Here’s the same thing about a year later. (more…)
Team17 have been at it for years and years, having released some great titles, but most notable are their Worms franchise. Worms Reloaded might be my favourite Worms title ever released and this review is going to look at it without the rose-tinted glasses. It’s time to get critical on this classic, so join Timlah as we look through the full wormage and prepare to fight for the lives of our wriggly companions in some garden warfare.
Mooo-ve over goats, it’s time to pay our respects to the bovine beasties of the world with our next list. Trot on over to your seats ladies and gentlemen, as it’s Saturday and that can only mean it’s time for another strange collection to graze through. Selected by you, we’ll prove we’ve got no beef with this weeks choice. We’re not playing around when it comes to milking these puns today, it’s time for our Top 10 Cows!
10. The Tauren – Warcraft
“Moo, are you happy now?”
Ah yes, the Tauren of Warcraft are an incredibly nomadic people. These huge humanoids resemble cows and bulls, akin to that of a Minotaur. The difference with these folk are their shamanistic and druidic ways, as opposed to a typical Minotaur view of solitude and isolation, making the Tauren a lot more of a herd mentality that we’re used to from cows in general. The Tauren are a noble people, who sided with the Orcs and their Horde.
One interesting point about the Tauren is their strange relationship to the Night Elves. On the one hand, war separates the two, yet they’re both keen on the protection of the Earth. If only these two races kept to themselves; perhaps fel energies wouldn’t be so present there on Azeroth. Coming in only at number 10, the Tauren are one of the more neglected, but certainly lovable aspects of Warcraft.
9. The Brazen Bull
Torture is a terribly creative affair, it’s incredible the ways we find to bring each other pain. The bronze bull or Sicilian bull was devised a means of executing prisoners by imprisoning them in a metal sculpture that is slowly heated until the victim is cooked to death, oh but that’s not the creepiest part. Smoke was allowed to curl out of the beast’s nostrils, and a series of pipes and tubes made the horrified screams emerge as the enraged howling of the bull.
If you want to see exactly how horrific that can be, watch Immortals by Tarsem Singh, it’s a rather superb take on a classic Greek tale, but it’s also rather gruesome. Magic: the Gathering also brought out a Brazen Bull card entitled Deserter’s Quarters. And as if Amnesia wasn’t creepy enough, there’s even a haunted Bull in the torture chambers that still screams when a fire is lit beneath it.
8. Cow – Cow and Chicken
The cartoon series that featured the grotesque and childish mishaps and happenings of the brother sister team, hard-done-by 11 year old Chicken and his overly emotional 7 year old sister Cow. While Chicken largely tries to ignore or berate his sister he cannot escape the fact that he is literally overshadowed by the big, fat and ugly cow he is charged with protecting.
Cow is massive, loving, easily brought to fits of hysteria or bouts of tears, either accompanied by an emotional moo. Considering their neglectful and unhinged parents it’s little wonder that the unlikely siblings have issues of their own, although it probably doesn’t help that they share a creator with Ren and Stimpy.
7. #241 Miltank – Pokemon
When Miltank was released upon the Pokemon franchise, at first I thought it was going to be a bit of a joke Pokemon, not really understanding the meta-game importance it would achieve. Even to this day, a well trained Miltank can seriously soften a blow for a team that needs the time to set up. This beefy, tanky cow is able to withstand some really devastating attacks from many different types.
Miltank isn’t anything special really; but the fact it was such a sturdy tank for so long and can still soak up the damage is testament to how well this bovine Pokemon has fit in with the franchise. Whether it’s surviving by the skin of its teeth and drinking… Er… It’s own milk to recover health, or if it’s the surprisingly useful move set that jumps out at you, don’t worry: Miltank will never be forgotten as one of the greatest assets from Generation 2.
6. The Secret Cow Level – Diablo 2
If you’ve never heard of the Secret Cow level, then you’ve either never played Diablo 2 or you’ve never used Google before. The Secret Cow level is an Easter Egg of mythical proportions, a secret passed down from player to player and even from Diablo to Diablo (only it sometimes changes forms to other things, such as rainbow unicorns and ponies in the process).
The Secret Cow Level requires you to get the Horadric Cube and to place inside of it Wirt’s Leg, a seemingly useless item from Tristram and with it, put a Tome of Town Portal in there with it. Transmute the items together and a red gate will appear, as if conjured up by hell itself. This only happens when you’ve beaten Diablo and are taken back to the Rogue Encampment for the first time. Do not select a higher level of difficulty, for you’ll have to beat that ones Diablo. Be prepared, as these cows are tough, wielding halberds and polearms of all sorts… But the treasures beyond the portal are immeasurable.
