March 15th, 2010

Character Portraits Done Right

Many games out there, when you have to select a race/job/portrait for your character, have very limited options when you select male or female. The men are usually somewhat ugly hulking beasts and the women are dainty little half naked flowers. In the case of JRPGs, the men might look better, however some options might only have the “less attractive” option for the men, and the alternate for the women is the busty scantily clad version.

When looking for new dungeon crawler RPGs I came across Elminage II by Starfish for the PSP. I quickly looked at the jobs and the races. While there is a “Maid” job that might be female only (I haven’t played the game, they might have a Butler option for men), I decided to look at the races.
Normally in JRPGs and even WRPGs, the men tend to be more beastly or robotic and the women will always look human. Case and point is Phantasy Star Online when the robot men NEVER had a human head, while there was more than one human looking head for the women.
Elminage II keeps it equal, even so much that the Dragonnewt women have a drab brown color while the men are a brighter red color (as it happens in nature amongst birds and other things.) Even the Dwarf woman looks scary and the Gnomes look earthy. Another note is that the women also appear to be wearing clothes, and not be dressed any less than the men. You can only really see the top of the shoulders, however you can tell that those are covered (Even the demon race Devilish).
Comparing the Ogre race to the Orcs of Wow, you can see that the Ogre women might even be more burly than the men. While in WoW the Orc women definitely look more “sexy”.

If this game ever comes stateside, I will definitely be picking it up. Not only is it a 1PDC (1st Person Dungeon Crawler), it balances out the portraits of the characters so I feel good about picking certain characters.

Of note for this game is that if you don’t like ANY portraits, and want a picture of lolcats for your party, you can “Face Load” 48×48 BMPs into it that you have put on your memory stick.

Link: Elminage II

1st Person Dungeon CrawlerPSPSexism