Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

I know it's only February. But this year, these are going to be hard to top. Congrats, Xenoblade Chronicles X, for some of the dumbest-looking characters of 2015!

Before we start, realise I don't think characters with stupid faces are problematic. Not in the least! Rather, I'm charmed by their unapologetic ugliness (no need to appeal to me, you hideous beings!).

But, elsewhere online -- forum NeoGAF, Reddit, Twitter and website GeekParty -- people have been quick to note that the game's characters sure look bad.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK
Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK
Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK
Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Picture: GeekParty

"This game has the worst faces I've ever seen in a modern title," wrote NeoGAF member The Shogun. "They look awful." That is true. They really, really, really do.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Picture: NeoGAF

Here's Twitter's take:

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK
Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

You are not alone!

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Look, you can't win 'em all.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Ain't that the truth!

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Sounds about right.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Even he knows it!

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

OH COME ON.

There is an argument that the characters' faces look awful because they're influenced by Japanese animation, which is shorthand for they have giant eyes. Anyone who watches anime will be quick to point out that not all anime character have huge peepers. Though, in anime, they seem to have reached critical mass.

Moreover, loads of video game characters are anime-influenced (shorthand for they have big eyes), and they're not nearly as repulsive. Like this guy.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Plus, Japan doesn't have the market cornered on disproportionately large eyes. (I'm looking at you, Disney!) And giant-eyed American cartoon characters like Betty Boop influenced the look of 20th century Japanese animation.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK
Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Picture: DisneyMovieYear

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Picture: Fanpop

*shudders*

So, why exactly are people saying these Xenoblade characters look dumb and bad?

Over on GeekParty, writer Mandi Odoerfer points out that not only are the eyes and mouths too big for the characters' faces, but that they all look somewhat cross-eyed. And not all the characters look so stupid. This guy is pretty cool.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

"Their features are proportional to their face, and they don't look like they met the wrong side of the warp tool," Odoerfer adds. "Most of these characters also have facial hair, which might play a role in their not-awful appearance."

Redditor Mykath also has an explanation as to why the Xenoblade Chronicles X characters cause such a knee jerk reaction: "The realistic shadows don't complement the 'doughy' faces and instead has a weird uncanny valley thing going on a bit." NeoGAF user ZeroMaverick, however, thinks that the foreheads are oversized. Perhaps it's the combination of these?

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Picture: IGN

The problem is that Monolith Software, as talented as the studio is at making engaging RPGs and building video game worlds, isn't that great at making character models. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd say it's part of Monolith's charm -- and it's something the studio has been doing for years now.

Some of the in-game characters, yes, look dumb. But there's an avatar character for your character to help you mitigate (or at least control) the stupid-looking character quotient. Or you can always make your character look even uglier. Come on, embrace visual stupidity. Do it.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

If you are playing Xenoblade Chronicles X for handsome digital beings, then perhaps you'd like to look elsewhere. (Have you heard of Final Fantasy?) If you're keen to play Xenoblade Chronicles X to run around a giant world, control cool mecha and badass monsters, then you've come to the right place, however ugly its inhabitants are.

Xenoblade Chronicles X's Stupid-Looking Characters Are A-OK

Comments

    Focusing on characters' physical appearance...so superficial.

    could be worse could look like the faces in oblivion...

    http://i.imgur.com/9t4fCbc.jpg

    Strange can also be beautiful. Cheers for the article.

    For all the others: It's the style. Get over it.

    The animation Patlabor has a style to its characters. Akira, had its own.
    Yoshitaka Amano's Vampire D another style.
    Lana Del Rey's collab partner/actor/model Shaun Ross is another example of
    a possible character reference.

    To me, the most boring character designs are ones based on current 'hot' actors and actresses. There's no deviation from the reference (the character designers used) that it's practically devoid of creativity. -- I couldn't care less for directors and designers that succumb to that mentality. It's the medium of Games/Movies, make it unlike anything we've seen.

    I missed out on Xenoblade on the Wii - and the ebay listing prices aren't fun at all - so I'll be picking this up with a New 3DS XL once Monster Hunter 4 releases my attention.

    ...
    Travel outside of your city>state>country and be open to possibilities and differences - Your mind will thank you.

    Last edited 11/02/15 12:38 pm

    At last! I can make an ugly character in a Japanese made game!

    It kinda looks like the eyes are just glued onto a normal head.

    Hm he actually have a point. We are forgiving for character with weird faces that we are familiar with but just hates it when it is something new. I could think of a couple more ugly deformed characters in western games.

      I don't find any of those examples 'weird,' they're just stylised. These Xenoblade characters are kinda anime (which I don't usually mind), but something is just 'off' enough that they look downright derpy. It's like something I would poorly design on a Bioware character creator. The eyes look 'flat' like a texture map but doesn't contour to the face, the (I'm assuming) main character has reverse Jared Leto eyes (too far apart) and his eyeline is too low on his head, so it looks like he has a big baby head.

    Most of those were random player created personas (with the except of 2)
    Wait until the full game comes out to see if the character creator can make better.
    Or partition them to release a video showing the creator in action.

      If you watch the 24 minutes of footage recently released most of the npcs faces also look very odd.

    Really looking forward to the game but yes, the faces look very odd.

    The black haired girl looks like they tried to clone Visco (From Witch and the Hundred Knight) and it went horribly wrong. Actually, the designs make me think of A.Li.Ce and other late 90's CGI anime which had their charms but often creeped me the heck out.

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