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Top 10 – Video Game Films

GeekOut Top 10s

“Wow, this game’s story is so complex, it’d make a great movie!” – Ancient proverb.

Okay, so the above isn’t really an ancient proverb, but let’s be honest: You’ve heard a gamer say this at least once in your life. I know I’ve heard it a dozen times and nine times out of ten, this ends up being a bad decision. However, sometimes we get something that’s a little bit special. Video Games are interactive media, as opposed to a static media, which means the stories they tell can be varied and even of branching plots.

Whatever you think about video game movies, we’re here to discuss the Top 10 Video Game Movies. Before we get into the actual list, this means that the film must have a game as well. The film doesn’t have to be based on the game or the game doesn’t have to be based on the film, but the actual setting and world needs to be used in one capacity or the other.


Top 10

10) Ratchet and Clank

For the uninitiated, Ratchet and Clank are two very strange fellows indeed. A mechanic ‘Lombax’, a cat-like fictional race made for the purposes of the franchise, becomes friends with this adorable little robot who he names Clank. Ratchet having learned of an alien race known as the Blarg, who were going around on a ship called the deplanetiser, wanted to join a resistance group against them, but is ultimately rejected. Still keen to ensure the safety of his planet, Ratchet goes on a mission.

This was a box office flop, so even if you’re a fan of the games this could not go any higher than this. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people will barely know this film exists, but we had to make a mention to it. The film was released in 2016 and whilst critics panned it and it wasn’t profitable (indeed losing money), it was cute enough to be considered for the list. But it wasn’t just because it’s cute; The film was made of pretty well done CGI, but more importantly, it used game assets to make the film. This really was a non-playable version of the game.

9) Angry Birds Movie

Let me begin by saying that I wanted this spot to go to Max Payne! But somehow, SOMEHOW both the box office and the critics disagreed! I understand that Angry Birds is a more popular game (which is just… I mean it was done to death before the game was even released) and that Max Payne is something of a brutal game series lacking in “family friendliness” but there’s no question which was the better film.

Parents of rabid children who are allowed to get at mummy and daddy’s iPad were dragged to a puerile plot beleaguered with fart jokes and characters thinner than the premise, whose announcement was greeted by disbelief by both fans and detractors. That popularity earns it a place at #9 on our list, and is probably to blame for the Emoji movie that’s on it’s way.

8) Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter

There can only be one true fighting game film.

Mortal Kombat is well known for having reached number one in the US box office for three weeks! We look back at this film and can barely believe it, as it’s such a cheesefest. The plot of the film basically revolves around the tournament, featuring all of your favourite characters, such as Raiden, Liu Kang and a guy who basically says he’s Johnny Cage (I don’t know what I was expecting really). It’s a tournament of goodies vs baddies; if the baddies win, Shao Khan will be able to invade and take over Earth. Marvellous!

Conversely to Mortal Kombat then, we have Street Fighter. Featuring some massive names, such as Kylie Minogue as Cammy, Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile and Raúl Juliá (known for being Gomez Addams in the first two Addams Family films) as M. Bison. Cheese galore, character roles are switched up as Ryu and Ken become swindlers and BANG – You’ve got yourself a film that was a humongous flop in the box office; costing 35 million and earning them less than a million. Yeowch!

But, it’s all about the impact these films left on you – Which of these two packed the most punch?

7) Super Mario Bros.

An early example of video game films going bad, Super Mario Bros. was a film based on the hyper successful video game franchise of Mario. Featuring Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi, the two brothers find a parallel universe, where King Koopa (Bowser as we better know him) is a ruthless ruler. Upon finding out about both universes, King Koopa wants to merge them to rule over them both. The Mario Bros. team up with Princess Daisy to stop King Koopa in his tracks.

Okay, so this film was a flop, being criticised on almost every front. It still managed to win some awards and in some cases, it won our hearts. It’s somewhat of a cult classic these days, which isn’t too surprising when you think about it. But, overall, this wacky film just wasn’t the best way to adapt the plumber brothers to the big screen. A crying shame too, as the cast was actually pretty good!

6) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Jerry Bruckheimer brought Dastan to the big screen, and while it was amongst the first big titles to be spat at for Hollywood whitewashing, Jake Gyllenhaal is rarely bad in anything. In effect Sands of Time may have ended up something more akin to a repaint of Pirates of the Caribbean, but it managed to give us the wall running, fast paced action one might expect of a platformer, an edge of the mythic, a Disney love story, and ostrich racing.

The plot is transparent and incoherent in equal measure, the action sequences are beautiful if a little over-padded to fill run time and give us stronger ties to the game, and yet the final result is a video game that got real blockbuster attention long before Assassin’s Creed or Warcraft. Ok, a forgettable blockbuster amongst a flood of bland blockbusters, but it got its own Lego set.

