Sephiroth vs Felix?

Yes, Felix isn`t a name for a hero. But it is fun.
Yes, Felix isn`t a name for a hero. But it is funny.

From naming the hero of Final Fantasy 7 after your cat, to creating a monster in Saints Row 2, character customization has been a fun way of personalising your story in games for years. The extent of the technology enabling you to create the main character means that your experience is always a little different to other people’s, and even back when you were just choosing from four different heads and six hair colours, it was good to have the choice.

I was attempting Juiced 2 a couple of weeks ago. I am not a proficient virtual driver, and my boyfriend suggested it. He said it was ‘easy’, but he naturally gifted when it comes to racing games. This game is what made me think of the creation of your own character, as Juiced 2 is an earlier Xbox 360 title. While you still have a good selection of what you can make your character look like, there is no actual adjustment of facial features. I started thinking about how the ability to modify your characters in various ways has evolved.

It is so complex these days, you can pick exactly how long you want your nose, and how big you want your ears. This creates a tiny problem for me because I seem to have no concept of space, length or size when creating a character. What seems to look perfectly fine on the customization menu, becomes hideously distorted when I start the game. Which is bad when you’re stuck with him/her/it for the rest of Mass Effect. But I do recognise how far we have come in technology when you can create a person almost from scratch, and see them come to life in the game.

Your face is in my hands now. Hah!
Your face is in my hands now. Hah!

Saint’s Row 2  is a game that I really enjoyed, but possibly found harder than it was meant to be due to my lack of in-game driving skills. I think I spent most of my time dressing my character and doing her hair, and making her look funny for a while so that in serious cut scenes I could have a chuckle.

Gamertags and Avatars are both a personalisation of gaming in general. It’s your Gamertag, and it contains however much information you want to share with the outside world. The avatar you created makes you a little bit different to the next gamer. You can purchase a lightsaber or a Penny Arcade jumper to show that you are a fan. At first I was a bit dubius about buying non-existent items for my avatar but then I saw that they had a Bioshock doll for sale. And I decided that my avatar really, really wanted it.

No chickens were harmed in the making of this screenshot. Or so they said.
No chickens were harmed in the making of this screenshot. Or so they said.

So what next? Rainbow Six Vegas 2 has touched on the ability to import your face into the game and create a likeness of yourself. It’s not perfect but it shows that in time you might be able to actually see a perfect version of yourself in a game. How cool!







3 responses to “Sephiroth vs Felix?”

  1. Duncan avatar

    I agree that I was skeptical about downloading avatar stuff, but when I have spare MSP, as you said, my avatar screams for some of the stuff!

    Awesome blog. 🙂

  2. Darach avatar

    I’m all for anything that adds to that feeling of immersion we have in games 🙂
    If we feel attached to the character (or that it’s really ourselves) in the game… then everything that happens to them (silly, sad, scary or fun) is that much more important to us 🙂

    It’s going to be fascinating to see where the likes of MicroSoft take avatar development/customisation in the future. Will there be a teeny-tiny me that lives in my Xbox? 🙂

  3. Jason avatar

    RSV2 isn’t the only game that is introducing the importing of your actual face into the game… another one that is doing so is FIFA 10, also Fight Night Round 4. These are using EA’s Gameface which is quite a good bit of software…. If I could get the damn thing to work on my computer 😉

Leave a Reply