411 Games Top 5 02.15.13: Top 5 Games Featuring Creatures
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, oh no! Aliens and Monsters have attacked 411.
* For this week’s Top 5, I wanted to do something in honor of the Aliens game coming out this week, plus I also wanted to do something the total opposite of Valentine’s Day. So, I had the staffers choose only from games that had Monsters, Aliens, or Creatures, no Vampires, Ghosts, or Zombies were allowed.*
5. Pokemon – Man, what is this doing here? I don’t even like Pokemon. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did sort of like it back when there were 150 Pokemon and I could probably even remember all of their names with some prompting. Now, what are there, five thousand? Six thousand? I feel old. Anyway, they’re Pokemon. Pocket Monsters. Do I need to explain this any further, for the people who aren’t aware of Nintendo’s cash cow franchise for the past decade and change?
4. Spore – As a game, Spore sucked. But as a creature creator, it was the very definition of the only limits being what your sick and twisted mind could imagine. So, of course, most people made variations on genitalia. Not me, though, I stayed strong. Which isn’t to say my sentient ape-bird-man thing wasn’t an affront to God and evolution combined, but still, at least it wasn’t a walking penis.
3. Diablo – The minions of Hell over all three games have been a combination of inventive, memorable, and deeply, deeply, twisted. Anyone who has braved the dark depths in and around Tristram can remember the shrill cries of Fallen, the bleating cry of the Goat-men (who may have a species name by now, but really, they’ll always be Goat-men), the gutteral barks of the Travincal Council, and half a hundred other beasties, each more horrible than the last.
2. Star Wars – Yeah, I’m taking an easy one. For sheer variety of ridiculous creatures, nothing can beat the crazy mind of George Lucas and his design team, resulting in a metric tonne of games in which the myriad strange and oft-times wacky races immortalized in the Cantina scene (among others) have appeared as enemies and allies. Most notable in any Star Wars video game, of course, is the Rancor, which is always programmed to show off exactly how lucky Luke got in Jabba’s Palace.
1. Mass Effect – This is not just for the enemy creatures, the Reapers, the Collectors, the Geth, and their minions, which are some of the most gruesome, intimidating, and dangerous things you’ll ever see down the barrel of a gun (go ahead, read up on what Brutes and Cannibals actually are, I’ll wait), but then there’s the races you’re actually allied with, brutish Krogan, myserious and ethereal Quarians, and my favourite, the Turians, who look like they were carved out of rocks, yet have the most eloquent, relatable, and surprisingly civilized personalities I’ve ever seen in an alien race.
5 – Splicers (Bioshock) – Okay they’re def my most human on this list but they’ve changed their DNA so I’m counting them as monsters. There’s a variety of splicers but the creepiest for me have always been the base form. They’re insane, rush you as a mob, mutter sick things to themselves and you just know if they killed you some of them would do sick things to your corpse. The early scene with the pram remains one of gamings lasting memories for me and set these guys up perfectly.
4 – Bowser (SimCity) – The least threatening of my monsters but its not the Mario series that got this guy here, its SimCity. I remember first time I saw Bowser appear in that game, I was still building but things were looking up, then Bowser appeared and acted like Godzilla and just smashed through my buildings, and what could I do about it? Not a damn thing but weather it out and rebuild once he cleared off. The guy keeps reappearing too, now thats a threat to humanity.
3 – Archdemon (Dragon Age Origins) – I knew I was going to include at least one dragon. I knew I was going to avoid things like vampires, zombies, aliens, and all the other standard types but dragons are cool. So why the Archdemon? Because its a bad ass. Its the endgame, you’re maxed out, your party is maxed out and you still need an army to help defeat this beast. Its a relentless barrage of attacks make this an engrossing boss battle. So yeah, being badass is always a good qualifier. Dragons done right here.
2 – Poison Headcrabs (Half lLife 2) – Little buggers. Not that tough to beat but if they get just 1 hit in you drop to 1% health and spend the rest of the fight shitting it, nothing makes you more desperate than sitting on the lowest of health. Going from 100% and feeling safe-ish to being near death in 1 hit sucks. Makes for good gameplay though.