5) Assassin’s Creed

We’re under no illusions here, despite the massively award winning cast and the enormous franchise it built upon, Assassin’s Creed isn’t going to be winning any awards of its own. It suffers a lot of the same issues harboured by a lot of video game films, but did a lot of very positive things for the format. It played well to the core concept, took an original stance without destroying everything that came before, and made the sensible decision to include an original central character.

The enormous animus arm offered a more dramatic take on the link between host and memories, and gave us a very “video game moment” for the final escape from the Templar compound. The narrative may have been very rushed but it was fairly well executed, may have been a little over-reliant on people knowing the games, but overall it was a well presented and stylish spectacle that may very well have helped the video game blockbuster along just a little more.

4) Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart and friends return, two years after the events of Final Fantasy VII. With Sephiroth gone, a trio have been found kidnapping children, inflicting upon them a dreadful disease. After being summoned to a meeting, Cloud and co find out that the trio were a physical manifestation of Sephiroth’s soul, which was inflicting serious damage. The crew get back together to find and stop the trio.

Stunning; truly stunning is what I’d call this. The animation was fantastic, even if the plot itself was a little bit lacking. You also need to take into account that the film was made back in 2005, which eventually got remastered in 2009. Over the years, the animation quality got more and more impressive, seriously spurring on some top quality CGI that could make even Pixar cry. Yes it’s true; we can’t rate it higher, as really this is a pretty niche game to put in the list – Especially since the film was a Direct-to-DVD release.

3) Resident Evil vs Silent Hill

Our second versus in one article; there can only be one horror video game movie!

Resident Evil

Resident Evil has been a constant success in the box office; the first film alone more than tripled the production cost. The Umbrella Corporation, with a lab underneath Racoon City, called The Hive, are doing genetic research; creating the ultimate lifeform. When a thief tries to steal the formula, the Red Queen awakens, sealing The Hive and killing everyone who was inside. In an attempt to get an antivirus to stop the now spreading gasses which were causing the dead to walk!

Resident Evil is a bit of a weird one to place in this list, if only because it’s sometimes hard to think back about the films. In 2016, the franchise of films was finally finished with a film decisively called “The Final Chapter”. Okay, see you again in a few more years then, Resident Evil production team! I jest, but honestly, the films have gone up and down in ratings over the years, but none can deny the amazing scene in Resident Evil 2 where Alice rides through a Church window on a God damn motorbike. Holy mother of God, that scene is cool!

Silent Hill

The nightmarish world of Silent Hill lends itself beautifully to the big screen, a visually haunting spectacle that directly impacts the character who appears therein. In the case of the film it becomes a town enslaved to the malice and vengeance of a little girl burned for witchcraft, the zealous monsters within trapped forever by monsters born of her worst nightmares.

Lots of monologuing makes for a hard sold plot in between visual spectacle, and the less said about Sean Bean’s accent the better, but we were presented with the classic imagery of the game franchise, and all of the monsters who dwell in its fog ridden streets. It’s even a very watchable film, positively enjoyable, but ties to the game may have gotten a little too tenuous for some fans to tolerate.

2) DOOM

Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban head up a team of expendable jarheads played by equally expendable actors, but between them and Rosamund Pike we get some comfortably high quality performances plunged into a very FPS style narrative complete with horrifying demon monsters. The film suffers in AvP Requiem style darkness to hide the rubbery monsters, cheese levels spare us such horrors as “wooshing” torches, but spare no cliches on dialogues, crappy jump scares and unlovable one-dimensional characters, but DOOM didn’t get this far in our list by being adequate.

DOOM has been cited as a prime example of “what not to do” when adapting a video game to film, but take a moment to really consider some of the key components and you may come to appreciate what was being attempted. A group of combatants are given a quest, to sweep a compound and secure three servers for data, important information is drip fed to them gradually, giving a slow burning horror, culminating in the film going full on First-Person for Urban’s final showdown against big-boss The Demon-Rock Johnson. In many ways the content would have made for some fantastic video game moments, but did not make for a terrific film. Not bad for 2005, but at the time we saw a glimpse of what might be…

1) Warcraft

With the Fel Orcs tearing apart their homeworld, the Warlock Gul’Dan looks to expand his people’s homes into a new world – Azeroth. The Guardian of Tirisfel, Medivh, is warned by a young mage, Khadgar, about the fel energies that were appearing. The Frostwolf Clan who came with the Fel Orcs try to liaise with the humans to warn them of the dangers coming their way – Only for them to be ambushed. With such tension between Orcs and Humans, the World of Warcraft’s story has begun in a big way.

