A nostalgic blast from the past, presented by Vicarious Visions Studios, it’s Crash Bandicoot – Oh god, please, if I hear that opening to the game just one more bloody time, I swear I am going to explode! Just as well the games that opening is concealing are excellent – as we check out this self-proclaimed nostalia induced trip. So if you’re a Crash veteran, or completely new to the franchise, is the N-Sane Trilogy right for you?
Jump, jump for victory! Run to the right until you run out of right to run into! The platformer is a format so versatile that it has been changed and revolutionised so often that it’s no longer a genre to itself, it’s a style that has titles as wonderfully varied as gaming itself. It was there from the beginning, and is awash with incredible examples, how can we ever select only 10?
Or… 12… Because of the honourable mentions…
Anyway, we got together once more with Kevin from The Mental Attic to try and trim down the vast number of platform titles to a select few that we will inevitably have to revisit at some point. Here’s our Top 10 platformers. (more…)
… Ah. There really wasn’t much to laugh about, was there? Anyway, welcome back to our weekly Top 10, ladies and gentlemen, where we take a topic that you choose and we choose the best of the best in that category. Today’s subject is a little bit experimental, as we’re going to be looking at our Top 10 Mad Scientists and write up our thesis about their potentials for the top spot. We’ve taken a lot of candidates and we felt like we’d do something a bit different for this one. We’ve put a pinch of this and a dash of that together to give birth to a list which shows off the best of the best of these mad scientists. Creation is a powerful tool; so let’s see what these scientists can bring to life! (more…)
Hiding one’s face from either a brutal deformity, or possessing some amazing powers and contain whole entities, such as demons and gods. But don’t let that put you off donning a mask, whether it was this past Monday on Halloween, or if you just want to cosplay as a character with a mask, we’ve got just the list for you.
So come and join us as we celebrate those who would shroud their faces, as we don’t need to see their full features to appreciate who they are. This is our Top 10 Masks list and you’d better believe these guys have nothing to hide.
10) Roadhog – Overwatch
Starting lightly, Roadhog is a character from Blizzards universally acclaimed team shooter title. Although Roadhog can be described as anything but light, there isn’t too much to say about this individual. Massive health, massive size and a very smart theme to the destructive brute, this piggy certainly will be hooking you and blowing your head off with his shotgun.
He can’t score much higher due to the fact he’s just one character from a very diverse range of characters. In a game where a hulking brute is second fiddle to a scout-like character who sparked controversy due to the way she stood, Roadhog is a giant amongst mortals. But, even with his incredible size, it’s not enough to topple the rest of the list. Still, we love his snout-esque gas mask!
9) Aku Aku – Crash Bandicoot
A powerful mask which comes to the aid of Crash and Coco in their times of need, Aku Aku is a sort of guardian spirit in mask form. When the two bandicoots are in trouble and in dire need of a friend, Aku Aku is there, floating around them to take the damage for them. He’s selfless and he’s brave; he’s smart and he’s wise – this mask is exactly who you’d like to find floating around next to you.
Whether it’s his massive wooden eyebrows, or whether it’s his calming voice, you can bet that Aku Aku will find a way to help you succeed. Collect three of him and you’ll be slicing through the enemies like you’re a knife through butter. After the third Aku Aku power-up is obtained, you become invincible for a limited amount of time, instantly killing all enemies. However, that doesn’t stop you dying to falling from great heights…
8) Jacket – Hotline Miami
Critical acclaim aside, Hotline Miami was kind of a big deal in the world of indie games. Playing through this gritty title as Jacket, whenever you start a level with him, you typically have to choose a mask for him to roam around in. Of course for fans of the franchise, the most iconic mask is Richard the Rooster, which brings no benefit to the player, but it’s a damn rooster mask and seeing that before you get shot up is pretty much terrifying.
