Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video Game Zombie Killin Squad

(Hey everyone-- sorry for the long-ass hiatus. I've been taking some time off to do some more personal studying and writing and I've decided to change the format of the blog some. It's till gonna be about %50 literature, but with more personal stuff and more of me writing stupid things about pop culture. Whatever, I don't care. I'm just gonna write about video games and comics here until I get some more big serious literature stuff written)

And really, what better way to start talking about stupid pop culture than by doing it with the man I've talked about stupid pop culture with for... shit, seven years now. Sol posted a thing about which video game characters he'd kill zombies with, and I'm gonna do the same.

So let's go by the same rules: fast zombies, me and 4 buddies, no stupidly cheap characters-- this includes Harlan Smith from Killer7, because he's technically seven incredibly skilled assassins who happen to sometimes share a body and that's just cheating. What polygonal nerd-buddies would I trust with my life?

1. Urdnot Wrex (Mass Effect)
Let's be honest, I could really just stop the list right here.  If you haven't played Mass Effect, let me explain some of what it's like to spend time with Wrex. Come the end of the game, you're going to be climbing the outside of a giant space station, under heavy artillery fire. And Wrex will be alongside you. Charging skull-first into your enemies. Your robotic enemies encased in high energy shielding. He has a plasma shotgun, and it is not as dangerous as his forehead. He routinely turns trained soldiers into chunky salsa with the power of a brisk jog, imagine what he could do to zombies. Plus his people are immune to pretty much all degenerative diseases, so I don't think I need to worry about him getting infected. It would probably just make him angrier.

In a game chock-full of badasses (even the ones voiced by Steve Blum and Keith David), Wrex still stands as the king. He is so manly that Steve "voice of Wolverine" Blum's character treats him with awe. He is so manly that he has four testicles. Not a single member of Wrex's entire species has ever died from natural causes, and he's lived to be over a thousand years old. That scar on his face? That's from a 200-foot tall sandworm which he killed by himself, on foot. He has multiple backups of every major organ. 99% of his people are infertile due to a weaponized plague, so he has about 800 years of bitterness and sexual frustration to take out on the undead. His in-game class-- alongside allies such as "Operative," "Technician," and "Soldier"-- is Battle Master. In the second game it's mentioned that the clan he rules is starting to consolidate power by having the largest population of fertile females, and I will give you two guesses as to why-- and each one better be "one of Wrex's giant swinging pairs."

Here he is on the traditional Krogan Pimp Throne.
So yes, if I need to pick four virtual imaginary friends to defend myself, I'm starting with Wrex. He'll do just fine.

2. Henry (No More Heroes, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle)

Henry, about to do battle with a nightmare version of an anime schoolgirl. It's a weird game.
Travis Touchdown is the protagonist of No More Heroes and its sequel, and he's one of the greatest assassins in the world. But let's be honest: no one wants to spend any time with Travis. He's... well, he's a sociopath and an unlikable nerd. His only friend is the guy who runs the store he rents his anime and wrestling videos from, his girlfriend is just, for 90% of the games, leading him along for money, and his only applicable skills are a direct result of being too self-involved to have a conscience. He's a terrible person (beautifully so-- his character arc over the two games is one of the most interesting and smart ones I've ever seen in a videogame).

Henry, meanwhile, is Travis's equal, if not his superior. He's got an impeccable fashion sense, a cool Irish accent, a smoking hot wife, and used to be the greatest killer in the world before cartoonish lightsaber duels with super villains became too boring for him. Every time he shows up he kicks ass, slices someone to ribbons, and makes Travis look like a joke by comparison.
Admittedly, not that difficult.

Some of Travis's enemies have included a sentient earthquake machine, an actual wizard, a ghost, a sexy version of General Grievous, and a character who is clearly Charles Goddamn Bronson, and yet the fight with Henry at the end of the first game is the most difficult the series has ever been. Henry has the fashion sense I envy, killing skills that would put Beatrix Kiddo to shame, and a lightsaber he wields like Inigo Montoya. Yeah, I think I'd do great with him between me and the hordes of undead.