Anyone who saw this blockbuster will be filled with hope; that video game films are finally on the horizon of becoming a massive thing. Blizzard put so much love and care into this film, that honestly, you could feel like this was a love letter to their fans. This was the sort of tip of the hat we expect from Blizzard when they’re not being complacent. This is the Blizzard we love; and this film was their thank you to their fans. Hopefully, this film made a few new fans… and I can’t wait for the next film. Want to know more? Check out our full review of Warcraft. Also, let’s not forget the fact – This is the highest grossing video game movie adaptation of all time as of the time of writing.


Honourable Mentions

Now it’s over to the less popular opinions; the honourable mentions. These we felt deserved to be included, because they might not quite fit our criteria, or they were just absolutely dreadful. It’s worth noting however, these still basically count for the video game movie category we’ve defined, it’s just they kind of fall outside of the direct criteria.

Wreck-It-Ralph

It may not be entirely possible to summarise the whole of the arcade gaming world in a film so elegantly as Wreck-It-Ralph. Not only were there cameos from diehard classics like Cubert, Sonic, and Pac-Man, but we also got a heartwarming story from the perspective of a bad-guy about how much easier it is for other people to accept us when we accept ourselves.

While Ralph may not be based on any real in-game character like his friends were, there’s a rather obvious parallel to Donkey Kong, whose nemesis was a plumber rather than a builder, the game-style is very similar, and of course Donkey also went on to be a heroic character himself. Even without that transparent homage we’d be doing this list a disservice by omitting this one.

Pokemon Movie

Relegated to the honourable mentions section because – let’s be honest with ourselves here – the Pokemon film is more directly linked to the supporting anime series, a tie-in to a tie-in if you will. We’d still be incredibly callous to leave it out. In this standalone story we follow the origins of Mewtwo, derived from the genetics of Mew. In an unsurprising Mary Shelley twist, creation turns on creator, and a civil war of sorts ensues.

Unapologetically heartbreaking, the film sets out to give us a lesson of unity and togetherness as Mewtwo comes to realise that he has become everything he despised in his master, and that that can be genuine love between Man and Mon. If only Ultron could have seen Pikachu trying to wake up Ash, I bet his vibranium heart would have melted.

A Dishonourable Mention

Just one, despite a dearth of bad films, many of which receiving bigger praise than they deserve here, I must spontaneously bring to bear the one name that all will hold aloft as the curse wrought upon the marriage of video game and film industries, and the only director whose name I curse more highly than Zack Snyder. Mercifully retired, but a blemish that shall linger, courtesy of Bloodrayne, In the Name of the King, and Alone in the Dark. Many of his films were somehow crowdfunded, meaning people wanted to see them happen!

If you gave money to Uwe Bol, you are an accessory to Uwe Bol. Let us say no more.


That’s it, your time is up and it’s now game over! Time for us to count the scores for the potential list for next week, so click on the one you most want to see listed and we’ll be sure to throw together another high quality article… At least, we’ll push our articles through our Quality Assurance guys. What? There’s a bug in our articles? NOOO!

We’ve seen enough video game movies to last a lifetime, however we hope that with the recent rise in quality of video game movies, we start to see the medium taken even more seriously. Perhaps video games will be the next comic movies? Or perhaps not. What did you make of our list? Did the best ones get in? Did we forget any really big video game movie? Is our order right? As always, let us know what you thought in the comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.

 


Top 10 Fantasy Towns

GeekOut Top 10s

Even an elf needs a place to hang his cap. Despite the dragons wheeling in the sky, the floating towers of magic and the strange and terrible goings-on beyond the walls the occupants of a fantasy world have normal lives to lead, to meet, trade, live and work. These places can take on a life of their own, and rightly so. If you’re going to be sticking around you might as well enjoy yourself, get to know the place.

Come get to know some of the best towns from fantastic settings. Be they overrun by gremlins, demons or supervillains, so long as they fit the definition of town we considered them for this week’s Top 10 Fantasy Towns.


Top 10

10) Pallet Town – Pokemon

Pallet Town, one of the most recognisable names on our list, is all the way down at number 10! It’s a bit of a shocking turn of events, but it’s really hard to put Pallet Town any higher than number 10. You see, whilst it’s truly memorable and it says ‘town’ in the name, we were debating the point of what a town is for ages. Lavender Town was closer to a town, but eventually, we turned to Pallet Town – As there’s an important point to be made.

It’s hard to explain this one, but I believe there is an authority figure who acts as a type of governing body for the tiny pokey town. Professor Oak, who seems to send people on epic quests, must fund the kids to do this. As such, it’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s believable that Pallet Town was a small project set up by Oak to raise the best Pokemon trainers ever… And you know what? It bloody worked. Twice!

