When I think of characters, indepth, I think more about personality than clothing and weapons. The character seems to be, to me, how the sound, walk and react to things. Clothing is a small part of their personality, it can tell you what they like or how practical they are. Besides, things like clothing dont come to mind when you read a non-illustrated book. The most recent book I've read being Moby Dick. This book and most have a different way of approaching a character to a movie or a game, the reader has to imagine the character, which I think makes you feel for the character more, as the character is partialy your own mental creation, instead of a visual responce. In Moby Dick, the main character is described very little, the first line being " Call me Ishmael", is just about all the description of the main character. All other description him is through the text and his descriptions of the world around him. It gives no indication of what he looks like, but shows us how the character thinks.
The character descriptions of Queequeg are more than interesting, although different people would interperate him in different ways, he's described in such a way that gives him his unique character, I havnt read another book that seemed similar to the descriptions. The way he talks, is written as if hes speaking in broken english, it gives him part of his chracter, the feeling you would get from him would be far different if he couldnt speak, or was translated into perfect english. Because he can some what speak the language, shows us that hes forign but intellient, even though being described as a canibal. For books, characters are totaly dependant on script and the appearance is up to the reader.
However a book is far different from games. The character has to visualy describe the personality of the character. If the character doesnt speak much through the game you wouldnt feel as attached to the character, so the text is quite important. Lets look at Professor Layton!
What appeals to me more than the game in professor layton, is the main characters! A simple puzzel game, but these characters have such a charm to them, the personality is in the text. But also in the voice acting. You can tell where these two come from, Professor Layton and Luke, because of their typical english accent. Not to mention that theyre often set in traditional english settings, drink tea, ride trains and solve mysteries like Sherlock Holms and Watson (Another good book which has good character description. It would have been better to compair the Book Sherlock Holms to Professor Layton. But I havnt read it since I was 17 or something.).
The visual styles of the game gives off that desaturated, smoggy english look, especialy in the towns. The style goes back to the victorian, industrial Britan scene, this is reflected to Luke, by his shorts and cap, which makes you think of a victorian chimney sweeper. Even by the use of Laytons hat, makes to think of them Old times. They're innocent and cheerful faces are reinforced by their surroundings and dialog.
To be honest, with out the characters in this game, it would just be a bunch of mindless mini-games which would seem to serve no purpose. The characters keep the story moving and keep the mini games fun.
Characters in this day and age are important in games, well most games. Even Pac Man has a sort of character to him. Hes a greedy bastard haunted by manafestations of his own Gluttony, Greed, Wrath and Pride.
Maybe I went off on a tangent. I do that.