There’s one thing we hate more than a game being pushed back, and that’s lack of effort. More precisely, we’re talking about bad character design. No matter which video game genre we’re talking about, a single bad character design is enough to make you never want to touch that game again. Oftentimes, such is the case in fighting games, where characters are gaudy, or overdesigned. But other genres aren’t exactly free of sin either.
- What Is Bad Character Design?
- Bedman from Guilty Gear Xrd
- Meat from Mortal Kombat 4
- Leopaldon from Guilty Gear Isuka
- Mokap from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
- Sylvie from The King Of Fighters XIV
- Spyro from Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
- Abigail from Street Fighter V
- Rufus from Street Fighter IV
- Reused Models in the Witcher
- Mega Man from Street Fighter X Tekken
What Is Bad Character Design?
So, how do we define bad character design in video games? Could it be a lack of morality or an excess thereof? Perhaps being the low-tier pick in a fighting video game? Or better yet, being an NPC that offers pretty lame sidequests? As you can tell, the possibilities are endless. One thing we know for sure – you simply know bad character design when you see it. Since we’re unable to ignore the elephant in the room, or more precisely, bad character design, we’ve decided to face it head-on. Here’s our top (or bottom) 10 bad character designs in video games.
Bedman from Guilty Gear Xrd
Guilty Gear Xrd is an addition to the Guilty Gear series, albeit without the series’ trademark hand-drawn sprites. These, in turn, were replaced by Unreal Engine 3 featuring cel-shaded graphics. Character design in Guilty Gear Xrd is what drew in a lot of fans. On the other hand, the character of Bedman really stood out for all the wrong reasons. You see, this Guilty Gear Xrd fighter is really not much of a fighter at all. Mounted to a robot bed, Bedman fights every battle while unconscious. He might give a new meaning to ‘do something with your eyes closed’, but in reality, he’s definitely pushing it.
Meat from Mortal Kombat 4
Now, let’s get one thing straight. All Mortal Kombat games are pretty notorious for their depiction of violence and gore, which is precisely why we love them. The best part about the franchise is the Mortal Kombat fatalities.
Hence, you can see why we’d be upset over Meat from Mortal Kombat 4. The name requires no further explanation. Meat is a human being with meat and nothing else – just meat, not a patch of skin in sight. Keep in mind that we’ve already seen spines removed, heads severed, and bones picked in Mortal Kombat, so Meat doesn’t exactly seem all that imaginative.
Leopaldon from Guilty Gear Isuka
Okay, Guilty Gear Isuka’s Leopaldon might be fighting enemies from the comfort of his bed like Bedman. That being said, Isuka’s Leopaldon isn’t exactly a prime example of good character design either. Leopaldon and his dog ride along inside the mouth of an abominably large and gruesome creature called a gear. Naturally, his huge sprite takes up a lot of screen space, making it really hard to figure out what you’re looking at. Luckily, this bad character design only appears in Guilty Gear Isuka.
Mokap from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Basically, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance’s idea of a secret character is a guy wearing a motion-capture suit. To be honest, we were kind of hoping that Mokap was a fever dream. Sadly, he’s very much real and living in a world of divine beings nonetheless. Truth be told, there was a reason to bring him back repeatedly. He gets brownie points for being well-versed in a vast number of fighting techniques, but that doesn’t make him any less funny-looking though.
If you were hoping to pick the least exciting character option, Mokap’s definitely your guy. Otherwise, we’d like to declare him a total bud. Mokap may have appeared as an Easter Egg that was erased from the story, but he is still very much canon and is a friend of Johnny Cage. Canon or not, Mokap doesn’t really look like a character that belongs in the elaborate world of Mortal Kombat.
Sylvie from The King Of Fighters XIV
‘When in doubt, go without’ should have been the case in The King of Fighters XIV. Well, in Sylvie’s case, at least. Yet, here we are. The King of Fighters XIV, yet another satisfying entry in the King of Fighting series, is a phenomenal fighting game. Sylvie’s excessiveness, on the other hand, we could do without.
Over the top is probably the best way to describe Sylvie. Without a doubt, Sylvie is probably one of the showiest, most unnecessarily complicated character designs we’ve come across. With A dress with a pastel rainbow, along with a polka-dot bow, stripes, and no lack of giant eyeballs, the term showy doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Spyro from Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Granted, as much as it pains us to say it, this one isn’t half bad. Having said that, our boy Spyro still deserved better than this redesign. The small purple dragon is beloved by tons of old-school Playstation fans, and frankly, this redesign is definitely not it.
Apparently, the redesign was supposed to make Spyro look more dragon-like. In contrast, he just looks kind of goofy, making it unbearably hard to take him seriously. Playing the game isn’t all that enjoyable either, simply because Spyro doesn’t really look like Spyro anymore. Say goodbye to cute Spyro, he’s obviously edgy now.
Abigail from Street Fighter V
Much like Spyro, Abigail is also a victim of redesign. The Abigail we see in Street Fighter V appeared in Final Fight (1989). Abigail’s character was actually based on Andre the Giant, the pro-wrestler.
Believe us, we’ve tried to erase the memory of Abigail from Street Fighter V. Too many things don’t fit right, so it’s pretty hard to pinpoint just one thing in particular. For instance, Abigail’s biceps are sporting tires and his face proportions are downright unsettling. Overall, Abigail is pretty horrifying to look at.
Rufus from Street Fighter IV
Rufus and Abigail are a pretty close call when it comes to bad character design in Street Fighter. Although he’s incredibly agile for someone his size, Street Fighter IV’s Rufus should be an example of how not to create an overweight character in a fighting game.
The developers did Rufus dirty, as he’s more of a sight gag than anything else. Silly from his head down to his toes, it’s really hard to take him seriously as a character, let alone a fighter. Between him and Abigail, it’s very hard to decide which Street Fighter character we dislike more.
Reused Models in the Witcher
We hate putting the Witcher on blast as much as any other person. Certain things, however, need to be addressed, those being the Witchers’ recycled models. Various video games are guilty of the same crime. Understandably, large numbers of NPCs populate their world, so they can’t all be distinct from one another. Nonetheless, there are ways to get around this issue or make it way less obvious.
The Witcher hasn’t aged well, and that’s only emphasized by its severe lack of distinct models. For example, you’ll see the same face over and over again, in the very same background. Needless to say, the lack of new models wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were talking about NPCs. Except the same thing happened with several important characters too, which is quite a shame.
Mega Man from Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter X Tekken combined the best of both worlds, giving a perfect mixture of what the franchises had to offer. Nevertheless, Mega Man, one of the most famous heroes of the 8-bit era, suffered great injustice in Street Fighter X Tekken. Seriously, the last thing we were expecting to witness in Street Fighter X Tekken was the box art version of Mega Man for the NES.
Instead of Mega Man’s usual iconic design, we’re graced with a cursed image. A middle-aged overweight man, or better yet ‘Bad Box Art Mega Man’ stands in the hero’s place. Of all the things we’ve seen, this heinous act against our beloved Mega Man was something we couldn’t ignore. Undoubtedly, this horrendous crime against humanity holds the number one spot, in the worst way possible.