Maid Costume Enters The 3rd Birthday

By Ishaan . November 14, 2010 . 11:16pm

Weekly Jump magazine had a little tidbit on The 3rd Birthday this past week. Their grand reveal? That Aya has a maid costume in The 3rd Birthday.


Judging by the screenshot, it appears to take damage just like all her other costumes, too. You’ll just be losing your stockings instead of your jeans in this case.


Wondering what that heart-shaped bubble on the top-left says? It’s "Irashiamase, Goshujin-sama…" which roughly translates to "Welcome, master…" (Although, "goshujin" by itself is also the Japanese word for "husband" in case you’re curious)


It’s interesting that Square felt the need to include this sort of fan-service in The 3rd Birthday. Poor Aya. It’s a wonder she has any of her pride left…

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  • Ereek

    This is a bit too much for me.

    I think I’ll be sticking to default or Lightning’s costume, unless they add the PE1 or PE2 outfits.

    • jakxzero

      Square Enix is degrading Aya too much , of course is cool that they add more content to the game but not in this way

      • SolidusSnake

        I’m more bothered by how extremely awkward she looks in the outfit. Way too androgynous for my tastes. Also I would be very frightened if a maid approached my table with that expression on her face.

    • joesz

      I bet that costume is not appealing to you at all:D
      I don’t blame you for sticking with the other “NORMAL’ costumes then sticking with this.

    • Happy Gamer

      PE1 and PE2 is a great idea!

    • Hraesvelgr

      This is what I think everytime I see new info on costumes instead of the actual game itself. I’m interested in the game because I like the series, but the fanservice is getting a bit tiresome. The costume tearing as it is bad enough, frankly.

  • neogeno

    I dont mind the outfits but if this is a “big reveal” then I dunno. Although they are nice eye candy, Maid outfits wont earn my trust. Fun gameplay mechanics surely will.

  • joesz

    Fetishes are much stronger then video games in japan.

    • Guest

      Yeah especially Mother/son brother/sister father/daughter relationships and grown women acting like cute 12 year olds

      • Tokyo Guy

        How true that is. It’s absolutely bizarre to see women in their 40’s trying to act like little girls, and yet lo and behold I have worked with quite a few already.

        Actually this reminds me of a conversation I had with a [Japanese] acquaintance recently. She mentioned that she had an American boyfriend. I asked why, since she had only dated Japanese before. She replied that she finally had gotten sick and tired of how utterly immature Japanese men are

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Aya is a 45 year old woman working for the government! Let that sink in for a moment. She is as sexy and beautiful as when she was back in PE 1 & 2 but she was never remotely cutesy or submissive and this is true humiliation.

    • ChaosPaladinFayt

      mmmmmm well after learning that fact…im all for it =D. the 3rd birthday had to have something moe coming its way sooner or later i suppose. it’s all the hype nowadays..there arent many japanese games w.o moe O_o;;

      • Exkaiser

        There was no moe in Strange Journey.

        Unless you count Jack Frost, but Jack Frost is Batman.

        • ChaosPaladinFayt

          well thats why i said most lol, there are a few exceptions, but generally, moe is everywhere.

          ….batman can be moe……right?? *shudders at thought*….

    • Ereek

      What’s great about Aya is that she is a strong female character, but doesn’t have that annoying stubborn “I don’t want to work with anyone else!” personality. She’s willing to take the advice of others as well as understand she can’t do everything on her own.She’s a great character and I completely agree with you. But I do think there are some very beautiful 40+ year-old women out there.

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        “She’s a great character and I completely agree with you. But I do think there are some very beautiful 40+ year-old women out there. ”

        Completely agree, there ARE many beautiful 40+ women and thinking about it, she really is a nice character, so it’s embarassing/sad to see SE ruin her for the sake of shameless fan-service. But maybe I’m looking too deep into it…?

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Yup. That willingness and understanding is depth of character and separates her from being a macho lone hero with boobs.

        I don’t mean she can’t be beautiful because she’s past 40, I mean factoring in her age and time she’s spent in her line of work she deserves more respect than if she were in her 20’s and green enough to take on any role for her job (so donning that outfit MIGHT be more acceptable back then… but there’s NEVER a good enough reason for skimpy maid outfit).

        • Tokyo Guy

          Where exactly has it been mentioned she is over 40? Is this an assumption based on time elements, or has the development staff actually said as much?

          • Ereek

            Aya was born in 1972. PE1 took place in 1998 so she was 26 or so depending on her birthday. This game takes place in what, 2012?She’s around 40, at least.

            And, just for fun, you are now aware that Claire Redfield is only 6-7 years younger than Aya.

          • Tokyo Guy

            In these situations I get the feeling that the companies later regret mentioning that kind of information because it later creates plausibility dilemmas.

            Though for what it’s worth, I’ve always found the pointless information that Japanese companies always provide to be utterly bizarre. Who cares about the character’s shoe size or height or anything else? And the descriptions as well; “He has a good sense of justice” or “She is responsible and offers support to her friends.”

            In the former situation specifically, I get the feeling it’s just for otaku who like to memorize character statistics to have trivia competitions.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            I believe it was mentioned in an interview somewhere. I can’t seem to find it… but it had something to do with her powers keeping her young (roll eyes). Maybe they said 35, but I remember 45… can’t verify atm.

          • Tokyo Guy

            In the original game, I believe her age was given as 25 (24?) years old. That was in 1997. So she would be 38 (37) if the game does indeed take place today.

    • Aiddon

      ditto, this is really, really creepy.

  • Remember, remember, is really a male soldier.
    A sweaty, hairy, MALE soldier.

    • Guest

      with testicles

  • d19xx

    Next Bunny Suit Aya….

    • raymk

      I’d actually take bunny suit aya, its a grown-up costume that kids aren’t supposed to wear.

  • tubers

    Whatever on the costumes I just hope this doesn’t mean they’re going out with a sub par gameplay experience. A month and a few more days ’til release.