1 – Flamelurker (Demons Souls) – I’ve never ran from a monster quite so much as this beast. For a game that revels in being tough Flamelurker still stands out. You spend the entire fight running and healing whilst trying to do what little damage you can get it in. Its a war of attrition in a game that kills quick. Sure I’ve heard that there are cheap ways to do safe poison attacks or bring down a rain of arrows but thats not the experience I had, mine was duck and cover. Thank god wasn’t a melee character, I pity those guys when it came to this battle.
5. Monster Party – A kid caught in a fantasy world type scenario. A creature stops a kid on the way home from a baseball game, and requests the child’s assistance in ridding his home of vile evil monsters. The two combine forces, and you are off to rid Bert’s “Dark World” of variations on every monster you can think of from Medusa to Dracula…
4. Blaster Master – This old NES Gem featured a whole boatload of creatures. The game follows a sort of Alice in Wonderlandideal of a kid following his pet from down a hole in the ground. Once in the whole, the kid uses a tank to fight radioactive creatures and hunt down his frog… Creatures every where!
3. Evil Dead Games – Can’t choose just one, as they all basically feature the same evil, manifesting itself in the form of different creatures throughout the series. Though I will say, there are two of Ash’s video game exploits that stand out to me the most. Hail to the King, and Fistful of Boomstick.
2. Gears of War – One of the best modern shooter campaigns out there in my opinion. Battling the locusts and the lambent throughout the series was great fun. Doesn’t hurt that the creatures were given a good storyline to make you care about things.
1. The Suffering – One of the forgotten gems of the last generation. Torque’s time in a haunted prison was a great fresh take on the survival horror game. The creatures that were created for this game were incredible… I would love to see WB Games tackle this gem from Midways past at some point. The second game left a bit to be desired, and convoluted things a bit, but give it another go.
5. Altered Beast – I was a young man of 11 when the 16-bit console war was raging, and being firmly in the middle class, I was forced to choose between a SNES and a Genesis. Since two of my good friends had Genesis (Genesi?) already, I opted for the SNES. Altered Beast was the one game, more than any other, that made me question my decision. You go from a human to a welewolf to a werebear to a werelion? Sign me up! And then the ultra-creepy “Power Up” guy? Icing on the cake. This game doesn’t really hold up, but I had to put it on the list.
4. Papa Y Yo – I remember reading about this game somewhere, so when it popped up in my “What’s New” section on my PS3, I figured I’d give it a try. The gameplay isn’t particularly challenging, and the game itself is rather short, but it’s beautifully rendered and the storyline is heartbreaking as it unfolds. Quico’s interactions with the monster are well thought-out and contain enough realism that they don’t lose their emotional impact. This game was a pleasant surprise, and I’d like to say more but I don’t want to give away anything.
3. Gears of War games – The Locusts count, right? Until this past Christmas, I’d only played the Gears games in single-player and local co-op (I abhor online gaming with XBox Live because of the etiquette of the average user). If things had remained that way, this game probably wouldn’t have made the list; however, my sister bought my soon-to-be brother-in-law a 360 with GoW3, and he introduced me to Horde mode with a couple of his friends. That added a whole new world to the game, and when you see a Boomer or Armored Kantus or heaven forbid a Bloodmount, Brumak, or Serapede, and your partners are down and you’re dangerously low on ammo, you know you’re in for the fight of your life. The grotesque nature of your opponents adds to the thrill in a way that the Call of Duty games (and even Halo with its more sanitized opposition) can’t touch.
2. Silent Hill 2 – Between the nurses, the mannequins,and Pyramid Head, this game featured some of the most memorable video game creatures of all time. The fact that it was an awesome survival horror game was what made the creatures mentioned so famous though.
1. Prototype – How about a game where you start out fairly normal and gain abilities that make you more and more creauture-like? Sure, Prototype’s story had its issues (as did the game itself) but for life stress relief, few things are better than taking a levelled-up Alex Mercer and just going nuts on enemies for a while, be they of the military or creature variety.
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Games Coming Out the Week of 02/17/13
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360, PS3)
Crysis 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Capcom Arcade Cabinet (Xbox Live Arcade & PSN)
Serious Sam: Double D XXL (Xbox Live Arcade)
Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC: The Tyranny of King Washington- The Infamy