5. Ballistic Cow/Fetchez la Vache – Monty Python and the Holy Grail
We have a Holy Grail, it’s very nice, but you cannot come in to see it. Now go away or we shall taunt you a second time! Or hurl livestock at you via trebuchet, or possibly mangonel.
In the same way that this flung cattle is the opening salvo in a barrage of assorted debris, clutter and livestock, this is one of the many, many, many many, manymany MANY jokes from Holy Grail that would seemingly live forever in the form of a wide variety of weaponised cows, many of whom appear on this list! It may not be the most famous part of the scene, but it’s perhaps the most parodied.
And this one is for your mother.
4. Cow Launched – Earthworm Jim
Considered one of the weirdest plot devices in all of video game history, Earthworm Jim is about an earthworm, named Jim, who becomes super powerful whenever he puts on his intergalactic suit. With the universe in danger from Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, Jim sets out to go and save Princess Whats-Her-Name and to hopefully steal a smooch from her. Little did he know, his dreams of smooching the damsel would be completely smooshed.
In a weird twist, the princess is flattened by a cow that falls from outer space. Jim, beside himself, leaves the scene… Only to return to steal her crown after the land has cracked away at the cow and the princess. But why would a cow fall from space like that? Back in the first level, a trap is set up to force you to progress the game. The trap forces you to launch the same cow into orbit, where you see the cow travelling by at insane speeds throughout the game. Crazy, silly ending, for a crazy, silly game.
3. Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo – Cyriak
Cows & Cows & Cows is a video featuring a large bunch of cows in a field, perhaps even a whole herd of cows. They start to moo in a rather catchy rhythm, mooing cheerily, but somewhat eerily too. They then start to bounce around in silly manners – Oh the joy in those moos. But then, suddenly, the joyful bouncing turns into weird shapes, such as spider cows… And even puddle cows. Very odd. Moo is just as odd, featuring aliens and cows fighting it out for… Something.
It’s really hard to explain what makes these videos (and thus Cyriak) such a highly talented piece of animation. But hey, Cyriak’s YouTube ventures, including both Cows & Cows & Cows and Moo saw his animation expertise be snapped up by both the BBC AND Adult Swim. Who would have ever thought that making some cow-monstrosities would create such an impressive career?
2. Angel/Demon Cow – Black and White
Black & White was a highly anticipated game by Lionhead Studios, who recently shut down for good. It’s a shame, as Lionhead produced some amazing games, such as Black & White and of course, the legendary Fable series. WIth this said, the cow in Black & White was hilarious in many respects. This was a cow that could be bigger than a mountain; or “only” as tall as a building. This was a cow that could be good and heal the sick, or be rotten by healing the sick… then eating them. It could inflict pain like no other, or it could help those who truly were in need. This cow was not only a godsend: It was a literal avatar of a god put on Earth.
This was a close call, having almost made this our number one pick… However, it just loses out because this simply isn’t as well known as our number one choice. That was the only determining factor between the avatar of a god and our next choice…
1. Minotaur – Mythology
Asterion, the bull of Minos, was the misbegotten child of Pasiphae and the Cretan Bull, sent as a curse upon King Minos for failing to sacrifice the bull. In his dispair Minos commanded Asterion imprisoned in a labyrinth, to be slain years later by Theseus, a son of Poseidon. The minotaur is also one of the first things most people think of when they hear the words Greek Myth.
Minotaurs have entered gaming circles as an entire species of evil carnivores bent on destruction. It may be a misappropriation of the source material but it’s one that’s spread throughout the fantasy genre and has built something of a mythology around themselves. A playable race in D&D, a pivotal race in Magic’s plane Theros, and in the mythology based RPG Titan Quest you can fight your way through a horde of the beasts to kill the original beneath the palace of Knossos.
Was there really another choice for geekiest cow? Well yes, it got pretty close with the Avatar in Black and White. In the end it was the far reach and cultural impact of the bullheaded maneater that won out the number one slot.
That wasn’t so bad now, was it? Now that these Moo-vers and shakers have been shuffled along, it’s time for two more to be mentioned. There’s always a couple of layabouts in a large herd. So whether it’s all about being punny, or it’s all about hoofing over another ‘potential’ for our list, here are two more that just deserved to be mentioned.
Bison – Street Fighter
BECAUSE HE’S A BISON?
I am so sorry. Bad pun it may be, but it is nerdy, and it’s kind of an interesting piece of trivia. The powerful crime lord in the red military garb is actually named Vega in the original Japanese, the masked fighter with the claws is named Balrog, making the original M. Bison the pugilist we know better as Balrog. The name swap was brought about by the unapologetic similarity to Mike Tyson.