    • Tokyo Guy

      Well I don’t see how you can even ask that. The utter fact that the development team spent tangible work time to plan out this useless nonsense clearly demonstrates that said time could have been put to use on other elements of the game.

      • tubers

        IDK. I don’t think the development team consists one just “one body” where they all focus on the trivial costumes. I am assuming that there are several sections in a development team for each major “project” like costume design, level design, debuggers, gameplay concepts, art concepts, and so on and so forth.

        In the end I have no proof since I do not work in the industry.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    No maid outfit should be considered complete without the cat ears.

  • dusk

    You know what they say about Samus in the new Metroid game from Team Ninja? Don’t go that route, Aya!!!

  • Put Tifa’s original Final Fantasy VII outfit pleasee.

    • Code

      I’d be alright with Tifa costume at least it’s not just rawly fan service — I think in general a bunch of Square-related costumes would be neat.

  • Loving this! It’s awesome they added a maid costume <3

    For those of you who don't like it, understand… you don't have to wear it =D

    Aya isn't who she was in PE1 or PE2, Amnesia is the cause for her "cutsey/weak" personality in the trailers so it would only make sense to add some moe

  • People at 2ch will just make a naked aya mod as soon as its out…and a few other erotic costumes…well skin whatever

  • Aiddon

    It’s official, no one on the dev team has any respect for the franchise or Aya’s character. This is DISGUSTING. Aya did not need this shallow crap to sell herself. That picture of her in the wedding dress with the gun is the closest thing we’ve gotten to how she was actually portrayed in the first two games and it’s probably the closest we’ll ever get. Tabata and Toriyama have NO clue what they’re doing.

    • vadde939

      I dont think anybody at Square Enix have any idea what they’re doing anymore.

      • Tokyo Guy

        I would say they haven’t since the 21st century began. I mean seriously: compare the games Square made during the 80’s and 90’s with the games it has put out in the past 10 years. No comparison whatsoever.The Square of today could never, EVER make something like Chrono Trigger or Xenogears. And part of that is literally because the company did it’s best to run out the actual talent it had and put people like Tetsuya Nomura in charge. Nier had potential to become a great series, yet of course that too was cut short.

        RPGs have gotten MORE popular since the 90’s so it’s astounding that with a LARGER potential audience, the company has deemed it fit to go out of its way to do anything but what it does best. It makes me remember back in the PSOne era when all of us use to complain that the 16-Bit Square was so much better and then listed all of the great games it made, yet lo and behold the 32-Bit era was also special in the end. But I would be hard pressed to think of ANY Square game in the past 10 years that could hold a candle to those of the previous 20.

        • gatotsu911

          As mentioned above, I’d say Final Fantasy X and Tactics Advance. Depending on who you ask, maybe XII. But yeah, that’s about it. The 16- and 32-bit eras were undeniably Square’s golden age.

          Of course, if you’ll remember, Xenogears barely got made at all even in the 90’s, or at least it ended up being left half-finished because Square wanted to focus all its efforts on Final Fantasy. Chrono Cross was made on what was (for them) a B-list budget, largely for the same reason. So it’s not like the marginalization of originality and ambition in favor of safe profitability is ENTIRELY new for them; it’s just that they used to be able to consistently make good games in spite of that. Now the majority of the profit-minded people are still at the company, while the ones who cared the most more about creativity have long since departed.

          • Of course, if you’ll remember, Xenogears barely got made at all even in the 90’s, or at least it ended up being left half-finished because Square wanted to focus all its efforts on Final Fantasy

            Just digressing abit, I thought a major part of the reason why Xenogears was rushed was because the team went way over budget and they were taking too long to finish the game?

            As much as I love Xenogears, I can understand why Squaresoft would have wanted to just push out the game on time even if it was half-done, because they’re essentially a commercial entity that needs to recoup the money spent on making a game. (That said, I can understand it, but that doesn’t mean I like it – I think it sucks that in general true creativity has to get stifled because of money considerations. :( ) I thought that’s why Xenosaga ran into similar problems.

          • gatotsu911

            Well, I’m just reiterating the version of the story I heard. It seems that, in yet another parallel to Neon Genesis Evangelion, there are many conflicting accounts regarding precisely what factors caused the ending to Xenogears to become such a mess.

            Though, to be honest, I’ve barely played Xenogears. I intend to change that soon.

        • gatotsu911

          Expanding on the “Square isn’t Square anymore” line of thought: I’d say Xenoblade and The Last Story look like two of the Square-iest games I’ve seen in years. (and I can’t wait to play them.)

          • Can’t reply to your comment above so putting it here:

            Yeah, I guess with any commercial product there’s always going to be various versions of the story (or combinations of those various versions) as to how it got ruined since obviously no one would want to admit that they were the one who screwed up. Especially if each party is equally to blame.


            (Ok I lie, you WILL regret it since it’s “Episode 5” of a 6 episode series that never got made. Not to mention that Xenosaga pretty much repeated that whole extremely painful experience. But if you’re a masochist like us Xeno fans, we could always do with another addition to our fold to writhe in agony together with. :p)

      • Aiddon

        Well, Yasumi Matsuno is back, so there’s at least ONE guy at the damn company that has a shred of intelligence and dignity (and in spades I might add). What really baffles me is that the original writer-director of PE is STILL AT Square, so why didn’t they get him to do this?

        • gatotsu911

          He’s not actually employed by SE though, is he? Like Nobuo Uematsu or Masato Kato, he’s working with them as an independent developer.
          But yeah, Square today isn’t PURE soulless, corporate evil – the few people still at the company who were there from the start, such as Hiromichi Tanaka, Akitoshi Kawazu, and Takashi Tokita still keep alive some vestige of the spirit of creativity and ambition that defined the company in its prime, but it’s telling that they’re now shackled in their creative freedom by their corporate duties and higher-ups. Even at its best, though, the company is still a pale shadow of its earlier self. I’m gonna say the last certifiably great game they put out was Final Fantasy X, although I’m sure there are some who would disagree with me as to the precise point at which they started going downhill.