Hotline Miami took the world by storm and people have even come to our meetups wearing a Rooster mask ala Hotline Miami. So as Jacket receives instructions to go and take down the shady underworld of Miami in the 1980s, he must take with him a mask. The one I recognise the most is the pig mask, which is featured prominently on most of the artwork of the game. It’s brutal, it’s bloody and it’s downright fun sending criminals to their graves! Oh justice…
7) Masked Man – Mother 3
Spoilers in the video
Fans of Earthbound and the Mother franchise rejoice, I could not forget about the highly important scenes of the Masked Man from Mother 3. If you’ve never played Mother 3 because you cannot read Japanese, I can basically explain what happens but this is a very spoilery part. If you intend to play this game and don’t want to know what happens, your spoiler warning is incoming… 3, 2, 1…
So in Mother 3, you play as Lucas. After you seemingly lost your brother due to a freak accident, your father Flint goes on an emotional rampage. Lucas, alone and afraid, sets out in the scary world, often encountering this horrible person, known only as the Masked Man. He was incredibly strong and seemingly quite young too, able to take out your whole party single handedly. Your life is only spared by your Franklin Badge, which deflects all lightning damage to the caster. Learning of this item, the Masked Man flees time and time again.
But then, during the climax of the game, something happens. The Masked Man remembers who he was… No, who he is. He was Claus, your long lost brother. He slowly remembers in the middle of a fight with Lucas. It’s then that he finally feels as if all the weight of the world has been lifted from him. He realises the terrible crimes he’s committed in the name of a false idol… And he takes off his mask. Revealing himself as your brother, he smiles and finally casts his one last lightning attack.
Claus took mortal damage.
There, that wasn’t so hard was it..? Who’s cutting onions in here?
6) Vega – Street Fighter
Or Balrog, depending on what language you play in, Vega is a Spanish narcissist whose mask is as iconic as the claw blades he wields in combat. Fighting for beauty alone, the mask serves to protect his face from hideously disfiguring wounds or worse, blood splatter from his victims temporarily marring his glory. He has a loathing of the ugly, and goes to rather unpleasant extremes of violence and aggression when attacking anyone that does not meet his high standards.
It’s fairly understandable of course, after seeing his mother killed by an ugly man and fixating upon that as a symbol of evil, and beauty as emblematic of heroism and bravery. The only alteration he has made to his own appearance are tattoos that mark him as a villain, iconic of his gang ties and associations with M. Bison’s super-mafia, Shadaloo. His face however is to remain unblemished… although I’d be seriously intrigued to see what happens if he ever gets scarred.
I’m going to take a few moments to try and compose myself, I shamelessly preordered the second game so I can play it a day early and I’m not ashamed of that fact. To the point though:
Dishonored delivered a stealth gaming that the most recent Thief title simply couldn’t, and while the mask is not what won it a BAFTA or earned it a sequel (starring Stephen Russell of the original Thief Trilogy as Corvo Attano) it shapes that game in a rather iconic way. The skull like vision came to the visionary Piero Joplin in a dream – no doubt visited upon him by the enigmatic Outsider – in which he claims death himself stared back at him.
Aside from becoming an icon of fear amongst the Dunwall aristocracy, Corvo’s mask serves to protect his face, his identity, contains a handy zoom function, and also represents a little of himself too, a fractured personality who bears the spectre of death, and the decision whether or not to bring that spectre down upon the heads of those who made him appear to be a murderer.
4) Guy Fawkes/V
Seasonal, I know, but the nature of Guy Fawkes has rather changed over the years as general mistrust in politics grows, and rebellion struggles against the comfortable chains of cushioned lifestyles. In the comic V for Vendetta we are introduced to a man who adopts the face of that famous failed terrorist who was caught before managing to blow up parliament. He has taken on the personal mission to finish what his adopted likeness began.
Hugo Weaving superbly delivered the character to us in the 2005 film, and it’s no small feat to perform behind a fixed smile. Yet we are given rage, passion, calculation, sorrow, and joy, all concealed so cunningly behind that vicarious visage, and delivered through subtleties of movement, measured words and timed silences. Little wonder that the face replaced the green morph suit that had once represented the more anarchic divisions of the Anonymous anti-establishment movement.
3) Jason Voorhees
The truest masked murderer of all, Jason Voorhees is one of the world’s most iconic characters in any medium. A true slasher icon, a horrific and terrifying presence and all in all, an amazingly memorable design. The hockey mask came to represent the fear that he brought, rather than the sport the mask was designed for. Of course, he’s not the only masked murderer around. The concept of a masked killer however is a rather hard one to judge.
