Tuesday, 29 November 2011

"Yes! I am the ASS-Assin!"

First "Ezio" from Assassin's Creed 2 gets into Soul Calibur V, a fighting game known for its bizarre cameos(from The Legend of Zelda, to Star Wars). Which I guess makes sense, since it's kind of a historical setting, and Ezio is a character from around the time DaVinci was still alive. Makes more sense from a context perspective than, say, Spawn at least.

But now he's getting a costume in Final Fantasy XIII-2, a futuristic fantasy game, and I am officially calling this weird.


You may recognize Soul Calibur and Final Fantasy as two very Japanese games. This much attention from such a xenophobic culture to a character in a western-developed game about a guy from Italy is... interesting. Did Ubisoft actively campaign for these things? Were Namco/Bandai and Square-Enix looking to broaden the appeal a little bit, by including lip service to western video game characters?

Why Ezio? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's not someone stupid like Kratos or the Master Chief getting this kind of attention. And I get that North American developers just haven't really contributed to character design in video games("Bald Space Marine" is about as creative as we can get before going into an originality-induced coma). But the guy from Assassin's Creed? Did they just blindly throw a dart at a wall, covered in pictures of our unremarkable honkies with shaved heads?

Are they misinformed about the popularity of this character over here? Do they think he's like, our new Mickey Mouse or something? Do they have thoughts of Ezio balloons in our Macy's day parade, and that we go to Assassin's Creed Land with our families? I amuse myself with the thought that Japan believes the U.S. has replaced Christmas with "Ezio Day".

"...and I want a fire-truck and a pony and..."

Again, I'm not complaining. You could do a lot worse in this medium than "Not-Altair". Just a very curious set of circumstances. Not bad for a guy who came from one of our most insulting wastes of time.



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