For anyone who plays the Sims franchise, you know how long you tend to take customizing your character. Honestly, there have been times when I spent longer figuring out the details of my character’s looks and personality traits than I did actually playing the game. When it comes to custom characterization, I find myself enjoying them more often than not.
Personally, I have to be in the mood for character customization. I could spend hours on it on The Sims, of course, but there are times when I just want to get into the game. So I settle for anything or randomize it so I won’t take forever on it.
I enjoy how immersive character customization can be for players if it is done right. In the latest Fire Emblem games — Awakening and the Fates trio — there is limited customization for your avatar character, mainly in hair and eye color and style. It was simple and quick to get you right in the game, but it doesn’t do much for everyone. I prefer the way Stardew Valley did the customization. There were about two dozen skin tones to choose from, along with virtually any color for eye, hair, and pants, and just enough shirt options to give a wide range of choices but not enough for it to be overwhelming.
It definitely needs to be done right, I agree. Take the latest Pokemon games, for example, you have four skin tones to choose from and each has its own hair and eye color that you can’t change. It’s like they tried to get the diversity in there and sorely missed.
I think you can get contacts for your Pokemon avatars, but I always kind of forgot about that? The hair color I thought you could change with the salon, but was that just the style? Speaking of diversity, that’s another point in favor of Stardew Valley. Not only do your characters have different skin tones, but they have a couple of different skin tones for the children as well. I remember when the latest Harvest Moon games began having the option for darker skinned characters but, even if you married a dark-skinned candidate, your child was still white. I tend not to marry in those games, but I did always find that odd.
Yes, you can change the hair color and style at the salon, but I feel like that should still be for when you start the game as well. Well, at least Stardew Valley is doing it right! I definitely appreciate when games make the characters more realistic as such. It makes the gaming experience all the better.
I agree. Having a few more basic options at the beginning would be nice. However, the beginning of the latest Pokemon games — Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon — were cutscene heavy at the very beginning. I wonder if there was some limits to the programming or something that prevented the developers from giving more options at the beginning due to that? Still, I feel at this time, that shouldn’t be a problem. Realism and diversity are so important nowadays, so if character customization is going to be included in a game, it should be included to give every gamer a chance to see themselves.
It definitely makes me wonder what we’ll do with future Pokemon games and every other game for the Switch. It can handle a lot so I hope we get more chances to spend hours in the character customization world!