T-McBee’s Top 10 Disapproved Video Game Character Designs

There are many video game characters with such unique, creative and decorative details embedded in their designs. However, there has been a share of video game characters with designs that were questionable, uncomfortable and feels out of place in the gaming industry.

I’ve expressed my likes of character designs in the gaming world, now it is time for me to count down my Top 10 Disapproved Video Game Character Designs. Now I am not looking for ones with bad graphics like Mario Hotel and the Zelda games for the Phillips CDI (they would make it to number 1 anyway). I’ll be looking through a few re-designs, original attempts or strange formations that made me felt uncomfortable to see. It’s more of the concept and style that I’ll be criticizing a bit more with than the quality of the graphics.

Well, I guess I better get my flame shield ready and list the character designs that makes me unamused starting with number 10.

10. Sonic Werehog – Sonic Unleashed

Now before anyone jumps to conclusions with this entry, I think Sonic is a strong iconic video game mascot. When Sonic Werehog was unveiled for Sonic Unleashed, it certainly bugged me with the direction Sega decided to put for the iconic blue hedgehog.

When I think of “the fastest thing alive” I picture Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic Werehog on the other hand feels really out of place to suit Sega’s praised mascot and reduces the best elements of Sonic. I can never really imagine Sonic in a brute structure with such slow physics and hand brawling attacks.

I do admit that the design is rendered decent with great fur details. However, the concept of Sonic Werehog just felt quite uncomfortable through my viewing. Thank goodness he wasn’t green yelling out “Sonic Smash” like a lunatic.

9. Mileena – Mortal Kombat 9

I could have add any female character on this list that wears lesser garments, though I didn’t want all the entires to have female characters with big cleavages and derrieres. Although, Mileena’s latest design from Mortal Kombat 9 lost my appreciation to like her.

Since Mileena was my favourite fighter in Mortal Kombat 2 and 3, witnessing her appearance for Mortal Kombat 9 quite baffled me, especially the clothing design of her torso and even her actual torso. Sure, many of the women fighters in the Mortal Kombat series don’t have fully clothed outfits, but at least they don’t looks like cheap seductive wrestlers like Mileena in this game.

There are some decent touches to Mileena in Mortal Kombat 9 ,like her eyes fitting her colour outfit. If her outfit from the neck to pelvis were changed, I wouldn’t place her on the list. Hey at least she wasn’t half naked all wrapped up in bandages-

Oh…my…God!

8. The Tediz – Conker: Live and Reloaded

Remember how creepily adorable the Tediz were in Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64? The re-designs of the Tediz in Conker Live and Reloaded for the XBox made me run up a hill and scream out “Nooooooo!” for how unappealing these guys were presented.

I enjoyed the simplistic designs and button eyes the Tedizs had in the N64 version. Adding purple bagged yellow eyes, clawed feet and big snouts in the Xbox version just lost the charm of these enemies in my opinion. The animations for these Tedizs were also pretty cliche and quite uninspiring to watch.

The Tediz in Live and Reloaded made me wanting the old Tediz to come back, but their design is something that didn’t make me have a huge grudge against. After all, who here takes a design of a game enemy so personally?

7. Spyro – Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure

Spyro always seems to get his design slightly changed in every Spyro title, but designing the loveable dragon like an ugly gargoyle (as some fans will say) in Skylander: Spyro’s Adventure will get gamers to rage angrily.

Spyro on the Playstation 1 had a cartoony design that appealed gamers to appreciate playing 3D platformers. When Skylander: Spyro’s Adventures was unveiled, many people brutally nitpicked Spyro’s design. I too, didn’t find Spyro’s newest design not that great with his addition of yellow claws and red eyes embedded on him in order to look “bad ass”.

Gamers who grew up with Spyro will be uninterested with Spyro in Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, but the newer generation of gamers will have no problem with it. In fact, I think the design is tolerable in some places with having almost the same colour scheme that the original Spyro had. Although, Spyro’s crunched up face is the only part of the design that still makes me quote today “They ruined this character”.

6. Tiny Kong – Diddy Kong Racing DS (and up)

Tiny Kong from Donkey Kong 64 showed players that being small brought it all with her shrinking ability and whipping pigtails. Somehow, Tiny stroke puberty quickly in her re-design for Diddy Kong Racing DS and other DK and Mario Spin-Off titles, which made me sarcastically ask this following question: “what’s the purpose of seeing Tiny Kong today?”

