and Xbox360) what is the game about. It´s funny, because the previous games didn´t got that level of attention from the game press. Why now is raising so much eyebrowns?


    ———————————————————— My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship):

  23. axiomatic says:

    I see nothing wrong with this. This game is the FHM or SI Swimsuit edition of gaming. Sure its not going to appeal to everyone, but you can’t criticize this game without also criticizing the mens magazines which sell the same thing…. SEX.

  24. DarkSaber says:

    Well for starters "Drag" as I understand the word is short for "Drag queen" which is a male who dresses as a woman for comedy purposes. See: Dame Edna Everage or Lily Savage.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  25. thefremen says:

     Nonono, but wearing a suit of armor and killing aliens is a male gender role, therefore samus was in drag.


    Wait, you mean men and women could probably perform equally well in such a role, especially when you’re talking about a powersuit that does 90% of the work? THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE.

  26. DarkSaber says:

    Isn’t unemployment fun.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  27. DarkSaber says:

    The ESRB (which, as the article states, are the reason for this "defense" of the "game") don’t cover beauty magazines or fashion models.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  28. Ambiguous says:

    Chauvanistic or not, personally I don’t give a sh**.  Yeah the models are fun to look at, but if the game isn’t fun to play thats all that matters to me.  If people want to be angry with displays of unrealistic beauty, they should be complaining less about a game that few people really even like, and focus more on beauty magazines, and fashion models being photoshopped.

    If they care about degrading women, well, that depends on how much you think something that isn’t real can be degrading.

  29. DarkSaber says:

    DoA: By creepy weirdoes, for creepy weirdoes.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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