But no matter which Bison you know, both are almost comically exaggerated combatants, and regular antagonists of the series. The boxer is a dirty fighter, and cheats to land bigger paychecks, but the head of the operation has a real god complex that has driven him to pursuing the dark Psycho Power beyond his physical limits.
Not exactly cows, but we couldn’t resist.
Mad Cow – Worms
Amongst the wide variety of brilliantly ridiculous weaponry at the disposal of the heavily armed invertebrates are a collection of barnyard animals, including the sheep, super sheep, concrete donkey, and of course the Mad Cow.
Not the most devastating, not the easiest to control, but a rather interesting balance of the two. Point and shoot to unleash a stampede of wildly trampling cows that detonate on impact, y’know, like cows do. The problem is what they might make contact with, one badly angled launch can be result in a devastating backlash or a heartbreaking waste, but I have seen some rather effective uses by dropping cows from a grappling hook.
I’ve gone mad from all of this cow-talk. So give yourselves a pat, you’ve seriously made us need to farm through the banks of our memories for this one. But don’t think you’ve defeated us, because once again we rose to the occasion and we’ve come up with a list that is definitively GeekOut and is as barn-y as we are. Oh, I really should stop with milking these puns. Take a moment to help us pick our next Top 10:
Don’t have a cow man, that’s the end of our list for this week. Whether or not you had fun trotting through this list, or if you now have some personal beef with us for forgetting your favourite cow, let us know in the comments below. Do you agree with our ordering of these shapely creatures, or do you think we’ve forgotten one all together? Alternatively, share your bovine frustrations with us over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.
Have you ever played a game that you really enjoy, where suddenly you see this really odd thing in the game?
No, I don’t mean an odd pair of socks, or even an odd number of teacups in the game, but instead a really odd weapon? We have and we’ve compiled a small list of the oddest weapons in video gaming. These are in no way a comprehensive list, but these are our top-picks for odd weapons in gaming.
10. Holy Mackerel – Team Fortress 2 (Scout)
Have you ever heard of the phrase “You look like you’ve been slapped by a wet fish”? Well the Scout takes it to the next level by literally slapping you with a wet fish!
To make matters worse for everyone who gets slapped by this most holy of all mackerels, there’s a unique kill-icon for the fish – only it counts how many times you get slapped by the wet fish! Seriously, what a nasty slap to the face that is for you and your team.
9. Scalpel – Guilty Gear (Faust)
First of all, I’d just like to point out that Faust is humongous. I mean he barely fits on the screen, that’s how tall this guy is. So why on earth would he choose to fight using a scalpel? Well it’s simple really: He’s a doctor who’s shamed himself by killing a patient. After having the lust for blood, he’s now realised the errors of his ways and wants to make amends…
… By being a good doctor… Who… beats people up with a giant scalpel. Not only is it a giant scalpel, he uses it as a pogo stick, amongst other things at that. A pogo scalpel. Right, that’s enough Guilty Gear for one day.
8. The Morningstar – Borderlands
They do say we’d all game better if we played like our mother was watching over our shoulders. 2K games has Mum’s back though, and delivers us a sniper rifle that offers pearls of wisdom with every shot:
“If you were a better shot you wouldn’t have to reload!”
“Wonderful shot! Murderer!”
“Just wait until I tell your father!”
Thanks guys, we needed to hear that, and we’re better people thanks to the Hyperion Morningstar range!
7. Hand Cannon – Dead Space 2
Isaac Clarke battles through The Sprawl in Dead Space 2, a massive space station overrun by the Necromorphs. To survive he’ll use a variety of high-tech weapons, from laser cutters to machine-guns and grenade launchers, and beyond those is the single most devastating weapons of them all: the amazing Hand Cannon, a GIANT FOAM FINGER!
Aim this powerful weapon at any enemy and Isaac will shout, “Bang, Bang!” or “Pew Pew Pew” at the enemy, who will subsequently explode into tiny little bits. No more frantic firing trying to dismember the creatures, just point the finger of doom at it and it’ll be gone in tiny little bits!
6. Lulu’s Dolls – Final Fantasy X
Lulu is a master spellcaster, throwing out Firagas and Blizzagas left and right, and clearing everything in such a dazzling spectacle you’d almost fear she’d get sued by ILM. But even she has to get physical at some point, and one look at her and you’d think she’d use one of the many belts that make up her bodice or a wand or staff as is expected of a sorceress.
Well, you’d be wrong. Lulu fights in cute cuddly and at the same time creepy style. Her weapons of choice are dolls. From teddy bears to Moogles, these cute little plushy toys will jump out of her arms, run at the enemy and give them a good whack before coming back to mommy!