Tiny Kong’s newer design really looses the purpose to what she originally represented in Donkey Kong 64. Her short height and blue overalls made her tomboyish appeal and fitting name stand out until she later became another Candy Kong for the series.

There are some elements to Tiny Kong’s re-design that makes her the character we still remember from Donkey Kong 64, such as her pigtails and striped hat. However, her outfit and tall height certainly makes her feel like a pointless character… just like Waluigi.

5. Aku Aku and Uka Uka – Crash Mind over Mutant

When memorable characters from a game series have their designs altered so drastically in a later game, it will leave fans pretty outraged about these changes. Though I am not a fan of the Crash Bandicoot series, but seeing both Aku Aku and Uka Uka designs in Crash Mind over Mutant left me ponder to ask how these designs were finalized.

Both Aku Aku and Uka Uka were originally designed as flat square shapes with simple detail and colour to them. Completely forming the shape more or less on these characters and calling them Aku Aku and Uka Uka is pretty degrading to do to the Crash series or to video game characters in general.

I have to say that their designs are nicely detailed, but that’s about it. The lack of colour and completely changing the appearance of these two was a wrong move to do. But unfortunately, you can say that to many of the re-designs done for the latest Crash games.

4. Trophy Thomas – Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts didn’t had the best re-designs of their characters. However, when a player comes across a new character like Trophy Thomas to appear in a series like Banjo-Kazooie makes you literally want to look the other way.

Trophy Tomas is one of those characters that doesn’t feel like it fits with the right crowds of people. Banjo-Kazooie has a lot of  odd bouncy characters that feels more suited for an old cartoon show. However, adding a character that looks like the Cheetos mascot on rehab feels really inconsistent for a series like Banjo-Kazooie.

There are some accessories that makes Trophy Thomas a bit recognizable, but at the same time his red sun glasses and bling bling makes him look like that he’s trying too hard. He’s definitely easy to be this completely “cheesy”.

3. Bubsy Bobcat – The Bubsy series

One of the biggest mascot flops in the gaming industry has to be Bubsy the Bobcat with his uninspired games and dumb one-liner “What could possibly go wrong?”. Who also knew that his design is lame in so many levels.

If you thought Trophy Thomas from Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was trying too hard, then wait till you see Bubsy the Bobcat. The concept of a bobcat wearing a shirt with an exclamation mark doesn’t  look like the perfect mascot for a video game. In fact, it’s rather a completely lazy design than being ingenious and creative.

Bubsy the Bobcat is practically the character that everyone remember for being the worst mascot in gaming history. Although, I think there are two other designs that are more degrading than Bubsy. After all, his design is drawn not too bad, but certainly not the best.

2. Dark Daxter – Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier

The Jak and Daxter series has its share of strange directions in their character designs, but designing Daxter like the Tazmanian Devil on ecstasy and call him Dark Daxter would make fans to expect something better and more appealing for Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.

The problem I have with Dark Daxter is mostly the concept and how he is rendered. His design is pretty gritty and difficult to view with such muted and brown colours that looks completely disgusting on him. Plus I can never see a comical relief character like Daxter turn into a Taz rip off coming out of a bad Crash Bandicoot game.

Dark Daxter is so far the worst design I have seen from a game franchise I quite enjoy, but at least this design will not stay permanently on Daxter forever for Jak and Daxter. Perhaps in some kind parody I would probably accept it, but not for the main story of the series.

1. The Snowboard Kids Cast – Snowboard Kids DS

When you thought re-designs of a game series can turn out in such outraging results, then you would be pretty peeved by the re-designs of the Snowboard Kids series with their uninspiring, dull designs for Snowboard Kids for the Nintendo DS.

Snowboard Kids for the N64 had a cutesy iconic look for the series with characters having chibi features, massive noses and beady eyes. Unfortunately, Snowboard Kids DS came out with unexpected re-designs for the characters and made them like cliched teenagers in some kind of lame Anime TV series. Seriously, why is it called Snowboard Kids if the kids are now teenagers?

In my honest opinion, I think this is a total disgrace to video game characters and re-designing characters in general. Now I don’t see Slash, Nancy, Jam, Linda or Tommy the same anymore with their general looking Anime designs for SBK: Snowboard Kids. They are definitely the characters designs I highly disapprove with.

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