9) Sunnydale – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

welcome_to_sunnydale

Vampire slayer fans rejoice, for we really couldn’t forget about the iconic Sunnydale. We’re keen to point out that we cannot rate this much higher than ninth place, as it’s far too realistic. But of course, thankfully, it’s a made up place in their world. If it weren’t made up, we’d not be able to put it in this list at all!

Now, Sunnydale is home to many supernatural occurrences, all thanks to the fact it’s situated on a Hellmouth – A portal between this ‘reality and the next’. Vampires, demons and more – There’s plenty of fun to be had in Sunnydale!

8) Smallville – Superman

smallville

Superman came from here. Okay, so we need to be aware that Smallville is really routed in an ounce of realism, which is why we can’t really score it any higher than it is right now. It’s so grounded, much like Sunnydale, that it’s sometimes hard to call it a Fantasy scenario. But of course, in this particular case, Superman isn’t exactly a normal occurrence. That’s how we’re arguing the fantasy element here.

Plus, furthermore, Smallville isn’t really a real place – So that counts towards it. Still, love it or hate it, it’s got a lot of backstory, a lot of character, it’s own set of businesses which lead independent little lives and boom! You’ve got yourself a series of tales which are sure to keep you thoroughly entertained.

7) Seyda Neen – Morrowind

seyda_neen

Good, you’re finally awake.

Once you step foot off the boat you are immediately struck by the alien landscape of Morrowind, and your first introduction is the town of Seyda Neen. The second you turn to face the guard on the deck of the boat you’ll spot the enormous insectile Silt Strider, hear it purr as you make your way to the census office, and that’s only the beginning.

The people are friendly and definitely not up to something or hiding stashes of stolen goods in tree stumps. Take in the fascinating wildlife before it tries to eat you, meet the locals before robbing them blind, bring an umbrella in case of falling mages, and enjoy a long look at the beautiful isle of Vvardenfell… before it’s swallowed by the Red Mountain and coated in a fine layer of ashes.

6) Hallowe’en Town – Nightmare Before Christmas

the-nightmare-before-christmas-screenshot-06

Not many towns are ruled over by a king, but when your town is the very soul of the pagan festival of the dead and all of its little modern adjustments, then it’s only fitting that it be the seat of power for the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington.

The populous delight in fear; chills, shocks, and frights that entertain and delight even as they terrify. Some take it too far, but for the most part they are not cruel or mean spirited… just spirited.

Ok while I’m here: there’s a Mayor for Hallowe’en Town, as well as a King. I feel inclined to ask exactly how far the jurisdictions extend, as the town appears to be the entirety of Jack’s kingdom, unless Oogie Boogie and the evil scientist fall outside the town boundaries? Are there other territories and settlements? Because it seems like Jack’s job is way too easy for him to try and take over another Kingdom’s job for a week.

5) Esgaroth/Lake-Town – The Hobbit

ss_hobbit-laketown-01

In the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, ever in terror of the slumbering dragon within, the small human settlement proves that humans really will live anywhere they damn well please, even in Middle Earth. It’s a trade based city state ruled by Middle Earth’s only elected leader, the Master, and it thrives on the river traffic and the open trade between dwarves, elves and men.

Lake-Town is built upon stilts that rise out of the surface of the water, but since the attack by Smaug the low tide reveals how much bigger the place used to be, stubs of the old piles still visible and submerged. Being made entirely of wood makes the place easy picking for a fire-breathing lizard, and yet Esgeroth is emblematic of the greatest trait of Men, durability.

4) Lut Gholein – Diablo

lut-gholein

Sultan Jerhyn reigns from the palace of Lut Gholein, a city beaten back to it’s very limits until it is little more than a handful of buildings between the dock and the palace, and the smattering of citizens that remain have retreated to the safety offered by the few walls that remain and the mixed collection of guards and mercenaries.

As the hub for act two you’ll spend a lot of time among the people, you’ll grow sick of hearing Lysander’s voice, get irritated at all of the places you’re not allowed to go, and slowly but surely cleanse the desert of Radament, Duriel, and the demonic evils that have infested the sands. The more it’s people and it’s Sultan come to respect you, and the longer you spend there, the more Lut Gholein becomes like a home, something that neither the docks of Kurast or the rogue encampment quite muster.

3) Alexandria Town – Final Fantasy IX

alexandria

Hey, we’re about to be starting up a let’s play of this – But that’s not the reason why we’re putting this all the way up at number three. It’s a wonderful town, full of wonderfully magical things, where a queen is truly horrible and it makes a massive impact on the game. Think about this for a moment: The queen of a relatively small town is able to take down a main settlement of a whole race, which is hidden behind a protective sandstorm. She’s also able to take out the biggest city in the game!

Okay, so of course this a plot device, as you’re supposed to not be a fan of Queen Brahne, but she really was a pawn. But to think, that such a power thirsty queen could cause so much pain and suffering, from such a small, unsuspecting town, it’s truly incredible. Hopefully you’ll join us as we play through our brand new Let’s Play series, starting from this Sunday!

