Super Nintendo, NES & GameBoy tomfoolery;

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The Super Nintendo: clocking in at 16 bits, it may easily be said to have "more bits" than the 8 bit NES. Some games used this extra capacity to give you greater control over your in-game avatar.
Join me now in looking at four games where you not only get to enter your name (unlike SOME sports games I could mention), but also allow you to customize your very face! (and not by just picking from different pre-fabricated portraits*)
*: Well, MOSTLY not just pre-fabricated portraits.
Faceball 2000
Any discussion of "Super Nintendo" and "faces" should definitely include Faceball 2000, the Face-Person Shooter game where haphazardly spherical/geometric emoticons stalk and kill (or "tag") eachother in a featureless three-dimentional maze.
Your name can be up to 8 letters long (meaning you can be called "BAD DUDE"):
You can also choose from many different in-game faces, in a variety of different colors (yellow, green, blue, red) and a combination of several different shapes (hemisphere, cylander, cone) for your eyes and mouth. Actually, make that "your eyes and/or mouth," because you don't necessarily need both:
Then, your faceball duly CUSTOMIZED, it's off for a nice round of smiley-face blasting!

Bassin's Black Bass
The doubly-redundantly-named sequel to Super Black Bass, Bassin's Black Bass has a lot going on. You get to customize your fisherman (or fisherWOMAN!), you get an in-game guide to help you in the first round, and the tournament is evidently officiated by Oliver Hardy:
...and no sooner do you enter that exciting world, but you're presented with FOURTEEN letters with which to name your would-be angler -- ok, so you have a dash in the middle so you have to get a little bit creative about how to split a longer name, but still!
Once that heady thrill is over, you get to pick whether you're a boy or a girl (a rare feature, indeed!), AND if they cast it on the right or left:
Then you're off to select some eyewear for the front of your fisherperson's head. It's worth nothing that if your choice is "no glasses", your eyes are completely absent. You'd think that would make it hard to fish, but you'd be wrong! The biggest challenge that your fishing dude(ette) faces is trying to hook a worm when his fingers are clearly a series of bear claws jutting from a blue-gray paw.
Additionally the "Sun Glasses C" option is a pair of adorable Elton John collection heart-shaped sunglasses with candy cane stripe frames, thus clearly the best option to be taken seriously as a pro basser:
Now that that's done, we can choose if we want to adorn our manly fisherchins with a festive beard or mighty mustache:
It's a shame that Mark Davis isn't here to advise us on the effect of these different options; is a pointy devil-beard more appropriate for summer fishing, and a bushy Grizzly Adams 'do the preferred facial hair of ice-fishers? One can only imagine what grooming wisdom he'd bring to the table, given his sage clothing advice.
Anyway, once that's done, you get to choose from six different designer color schemes for your hat/shirt/gloves/life-vest combination:
Oh, and if you chose to play as a female fishing afficianado, everything is about the same -- except you might want a different name, and you don't get to choose even the faintest hint of beard or mustache:

Best of the Best: Championship Karate
Generally when a Super Nintendo game was also released on the NES (or vice-project doom-versa), that's not a great sign -- it's usually a mostly-un-upgraded port of the NES game.
That's not to say that Best of the Best: Championship Karate (or BotB:CK, as its fans call it!) doesn't have a few things in its favor -- for example, its unconventional gameplay, where you get to pick a suite of five or six moves from literally dozens and dozens of different punches, kicks, and cuddles:
Unfortunately it suffers from ported-up syndrome: despite the Super Nintendo controller's SIX SEPARATE BUTTONS, you're only allowed to use the d-pad and B-button to execute your moves...and "left" and "right" are already occupied by walking to the left and right! Just imagine if they'd let you map your attacks onto the A, B, X, Y or L-wing/R-wing buttons!
Nevertheless, the gameplay is interesting. Its definitely a descendant of the NES's Karate Champ rather than Street Fighter 2:
(Karate Champ, the spiritual predecessor of this game)
Moves have a long animation sequence, and whether they connect or miss/pass through your opponent is determined by your fist/face and foot/torso relative positions at the end of the move. Also they don't do a set amount of damage -- a blow that causes a slight dimming of one of your "energy spotlights" most of the time may literally punch your lights out another time.
I find that all this gives the game an interesting ebb and flow, but you could just as equally say things happen almost at random; so, I guess your mileage may vary.
Anyway, getting back to the customization: BotB:CK lets you enter up to eight letters of name, AND pick your nationality:
And on top of that, you can pick from one of four different faces. Of course these faces only show up in the "profile" screen and don't effect how your fighter looks in the actual match. Also, even on the profile screen, they're all pasted on the same "shadowy ethnicity-less body."
This cheap photoshop-hack approach on the part of the developers deserves more than just an animated .GIF; let's look at each of your options individually!
Scruffy blond guy with dark eyebrows! Is he a natural blond? Only his personal trainer knows!
O.J. Simpson, who may have had his mouth sealed shut; odd.
Tom Cruise.
Vaguely Asian Peter Lorre.
I can't think of anything more awesome than that, so let's move along!

Riddick Bowe Boxing
I know I've ranted in the past about cheap sports stars slapping their name on worthless game cash-ins in general, and SNES boxing games in particular, but Riddick Bowe's lawyers, promoters and/or marketing team were really on the ball with this one:
Not only is it a rather playable "boxing simulation"-style game that reminds me of a souped-up 16-bit Ring King,
(Ring King, the spiritual predecessor of THIS game)
But you get to heavily customize your boxer in ways that makes The Best of the Best look like, well...not so The Best.
You can have a name of 12 (or more?) letters,
and wow, there's customization options galore! Not only do you have EIGHT different face-and-hair options:
but you get to take any face-and-hair template and cycle through about a dozen different skin-tones, and a handful of hair colors! Combine that with free choice of one color for your gloves-and-boots, and another color for your trunks, and you've got a huge selection of potential boxers to play with as.
Of course given that one of the face-and-hair options is "handlebar mustache" and one of the hair colors is "so black it's really dark blue," you'll always end up with some variation of this guy, just varying his skin tone or uniform colors -- but that STILL lets you create hundreds of slightly-differently-hued Fin de siècle British pugilists, like this handsome fellow:

Well, that about wraps it up!
Until next week everyone, have a capital round of boxing -- or wherever your Super Nintendo face may take you!
— carlmarksguy, 2013-08-02
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