Talk about: Epic’s Paragon adding pop star warrior

1) I am delighted that Paragon, the Epic Games MOBA whose characters mostly resemble GrIm and GrItTy Todd McFarlane toys, has released a music video to announce that its next warrior is a pop star.

2) I’m disappointed that Shinbi’s costume is so bland! She seems to be a generic idea for a generic K-pop or J-pop star (or A-pop, Pip suggests, thanks to the game’s setting of Agora) but K-pop stars usually look amazing, especially when they’re going into battle. Allow me to demonstrate via the medium of music videos.

So here’s Shinbi, in a video which made me spam Pip with messages like “AMAZING” and “what’s happening” and “what” and “WHAT”:

Seeing a character like this in Paragon is so unexpected, especially as she’s singing (you can download the song from Soundcloud). She’s “Omeda City’s biggest pop star,” Epic say, and uses spirit wolves to dazzle crowds during shows then murder people on the battlefield.

But she’s so bland. It’s such a cheesy outfit. She looks more like Final Fantasy X’s pop star protagonist Yuna dressed for the beach than someone founded in actual pop music, which is a shame given how well popstars dress for battle:

Here are K-pop girl group 2NE1 smashing the cyberstate:

Look at the amazing dresses Japanese idol band Babymetal wear into battle:

And 2NE1’s CL on her own, wearing a bomber jacket over a biker jacket when she’s looking to get rowdy:

Brown Eyed Girls land somewhere between Tarantino and disco cowboy with Kill Bill:

And even though these costumes in T-ARA’s Sexy Love video look quite stereotypical video game-y, they have some fun elements like spangly sequinned jumpsuits and huge jewel-encrusted fascinators:

Anyway. Shinbi is coming to Paragon next Tuesday, February 21st. You can read more about her and her abilities this-a-way.

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24 Comments

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  1. Deviija says:

    OMG. I want! I don't even play MOBAs -- can't stand them, myself -- but the idea of a J-Pop (Kpop, asian pop stars etc) dance battle royale with all the style, glitz, glitter, fashion, and flashy choreography? I would LOVE for such a game! Or for more such concepts to be added into other games.

    Okay, excitement and loving the idea aside, I agree with Alice so much. The character model design and attire are SO bland (and stereotypical of 'hot girl in a game') that it is painfully boring. Alice put up some good Kpop and Jpop example of how idols would be better dressed these days, but I'd go back even further in time to pull from the 2009-2012 era of Kpop. The fashion was far more colorful, eclectic, and outrageous -- and I loved every minute of it. Things like:

    Girls Generation - "I Got A Boy" https://youtu.be/wq7ftOZBy0E?t=30s

    F(x) - "Nu Abo" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ZrPFMr_nY

    2NE1 - "I Am Best" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7_lSP8Vc3o

    4Minute - "Hot Issue" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPPKwg5eQ4o
    (And Muzik too)

    Brown Eyed Girls - "Abracadabra" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4wJGWcHzVA

    (And for guys...) Big Bang - "Fantastic Baby" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAbokV76tkU
  1. Pilgore says:

    Epic desperately chasing that Blizzard mantra of creating characters people want to make porn of (I’m not blaming em).

  2. Ghostwise says:

    Today, I learned what a fascinator is. See ? There’s still hope in this world. Maybe even for you, too.

    • wackazoa says:

      I learned that apparently no matter where in the world you go, pop/metal/rap music seems to follow the same guidelines.
      Get a good tune, throw some words* in, and find someone good looking to sing those words = hit.

      Also learned that I want to hear BabyMetal sing death metal.

      *I dont speak Japanese, so I have no idea what they were saying. It didnt sound horrible though, some of it was quite catchy.

      • Mizahn-X says:

        Babymetal was at first an unit from J-Pop idol organization “Sakura Gakuin” who took a different direction. She are so energetic and cute!

      • baseless_drivel says:

        Well, “pop music” is short for “popular music” generated for popular appeal, so yeah, that’s pretty much how it goes.

      • DeVadder says:

        Mate, the song is called “Babymetal Death”. Granted, there is not much singing but the live show involves a crucification, the audience chanting “Death”, copious amounts of fire and a giant exploding statue of the virgin Mary. It makes about as much sense and is as awesome as you would expect: link to youtube.com

  3. Blackcompany says:

    They should get a license to let her sing snippets of “Let’s go to the Mal” from How I Met Your Mother. Be worth a laugh, at least.

  4. mrmistermeakin says:

    The name of the world is ‘Agora’?
    Hahaha what a strange experience I just had… I am living in Brazil, and in Portuguese ‘agora’ is ‘now’.
    I was happily reading in English, then my brain just melted, trying to link ‘now’ with the context of the sentence. I had no idea why I couldn’t understand the text… XD
    I was so confused!

    • LexW1 says:

      It’s Ancient Greek (and possibly modern Greek, I don’t know) for “gathering place”, like the central square of a city and usually the biggest marketplace too, and also the place where people seeking converts to their religions came to preach.

      It is kind of a dumb name for a setting which is all about various poorly-dressed freaks and weirdos punching each other in the face though.

  5. LexW1 says:

    Surely her costume being so rubbish – and it is rubbish and astoundingly unflattering – may well be intentional, so that they can more easily sell in the inevitable wild array of alternate looks/costumes for her in future? That’s the lifeblood of these games, as far as I can see, and even if Paragon hasn’t gotten into it yet, they will.