2) Silent Hill

silent-hill-origins

While it’s entrances may be very earth-bound, and it may even look a lot like home, Silent Hill is certainly not of this earth. It’s a hell of our own creation, forged of the worst parts of our mind, manifested by terrible rage and evil. Victims of the haunted town in Maine are always drawn in by a mystery, a stranger in trouble, a message from a loved one, a disappearance, they always discover some terrible truth, and they never leave.

The streets are shrouded in fog, the night is filled with terrors of the mind, and the end is never pleasant. Amongst the favourite residents are the shrouded nurses, grey children, and the titanic manifestations like Pyramid Head or the Butcher. Whatever the origins… the first origins of this terrible town might be, make no mistake it is always your personal hell.

1) Hyrule Town – The Legend of Zelda

hyrule_town

If there’s any game in this list that has a town that’s actually synonymous with the whole overall franchise, then it’s this one. Hyrule Town of The Legend of Zelda is a place that appears in just about all of the games in the series to some capacity, as well as the other media, such as the manga and the cartoon series. With this said, a lot of people mostly just think of the castle.

It’s fair to say though, that Hyrule Town is hugely influential, as it’s always one of the primary locations of the games. One of the most important uses for it is as a giant shop. It’s also useful if you want to collect stones that make up a whole stone to progress finding secrets throughout the game. It’s also home to a man who makes shoes. It’s also home to —

There are many stories told here. Each and every one of them are magical, lovable and downright memorable in their own right.


Honourable Mention

Some towns are just plain old boring aren’t they? Thankfully, not the ones in our list above – Nor the two extra towns we’ve found for you to salivate over. Don’t worry: They’re not quite list-worthy, but they needed to at least be seen!

Lazy Town

 

If you’ve never heard of Lazy Town, then you’ve probably not been lurking on YouTube for all that long in your life. It’s come and gone quite a few times as one of the most memeable TV series ever created. It’s a childrens show, which is so crazy, so sing-song-y and so colourful, that it made the perfect source for mashups and parodies. YouTube Poop videos were commonly using Lazy Town footage and so were other viral videos.

With the shocking development that the guy who plays central villain, Robbie Rotten, was actually hospitalised, it was no shock that it came back as one of the most memeable things again. But this time, people were memeing it for a good cause. To spread awareness of just how camp, but how fun the show actually was. Keep it up internet – Sometimes you do us all proud!

South Park

SouthParkStickofTruth

Fantasy comes in many forms… some more alarming than others. While one might not encounter elves and wizards on the streets of South Park (ok you might, but they’re just kids) you’re surprisingly likely to come across crab people, aliens, and gnomes who steal your underwear. The residents of South Park Colorado have come to accept this over time, as you would I guess, survive one Manbearpig or Mecha-Streisand attack and you survive them all.

That’s not to say that the locals are unaffected of course. The backwoods burg claims amongst its most noted citizens an immortal child, Jesus, and a man whose digestive tract is home to the spiritual leaders of small animals… I believe Paris Hilton recently moved in with them. Many have experienced odd changes, cybernetic implants, existential crises, physically manifesting imaginated constructs and the like.

It may be a small town in the northern states, but it goes through a lot.


Quickly, let’s hold a town meeting in the town hall and declare that this list is over! We’re meeting with the local Council of GeekOut South-West to decide what to do about this state of emergency that we’re in. Gather around, grab yourself a lovely cake from old Mrs. Smith, and let’s get the tea poured out. Oh, whilst you’re all here, you get to decide what is our list choice for next week?

That’s all for this week’s Top 10 – We’re done! We’re out of here but now it’s all over to you, ladies and gentlemen. What did you make of our list this week? Did we order it as per your expectations, or were we way off the mark? Did our criteria fit in quite nicely? Let us know what you thought in the comments below, or if you’d prefer to just use your personal social media accounts, engage with us on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Top 10 – Swords

GeekOut Top 10s

Let’s cut to it, of all the many ways and means we’ve created to kill each other there’s not one that carries with it so much myth and legend and so many famous examples. Name a few axes for me, or more than one hammer? Oh but there are more named swords in this world than you could shake a spear at. It’s a symbol, a stick of pointy metal with a handle on one end, and so much more.

There’ll be no sitting on the fence, listed here are ten swords that we claim to be the very coolest, most legendary, most awesome, and we’re prepared to back that opinion to the hilt! Welcome to the Top 10 Swords.