Whether you’re a fan of Friday 13th and feel Jason is well placed, or if you think Leatherface or Halloween’s “The Shape” are a better candidate (I.E Michael Myers), there’s no doubt that the masked murderer trope is huge. But who do YOU feel is the best masked murderer of them all? Here’s a tiny sample and you guys can shape what this part should look like:
We’ll check back to see how many votes each one got by Monday and we’ll see who you all deemed to be the best masked murderer of them all!
2) Majora’s Mask
What can we say, other than the fact that this mask is not only titular to the whole game, but it was featured in one of the most important RPGs ever to be released? You take up the helm of Link once more, going about your heroic deeds to go and save Hyrule… But oh my, you’ve been met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?
Majora’s Mask features many different masks, from the amazing Deku Scrub, through to the Majora’s Mask itself. The looming creepy moon, the feeling of impending doom you feel as you play this game is simply staggering… And it’s made even worse as you’re presented with various scenes where Skull Kid is wreaking his havoc upon the land. This was one of those games that shook the very foundations of what video games could be… And it got a very fitting re-birth in terms of its 3DS remake.
1) The Mask
Jim Carrey I would label as an acquired taste. He has his style and it is the over-the-top goofy exaggeration of everything that one might call over acting if he weren’t so very good at it. It may seem odd to some that he’d be chosen to play a man possessed by a mass murdering green mask known simply as Big Head. Oh yes, the original Dark Horse comics painted Stanley Ipkiss a very different shade of green, lots more blood, gore and violence than you’d want from the family friendly version we got to see.
There’s surprisingly little overlap between the two, Stanley Ipkiss finds a mask that possesses him, gives him incredible power that helps him secure the woman he loves, take down some mobsters and generally be a glorious anti-hero. The character was originally a cross between The Joker and Jekyll and Hyde, and would never have samba’d his way free of an army of cops.
There’s a whole world of trivia to delve into with these two, from the differing origin stories, to the spin-off where DC’s Joker gets to don the Mask. But if you loved the film as a kid like we did then get your hands on some comics, because things get a whole lot weirder.
Of course masks are a rather hard concept to get your head around, (or indeed into). Where does the definition of a mask end and a helmet begin? It’s hard to say, but what we know is none of our list are considered to be wearing a helmet. Perhaps a helmet needs to be a hard construct which covers the entire head? Either way, in definition of the worlds they’re from, these characters are all masked or are masks. Nevertheless, here’s some more masked goodness for you!
Kanohi – Bionicle
Following a short burst of “edgy” toys directed at older kids within the Technik range, Lego struck collectible gold with the masked warriors, the Bionicle. The Toa were powerful heroes washed up on the isle of Mata Nui, gathered their masks of power and set about saving a world they barely knew. Each mask gave them a unique strength,ability, and a certain distinctive style too. And they weren’t alone either, generations of Toa followed over the years (and are still being released today) all with their own mask collections.
Mask powers vary, from simple strength, and speed, all the way to manipulation of space, time, the very minds around you. The Bionicle range came under some controversy for using the names of Maori gods and similar use of their language, Kanohi itself is the Maori word for face, but the series endured, and now we see a leviathan range that only now seems to show signs of stopping.
Did you ever wonder exactly how easy it would be to make people think you’re someone else? I know everyone makes a huge thing out of Superman’s alter ego basically being him in glasses, but he puts on a tremendous act for Clark Kent, let’s not forget those heroes who cut holes in a sleep mask and thought they’d be safe from ever being identified. Who is that recognisable by their cheekbones and eyebrows that a tiny bit of black felt is going to function as a disguise.
Robin/Nightwing, Green Lantern, The Phantom, Mockingbird, Black Cat, Black Canary, I mean really guys, come on, I know everyone rips on Clark for adjusting his quiff and ditching the tie in a phone booth, but really are you doing any better? Kudos if you get the ones that also turn your eyes into shiny white orbs, not sure how you’re doing that, but honestly, half a job can sometimes be worse than doing no job at all.
And, y’know, thanks for saving the world a bunch of times I guess.
