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In one of my last blogs, I wrote about four massively overrated characters from beloved franchises. I was thinking, and I think it's time I wrote about anther idea I've been kicking around: criminally underrated characters. I can hear you now: "No way! We never would have thought that's what this blog is about!" I know, I know. I'm a surprising guy. Anyway, we'll go ahead and start this baby off with a controversial one:
Mass Effect - Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams is someone that many people have a strong feeling of dislike toward. I for some reason felt some affinity for her character and put her in my team at the beginning and rarely took her out all the way through the game. As such, I grew fairly attached to her and chose her rather than her counterpart at the end of the game. Ashley is, in a word, misunderstood. Many people criticize her for being xenophobic and filled with hate. I actually think she embodies the human condition more than almost any character in any game. Why you ask? Well, I could probably write a whole blog about it, but basically she is a very textured character. Her issues carry all the way back to her father getting passed over on promotion and his constant absence forcing her into a maternal role. There are plenty more things to focus on, but in a word she's a complicated character that truly deserves a chance with gamers.
Chrono Cross - Kid
First off, Chrono Cross is underrated in general. Go play it. Now that that's over with, Kid is a character that many people seem to just pass over. I think she has the most interesting backstory in the entire game, and the revelation of who she truly is is actually shocking. Additionally, her Pilfer ability is amazing. Kid is fantastic, and has one of the best attitudes in gaming memory.
Secret of Mana - Girl
When my brother and I played Secret of Mana, he was always the Sprite which is, admittedly, the flashiest character. With attack magic ranging from dragon fireballs to dark matter blobs, he is a very popular choice. The boy is flat out a beast. The girl is often overlooked as being weak. I always played as her in my runthroughs, and found much to like about her. Sure she is a support character (until she gets Lucent Beams) but her spells are invaluable and she wears awesome hammer pants.
Halo 2-3 - The Arbiter
The Arbiter spends his game time in shadows. The Master Chief is often hailed as a better character and in Halo 2 everyone hated playing the Arbiter's levels. When you compare the two, he has a much better story and personality than the Master Chief. Blamed for the downfall of Halo, he is sentenced to become the "symbol" of the Elite race and sent on a suicide mission. Through success in this and future assignments, he eventually is the catalyst that causes half of the Covenant races to revolt against the Prophets. His story arc is intense.
Mass Effect - Councelor Udina
Udina is a character very easy to dislike. I actually hated him through all three games, but still chose him to be on the council. Why? Because he was the better choice. Anderson is a character who is easy to like, but wouldn't work as a politician like Udina would. Udina has the ability to look beyond Shepard and see the benefits of the human race. I mean, he was often wrong. Don't get me wrong. But he did it for the right reasons. Obviously it ME3 he...fell apart, and I felt great doing the renegade option when we caught him, but I never regretted my choice in him until that moment.
So there you are. Characters that I think need to be given another chance by gamers. It's easy to dislike characters because they're mean to you, but just like in real life that doesn't mean they're terrible characters. I imagine many disagree, I imagine many don't care, but thanks for reading! Let me know what you think. Have a good one!