Top 10

10) Katanas – Kill Bill

kill-bill-and-brides-sword-set

So why do these make the list? These are just some very typical Katanas aren’t they? I mean what on Earth could make these specific Katanas so important? Oh I don’t know, perhaps because they were wielded by Uma Thurman in one of the most typical and easy to understand action films ever made? Perhaps because they were so good at conveying the entire plot of the film with the right weapon.

Think about it, it’s a film about a bride who is on a mission to exact her revenge against some assassins. She literally only wants to kill Bill. Only coming in at number 10 because yes, they are ordinary Katana’s, but this is possibly one of the most stylish action films you could ever watch – and it is thoroughly entertaining as well. If you’ve somehow not seen it, go do so now.

9) Greatknife – Silent Hill

Pyramid_Head

Welcome back Pyramid Head, the most iconic monster of the Silent Hill franchise. While the game offers up Pyramid Heads equipped with spears, providence has left the beast with a far more iconic weapon, the ragged blade it drags along the ground, a sound that instills fear in the players who have grown familiar with what’s coming.

In the film the modified “Red Pyramid” uses the blade to rather terrifying effect, piercing a thick steel door like butter and waving it around like it’s nothing, despite the fact that one heavy swing smashes masonry. How Sunderland can lift it and use it in game seems mind-boggling.

8) Oblivious – Goblins

Oblivious

Oblivious begins life as a blade that mimics the last material it touches (under certain rules of course, no air-blades) so it turns to stone if touched against stone, wood if touched to wood, and “+2 to strength metal” if touched against a ring that grants a +2 strength bonus.

In the dungeon where it is found a Psion is attempting to bring about an end to all things, and in a semi-successful attempt opens up multiple holes in reality. If something falls in, it never existed, with only slight corrections made to adjust for paradoxes.

As it turns out if you poke a sword that clones material into pure oblivion, the sword mimics the properties of oblivion. It is no longer affected by things like gravity, force, time, space, and reason, and therefore if it is dropped, it does not exist until picked up again. Two minutes with an indestructible weapon and Minmax the Unstoppable breaks it.

7) Ragnarok – Soul Eater

Ragnarok_soul_eater

So first things first, let’s establish how Soul Eater works to those of you who don’t know about it. In Soul Eater, your weapon harvests souls (no big surprise here). It eats them and boom, it makes them bigger and better. But more importantly, the students are doing this to teach the demon weapons that they possess to not cause any carnage, as well as a way to help balance world order. Are you with me? Good…

So then when Ragnarok is revealed, it’s a little bit screwy. Ragnarok is a demon weapon which is in the possession of Crona, the sort of semi-antagonist. Crona is a very interesting character who has had quite a rich background regarding his/her past and their mother, the Gorgon Medusa. With this in mind, it’s no surprise then that Cronas demon weapon, Ragnarok, is certainly heavily influenced by Medusa. Of coruse, so is Crona, so the two of them set out to become the Kishin… But enough about that – That might be going too far into the stories plot. Heavily involved from the get go, Ragnarok is no ordinary blade.

6) Finn’s Collection – Adventure Time

Swords

Mighty hero renowned throughout the land of Ooo, a world of adventure awaits, as does crazy loot. Let’s take a quick peruse through the main list here:

The Golden Sword of Battle (Scarlet) – Jake’s first major sword, sadly made four-dimensional and accidentally creates a black hole that destroys it.
Root Sword – A prize from a train filled with crazy magical items, used as a fallback when better blades break.
Demon Blood Sword – A demon forged this sword of his own blood in order to escape a prison forged by Finn’s adoptive father. A suitable facsimile is made of blessed grape juice.
Grass Sword – A blade that not only binds itself to Finn’s arm, but also replaces it when it’s severed. Unnervingly sharp for a cursed plant.
Other Finn Sword – Caused by a time-travel-dream-paradox, one copy of Finn turns into a sword for the maybe original to carry, which doubles all of his capabilities.

Yup, I think they’re awesome enough.

5) Gunblade – Squall Leonheart

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The Gunblade is a really simple design and I don’t know why people hadn’t made one before. It’s simple a large sword, which can be used typically to slash at opponents and inflict some serious damage. But the flipside to this blade, as well as the reason as to why we have it in this list in the first place, is what else it is: A freakin’ gun!

Yeah, this blade can be used like a gun as well. In fact, Squall might be the only character I at least can remember from the Final Fantasy series that allowed you to hit a bumper button for some extra damage output, as it fires a bullet into the enemies that you’re slashing up. It’s an outrageous design, but it’s so simple that I reckon someone could actually pull it off. Nice design, Square Enix!

4) Tetsusaiga – Inuyasha

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Whilst there’s common debate about the actual correct spelling of this sword’s name, there’s no debating that this is a seriously kick ass sword. When wielded by the dog demon Inuyasha, this humble looking blade has the ability to kick it up a notch by turning into an absolutely massive blade! Honestly, who the heck could seriously use a thing like that, if not a demon who has a lot of pent up rage after being pinned to a tree and sealed there.