That’s it, I’ve covered myself long enough and now I’m about ready to reveal my true identity. I’d not turn a blind eye to what you, our beloved readers, have to say on the matter. Whether you think some of these don’t fully constitute as masks, or if you think that we’ve not unmasked enough of these characters for you to decide, that’s all down to you to let us know… But before you do, could you spare a moment and vote for one of these three for next weeks’ Top 10?
Now that I’ve finally revealed myself to all of you, it’s up to you to take a good look. Sure, these heroes and villains may be a bunch of misfits to you and me, but they’re ultimately the best chance we have. What do you think of our list this week? Do you think we’ve forgotten some rather important masked characters and have to tell us? Do you think we ordered some of these the wrong way around? Did you seriously not think of “The Mask” when you thought of “Top 10 Masks”? Let us know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit. As usual, keep your suggestions pouring in!
We love being a little bit silly here on GeekOut, so because we’re in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d have a list that was equally as silly as the season itself. Wait a minute, that’s not right – Christmas is a time of love, good will and cheer. Ah well, for the most part the list we’ve comprised of features some silly characters who would spread some Christmas cheer.
Not all of them though. Just because you’re a little bit goofy doesn’t mean you’re always a happy go lucky kind of character. Goofy comes in many shapes and sizes, as you’ll see below! In this weeks’ Top 10, we’re counting down our favourite 10 Goofy Protagonists, whether they’re happy, slimy or simply silly. (more…)
Welcome to our next Top 10 post, where Joel and myself have gotten together to splice up a sweet little list for you all.
Today, we thought we’d think about the Top 10 Crazies in Gaming… Now, a crazy is someone who isn’t exactly all there. They might find some odd things amusing, or they might not think normally. They might like to inflict pain and suffering but most importantly: They’re crazy and you’ll know it.
So join us in our journey through the madness that is the Top 10 Crazies in Gaming!
The Top 10
10) Achenar – Myst
One of the imprisoned sons of Atrus from the Myst series. Sirrus and Achenar carved a trail of destruction through the worlds their father created; Sirrus out of greed and self obsession, but Achenar seems only to want to destroy. Through exploration of the Ages you encounter evidence of his lunacy, an obsession with torture, animal trapping, fixation on blood and death.
Achenar’s insanity is uncovered through exploration, and by talking to his giggling face through a portal to his prison-world. He is a dangerous madman, and kicks off our list at number ten.
9) Kefka Palazzo – Final Fantasy VI
If the picture above doesn’t symbolise just how insane Kefka is, his ever haunting laugh will certainly be testament to this jesters insanity.
Kefka cracks out with dark jokes, relishes in the pain and suffering of others and has absolutely no regard for human life. He lacks self-control and he hates everything in the world: Only enjoying death, pain and suffering.
What a psychopath!
8) Alice Liddell – American McGee’s Alice franchise
Being treated for insanity and catatonia, Alice was beginning to lose her grip on reality. Her only possession is a stuffed white rabbit, which happens to be the creature that calls her back into the Wonderland that she used to explore so long ago.
Unfortunately for her, this Wonderland has changed thanks to her mind. With the corrupt Queen of Hearts now in control, can Alice actually battle her sanity and the Queen of Hearts in an attempt to win back the Wonderland?
Possibly, but she’ll still be in Rutledge asylum afterwards.
7) Max – Sam & Max franchise
Max, the lovable little bunny to the right of the duo above us is a rather impulsive bunny. Although he is generally in control of his actions, he’s very impulsive and he’s not afraid to say and do whatever his mind tells him.
Ultimately, the better judgement always wins, however his lunacy also makes him a volatile poker player. Be warned, else you might get fleeced by the bunny with no true long-term plan.
6) Dr. N. Gin – Crash Bandicoot franchise
Dr. N. Gin replaced Dr. N. Brio in Crash Bandicoot 2. N. Gin noticeably has a large missile protruding from his skull. That can’t be comfortable and indeed it is the cause of several of his massive migraines.
Dr. N. Gin is a genius, but having made that live nuclear missile turn into a kind of life support machine… Um, you’d better believe you need to be insane to pull off something like that! Especially when your emotions sets that thing back off!
