Sunday, 15 March 2009

Who the hell do you think they are?!

That comment by Randy Littlejohn is certainly true, game developers have begun to realize that the whole malarkey about high definition graphics photo realistic awesomeness, is only a temporary aspect, that can keep a relatively small fraction of gamers occupied for so long and are now delving into the more engulfing aspects of games. They understand that a lot more is needed to attract gamers and they offer this in the form of much deeper stories and developed characters.

Characters in all media outlets are relatively treated the same way, I don’t mean in terms of how much depth is given to the character but in this kind of process; all characters in whatever media or story give a first impression, this is often the bait to get you into liking or disliking (in case of villains) the character and the worth of a character I believe is in how they develop past this first impression. An example of such a thing which uses a fairly simple setup is the character of Simon from Gurren Lagann, an anime yes but a story and character nonetheless, anyway the first impression you get of Simon is a young weak driller kept under the protective eyes of his “older brother”, his character develops greatly over the duration of the show as he is hit by the responsibility of being a protector and the death of his brother, he develops to the extent that from a digger boy he becomes a loud hot-blooded warrior facing a threat on a universal scale.

"From That..."

"to THIS!"

In games, I’d have to say a most of the interesting characters come from RPGs, mainly because being a role playing game, realistic characters or engrossing ones are a must or else the game would have nothing else but to rely on the game play which while good is pretty much the same for most rpgs. The idea of developing a character is quite apparent in RPGs because unlike other media such as movies and books, you play through every important event as them you witness these events the same time as they do however small or large they are and in some cases are the trigger behind such events. Looking at a game such as persona where he is a mute most of the time, at least to the player who basically controls the person completely, his social links the way he fights, everything, now this may be seen as a lack of character, which it is, but the other characters in the story are so rich with character it almost feels like you have taken the place of the main character and are interacting with them as ya do with normal people, take the character of Junpei Iori, the main character’s (basically you) best friend, he acts so much as a high schooler lad that people have found it easier to relate to him due to him reminding them or someone they knew during their high school years.

So of course I do think that a lot of dependence is on having a good script, however its goes hand in hand with the likeability of the characters involved. As for me the kind of stories and characters I find myself enjoying a lot in media are the ones who start of weak but become someone better through trials and tribulations, pretty much Simon from Gurren Lagann who I mentioned earlier, I believe this is so cos I often want to better myself and I’m sorta placing myself in their situation where they achieve that goal. I’m also a fan of absolute obscure things too oddly, but I think I’ll leave that for another time.

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