Thursday, January 12, 2012

And in this corner

Not more than a few days ago I talked about how a well thought out, well written, respectably voice acted character can elevate a game from just playable to an enjoyable experience. When all the stars line up and a game that is good on its own is married with such a character, magical things can happen. For example (and these are limited to console specific characters because I enjoy being adversarial):

Before you say anything disparaging, yes, I know that Master Chief is not exactly brimming with personality, but he does manage to be the driving force behind the main series of Halo games. Take away and the games that are functionally the same just don't work as well. He is also about as close to the silent protagonist (think Gordon Freeman) that has been managed in a shooter not made by Valve. 

This is more like it. For my money Marcus Fenix is a better character than Master Chief in just about every way. He is manly when he needs to be, quiet when the time is right, actually changes throughout the course of his series and deals with grief in a realistic manner. Again, Gears of War would work without him, but playing the whole game as Dom just isn't very appealing.

For the record, those two are all I can come up with for the XBox. 

I have no idea if anyone is going to throw in with me on this one, but it is criminal that Nariko hasn't gotten a second game. This is probably because she was the best thing about Heavenly Sword, but come on, bad third person action games come out three times a month. I played two last year that were set in the god damn crusades, and no one can pony up the funds to give this lady a second shot?

The look on Drake's face sums up exactly how I feel about him. He's whiny, for one thing, but in a realistic manner. Maybe he changes in Uncharted 3, but for the first two games I just kept waiting for him to grow a pair. It also doesn't help that Nolan North is not exactly selective about his voice acting jobs. I understand that the guys has to work, but I swear every third game I play has him in it, which further dilutes Drake's identity. 

I suppose I should get to my point instead of padding a post by gis'ing names. Even though I am terminally behind on my list of games that needs to be played I almost never jump back a hardware generation. The leap backwards, graphically anyway, is just too much. It takes an awfully big par of sandals to convince me to play prettied up versions of PSP games.

Now that is a tragic hero. Think about all of the awful things the Kratos has been through, either at the whims of the gods or by his own misguided hand, and it is easy to understand why he is so pissed off all the time. There is more too him than that, and right now in Chains of Olympus is it clear that his primary motivation (at this early in his history) is that he wants to forget. Kratos wants to forget that he is Kratos. Knowing how the whole saga ends (or how it should have ended, fuck Sony right in the ear if they don't let this poor guy die) does nothing to lessen his torment. He is an iconic character in a game that would have been just fine with paper cut out characters.


Mario doesn't count, so stop asking. Neither does Link, he has zero personality. Samus does, but every time I try to fins a picture of her that I can be viewed safely at work I need to close my browser.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree with you about Nariko and Kratos - Kratos in particular, I feel, doesn't get his due as one of the greatest tragic antiheroes of gaming.

    Of course, I think one of the reasons he doesn't get the respect he deserves is that Stig Asmussen totally fucking dropped the ball on the climax of God of War III.