          • gatotsu911

            Actually, scratch that, the LAST certifiably great game they made was Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and needless to say, that was thanks to Yasumi Matsuno.

          • Aiddon

            FFTA2 was okay, mostly due to relentless gameplay (plot was a whimsical mess). The Tri-Ace catalog has also been solid, though Tri-Ace is also an independent company. My estimate is that the moment Matsuno nearly lost his damn mind was when the Square side of things lost its quality control. They really need to yank hacks like Toriyama away from writing and directorial duties as he has NO clue how to make a story or direct a game

          • gatotsu911

            FFTA2 was fun thanks to the meticulously fine-tuned gameplay, but the experience rang hollow thanks to an embarrassingly bad story, a soundtrack comprised primarily of recycled songs, and a conspicuous lack of multiplayer. Matsuno’s absence was sorely felt.

          • Joanna

            No love for World Ends With You? I thought that was their last great game. Or are you not listing it because it was co-developed?

          • vadde939

            I think they’re talking about what point Squares games stopped being good and started being bad. TWEWY was a fluke in a way. One great game in between all the crappy ones.

        • Tokyo Guy

          I think the answer to that is quite simple: this is not Parasite Eve 3. Rather it’s Square taking the heroine from said game series and putting her in another. I mean seriously now, who is Aya Brea without her Parasite Energies and her mighty mitochondria?

          • Aiddon

            not Aya, that’s who. Toriyama CLAIMS to have played 1+2 but if he did he picked up NONE of the actual subtext or themes of the first two games or even Sena’s original novel. Not to bash, but the guy is the BIGGEST hack at Square right now

          • Tokyo Guy

            Well as I said elsewhere in this topic, I think Sena would have sued Square for gross misuse of IP if the company dared slap the Parasite Even moniker on it. This is about as disconnected as Dirge of Cerberus was with FF7.

            Who exactly is this Toryiama person BTW? I seem to recall hearing his name constantly with Final Fantasy 13.

            Square in general is now comprised of hacks, especially after the company has done its best to run out every bit of talent it ever had. Tetsuya Takahashi, Sakaguchi, Uematsu, IIRC even Yoko Shimamura has left the company (which would explain how she scored Radiant Historia, a game published by Atlus). There is no one with any real talent left there really. Square continues to whine about how it needs to be competitive and yet all I see it doing is burning bridge after bridge ensuring that it has absolutely nothing save for Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and possibly Kingdom Hearts. I would chide the Enix members, but we all know Enix never actually did anything save for hiring other people to make games for it, and thus I see this as an entirely Square-sided situation.

            I mean how difficult is it to make a 3rd Parasite Eve game? It seems like Square was just sitting around wondering what it could possibly do to make money, and then someone said “Let’s bring back Aya Brea” and Wada said “Ok. But as long as she doesn’t have anything to do with the games she came from”. (What is all this nonsense about her having a sister BTW? Eve was a CLONE if not mistaken, and thus if anything Aya has a daughter. Or are they talking about Maya? The sister that, IIRC, was killed in a car accident before the events of Parasite Eve even started?)

      • Tokyo Guy

        Hi. Sorry the comment you replied to was full so I will have to reply here:

        Yes, Games in general are seen as dorky here, whereas overseas they have long since lost that image. It’s funny because as a kid I remember how uncool it was to have a NES or SNES. I’d say that Halo in particular changed all that, and now you have the astounding phenomenon of college students and 20-somethings in queue at 12:01 to buy Halo or whatever. Yet that’s not considered dorky.Japan just tends to be rather closed minded with things like this, perhaps because the idea of the otaku is so pervasive. Essentially, an otaku can be described as someone who displays little-to-no signs of social skills, poor hygiene, and an all-encompassing obsession with their “passion” which extends-but is not limited to-the main subject material, posters, figures, clothing, music, etc. Recently this has even extended to FOOD, with tie-ins between food companies and anime (like moe curry for example). Additionally, otaku are often fat and tend to be irresponsible for their lives, instead living with/off their parents. It might as well be a classifiable disorder here for what it’s worth, because there are enough signs to make it into the DSM. With that said, you can go to Akihabara and find many people who are NOT otaku. The culture of games in general has gradually become more acceptable with the success of the DS and Wii, but definitely not with anime. Nonetheless, certain types of games will always be heavily associated with being an otaku. It’s “safe” to like Wii Sports or Tomodachi Collection, but it’s not to like “hardcore” games like Castlevania or Final Fantasy. Those are still very much entrenched in the overall Japanese psyche as being otaku-fodder. So quite often, when I mention playing whatever game, people look all surprised at me and ask “Do you love Akihabara?” or “Do you collect toys?” and such. It’s offensive really. Not because there is anything wrong with either (though personally I dislike the modern Akihabara and I don’t collect anything) but because there is this automatic assumption that people who like game-games must be lumped into a certain category. And then it’s funny how quickly I go from being the K-1 fighter to being the foreign dork. I think Japan needs more positive figures in gaming. But unfortunately it will never happen because there will always been this kind of otaku-catering nonsense that pulls the wool back over everyone’s eyes.

        • vadde939

          Thats really, really depressing. It sucks to think that the creepy otaku behavior has made ‘core’ games so unacceptable there. And the otaku service the Japanese game industry is so obsessed with must only be making it worse. The knowledge that moe curry actually exists is going to give me nightmares now. All of a sudden I’m glad I’ve never met one of these people. D:

          • Tokyo Guy

            Yeah…that’s why I never tell people I play games and such. I have worked as a writer in the industry (making guide books) and when I say “I’ve written books before” people are interested, and then I have to say something like “It’s just for computer stuff so it’s not so interesting” because of the reaction they would otherwise have in telling them the specific detail. Because when I used to say what type of books, the reply was “Oh, so you are Akiba-kei?” (Akiba-kei means “Akihabara Type/Lover/Culture”)

            And yes, I totally see it that way too. Japanese culture is totally opposed to otaku culture for it’s anti-social, non-contributing element and yet what does the capitalistic side do? It encourages the behavior by making more and more products to otakafy them. (Though again, it’s not really the company’s fault, it’s the individual’s “fault” for not being able to say “no”, unless one proves that being an otaku is a psychological disorder in which case it might be beyond their control).

