What I do is try to make the base mesh with as few polys as possible. That way, I can make every single one of them count. Whenever I add a vertex to a mesh, it has a reason to be there and a specific detail it adds. That’s not the only way to do things, but it’s a good practice for organic meshes. The good thing about starting small is that you won’t be as overwhelmed, since there’s less you have to control. And since there’s less you have to control, you can have more control over it!
This is a little off-topic, but for the character’s design, look at the silhouette from every angle. You want the silhouette to make the character immediately recognizable. What worries me is how he looks from the side-- he has no neck. Or she. Or it. Whatever. English and it’s dumb grammatical gender. Anyways, what I do is draw the character with a pencil five or ten times, as fast as I can, doing some of the things he/she/it does in the game. Then I might draw a few more carefully, to plan out the colors and shading. (I’ve actually been designing some characters lately, and it’s by far the most difficult part of the process). This has two purposes- obviously, it’s easier than just modelling it from scratch, but also it helps you to plan ahead for animation. Because if you go to the trouble of modelling a character but can’t get it to animate, you’ll be pretty mad at yourself. Do you want his legs to swing like noodles? What you have will work. Or do you want his legs to bend like knees and ankles? You may need to add some loops. Maybe the shoulders will need more freedom of movement? That’s what I mean, and maybe you’ve already done all that. But if you haven’t, it might be helpful.
A couple more thoughts: When modelling, make sure to have even texel density- that is (as I understand), try to make all of the faces about the same size and shape (squares are best!), and if the size of the faces must change (in case one area needs more detail than another, such as a face or hand), do it gradually if you can. This could be a problem in Ognjen’s retop- the body gets more detail than the face. If this character had a nose and eyes that’d definitely be a bad thing. As it is, I think the polycount could be reduced further-- you’re making a game character, so don’t be afraid to use a few triangles! (I’ve been looking at some of the meshes on The VG Resource, they use triangles cleverly.) So what if it subsurfs ugly? Bake a high-res model’s normals onto the low-res model. You can use the same high-res, baked normal map on several different detail levels. That solves both problems at the same time. I hope this is helpful.