I’ve talked a lot about character customization in video games before, especially in the now disbanded Geek Force Network in two posts that still exist on the site. There’s no question about how much I love the chance to design my character the way I want them to look using the options game developers have created for the player to choose from. When I ordered my copy of the newest Fire Emblem game Birthright for the Nintendo 3DS, there was one tiny addition to their customization option that has made me unabashedly, deliriously in love with my playable character.
Now I know I shouldn’t really be talking about this game when I’m currently playing another game that should be my main focus for my extended video game challenge. I must admit it’s hard to resist the urge to play a new game when Fire Emblem Fates has been one of the most anticipated releases for this year. My reasoning led me to conclude I can cheat a little by setting up my playable character. I have to be ready for when I can fully focus my attention on Birthright eventually. Customization takes a little bit of time to get right before jumping straight into playing the game anyway, so loading it up on my 3DS made perfect, logical sense.
The customization menus are the same as Fire Emblem Awakening where you get to choose between playing as a male or female, changing their hair color and styles, and what type of personality you’d like your character to have throughout the game. This is where Awakening and Birthright slightly differ with one, albeit, small addition to their customization menu. If you choose to play as a female in Birthright, you have the choice of adding a hair accessory on your chosen hair style. It can be anything from a headband, butterfly, or even a flower.
You must be wondering why am I making such a big deal about this small difference in customization. Well, for one, I like having a ton of options at my disposal. Small, seemingly insignificant details, like adding a hair accessory, just adds to the overall uniqueness of your playable character. There will be some playable characters who might look similar to other players’ characters, but in essence they will be different and they’ll really be your character.
We all have different ideas of what we want our character to be in our own game and character customizations allow us to have fun and play around with it. I generally like an accessory option in customization menus, whether it’s for jewelry or hair ornaments. I tend to think these tiny details tell a story of who the person is when you look at them. And on a less meaningful note, the ability to add a hair ornament to my Birthright character just makes her so freaking cute! I’ve never made a character in a game who I love as much as I love this one. It’s the kind of feeling a mother has when they can’t help but gush and feel proud of their kid. Frankly, I’m just really proud and happy with the character I made for Birthright.
I appreciate when a game developer creates a new game of a well established franchise and is constantly thinking of ways to keep reinventing the game and making each experience just a little bit different than the one you’ve played before. Adding that tiny touch to the customization menu has already made Birthright feel special and I can’t wait to play out my character’s journey all the way to the end.