yeah man… Create-A-Character is the greatest thing to happen for gaming, imo. Sadly, it still seems to be a somewhat rare thing. Demon’s Souls is probably the best new thing out that has create-a-player options. Besides the customization of your character, it happens to be one of the most interesting games I’ve played in a long time, regarding the game’s design concepts and overall atmosphere. That game is incredible; I’m not even close to the halfway point either.
…oh and there’s the new Phantasy Star Portable, which is out now in Japan, but a U.S. release should still be on schedule sometime soon this year…it will be the best one of the franchise. You’ll need a PSP for that.
I think you can customize your character in Divinity II as well…but I’ve heard some negative commentary on that game. I still plan to get that for cheap though, and it’s already down to about 35 or 40 bucks.
I really want a “stylish action” game like the DMC and Bayonetta franchises though. Just rip the engine/gameplay from those, throw in a different story/characters/setting and allow for a deep character creation mode (*I want something at least as deep as Soul Calibur 4’s creation tools) and it would instantly be one of the top 10 games of all time for me…possibly even top 5 if the presentation, design and “style” factor are anywhere near the pristine level of DMC and Bayonetta. It would be a game I could play for several years at the very least.
The amazing thing about this aspect of gaming to me is how it extends the replay value. Anyone that is even mildly creative could have fun just in the creation process. The character roster is nearly endless when you have custom character options…the life of a game like that is obviously well beyond the life of a game where you’re stuck playing as 1 or a few different pre-determined characters that you may not even like. (*perfect example was Phantasy Star Universe. Ethan Waber was such a dork…really an all around unlikeable character…at least until he became a bad guy in the online story later…then there was an element of mystery and he was temporarily cool/interesting. Anyway, I’m sure most people were relieved when they didn’t have to play as him anymore…and you see that later Phantasy Star Portable games let you play story mode with YOUR character right from the start. The other perfect example coming to mind is Saint’s Row. A big reason this kills GTA for me is that you have your own character going through the story or doing all the side-mission/activity…not some pre-determined lame ass character…you get to decide who the star of the show is, and that’s soooo much better, imo. You could have an original design in there…or play through as John McCain, John McClane, Duke Nukem or whatever. That is infinitely better than being stuck as 1 pre-set dude like Niko or whatever the hell his name is the whole time.)