            And moe curry…I just did a two second search on Google and here you go:


            There are tons of that kind of thing now.

        • Joanna

          Wow, that’s really interesting. I had always thought that there were a lot of female fans of Final Fantasy and as far as I know, female otaku are rare (I use the word, ‘otaku’ to refer to people obsessed with moe here. I find yaoi is more popular with females…no surprise). But then you said you’ve met a lot of women acting like 12 year olds? So now I’m not so sure. :/

          ps- I am so glad to know I am not the only one on this site who despises moe.

  • She looks hot….but…why did you do this to Aya!?

  • RAVENKam

    Irashiamase, Goshujin-sama… zipper down and…

  • gatotsu911

    Wow, SquEnix. Could you come off as any more desperate?

    • No kidding. Every older franchise of theirs has been run into the ground. It’s sad.

      • gatotsu911

        I think the fate of the Parasite Eve franchise could also be used as a definitive means of comparing “Square: Then” and “Square: Now”.

        • Tokyo Guy

          How true that is…and I dare say that the Square of the previous 2 decades would never have put out Dissidia either.

    • Tokyo Guy

      I would hold off asking that until the release of the game, as who knows how much more desperate things might get?

      • gatotsu911

        Well, it’s not a purely rhetorical question. I expect SquEnix will answer it at some point, and I expect we will all be horrified when it does so.

  • Xeahnort

    no surprise here

    Nipponjin love these fetish items such as maiden costumes, glasses, eye-patches…

  • Code

    Ignoring the obvious fanservicey issues with the costume, since it’s already covered. Is it just me, or are those shoes absolutely bizarre looking they totally don’t work for that costume at all!

  • Guest

    This screams desperate. I guess cause Namco’s Tales series, Sega’s Phantasy Star & Valkyria Chronicles series are doing fanservice cosplay as well so they figure why not jump on that bandwagon

    • Tokyo Guy

      Yeah…a small part of me actually doesn’t think Square is totally responsible for this as the industry as a whole has become an absolute shell of what it once was…

  • Aya wa maid-sama

  • Nice. SE can’t let Nintendo have all the fun at ruining their characters! Aya is the new Samus!

    • Tokyo Guy

      I don’t know why everyone thinks Samus Aran was ruined by Metroid Other M. I mean, consider for a second that Metroid is a Japanese game and Other M was a game developed by Japanese staff. It seems to me that it’s much more “real” than a Nintendo-sponsored American game that made use of its IP.

      If you want to blame Nintendo for ruining Samus, then blame it on Japanese interests in general, because that kind of melodrama and such is exactly what is popular here. Nintendo can’t be faulted entirely. (And I said earlier in this topic that Square can’t be faulted entirely either, for this Aya issue, in that such is indeed what the modern state of Japanese games have become.)

  • PrinceHeir

    i love maids :D

    what’s wrong with a little fanservice? don’t like it don’t use it.

    • PrinceHeir

      ohhh and please make Parasite Eve 4 for the PS3 :)

      • animaster

        Do you mean Parasite Eve 3 for PS3?

        • PrinceHeir

          im pretty sure the Third Birthday is the third Installment in the series. i just want a new Parasite Eve for the PS3, hence the “4”

          • animaster

            I thought 3rd Birthday is a spin-off, not a direct/main sequel of Parasite
            Eve … or is it?

          • Tokyo Guy

            Well apparently Square isn’t allowed to use any of the IP from Parasite Eve (i.e. the mitochondria situation) and thus it’s basically just taking the only IP that did belong do it-Aya Brea-and throwing her in Dirge of Cerberus.

  • karasuKumo

    I want to complain about the fan-service but it’s too adorable!

  • thebanditking

    Whatever, another costume to run around in while replaying is fine with me.

    • Tokyo Guy

      Right. Because all of this is somehow going to change the fact that you’re replaying the same game again. It seems to me that instead of wasting time on this crap, the development team should have been making new areas or story paths to encourage replays in a tangible way.

      • Aoshi00

        I liked to replay Bayonetta in different outfits though, gym shorts being one of my favs :)

        • Tokyo Guy

          But did that add anything tangible to the game? And Bayonetta is one game I might consider an exception to this overall “rule” in that it was so overly difficult that you really DO need to replay it multiple times to actually have genuine fun doing so. To that end the costumes would spice things up a bit.

          It should also be mentioned that I had not previously complained about the costume issue. In fact I had even defended the damaged clothing system as a logical and intelligent idea for a modern game. But when it gets to the point that the game totally sells out and goes for the most cliched, stereotypical costume ever that appeals to a specific group of people, then you know that the team has just sold out to fan-service.

          • Aoshi00

            yea, S-E totally sold out, how many costumes does Aya have now, 20? I’m not a huge PE or Aya fan, so at least I’m not that peeved on a personal level like they ruined the game or the char. As long as they don’t go the DLC route like Idolmaster that’s fine (those outfits cost an arm and a leg!), I like costumes that are rewarded as unlockables, so that would be one incentive for replay to get enough in-game money to buy costumes and such, that’s why I’m not buying the alternate costumes in SF4 even though some are pretty cool.. speaking of fanservice, I have a weak spot for Dream Club, those clothes look very good but it’s hard to spend expensive MS points on it either. It’s actually a very deep and good dating sim, getting all the good endings need multiple playthrus (not to mention unlocking the 2 secret chars is very hard, otherwise sold for 800 MS points a piece), so alternate costumes would definitely spice things up. but yea, too much fanservice/selling out and lack of actual game content, Dissidia and its sequel speak for themselves..

