1. Female leads: They don't have to be naughtily dressed. I don't think sexy is a matter about having a low square yardage in terms of clothing (and don't get me started on chain mail) or even certain body measurements.
Kirk: "Is it… that we're tired... and they're beautiful? They are... incredibly beautiful."2. Please, no more spiky-haired swordsmen for a while. Crono, Cloud, etcetera were cool, but that doesn't mean that you can just borrow their successes so easily. Try something different for the male lead's favored weapon, like a warhammer. Can potentially be used as a puzzle-dungeon solving tool as well as a weapon. Just tossing that out there.
McCoy: "Are they, Jim? Are they actually more lovely, pound for pound, measure for measure... than any other women you've known? Or is it that they just, well... act beautiful?..."
- Kirk and McCoy, on Mudd's Women
3. Some of us have grown up: I know a lot of games have to appeal to the younger generation, but I'd like to see more full-blown adult leads and fewer teenagers in Japanese games and so forth. It takes out the 'coming of age' aspect of character development, but people still have things to deal with, even after turning 18.
4. Cute sidekicks: Make sure you test them on a large demographic cross section if you can. I just hate it when a 'cute' character turns out to be both annoying and popular. I have thicker skin for annoying characters, but it's also save me the annoyance of other people going on about how annoying they are. Please don't reread that last sentence or this post will go so meta the universe collapses in on itself.
5. Outfits: I'd occasionally like to have my characters wake up in the inn in different sets of clothes. Some games out there are doing something about this issue, thankfully.
6. The white mage: Why is the primary healer always female? Sometime I'd like to see the reverse: The male lead's the healer, and his romantic interest is the warrior-type. Something else that's annoying: Healing never seems to be a part of their identity. Twist on the old 'go to the forbidden place for medicinal herbs' quest: The healer stays behind to do what he can to help the victims. The challenge comes from the party having to endure the herb quest without their main healer.
7. Mute Hero Syndrome: You may have a likable character concept for your silent hero, but you'd better have the supporting actors give us some insight into his personality. Give us something to work with, Otherwise, we're left clueless as to his motivations.
8. Blank Slate Hero: If you're creating a generic character or attempting to let us insert ourselves into the game world, let us make lots and lots of choices to determine the story. If I want to play the bad guy, let me.