5) Harley Quinn – Arkham franchise (Arkham City)
Coming in at number five on our list is the Joker’s lunatic devotee! Why her and not the Joker? Because in spite of Heath Ledger’s famous “Dog chasing cars” speech, the Joker is possessed of a single minded focus. His girlfriend on the other hand is a scatter-brained, mallet-wielding anarchy machine, dangerous enough when following the directions of her precious Mr J, but without him she’s a freewheeling hate-monger.
Quinn is subject of her very own DLC in Batman Arkham City, where players can see the damage a woman scorned can do!
4) Pokey Minch – Mother franchise
From the start, Pokey is manipulative and yet he only gets his way through lying.
He lies his way to get to become the high priest of a cult (No, really…) He then lies his way to becoming a business consultant for a mayor (No… Really..!) Then he uses his accumulated wealth to buy himself a helicopter and basically dares you to follow him to what’s effectively the ultimate evil.
Throughout the game, he becomes more and more power mad, driven by his own greed and desire for power.
After all is said and done, he ends Earthbound (the 2nd game in the Mother franchise) by leaving you a message: “Come and get me, loser! Spankety spankety spankety!”” What a nut-job! He only gets worse in Mother 3, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
3) Krieg – Borderlands 2
The conductor of the poop train comes in at number three. Borderlands’ “Psycho” playable character charges through the world smashing skulls and salting wounds and setting himself on fire! No really, he sets himself on fire. He has a skill tree devoted to it. And suicide as a tactical decision. Just, grenades everywhere. You can voluntarily take friendly fire just so you can suicide bomb your enemies.
Kept in check by the sane voice in his head that stops him from killing the “good guys” Krieg is one long maniacal-laugh riot!
Don’t believe how crazy Krieg is? Check out the Borderlands 2 Wiki page, which has all of his quotes. We were laughing through his quotes!
2) Sheogorath – The Elder Scrolls franchise
The lavishly dressed Sheogorath is perhaps the epitome of a mad man. In fact, that makes sense as he is the Daedric Prince of Madness. With his trademack Wabbajack, an item that issues a random effect.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he literally lives in a place called the Shivering Isles, which is also known as “Asylum” to some people and even “the Madhouse”. People go mad there and Sheogorath dresses for the occasion to meet those who would enter his realm. He even had a whole expansion dedicated to his isles in Oblivion (and it was totally worth it!)
1) Pyro – Team Fortress 2
Happiness, loveliness, rainbows and puppies. That’s what goes through the mind of the psychopath Pyro from Valve’s Team Fortress 2. Whilst s/he is running around shooting people with what s/he believes is a pretty bubble launcher; the world around it burns.
Pyro is insane to the membrane, remember this as when you hear the sounds of fire and smell burning flesh, Pyro thinks it’s making the world a better place.
Sometimes, some crazies in gaming are worth mentioning, even though they didn’t quite make the cut to be truly considered the most insane… But hey, these guys are pretty insane in their own right, so why not kick back and rest assured that these guys aren’t real:
Trust me – It’s safer this way.
Ghetsis – Pokemon Black & White
Power is something that is best left out of some peoples hands and Ghetsis is one of these people. The true brain behind Team Plasma, he led N down a wrong path. N believed everything Team Plasma were doing was for the best interests in his friends, the Pokemon, but he was wrong. Ghetsis is one of these rare geniuses who you fear, simply for knowing he’s around.
From the smart advisor for N, to the insane mastermind behind one of the most evil turns in Pokemons history, Ghetsis is to be feared… And we love to hate him for it.
Crazy Dave – Plants vs Zombies
He wears a cooking pot on his head. He speaks in absolute gibberish and he is basically a prophet. That’s right, you heard it here folks: Crazy Dave, the man who drools, wears a cooking pot on his head and speaks in a gibberish language is a prophet. He believed the zombies were coming – and he was right! He also sold you those damn handy plants. Just… Where did he get them from in the first place?
And that’s the end of our Top 10 crazies in gaming. Please be sure to stay tuned for more Top 10 posts, of which Joel and I will be working on together again.
What did you think of our modest list? Do you have some more crazies in gaming that deserve a mention? Let us know and tell us how wrong we are in the comments below, as we’d love to see what you’d suggest deserved a spot on our Top 10 crazies in gaming list.