          • I Dunno, I wouldn’t say Dissidia doesn’t have a lot of content. I have over 500hours in there and I still don’t have everything yet. And the Sequel is adding more to it; I don’t see how that translates to lack of Content and selling out, at least in the same vein as This.

          • Aoshi00

            I bought Dissidia but never touched it yet (only tried the demo). I just meant they should spend more effort making a good FF game instead of these fighter spinoffs w/ FF char fan service. Maybe 10 yrs ago I would be interested in the dream match btwn X and Y, but not so much now..

  • Guest

    If there’s a cute or hot girl in a Japanese game or anime, you can almost guarantee fan service like this. This is normal if you watch anime on the regular.

    I don’t know how you can degrade a fictional character created to look hot but apparently you can according to some people

    IMO: I like it

    • Tokyo Guy

      Because it’s not “fan” service, it’s “otaku catering”.

    • Joanna

      By throwing out all the previous characterization out the window?

  • Tokyo Guy

    OK I think it’s safe to say now that the development team has totally messed this series up. I dare say that it’s a good thing the name “Parasite Eve” isn’t even associated with this product less Hideaki Sena sue Square for gross perversion of his intellectual property. Parasite Eve, and thus Aya Brea, was a respectable, intellectual game series. The original game had numerous scientific elements and even though the second game shied away, it still felt more-or-less like an acceptable sequel. This game, however, has totally uprooted the entire concept. Gone are Aya’s Parasite Energies, gone is the mitochondria/science story, gone is her image as a bad-ass police officer. What The 3rd Birthday is, quite simply, is little more than a generic 3rd person shooting game that exploits Aya Brea in order to sell units. The level of fan service these days in SquareEnix games is just appalling. The only people who appreciate this are the introverted otaku who get off thinking about drawings of costumed women, and that’s entirely who this is for, complete with the damage-ridden clothing system. I mean it’s not like it’s JUST the maid outfit. It’s the Lightning costume and all the others. This is a PSP game for crying out loud, and it seems to me that if the staff want to spend so much time and effort making a damage-based fashion concept, that time, energy, and system resource commitment could have been better spent making REAL tangible elements to this game. It’s becoming more and more clear why the Japanese gaming industry is in decline- because companies continue to focus on otaku-centered fan service in order to sell as many units as possible at the expense of making a product that can actually stand on its own without it.

    • vadde939

      110% agree with this rant. I despise the fact that so many Japanese games rely on loli/moe/cheap fanservice to sell instead of focusing on making y’know a GOOD GAME. So much for a game being able to sell itself on quality and creativity. I guess nobody cares about that anymore… :(

      • Tokyo Guy

        Well what bothers me with this game is that all the time and effort spent to make this crap has come at the expense of tangible content that would have made a better play experience. For example, how about a branching story that has multiple paths or endings? That way when you replay it would be a slightly different experience, thus encouraging people to replay for a real reason, not an artificial one (i.e. to see other costumes).

        Now I am not saying that this game will be bad, per se, but I am saying that many Japanese game companies have truly lowered their standards so much as to make or do anything possible to attract the largest audience possible. And far too often, this comes at the expense of integrity. The end result is that a game like IdolMaster becomes a mega hit, when it’s little more than a fetish party for people who spend too much time in front of a TV. I kind of feel sorry for the otaku because it’s kind of a like a “disorder” from the Japanese way of thinking, and thus these companies are exploiting the problem and making it worse by continuing to find new ways to further the situation. Of course one could say this about fast food and obesity as well-the idea that these companies are constantly trying to make people eat their crap is almost a moral quandary, though in all cases, it’s ultimately the individual’s “responsibility” to make the decision.

        Anyway, I’m just sad that the game is almost upon us and instead of news about the story or some kind of interesting previously-unknown feature, instead we hear that there are all kinds of lame costumes in the game. Who really cares if they can dress up as Lightning? Would anyone actually NOT buy this game if you couldn’t?

        • gatotsu911

          Why, Tokyo Guy, you sound like someone who might not be a fan of Love Plus!!

