The Tekken series of fighting games by Bandai Namco has always provided a good dose of fun, thanks to its great roster of characters and good fighting action, even though it has played second fiddle to heavyweights Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter in the past. But still, the series has a loyal following that values Tekken’s more realistic graphics over Street Fighter’s cartoony looks, and less bloody combat than the Mortal Kombat games that is still both fast-paced and fun, making the Tekken games a good alternative to the big two for fans of the fighting game genre.
And Bandai Namco recently announced that series favourite Nina Williams will be joining the roster of the upcoming Tekken 7, which must be good news for fans of the Tekken games, as Williams is a popular character who has appeared in every major Tekken game so far, and she was even the main character in the 2005 spin-off game Death by Degrees.
But seeing her in the Tekken 7 promotional video above, dressed in a white wedding gown, beating poor old Bryan Fury to a pulp, it is hard not to think that Nina Williams is something of a sexist video game character. She’s the archetypal sexualized female character after all, with oversized breasts and a curvaceous body that would make even a supermodel envious.
And it’s hard to think that game creators Bandai Namco did not have any sexist ideas when they choose to have Williams appear in a wedding dress in the game… After all, it’s either dresses or tight outfits for female characters in Japanese video games, it seems.
And Western games like Tomb Raider are moving in the opposite direction and desexualizing characters like Lara Croft, with the lady Croft looking more like the average woman in the latest instalment of the series, Rise of the Tomb Raider. And even some of Mortal Kombat X’s female character bodies’ were reportedly “toned down”, to make them appear more like that of the average female in the game.
But this is not the case in the Far East, especially in Japan, were the objectification of women in video games is still an issue. And a game like Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 which features curvaceous bimbos in swimsuits playing beach sports, won’t even be released in the West as its creators feared that there could be a backlash, implicitly admitting that they made one sexist video game…
But still, even if Nina is portrayed as the stereotypical “sexy blonde”, hopefully this latest Tekken will be another great game in the series, and one that provides many hours of arcade fun to fans of this long-running fighting game series.