Streaming games before they are released is one of the best parts about the web anymore. You can, if you want to anyway, see most of a (foreign developed) game before it even makes it to the west. I ruined Tales of Zestiria a bit thanks to that, but I don’t regret it.
Unfortunately, some sensitive folks are already regretting tuning into a Xenoblade Chronicles X stream, where a 13 year old character was revealed to be wearing a rather provocative uniform. “Monolith Soft might have crossed the line with this, considering the girl wearing the outfit in that screenshot is only 13,” said Mathew Davies of Ask Your Mum Gaming. “The real question is, why is [the] unnecessary costume even there in the first place?”
Some users on NeoGAF weren’t exactly happy either. “In such a case the bikini armor is there because the creators of the game felt strongly about it,” said Neon_Icarus when saying what could make the outfit appropriate enough to keep in game. Otherwise, the outfit is clearly “to appeal to horny otaku or just because they’re following scifi costume conventions.”
Other users simply want fanservice for both genders. “I’m not sure where these sudden realizations are coming from,” said Hours Left. “As long as it’s balanced between the male and female characters, I say bring it on.” Coming from this, it’s worth mentioning the previous game, Xenoblade Chronicles, had obtainable bikini outfits as well.
This is really nothing new in JRPGs, but being that this is a Nintendo game you can probably count on it being removed before the discs are even printed for us westerners. Or they could even change the spoken-about age of the character to something older, which has been done before. Either way, keep in mind that Japan’s age of consent is 13, so to them, this isn’t a huge deal. Still, you know how these things go. No doubt the same scrutiny that has been placed on NISA and Atlus will be placed upon Monolith/Nintendo as well.
Is this just another case of ethnocentrism rearing its ugly head or is there a reason to be outraged? Or perhaps it’s just a cute character done up in an anime-style and placed in a video game where you fight giant monsters with robots in a completely different universe?
[Editor’s Note: The article originally lacked examples of outrage regarding the bikini costume. It has since been amended to include a few examples.]