Gamespot’s recent review of the English release of top moeblob RPG Atelier Meruru has proven controversial for spending an inordinate amount of time bashing the title for its “sexualised outfits on very young female protagonists,” whilst insinuating that anyone who plays it probably has an unhealthy interest in little girls.
Extracts from their scathing review:
While the addictive alchemy formulas that sit at the heart of the gameplay have been held over for a repeat performance, everything else has been hit hard by an obnoxious spoiled brat of a title character, a repetitive plot loaded with never-ending tedious dialogue, and so many creepy moments with the short-skirted kiddie characters that you feel like you’re committing a crime just looking at the TV screen.
The setting is overloaded with anime-style cutesiness. There are more pastel colors and glowing stars here than in the average 8-year-old girl’s dream bedroom. The entire game sparkles like a Twilight vampire.
This kid-friendly atmosphere sits uncomfortably alongside sexualized fetish outfits on too-young female characters.
Costumes are taken to extremes with super-short skirts and corsets that it makes playing the game somewhat cringe-worthy.
But it is impossible to enjoy the game as a complete experience because you see everything through the eyes of one of the most vapid gaming protagonists ever created, and do all of your adventuring in a world so sickeningly sweet that you should get screened for adult-onset diabetes the moment you put down the gamepad.
Whilst Gamespot’s reviews are already rather famous for having all the fairness of an AKB48 popularity contest, amongst anime-loving gamers they and various other US reviewers have rapidly garnering a reputation for treating any game boasting moe visuals as an tantamount to virtual child pornography – the most famous example being their views on Neptunia.
The game did rather better on Metacritic, the gamer’s moral guardians at Gamespot being in a distinct minority: