Video Game Tuesday: Character Customization

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that is a bit contentious. It’s Character Customization!

Character Customization?: Yes, the ability to change your player character’s appearance either during creation or later in the game. To make yourself look unique, or like a famous person, or yourself, or just plain ridiculous.

Give me examples of good customization!: Well there’s always MMOs, with more recent ones getting some pretty awesome character creation abilities. Final Fantasy XIV has a fairly large character customization feature, and you can even go back and change some of it later on. Other games like the Elder Scrolls games have always had a pretty good customization ability.

Some bad examples?: Earlier MMOs had some okay character creation screens, but they limited a lot of options. For example, World of Warcraft had an okay system, but frankly every race choice was limited to a single height, no options to change height were available. They said it was due to PvP limitations, but frankly I don’t know if that’s an okay response in todays market. I’m leaning towards no, but I’m not certain on that. It was certainly useful to be able to call out “Kill Undead Mage” in flag room in Warsong Gulch for example.  No one would get confused about not killing the giant Tauren Warrior instead of that smaller and skinnier Undead Mage. An example of a bad single player character customization are examples like Sword Art Online Lost Song, which had such a terrible character customization system that it might as well have been removed to allow for something more useful.

Variety: I personally think having a great variety of options is always great, but some people find it overwhelming, while others love spending hours upon hours making the “perfect” character for themselves. Personally I’ll spend a bit of time on it, but if it gets past the 15 minute mark, I’ll start to hurry it up.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are some of your favorite character customization in games? How long do you typically spend in character customization? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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Video Game Tuesday: Watch_Dogs [Review of Act 2 and my time spent online]

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This week I’m continuing my coverage of Watch_Dogs with my review of Act 2.

Plot: The plot was predictable, but I wasn’t really expecting some of the curveballs that came, particularly all the stuff with Bug.

Gameplay: I focused on tailing and hacking mainly this week online and found that while I really enjoy driving on a motorcycle in this game it really sucks to drive anything else, because it handles terribly. Also since there are no NPCs (Non-Player Characters) who drive motorcycles I can tell when another player is invading me. I do wish that wasn’t the case as it really ruins the ability to hack into other players games easily. Tailing on the other hand was pretty frustrating at first, but once I got the hang of using the cameras around me to spy on someone it got much easier.

Overall: I still think this game is amazing, but there are some definite improvements I want for the inevitable sequel, not that is a bad thing. I want NPC’s driving motocycles, and the handling on cars not to suck nearly as much. Everything else has made me really happy and that feeling when you trap another player who was about to hack you and blow him/her up is just satisfying.

Congratulations to Ubisoft on the record breaking sales of a new IP with Watch_Dogs. I hope we get a sequel next year.