  6. Jokerme says:

    Agreed. Nice idea, terrible execution. I’d expect more from a K/J-POP idol.

  7. thedosbox says:

    How can we have a K-Pop post without mentioning the sublime Wonder Girls?

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Battlegear only in this post!

    • Mizahn-X says:

      My first contact with K-Pop was when I read on a Fiesta Online forum that many of the dance emotes from that game came from Wonder Girls’s “Tell Me” choreography…

    • Xerophyte says:

      We can embed youtube links? Because I will happily counter that babymetal video with much superior (yet admittedly less snazzily dressed) all-girl pop metal band Doll$boxx

      link to youtube.com

      I’m not sure how Les Claypool was prematurely reincarnated as a small Japenese woman, but I approve. In a just world every pop star should be able to provide a face-melting slap bass solo on demand.

      E: Well, maybe I could embed with the right code, but the usual embed doesn’t work. Chaos reigns!

  8. WombatDeath says:

    What’s happened to her right arm? If she wasn’t grinning I’d suspect that she’d had an appalling accident.

    • thedosbox says:

      Heh, I wondered the same at first, then reproduced the pose.

      No, I’m not ashamed.

  9. Mizahn-X says:

    She is obviously a K-Pop star. The song is in Korean. I would love to know who is the original singer of that song. Understandable given that South Korea is very strong at PC gaming. We have seen other competitive games giving nods to Asian pop (LoL’s Ahri Pop Star skin is from K-Pop, but Shyvana’s dance is from J-Pop idol group “AKB48″‘s song “RIVER”).

  10. baseless_drivel says:

    My theory behind the somewhat boring (or ‘generic sexy’) nature of her costume is perhaps Paragon’s general character design. It seems to be aimed at… uh… generic Western gamers, I guess. I can’t find a better way to put it.

    Look at the game’s roster. You’ve got your basic core of Attractive White Folks, among which the ladies are generally pretty, and the guys are generally attractive dudes in typical roles suitable for the cover of Bioshock Infinite, like fighters, tacticool soldiers, or assassin breeds.

    I think I can only see one black dude, and he plays a heavily-armed soldier, which I suppose is a step up from being a black dude with a street-smart attitude who punches stuff. Black people can’t be assassins, ninjas, or wizards, unless it’s their own spin-off series. Bonus points for being so covered up that I couldn’t even tell he was black at first.

    Two generic asian guys, both of whom look like they stepped out of Dynasty Warriors. Probably have a good math stat too.

    Anyone else too weird is relegated to being some form of animal, cyborg, or monster.

    And now we have Shinbi, apparent K-pop star… but not TOO asian, mind you. We’re not like THOSE games. Is she going to speak in Korean in-game? Because I think that’d be a bit too radical for some folks.

    Now, someone is inevitably going to be triggered by any mention of sex, gender, or race with regards to games. I frankly don’t care much about that; this is mostly satirical and I’d probably give the game a shot were it not another PvP MOBA-type game.

    All I’m saying here is that the game has an audience it’s directing itself towards, and it’s probably more likely to appeal to people who play, say, Elder Scrolls Online and Call of Duty rather than TERA or ZMR.

    If games were to be placed along a conservative-liberal spectrum, this would probably be in a less risky area than Overwatch.

    For what it’s worth, her character concept is pretty sweet. Reminds me a bit of the Guild Wars 2 mesmer concept.

    • baseless_drivel says:

      Oh, and she’s cute, which is an important factor for women to consider.

      If you ain’t pretty or hot, you better at least be useful in a fight. And maybe put on a helmet.

  11. Thirdrail says:

    Wait, which one is Paragon? I’ve tried so many mobas over the last year I can’t tell most of them apart any more, or even remember which ones I’ve tried and which ones I haven’t. Damn it.

  12. Deviija says:

    OMG. I want! I don’t even play MOBAs — can’t stand them, myself — but the idea of a J-Pop (Kpop, asian pop stars etc) dance battle royale with all the style, glitz, glitter, fashion, and flashy choreography? I would LOVE for such a game! Or for more such concepts to be added into other games.

    Okay, excitement and loving the idea aside, I agree with Alice so much. The character model design and attire are SO bland (and stereotypical of ‘hot girl in a game’) that it is painfully boring. Alice put up some good Kpop and Jpop example of how idols would be better dressed these days, but I’d go back even further in time to pull from the 2009-2012 era of Kpop. The fashion was far more colorful, eclectic, and outrageous — and I loved every minute of it. Things like:

    Girls Generation – “I Got A Boy” link to youtu.be

    F(x) – “Nu Abo” link to youtube.com

    2NE1 – “I Am Best” link to youtube.com

    4Minute – “Hot Issue” link to youtube.com
    (And Muzik too)

    Brown Eyed Girls – “Abracadabra” link to youtube.com

    (And for guys…) Big Bang – “Fantastic Baby” link to youtube.com

  13. JamesButlin says:

    Awful, just awful. Doesn’t fit with the art style, the previous characters or even the universe. I usually applaud Epic on their character designs for Paragon, they tend to look amazing.. But this is like putting a fuzzy teddy bear as a boss in the new Doom campaign.