          • Tokyo Guy

            Don’t even get me started on that game. The idea of dating simulators in general has always stood out to me as kind of a bizarre concept. Because when you get down to it, most game simulators offer an experience in terms of something you would never get to do in real life. For example, running a convenience store, running a soccer team, flying an airplane, etc. These I can accept as legitimate products when you consider that they are designed to let you vicariously experience something that is ordinarily quite difficult to do. Now a dating simulator exists for what reason? To allow otaku to experience (A) the idea of dating and (B) to allow them to “interact” with the the very products which quite often prevent them from accomplishing (A) in their real life. Were these realistic dating simulators I could see them as “training” but one need only play Tokemeki Memorial 4 for just a few minutes before they discover it’s true nature. Thus they aren’t really dating simulators at all, but rather “life” simulators whereby the player gets to assume the life of someone who gets to do all the things they probably can’t: join a sports team, have dating options, enjoy lots of social activities, etc. [Note I am NOT saying that everyone who plays there types of games fits into this category.] As a foreigner I remember playing Tokemeki Memorial 3 on the PSOne simply because I thought the experience would be so interesting in light of there not being any American games like it. The very idea seemed so novel and unique that I figured, “why not”? And mind you, I was a jock in college and thus hardly fit into the category who buys this product. Having lived in Japan for over 4 years now however, I think there is a stark difference between my reason for playing it and the reason a vast majority of Japanese gamers play these types of games. It is the same reason that explains why there are thousands and thousands of doujinshi games available in Akihabara, and why you will see people selling dozens of these types of products back to the used game stores. Love Plus…I know people who work in the Konami HQ and some of them have remarked their own disgust at how life-sized, $100 CARDBOARD standee illustrations of the Love Plus girls consistently SELL OUT. Then you have that story of a man who actually married their Love Plus girl. (This story, BTW, has been met with such absolute disgust and sympathy when I tell it to people, I often feel ashamed, for the image it casts on gamers in Japan). Now I realize that everyone has their own personal tastes and preferences, and I am not trying to tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t do. But with that said, I honestly don’t like otaku culture and feel that it is largely responsible for the problems in the Japanese gaming industry today. When you consider that the Tales of series sells extremely well in light of it’s catering to otaku, and then a truly interesting, fresh game like Radiant Historia sells like crap, it makes you realize why so many companies make the decisions they do. The industry was quite different in 1997, and thus there was no need to make a Maid Aya. I have no interest in children, and thus the idea of “moe” is totally lost on me. I have no idea in girls that behave like little kids, and thus the idea of the “genki girl” is lost on me. I have no burning desire in watching illustrated, fictitious women dress up in fetish costumes and thus the idea of “fan service” is lost on me. You see, I can simply go to a bar, or party, or even use the internet, and meet a nice woman that I can interact with in real life when I want some kind of sexual/companionship related experience. I play games for the entertainment and the “impossible” experiences that they often depict (i.e. situations that would never happen in real life such as time travel or visiting other planets) and so the fan-service side has always been lost on me. Now this is not to say I am opposed to the idea of different costumes or things like that. It does add some variety and it does at least offer some form of extra content, however trivial it might be. The problem I have is when the otaku culture invades what is/was otherwise not associated with it. Parasite Eve was a very gritty, somber game in terms of the events it depicted and the revelations it contained. It was fiction, yet heavily rooted in actual scientific ideas. Parasite Eve 2 was far more basic, yet still was a very dark game. The 3rd Birthday LOOKED to be quite dark as well given the fact that the game revolves around shooting monsters and things. So why, then, does it need to have all these silly costumes and a Maid outfit? Where is the logical step connecting the two? I mean I can see Tales of Vesperia and the frog costume given how both are heavily “otaku” games, yet Parasite Eve? My only guess is that Square tried to find any way to appeal to these types of people in light of not having another shower sequence. And while I will be the first to say said Parasite Eve 2 cut scene was most certainly fan service, I think this maid costume issue is just plain otaku-service.Sorry for such a long reply, but I just wanted to make it clear about my thoughts and provide some support for them. I never used to care so much about this kind of thing, but after moving Japan and eternally being lumped in with the otaku culture simply for playing games, I think I have begun to dislike it somewhat. I’m not kidding BTW-people here might use the word “otaku” if they even find out you buy games on a semi-regular basis, because anything game related (especially if you are a male) seems to go hand-in-hand with being an otaku. Additionally, being able to see first hand what being an otaku really is (just go to Akihabara really, though some stores offer better glimpses than others; see Mandarake), I can understand why Japanese people have such a negative image of them. But AS someone who goes to the gym 5-6 times a week, AS someone who plays sports, and as someone who ALSO likes videogames and technology, it’s frustrating for to be constantly labeled as an otaku here when my personality and habits are so vastly different; the first thing people usually ask me is if I do K-1 or other grappling sports, and then they are totally shocked when I mention I like games. (I’m glad that, at least overseas, it’s finally “cool” to like games).

          • vadde939

            Interesting read. Is liking videogames really so heavily linked to being an otaku there? I guess it seems really strange to me that the country that made videogames what they are finds them less socially acceptable than the west. Aren’t there any Japanese Wii-Fit loving soccermoms?? XD

          • gatotsu911

            No problem with the long response, it was interesting. It’s too bad you weren’t on this site for the “Great Love Plus Debates” of some months ago – I thought I was fighting a one-man battle in insisting that the game is sad and a representation of the most vile aspects of the industry that spawned it.

            Personally, I would have to say I’m much more of a “nerd” or “geek” or whatever than you – I’m not particularly outgoing or physical, dislike social situations, and spend much of my time surfing the Internet, playing video games and watching movies. And I do like me some anime. But even I have come to despise the “moe” and otaku-catering trend. It’s patronizing, it’s pathetic, it’s completely divorced from the real world, and quite often it’s downright misogynistic. I’d go into more depth, but unfortunately I’m a bit pressed for time at the moment.

            By the way, out of curiosity, what are you doing in Japan? Are you with the Army, or a job? Also, how did you learn the language? I’d like to learn it myself and am trying to determine the most effective way to do so.

          • Tokyo Guy

            Hi. There is no ability to reply to your reply (the thread is full?) and thus I will reply here instead. Well I am relieved to hear that at least someone else thinks Love Plus is idiotic, especially in that you called yourself a “dork” and still feel that way. Again, if the idea was a genuine simulator whereby you had a total experience then I would say “Sure, it’s an OK idea for those who are interested”. Instead however, the game seems like nothing more than a more “realized” version of Tokemeki Memorial. The thing is, I really don’t understand why Love Plus is so popular. I know the basic premise of the game. To this end, the only thing I can conclude is that otaku lust after the girls in it. They lust after the fake, binary coded illustrations that adorn their DS screens. This to me just seems sad. Games like Love Plus truly serve as a means by which individuals suffering from hikikomori can justify their situation. Because they need not consider the prospect of getting a real girlfriend or even having a robust social life. Instead they are encouraged to sit in front of their Nintendo DS (all day and every day I might add, since Love Plus has a calendar feature) and waste their lives away trying to live out a digital dream of what they will never get, though their own apathetic approach to life itself.