Still, all joking aside, the Tetsusaiga is Inuyashas most versatile weapon, even if it sometimes seems like it should be a hinderance. It just goes to show, that some people certainly do carry around growers, rather than showers. Hah, that was a human anatomy joke. The sword is actually a fang from Inuyasha and primary antagonist Sesshomaru’s father. Whilst Inuyasha got Tessaiga, the sword of destruction, Sesshomaru got the sword of life, the Tensaiga. So we’re here to root for the… Destructive one and not the preservative one..? Well, okay then Inuyasha, whatever you say. The Tetsusaiga is not only capable of transforming into the massive blade seen above, but it’s also good at guiding Inuyasha too, almost as if his dad is still looking out for him. Bless.

3) Zangetsu – Bleach

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Ok, I won’t lie, there are plenty of better anime, and Bleach is a guilty pleasure of mine because of all of the yelling and some pretty awesome music. But Zangetsu is one hell of a sword. Every shinigami conjures a sword from their soul, a Zanpakuto, and Ichigo’s is ridiculously oversized because of his raw power and his inability to control it.

Zanpakutos have three forms, released by getting to know the spirit within the blade, and Ichigo and Zangetsu have one hell of a relationship. His first form is impossibly large and loses its guard, being a shameless representation of Ichigo’s power, and never reverts to its original form because it simply can’t be contained. The final “Bankai” form is a plain, black katana, normal sized, where everyone else has insanely large and mystical powers.

Old man Zangetsu and Ichigo cooperate so well, that they wield each other as a weapon, and the small weapon belies the impossible speed, skill and strength that Ichigo suddenly possesses. Cliche? Overly dramatic? Maybe! I don’t care, it’s awesome.

2) Excalibur

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Of course, the guy who put the sword in the stone, that’s your king right there.

Alright fair enough, Excalibur must be the name most people think of when the topic of “famous swords” is raised. Best known for appointing a young Arthur as King of England when he plucked it from the stone that had held it fast for years against boorish fools who thought the job all too easy, but the name has been used so often there must be hundreds of pretenders to the throne.

A Canadian TV series, a Crusader class battleship in Babylon 5, a ridiculous top-hatted character in Soul Eater, two Marvel Teams (X-Calibur for mutants, eXcalibur for British supers) and an ichthyosaur. The name gets around a bit, it’s a myth, it’s a legend, and it pretty much ticks all the boxes and cuts those boxes to unrighteous ribbons.

So what could claim the number 1 slot? Ah, who am I kidding you can see from here.

1) Vorpal Sword – Jabberwocky

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A legend born of nonsense. Is there anything quite so glorious?

Oh any old knife can slay a dragon or cut down a thousand men, you can slap a name on your pigsticker and call it unique but I can guarantee your blacksmith round the corner has got a dozen he made this morning. What other blade, which tongue of steel and hatred can claim the blood of the Jabberwock?

These days if you’ve played a few fantasy RPGs this public domain property will have popped up in your inventory, often as a unique weapon or some super-sharp blade. It’s a classic of Alice’s armoury from American McGee’s franchise, and even found its way into the Disney film so Alice could take down the monster on the Frabjous day. As it’s from a nonsense fantasy ballad the designs vary wildly, but the name remains.

See also Vorpal Bunny

What the hell Final Fantasy?


Honourable mentions

Ah yes, we do have the sharpest of wits, as well as the most versatile of blades at our arsenal. Never fear though, we do have two more blades for you to consider, two more easily recognisable swords that should we should cut through.

Lightsaber – Star Wars

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Lightsabers are not exactly unheard of, now are they? They don’t quite make it into our list, because they do feel a little bit like a “Mary Sue” of the sword world. I mean they are lasers and they are also swords… Which is pretty cool, but at the same time, when they’re so damn powerful that they can go through walls, you know you’re talking some major nonsense. Still, they look awesome.

They come in a few varieties, such as a normal blue lightsaber, a normal red lightsaber, a two-ended lightsaber, some other variation of a — The point is, they all look pretty similar, although there are minor cosmetic changes here and there. Usually looking cooler for the bad guys than the good guys, there’s one more reason to give in to the dark side. Other than all the cookies they have!

Farfetch’d Leek – Pokemon

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To the untrained eye, Farfetch’d may be holding onto a very common leek, the kind you would find growing in your garden. Yes, indeed, this strange little bird appears to be holding a vegetable of some kind, how painful could this really be? How could such a tiny, harmless looking bird cause so much carnage with greens, which people always say are really healthy for you?

