No, seriously Capcom, you thought this was a good idea huh?
I am not against Downloadable Content (DLC) as a rule of thumb.
The original point of DLC was simply to offer more content for a small fee over many months after a games release. In an era when video games were becoming shorter and easier to finish in a relatively short space of time (of which, as an old-timey gamer, I am supremely guilty of), the idea was to instil the notion of added value long after the game had drifted outside its release window. Not all DLC is bad DLC, obviously, as it is a tool. It is an innocuous device that has the potential for good and for evil, and for every massive game remake £15 Super Luigi U, there’s a £7.99 Staff in Dragon Age.
But, I think it’s happened. Even BioWare, masters now of the awful DLC, can sleep soundly once more at night. They can curl up in their beds, pull the blanket over their twisted forms and smile softly. “Everything is fine.”, they will mutter to themselves. “We didn’t make Lady Hunk.”
It’s very hard to know where to begin with Capcom’s more or less final DLC addition for Resident Evil: Revelations HD. I mean, obviously, the first and most unmissable point to her design is the lack of pants action going on. Oh sure, they “expanded” the chest a bit but really they’re not fooling anyone here. Those big, chunky legs and boots look incredibly manly, so what we have here is a male model, quickly and cheaply made to look female by somehow blowing up a pair of balloons to stick down that top and taking off the trousers. Because hey boys and girls, that’s how you identify a woman in this day and age! Lots of lovely visible leg action and some boobies! Nothing else matters, right? I did check on the viewer and it does appear that – thankfully – they at least opted to give Lady Hunk a pair of hotpants, but it’s still a striking omission and hotpants aren’t exactly making the issue any better, are they?
And what was this about sexism and gender issues within the games industry? It’s almost as if none of this had happened in the past year or so. Almost as if the memo hadn’t reached Capcom HQ, who probably still chase after their tea ladies in a mysteriously comical 60’s Benny Hill way.
Getting past the stupid design, which baffles me as to how anyone could view it and think, “Mmm, classy!” (especially when they had female mercenary models from Operation: Raccoon City they could have opted to throw in), we must talk about her voice. It’s unmistakably Rachel – who was voiced by a cheap and unknown Japanese actress which is in itself rather on the depressing side – but with the addition of the helmet, and the more hollow sound that they produce with it, Rachel’s chipper tone is now eerily quiet, and almost child-like. Her comment after a run, “That was… that was scary!” is delivered in the sort of manner a young child would deliver it after having been on their first fairground ride. It’s a disconcerting and terribly vulgar instance that anyone with half a brain-cell to operate machinery with at Capcom would have concluded might just be a little on the creepy side.
It’s not just the pantsless action, nor the voice. It’s the uneasy and troubling sensation one gets when you add them together with the culturally strange Japanese way of things. Effectively, you are playing as a teenage girl who isn’t wearing any pants running around with a gun whilst strange creepy things with massive tongues and creepy long appendages try to suck your life out, drag you to the floor and do unspeakably vile things to you.
Read that again. I swear to god, if I don’t get a visit from Operation Yewtree after posting that then they’re obviously not doing their bloody job right.
Even if the design and the voice somehow don’t offend you in some degree – Lady Hunk is a frankly USELESS character. She’s so useless I had to do some double takes and wonder how on earth Capcom could justify her as an extra DLC purchase, and not one bundled with something else in order to make up the numbers. Lady Hunk, you see, has Magnum Mastery. She’s a dab hand with the Magnum. She has THIS, and various other Barry Burton jokes. Considering I’m probably already being monitored for the summing up I did of the Lady Hunk concept, I don’t think any direct Barry Burton quotes are a particularly good idea at this point, as they may just dig the hole deeper.
Thing is, after the weapon normalisation, Magnums are AWFUL! Seriously, I can get more performance from a pistol than I can from a magnum in the new Raid Mode. The lack of slots combined with a smaller ammo pool, twitchy as hell controls even at the best of times and a dead zone aim that doesn’t get any better at any point I’ve seen in 40-odd levels ensure the Magnum, as an entity, is frankly a bit of a liability. Any character whose entire play-style is built around the concept of needing to use a magnum at the upper reaches isn’t going to get much of a look-in; sniper rifles are still the norm in that situation, better to get a pre-emptive critical hit in than be flustered at close-range with a weapon that has all the accuracy of the movie, “They Died with Their Boots On”.
