Top 5 Worst Video Game Character Redesigns

When a franchise evolves, it’s important that the characters in it evolve as well. While many are successful in recieving a fresh, new look while still managing to resemble themselves enough, there are some cases in which it turns out to be for the worse, and that’s where THESE redesigns come in. So, get ready to want to beat the crap out of the nearest corporate executive, as I list off the Top 5 Worst Video Game Character Redesigns.

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NO. 5: Knuckles (Sonic Boom)

I’m not fond of Sonic Boom for a fairly large amount of reasons, and Knuckles’ design in it is one of them. While I can get behind how Big Red Button wanted to put more of an emphasis on his strength, it can’t save the end results from landing a spot on this list. For starters, look at that chest…not only does it look enlarged to downright uncanny levels, but it also contrasts heavily with the lankier legs, resulting in the proportions looking…well, awkward, to say the least. Maybe if they took it easy on the chest and shortened him a bit, I wouldn’t have a problem with it the way I do. But alas, knowing Sega, they have to make a thousand mistakes first, and good decisions second. Sorry Knux, but this is what happens when you skip leg day.

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NO. 4: Pac-Man (Pac-Man Party/Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures)

I don’t really know what it is about this design that bothers me so much, but if I had to say at least one specific thing about it, it’s that it just looks off. It’s very obvious that they’re trying to emulate the Sonic franchise’s art style starting from the Adventure games, and if you ask me it’s a pretty miserable attempt. Just because a style suits one franchise, that doesn’t mean that it’ll magically suit any other franchise on the flip of a dime. Look at the animation for the Powerpuff Girls reboot for example; in contrast to the original show’s more dynamic, Hanna-Barbera-esque art style, the reboot goes for one that’s more akin to…well, just about every cartoon since Adventure Time, resulting in a clash of styles that doesn’t really work. Aside from that, he looks kind of creepy as well. I’m not sure if it’s the eyes, but there’s the lingering feeling that something isn’t right. Thank Intellivision that he had his original design in Smash ’14. Regardless, I suggest that you all hold on tight, because this is where it REALLY starts to get bad…

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NO. 3: Conker (Young Conker)

Okay, first things first, WHAT IS UP WITH THAT HEAD!? Seriously, it looks like someone stuck an air pump into his mouth! As a side note, those freakishly thin arms and legs, and those eyes… just… let’s move on before I get night terrors.

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NO. 2: Spyro (Skylanders)

My thoughts exactly, Squidward. Just…LOOK AT THAT THING!!! Last time I heard, Spyro was supposed to be a dragon, right? I mean, I’m pretty freaking sure that he’s not supposed to look like a horrifically malformed gargoyle that got painted on and somehow gained a life of its’ own. Even considering the fact that my hatred towards the Skylanders franchise has died down (which is really mostly due to the recent Crash Bandicoot cameo and level pack, and praise the great gaming lords that he didn’t get this treatment in terms of design), I just can’t let go of just how awful this design is! And what makes this even worse is how this wasn’t even meant to be Spyro in the first place. While development of the first Skylanders game was underway, this was originally supposed to be an entirely different character called Fire Dragon, and Spyro himself was going to be an NPC. I don’t know what else to say other than…ugh, just ugh.

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NO. 1: Bomberman (Bomberman: Act Zero)

You know what? Even regarding all of the huge, glaring flaws with the rest of the designs on this list, at least – AT LEAST – they resemble their source characters in one way or another. This? I’m not even sure if the people behind this even played a Bomberman game, let alone heard of one! I couldn’t care less if Konami and Hudson Soft wanted to “update him for an older audience”, there’s absolutely no excuse to take a character as adorable yet badass as Bomberman and turn him into this generic, focus group-reeking, apalling bastard child of Master Chief and Samus! The only good thing that can be said about this…thing is that after his debut game flopped hard, he was locked away in the deepest, darkest corners of the industry, never to be seen again. And for that, we have bettered ourselves as human beings.

Are there any particular video game character redesigns that push your buttons? Be sure to post your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. 

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9 thoughts on “Top 5 Worst Video Game Character Redesigns

  1. The thing I hated most about the Knuckles redesign isn’t just the look. They made him flat out stupid too. In the older games he was supposed to be easily fooled (hence trusting Robotnik), but in Sonic Boom it was as though he didn’t understand anything and was just there to punch things. “Oh! We have a physically strong character? Better make him stupid too.” That really annoyed me. And enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bomberman Act Zero always brings a smile to my face. It’s just so awful. I’ve always had a morbid desire to pick up a copy of the game just to see how awful it is, but then I remember I’m going to die someday and there are better uses of my finite life minutes.

    I don’t know if you’re a fan of Klonoa, but the redesign they did for the Wii version was pretty awful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Klonoa_character_redesigns.jpg (the redesign is on the right) Mercifully, they backed down and ultimately used something more akin to the original game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not that familiar with the Klonoa games, as the only entries that I’ve played are the original game, its’ aforementioned Wii remake, and one of the GBA games, but I really enjoy them regardless. As for the design, when compared to the one they ended up going with, there aren’t that many differences outside of the ears and the lack of a hat. Namco had the makings of a good design for the most part, and it’s certainly a good thing that they chose wisely. Now if only they would get off their lazy bottoms and actually do something with the franchise…
      Also, don’t even think about picking up Act Zero. Seriously, not even for amusement purposes. It’s that terrible.

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  3. This is quite the list of… characters. I agree in your general disgust of all of them. I’ve always considered Sonic Boom Knuckles a big joke, but to be fair, they don’t take themselves seriously. What upsets me most is that Bomberman that’s “taken seriously.” Where’s my cute Bomberman? Pac-Man’s actually not that bad, considering he’s sort of looked like that since the NES days. I would have also included the new cartoon version of Mega Man, who looks like he could have been someone’s DeviantArt design.

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    • I completely forgot about that Mega Man cartoon. Now that I think about it, maybe I should’ve extended this list to a Top 10 and placed Boom Knuckles somewhere around 8 or 9. The Mega Man cartoon design would be at 5.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know how Pac-Man is managing to do the uncanny valley thing when he’s not even human, but here he is, creeping us all out. It’s some combination of the eyes, eyebrows, and huge mouth. If I saw that, I’d think he was about to eat me. He works in 2D because he has the cute/cartoony factor going for him. This is just, yeah, it’s weird in a way you can’t quite put your finger on.

    I’ll say it here as I said on Twitter, why Bomberman why?! I’m okay with dark and gritty, but Bomberman’s appeal was his adorable simplicity! He doesn’t need to have some dark back story like the Punisher. Just…let him be Bomberman. He kind of looks like Isaac from Dead Space or the misbegotten offspring of Samus Aran. Some things work just as they are, and the better capacity for graphics doesn’t mean the design needs THAT much of an overhaul 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t seen that Conker redesign. Yuck it looks horrible. No wonder it got downvoted like mad on Youtube.

    I can’t think of many video game redesigns that I like, but when it comes to comics I hate it when a hero gets their costume altered.

    Liked by 1 person

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