            I’ve noted that people tend to sit on the side-lines and write everything off as “it’s because of X” that they don’t have a better situation. At the gym there are always people commenting how big I am and saying “I wish I was a foreigner then I could be muscular”. But it’s really that they aren’t trying and so they will remain thin, because there are Japanese some pretty big Japanese bodybuilders. The same holds true for socializing. If you sit in your room and say “They have all the luck with girls”, it’s totally because “they” are risking their self-esteem and confidence by putting themselves out there and trying to meet people. I think what I’m actually getting at here is a general dislike for games that demand too much of your time. MMORPGs for example, or games like Love Plus or Animal Crossing. They are fun to play maybe for an hour or so, and maybe a good percentage of gamers will play for a few weeks or even months. But then you have the people who will devote their entire lives to it. Is it really ethically acceptable to make something that can be so addictive to a segment of consumer base? It’s like a legal drug really. I mean think of that story some years back of the South Korean person dying from playing Warcraft for 50 hours. Now with that said, if people want to spend excessive amounts of time playing a game then that’s ultimately their choice. But that time could be better spent doing other things. Gatotsu911, you mention being somewhat anti-social, yet what you described, namely the internet, is actually not so anti-social at all. At least with the internet you can interact with other people and learn new things. I suppose the same could be said about MMORPGs as well. But a game like Love Plus…you can spend years playing it and then what do you have to show for it? As for the man who married his Love Plus girl…I remember thinking that was just a gag that he took to the next level. Like he wanted to get attention and such. Yet I now believe it was a genuine story. Konami really should have sent him a letter or something, to the extent of “Thank you for your devotion and interest with our software. We would, however, like to recommend that you actively seek out a real bride as opposed to one of the game characters so that you can have a much more enriching, fulfilling experience.”I could ramble on and on about this kind of topic because it’s something that has built up over a period of 5 years and hence the few times I actually mention it, I tend to discuss it excessively. I want to stress however, that although I personally don’t like these types of games or that type of lifestyle, if someone wants to do it then I will not deny him or her their right to do so. I am not claiming to be correct in my thinking nor am I suggesting I am in any way “better” for doing what I do. As for Japanese…well the best way to learn is to live in Japan. There is little opportunity to speak it or anything else overseas, and there will be less in the future as Japan is slowly loosing its relevancy in the world and China (and to a lesser extent, South Korea) is taking its place. In terms of jobs, I am actually doing voice recording at the moment, though if you want an easy job that offers a lot of free time, you could teach English for a few years. That would probably pay for your ticket here and give you enough opportunities to learn Japanese. How old are you BTW?Also, on a final note, I will say that ironically, foreign otaku who come here will be greeted with much hoopla and interest. Many Japanese girls love foreigners and thus even some of the biggest foreign “dorks” I’ve met have had no trouble finding girlfriends, wives, or anything else. You’re basically cool just because you are different.

          • gatotsu911

            Oh, bollocks. I just wrote up an incredibly long reply, but it’s now “awaiting moderator approval” (i.e. blocked) because I used a certain word that (I had forgotten) is filtered out on this site. Is there any way to continue this conversation in a private venue?

          • RupanIII

            Regarding your last paragraph about foreign otaku.. I guess it does happen, but my experiences and the experiences of my classmates who have gone to Japan are a bit different. All the otaku kids we knew in Japan were just as awkward and unsuccessful over there. My JET friend especially says she has encountered many disillusioned otaku alts. We’ve spoken about it a lot and come up with a basic generalized pattern- social misfit who doesn’t fit in in the West makes Japan out to be the Promised Land, the used-panty-vending-machine-24/7-video-game-theme-park where they will finally be accepted. They get to Japan and, after trying to hit on girls talking about anime or whatnot, quickly realize that nope, not every Japanese person is a walking anime encyclopedia. Turns out they’re just regular people of all walks of life, Japan is a country with its own unique and complex upsides and downsides, and that where ever you go social skills help. Their reaction? A complete 180. They started hating on Japan with a passion. ‘Everything here sucks’ ‘Oh all these customs are stupid’ blah blah blah. You can see it all over the intarweb too. I was in university in the city tho so perhaps they were used to foreigners. It is true to an extent especially if you are in the country. As a black girl my friend was EXTREMELY popular. But she’s also really cool and has a cheerful upbeat personality. The whole you’re a gaijin you’re automatically super kewl thing doesn’t really apply as much as the internet would have you think, I find- even tho it was in the country plenty of the gaijin failed to attract attention due to their personalities. Sure, the girls are into something different but that doesn’t mean they just automatically drop all their standards.

            There’s another type my friend and I categorized though that are actually successful with Japanese girls, ones that I actually find way more harmful than the otaku. They’re also social misfits in a way, but rather than anti-social and gangly like the otaku, they’re arrogant/overbearing and work out. Wannabe Alpha male types who read pick-up guides and think every Japanese female will bow before their Mighty Whiteness and every Japanese male will just step aside, and they take every opportunity to tell you about it in puffed up, misogynistic and racist bragging sessions. In my study abroad group there were tons of guys like this, only there to try to get laid. And for them, it works sometimes, especially for girls who aren’t good at English and can’t tell just how f*cking obnoxious they are. One kid was stringing this kind of scary-needy girl along for a long time, telling her he was going to stay there after school ended and stuff to be with her and all this BS, and eventually he got bored and hooked up with some other chick and broke up with her in a text. She started flooding him with these texts with crazy stuff like ‘I can’t live without you’ and he just cut all ties with her.

            I hear you on seeing the Japanese otaku in Akiba tho, you don’t have to go far to run into something creepy. But my friends and I weren’t called otaku for liking games. *shrug* I’m sure even here tho the majority of people are still like ‘Games? That’s kids stuff’

            Anyway, long post. What can I say, you encounter some strange people when you study Asia haha

            I second the recommendation about teaching English. JET is a good program from everything I’ve heard, if you don’t mind the possibility of being placed in a rural area. After food/going out/etc., most of the people I know who have done it were able to save like 1k a month. They pay for your flight and your rent. Plus, your Japanese gets really good, unless you hide in your room or whatnot.

