Making a half-assed appearance in: inFamous & inFamous 2
Alex from Prototype could have just as easily been included in this list with Cole. But being a man who… eh, regularly sports a leather jacket/hoodie combination, I though it better to direct the laser targeted bitching onto MacGrath. And look, it’s another generic bald man who’s lacking in the scalp department. Why, what’s this? A leather jacket and fingerless gloves. Man, you so get me Sucker Punch. This guy clearly hates the Man and won’t take no guff.
But I’m not fully sold yet. I better hear him speak. Jiminy Jillickers, a raspy, James Earl Jones deep delivery that sounds like Cole’s been huffing 40 a day. Now that’s a man’s man. All be it a horribly unoriginal, ‘rushed out the door five minutes before the whole dev team ordered takeaway’ man.
Above: Are we the only ones who feel horribly inadequate right now?
Seeing the error of its generic ways, Sucker Punch has since given inFamous’ lead an Oprah-esque extreme makeover for the sequel. And to be fair to the developer, it has made a seismic design breakthrough with MacGrath this time: hair. Actual, ‘not even a comb over’ hair. What an age we live in. Now’s that’s creative character design at its fourth wall-destroying best.
Making a half-assed appearance in: Super Mario Sunshine
Another half-hearted character from the Mario universe that sticks out as much as a buffet of mushroom stroganoff at a convention for the fair and ethical treatment of Goombas. Like the Chimp, the Piantas just don’t fit with the existing cannon of established Mario characters. Hell, they’re essentially just giant noses in grass skirts.
Above: Please observe this genuine, 100% Photoshop free, Sunshine shot
They look like placeholder characters Nintendo just couldn’t be bothered to replace. Though considering how awkwardly the black sheep Sunshine sits alongside the other 3D Mario games, it’s hardly a surprise. Just console yourself with the fact they made you want to stove your head in with your Gamecube slightly less than that bastard Bowser Jr.
Making a half-assed appearance in: Red Faction: Armageddon
You know the main guy in Red Faction: Guerrilla you forgot about 7.2 seconds after putting down the pad? Well now you get to play his no doubt equally generic and monotone grandson in Armageddon. High five, anyone? Awww, c’mon we’re excited here. Don’t leave us hanging.
What, are we the only ones super pumped about controlling a half-assed, tattooed bald guy? Oh. If this really is what average Johnny Game Developer thinks passes for cool, then we despair about humanity. Well, the game character designing part of it, anyway.
It’s like the designer at Volition couldn’t think of any creative characteristics, so just threw a bunch of clichés at the fan and hoped the faeces stuck. We could maybe accept the tatts, slaphead, sleeveless vest and Minority Report knock-off space glove if Mason was, say an Albanian circus performer who rode about Mars on a unicycle. But unless the series has taken a major narrative detour, we can’t see that happening. So we guess we’ll just have to put up with Mr. Baldy Space Dude's half-baked design.
Above: Now that's what we're talking about
Making a half-assed appearance in: Surprisingly, loads of Kirby games
Ah Kirby, we can just imagine the concept meeting for this one.
Designer one: “So I’ve pencilled us in for a nine hour brainstorming session. They’re keeping the office open for us especially. Who’s got the menu for the sushi place down the street?”
Designer two: “You know it’s happy hour in that new karaoke bar in Shibuya, right?”
Designer one: “I see….. sooooo, we all happy if we just go with that half-assed pink circle? Great. Now lets go get wrecked.”
July 9, 2010