Well of course that’s because you’re untrained. You haven’t realised that this isn’t just any old leek, it’s literally a weapon of destruction! It’s a leek, yes, but it’s a powerful leek that can be used to slice through trees in the original Pokemon games. It’s a powerful leek that can be used to not only slice through things, but to slap someone upside the head with. You wanna mess with Farfetch’d, bring it on… But bring your A-Game, as this duck is really going to come at you.


We’re done cutting down our opposition with the best blades man can buy and no, we’re not on about Gillette. It’s true that a pen is much mightier than a sword – Ah who are we trying to fool here? Anyone with a brain can see that a sword could easily slice apart any old pen, no matter how mighty it may claim to be! As always though, take your pick for our next Top 10 list.

Hilt yourself fools, we’ve had enough slashing away at the air now. It’s time to remember what really matters in life: Really big swords (or sometimes really little ones). We’re done and it’s all thanks to you that we wrote this list, but that’s it for this Top 10. As always please remember to leave your comments below, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.


Top 10 – Gratuitously Violent Characters

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It’s grisly, it’s over the top, it’s explosive, it’s gory and frankly it’s unnecessary. We love it! When a character’s heights of violence have become so visceral and excessive that it’s borderline funny in how exaggerated it is, then the character becomes something truly and ridiculously memorable.

Grab yourself a mallet and a big bag of dynamite, and join us in a blood party of epic and stupid proportions as we count down through our Top 10 of gratuitously violent characters, but be forewarned because while we try and keep things civil around here the characters listed do not. Some of the content may be bloody, brutal, and even unpleasant.

Don’tcha just love it! (more…)


Games And Movies – An Unhappy Marriage

We know it all, we’ve seen it all happen over the last few years so I’ll skip the spiel and get into the heart of the matter. It fails in both directions:

Licensed Titles

Now the problem here is a matter of timing. Licensed titles are designed to be released shortly before the film upon which they’re based, but because the projects start roughly when the production of the film is well under way it cuts deeply into the production time, leaving us with rushed messes filled with glitches and lacking any kind of innovation as the development team try their hardest to cobble together something that will roughly match the feel of the film or the general themes.

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And that’s the other side of the problem. It’s very difficult to take a fixed and flowing narrative and wedge in some interactivity. It’s easier to take the characters and the world that they occupy and put them into a more game-oriented story than it is to try taking a story and gamifying it. For example, American McGee’s Alice took the characters from Lewis Carroll’s surrealist story and made a modern day classic. Telltale’s Walking Dead and Game of Thrones series have both taken the worlds and themes and created original adventures within them.

Gaming Films

Uwe Bol may be bringing down the standards, but he’s really only adding to a far larger problem. Paul W.S. Anderson too, but it’s not exactly his fault.

Half of the problem is the exact reverse of the licensed game issue. The appeal of games is the interactivity, and the fact that a game can reveal a great deal more through the hours of gameplay than it can in those periods of time dedicated to story-telling. Much like a book adaptation, much of a game’s content is condensed or removed altogether to allow for time constraints, leaving fans unfulfilled. Doom and Max Payne appear to have suffered most heavily under this issue, both films demonstrated at the very least a respectable attempt at bring their games to big screen, but felt clumsy and lacking (right up until Carl Urban’s FPS scene in Doom).

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Worse is the all-to-common issue of the writers, directors and producers not fully understanding the title that they’re working with. Boll may be a travesty of a director but at least he seems to enjoy games, whereas other attempts seem to be cobbling together plot from cutscenes or simply joining dots on what they’ve been told about it.

Hope

At least one film has been made that came close to a true representation of the game upon which it was based: Silent Hill. All the key elements were there, the fog, the horror, the themes, even the story came very close, but even that had it’s critical flaw. Where the games created nightmares from the innermost corruption of the main character, the film constructed a narrative where the young girl had created a private hell for those who had condemned her, sending away a better part of herself to drag someone new in so that the audience had someone to follow. Even then, Silent Hill was a good film, and not a horrendous sequel either.

And so to the future! Warcraft has a film incoming, and while we’ve seen promising trailers let us down in the past (looking at you Agent 47) we may yet have the beginnings of a revolution on our hands. It took a long time for the comic book hero to see proper representation on the silver screen, and games have a similarly long burn to get through, trial and error, lots of error, until finally we begin to strike gold.

Sidenote, I think Assassin’s Creed has potential to make a good film, but a lot of other games have had potential and failed hideously. There are some thing Michael Fassbender just can’t fix, and the lousy relationship between video games and films will take more than a couple of successes.


Top 10 jump scares in gaming

GeekOut Top 10s

Welcome back another issue of our Top 10! This week we’ve been made to look at the Top 10 Jump Scares in Gaming, because all of you lovely viewers want to see us suffer and jump and be reduced to blubber and tears.

Thanks guys. For the record, Timlah loved this one.

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