          • Aoshi00

            Personally I would say if you don’t go overboard on anything, any entertainment is fair game. I bought Dream Club last year, played it for about a week or so, thought it was really cute, then recently I got the game out and played it for 2 more days. I tried playing Love Plus too, thought the girls are really cute, but I have no interest on interacting w/ that year in and year out. Sure, exploitation of poor introvert otaku is not healthy, just like I don’t think playing MMO nonstop for years is healthy either. But like I’ve said many times, I don’t treat dating sims with disdain, it’s just another genre to me like RPG, action, platformer, etc, sometimes I’m in the mood for this or for that. You mentioned these games have not much value or benefit, like at the end of the day “what do you have to show for it?” Well, my girlfriend always nags me on gaming too, “why do you waste so much time playing the same thing, why waste so much money, why don’t I go get a 2nd job, or improve myself by taking more classes or getting more degrees?” Let’s face it, gaming is not cheap, at all, so she has a perfect point. It’s the same thing, many gamers think Love Plus is trash and they’re better than the geeks who play it. Well, to non-gamers, us gamers are also equally pathetic because they see gaming as child’s play and they don’t serve any purpose in bettering one self in the real world. My gf alrdy put her foot down saying she would NOT let our kids play video games, they would go to art classes, swimming classes, tae kwon do, or piano lessons, to which I don’t object, I want my kids to have talents too instead of playing video games all day long, possibly neglecting their studies, I don’t disagree w/ her either.Whether the makers of Love Plus or these games are “moral” or not, I have no comment on that. If one is too obsessed w/ anything, not just dating sims, then it’s not good.I remember in college I showed my Jpn teacher (she was a gaijin lol) the Rurouni Kenshin manga, she said it was stupid compared to literary works and I was really offended by that, Like books are sophisticated and manga are stupid. I thought she would’ve been interested in it. And I just don’t agree w/ dating sims being the end of humanity. If we look down on those games or the people who play it, then there are people who look down on us playing the “regular” games too. I’ve also met enough Jpn students back then, and learned that the safe thing is never mention to them you like manga or anime when you tell them you like Jpn culture, they don’t think “that” is the Jpn culture you should be interested in. So for me gaming/manga/anime is a closet hobby as well. Other than a couple of college buddies from before, I don’t tell people I game (well, there are like 2 coworkers who play shooters so I do talk to them about MW or CoD, and other “mainstream” US games) I definitely don’t think I’m higher than people who play Love Plus, and find nothing wrong w/ liking the game.I will play Last Story and Dream Club or even GalGun, they’re not different to me just fun and entertaining in different ways. And to my gf, she doesn’t want me to spend hours playing any of that (she doesn’t care or understand much about games, but she lets me do it)No I was never a jock (never kissed anyone, or got my first kiss stolen, until I was 17, before that TokiMemo was my outlet for romance lol) Nowadays I have a tendency of attracting women older than myself, maybe it’s my boyish good looks (?) and rather sincere/demure demeanor..

            People blame Love Plus for worsening the social misfit problems in Japan, US politicians have always blamed video games for teaching violence to kids as well, maybe we should all play Donkey Kong or Mario..

            Now I kind of imagine TokyoGuy to be like this lol..

    • Joanna

      Well said.

      While I don’t mind fan service in some games, where it fits, this isn’t one of them and I certainly don’t want all my games to degrade to simple fan service.

      You know what’s funny? SE could have easily marketed this series towards women as Aya is sympathetic and independent. Instead they did this. :|

      Now I’m left wondering what their next costume will be. A cat suit, maybe? The cat ears and tail seem to be another otaku favourite.

      It’s Lara Croft all over again. I can only image how the creators must feel with these companies ruining their characters. *sigh*

      • Tokyo Guy

        Well Lara Croft was arguably made into a sex symbol from the start given her proportions and whatnot, and the way Eidos marketed her. IIRC the original hero of Tomb Raider was suppose to be a man or something like that. But you’re right, she became larger than the game itself and then you started having awful games that people (typically men) bought just because of her.

        But you know, truth be told, I think the way Eidos handled Lara was way more tasteful than what Square is doing with Aya. They never degraded her into fetishes from what I can recall. And although I’m saying this from a male perspective, I think that the idea of a woman who looked like Lara but who was aggressive, independent, and responsible was a really positive change from the typical “mindless trophy” that tends to be the stereotype.

        • Joanna

          I actually don’t have a bone to pick with Lara herself, just some of the marketing, but I only made reference to her because Eidos was using her image in a way that the original creator/artist did not intend or so I have heard. So it reminded me of Aya and how this game is using her character in a way that the first game did not intend. I guess it’s the artist side of me that has no sympathy for others ruining the image the creator had envisioned. Like I said, I can only imagine how pissed off the original creators must be to see their characters used for cheap marketing. Wasn’t even Sakaguchi pissed at SE for ruining Final Fantasy? I sympathize with the original creators. Even if they don’t have control over their creation, it’s still theirs to them. I wouldn’t want anyone ruining my characterization or stories either.

          And I’ve rambled enough. Sorry about that. I know you agree. I just wanted to vocalize that.

    • Aiddon

      yeah, this is pretty bad. The whole clothes ripping issue was also bordering on tasteless at the least. It seems that Toriyama doesn’t have a clue as to what PE was really about. If I were Tokita or Sakaguchi I’d be PISSED

  • I believe Aya is married in this game, so goshujin probably means “husband”..
    Why? I saw her wearing a ring in the trailer..
    It can be a twist for something but, hell, maybe ill just wait and play it..

  • I dont care about what clothes she wears. The important that I will see that she will fight those “twister thingy” away from that place and her tough cookie guts

    toast it until into dust , aya!

  • I could deal with the previous costumes even if I thought the whole costume ripping idea was silly (yes I’m obviously not a fanboy. :p), but this really takes the cake. Seriously, fighting in a meido outfit? There’s obviously no limit to the depths of fanservice that SE will plunge to. >_>

  • dragonflydusk

    Well, I could rant and rave about how Aya is being humiliated, the game sucks because of it, Square-Enix hates us all… Or I could acknowledge that this is an optional costume that you don’t even have to use and go outside and play in the sun.

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