5. Keyblade – Kingdom Hearts
This is the Swiss Army Knife of weapons. It can be used to fight, to open doors and chests and even close entire worlds; but what makes it so unique is that it can cut through anything…without actually having an edge. Just look at it, it’s round-shaped and its edge is blocky!
Over the years the number of people wielding the Keyblades has increased and while there have been edgier designs, the blade has never has never truly been sharp. You’d think it would work as a hammer, but nope, not in the Kingdom Hearts universe. If it’s a big key, it’ll cut through anything!
4. Earthworm Jim – Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a really super guy. An ordinary earthworm in an enhanced mechanical suit that grants him sentience, you have to ask yourself is the worm the hero, or the suit? Well the suit seems to know, and uses the symbiotic wriggler more as tool than pilot. In the games you can use your worm to lash onto hooks, ride zip-lines and whip your enemies into submission if your ammo’s running low.
There’s a joke in here somewhere, but I think the fact that you can use yourself as a tool is joke enough in itself. Nope, I just made it worse.
3. Dubstep Gun – Saints Row IV
The Third Street Saints, over their long criminal and media entertainment career have had a lot of weapons in their arsenal, but none as deadly, terrifying and rhythmic than the Dubstep Gun!
Simply aim and pull the trigger to unleash a hellish beat upon your enemies. They won’t be able to resist and they’ll dance to the beat to appease the weapon’s hunger until they just explode. Thankfully, for the universe, the weapon has a low ammo count.
2. Old Woman – Worms
Worms is bulging with weird and wonderful weapons; they’re invertebrates with floating hands, so this game was never going to be all uzis and shotguns. While we considered the legendary super-sheep, banana bomb, or concrete donkey, we respect and fear our elders, even if those elders are infirm, toxic-ally flatulent and explosive.
Unleash the wrath of the walking-stick wielding monster, the hunchbacked, thick spectacled octogenarian of carnage. Watch as your enemies inhale her every noxious emission before she explodes, for reasons!
1. Mr Toots – Red Faction: Armageddon
You’ve read this right and the video above really doesn’t do this enough justice… And that was the promotional video for this weapon! Yes, it is time to unleash a smelly dose of rainbows and sparkles upon your enemies in a laser-like rainbow storm.
To sweeten the deal even more, your gun is made even more magical than you could ever think possible. In fact, you get your very own Mr. Toots to help you spray butt-propelled rainbow laser beams upon your unsuspecting foes. If you’re in need of explosions, Mr. Toots the magical unicorns butt can provide this for you… And for the sake of the world.
So these are the weapons that certainly can’t be considered normal by any stretch of the imagination, however it’s worth noting that next to our top 10 list, they just aren’t odd enough!
Rather than dismiss them as the norm, we thought we’d give a special shout out to…
Cat Suit – Super Mario 3D World
We couldn’t quite get the Cat Suit as a fully justified weapon as honestly; it’s not. It’s a utility item but it’s one heck of a utility item at that!
Allowing you to climb and cling, claw and chew your way through any of the ridiculously hazardous lands of the Mushroom Kingdom, the Cat Suit is memorably for the fact it’s so damn adorable being a cat. Shame that it’s actually still a dirty, smelly plumber underneath that cat suit and not it just be an actual cat! Jump out at your opponents to make sure they know you’re not a feline to be messed with! This kitten certainly does have claws!
Bow-wow – Legend of Zelda
Koholint Island has a variety of weapons and items for Link to use on his quest to wake the Wind Fish. The most deadly, however, is Bow-wow, Madam MeowMeow’s pet Chain Chomp. Link gets to take him out for a walk around the swamp, opening the way to Bottle Grotto.
He’s an NPC, true, but he’s also the cutest overpowered weapon in the game. It lashes out to the nearest enemy and just devours them! Nothing is left of the poor victim, just loot. But as horrifying as it sounds, you can’t be mad at or afraid of that cute little razor-teeth-filled face!
Those were our top 10 odd weapons in gaming along with two more honorary mentions. We’d like to extend our thanks to Kevin of The Mental Attic and 1001-Up who joined us in writing our Top 10 list this week!
As always, please do leave a comment for us and tell us what are your favourite odd weapons in gaming? Do you think our rankings have been fair, or have we completely dismissed your favourite odd weapon which you think should be shown off? We’d love to see more!
If you want to get involved with the little chit-chat that goes behind these top 10’s, just drop us an e-mail. Alternatively, say in the comments below and we’ll try to make sure you’re included in the writing process behind one of these Top 10’s. Until next time, keep fragging with rubber duckies or whatever sort of weird weapons you like to use… I know I’m going to enjoy playing Guilty Gear and fighting people with an anchor, or perhaps a yo-yo and a hula hoop! A giant scalpel works for me, though!