The kick-back, the lack of power now that weapons at the top end have been rationally normalised down a bit and the general slowness of the guns all lend to the sluggish pace of Lady Hunk. She’s slow, cumbersome and frankly the biggest gaming insult I can think of. If I see someone online now playing as Lady Hunk I laugh before ensuring I disconnect myself from their presence, because clearly they’re not altogether that bright.
Lady Hunk costs real actual money. You have to buy this character and Capcom have a raft of obscure characters they could have put into the Raid Mode rather than this design.
If they needed a female U.S.S. character, there was always “Four Eyes”, a.k.a. Christine Yamata. She was the virology master who reported into Hunk during Operation: Raccoon City. Of course, if you didn’t want to make a deal of having an actual partial face going on, there was always Lupo or Bertha, the team leader of the U.S.S. charge and the team medic respectively. All three were rather smart designs that took the alien mystique of the U.S.S., and it’s almost inhuman nature, and meshed them together I thought rather successfully with a feminine edge. There was clearly no shortage of talent when it came to creating the characters involved in the game, after all, and compared to Lady Hunk all three look like exquisite masterpieces of design work created by a pantheon of super-human demi gods.
Other female characters? Well, there’s always the fan-favourite Sherry Birkin, for whom many of us agreed was the main reason to suffer through Resident Evil 6 in the first place (although her bit did have the single worst part of the whole game in that god-awful avalanche scene). Back to Operation: Raccoon City, Sienna and Willow were very interesting characters. Going back, you could even have justified a few warped inclusions such as Alexia Ashford, or a pre-infection Lisa Trevor. You have Fong Ling from Resident Evil: Dead Aim, or hell, Hunnigan from Resident Evil 4 and 6. And if Capcom really wanted to go balls to the wall, why not include Alice, the heroine from the movies? Or actually, why not Regina from the Dino Crisis series, you know, the girl who kicked off Capcom’s almost pervy focus on women in skin-tight catsuits and PVC bodices and stuff?
And this is just the wealth of female choice they have from their own series aside Claire, Ada and Sheva. There are many other male characters, from across the series. One has to ask the question why, when given the breadth of people they could choose from, they instead decided the best course of action was a vile, hateful piece of design trash in the form of Lady Hunk? Something isn’t right here. If this was a dare, then it’s backfired. If it was done with a straight face, I think people inside Capcom need serious psychiatric evaluation.
That anyone at Capcom thought Lady Hunk was a good idea is what boggles my mind. I feel that with something as insidiously wrong as Lady Hunk like I’m barely even scratching the surface levels of what makes it so utterly vulgar, trashy and terrible. I feel like I haven’t even yet begun to get to the core of the problem, that everything I’ve proposed is rather superficial and there’s a deeper wellspring of liquid manure lying somewhere just beneath the surface, and that with one well-placed hit the gushing fountain of liquid poop will sail into the sky, showering the market in all its glorious nastiness. Oh if only I knew where to hit. If only I knew the final blow that would cement Lady Hunk as the trashiest of the trashiest things ever conceived during this generation of gaming.
I feel almost ashamed that I paid to download Lady Hunk. I feel cheated. I feel slightly robbed. And it just gives me more the impression when it came to this HD remake, Capcom simply couldn’t give a flying toss about the quality of the end product at all. Done as cheaply as was possible, with as many shortcuts as possible, with as little effort as possible, it’s the final nail in the coffin of Revelations HD that just completely sums the game up. “We, quite frankly, don’t care. Haha. Screw you all.”
This is the attitude Capcom are giving to its customers. And it’s surprised it’s sales have been dropping and not reaching their targets?
Here’s a tip Capcom; treat your games with a little respect, and treat your customers with a little dignity, and you might actually be surprised at what happens. Lady Hunk is an insult and the final insult in what was already a pretty insulting insult to a very good 3DS game that deserved not to be insulted. The end product was sloppy, slapdash, and Lady Hunk is the ultimate in “We don’t care.”
That’s cool Capcom. I will just make sure not to care about your next game, eh? Or perhaps I’ll just rent it instead.
A little decency goes a long way, after all…