Henry T.: Stealing your kills, dream girl, and title since 2007.

3. Leon Scott Kennedy (Resident Evil... let's be honest, only RE4 matters)
Seen here in his natural habitat.
I need at least one character here who has experience fighting zombies, and who isn't from Space or the magical wonderland of Suda 51's brain. And, indisputably, Resident Evil 4 is the greatest any game about killing zombies has ever been or ever will be. It came out 6 years ago but you could rerelease it today and it would be Game of the Year by a mile.

And Leon is its star. After having murdered a Romero Zombie outbreak so hard in RE2 that they promoted him from rookie cop to Secret Service solely on the basis of his skill at Firing Rockets into Abominations, he spends most of the series' brightest moment murdering an undead Spaniard every ten seconds. The man kills around 1500 zombies over the two games he stars in and he does it so well that the government makes it his job. He's armed with a giant shotgun, a Dirty Harry revolver, a sniper rifle and (unless you were an idiot and didn't get the Red9), the most beautiful handgun in the world. Not that he needs them-- he demolishes most of his foes with roundhouse kicks, stabbings, and suplexing their skulls into the ground. When confronted with a giant spidery mass of spines and tentacles he decides that the most American thing to do would be to kneecap it, run up its spine, and stab it in the eye, which is surrounded by teeth.
After telling it that it was Small Time.
Leon has another advantage unique to him: he is a god. damn. idiot. I know that seems like a skill I might not want my zombie-killing buddy to have, but I don't want to be obsolete. As long as Leon's around I can sleep securely, knowing that he is protecting me from zombies and I'm protecting him from jamming his combat knife in a power socket in an attempt to kill lightning and gain its power. Leon is guaranteed to follow me and remain loyal because I know the secret to how doorknobs work and the magic words that make can openers obey me. Leon's brain is %75 murdering zombies, %10 AMERICA, and %15 moping about Ada Wong. And I can use that-- as long as Leon's around I'll be guaranteed a place in the group as "The Guy Who Puts Up With Leon," which, given that it means I'm essentially steering an anti-zombie ballistic missile, isn't a half-bad role to have.

4. Rose of Sharon Cassidy (Fallout: New Vegas)

That whiskey is glowing, and she's still going to drink it.
Provided that this zombie outbreak goes apocalyptic, I need someone who can survive after all human civilization has been destroyed. And that means Fallout. And because I can't just put in one of my protagonists from the Fallout series, and I can't honestly count "having Ron Perlman narrate me" as a legitimate choice, that means Cass, from the series' best entry, New Vegas.

All the sidekicks in New Vegas have applicable skills that make me want them on my side. Arcade Gannon can talk about books and has medical experience, Veronica can make people explode with her fists and fix everything, Raul is voiced by Danny Trejo. But Cass wins on three counts.
  • She's the daughter of Cassidy from Fallout 2-- making her genetically predisposed to ass-kicking and more representative of my love for the series as a whole.
  • She's the most skilled character with a shotgun, the official zombie-destroying weapon.
  • Booze.
Drinking so hard the game counts it as a legitimate skill.
Just being around Cass makes whiskey more potent. As long as she's your companion, drinking a nice bottle of wasteland bourbon makes your character healthier, and her presence negates the existence of liver damage or hangovers. Don't have any booze? She'll make you some out of bread, rotten fruit, and battery acid. Having Rose of Sharon Cassidy around guarantees that the apocalypse turns into a party, even as she is destroying everything nearby in a hail of bullets. And if we're going to rebuild society, or endure the bleakness of a world filled with the undead, I wanna be drunk 24/7 and not have to worry about the consequences.

Cass is the perfect blend of killing machine and someone I wouldn't mind hanging with when the dead rise from their graves. And I really, really want to see Leon get drunk and talk about his problems.

She is still more eloquent than Leon Scott Kennedy

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