411 Games Top 5 03.08.13: The Top 5 Female Video Game Characters
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there, taking a page out of Beyonce’s book “Who Run the World?”
5. Peach – Super Mario Bros
Well, she drives the plot of nearly every damned Mario game, I suppose it’d be a disservice not to have her on a list like this. Plus, in Super Mario 2, she can fly, thus making her by far the best character in that horrible game.
4. Commander Shepard – Mass Effect
Clearly, I made a mistake doing my first play through as a male character, since it seems like everyone else was playing as FemShep for some reason. Okay, we all know the reason, but we’ll be good and pretend it has nothing to do with the relationship system that got all those parental watchdog groups so hot and bothered. Anyway, being voiced by Jennifer Hale doesn’t hurt, either.
3. Clementine – The Walking Dead
If you’ve played the game, you know why. If you haven’t played the game yet, you should really play this game so you can understand. If you don’t feel something for this game’s tiny voice of humanity, then you really have no soul.
2. Aeris/Aerith – Final Fantasy VII
The originator of the phrase “Spoiler Alert”. Well maybe not, but her death (oh, shut up, everyone already knows) halfway through the game is the big shocking moment in the biggest FF game (from a cultural/financial perspective, at least), and the belief that you could resurrect her (you can’t, by the way) was also one of the most popular fake video game rumours of all time.
1. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
She’d be on top even if I didn’t love the new game. No female protagonist has become more popular and become more well-known in the mainstream lexicon than Lara Croft, even if most of it can be blamed on the legend of the designer who accidentally enlarged her breasts and said “meh, let’s see if they let it through”. Sex sells, and once you sell that sex you can also make feature films starring Angelina Jolie and sell it all over again. And then we reboot the franchise and start over!
As far as a female kicking ass it takes some to defeat Bayonetta. This combo queen could stand toe to toe with anyone in a physical fight. Highly sexualised but never going too far as to be deemed sleezy, mostly due to Bayonetta’s carefree attitude towards it. That’s a tough thing to pull off when technically you’re naked throughout the game. How the hell she manages to get guns working from her feet though I’ll never know.
4: The Boss
The pioneer character from the Metal Gear saga. A woman who commanded great respect from both the good and bad guys. A woman with a great sense of honour and not afraid to get into a fight, even when pregnant. It was seeing her (and Vamp’s) cutscenes that encouraged me to play the franchise.
3: Commander Shepard
Okay so I’ve never actually played as her but anytime I talk about Shepard as a man there’s always comments saying she’s female. I’ve read more than a few saying she’s the superior version. When people are not only praising the woman but outright defending that the character is female then that’s a character who’s earned respect.
2: Lara Croft
Lets face it, Lara Croft is who the average person thinks of for female characters. I always found that her assets were more played up in the ‘photoshoots’ advertising the game than within the game itself. The first Tomb Raider was a great game with a great character and whilst they later dipped in quality there’s was still enjoyment to be had in most of them. I’m looking forward to playing the newest game as I’m enjoying Lara’s constant fight to change people’s opinion of her.
1: Samus Aran
Without Samus I think how woman are presented in gaming would have been set back 5-10 years. She’s the original Diva. With one of gaming’s greatest twists she showed the world that women had a role to play in games, that they could do anything a man could do. And why not? As a largely male audience we know how men think and how we want them portrayed, whether an action man like Kratos, noble like Shepard (there I go again), or courageous like Link. If you gave me a female character to control and she can do things that take me out of my comfort zone, women think differently and have different values (a fact I don’t think games play up enough.) They create a brand new experience whilst still being physically, spiritually, magically able to do anything the male counterparts can do. And they look better doing it.
5. Cortana (Halo)
First up on my list is Master Chief’s faithful computerized assistant in the Halo franchise. While most people immediately associate Cortana with her sex appeal, I’ve always been a fan of how developed she is as a character and not as a physical (or holographic, rather) specimen. Cortana could have easily been a simple HUD display, delivering her tactical info and the like, but instead the Jen Taylor-voiced character became an integral part of the series and the most important character in the franchise outside of Master Chief himself.
4. Ada Wong (Resident Evil)
The Resident Evil franchise has had a lot of great female characters but Ada has always been my favorite. The anti-heroine is sometimes villain and sometimes a hero, but she’s always at the top of her game and it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out just whose side she is really on. She’s also a serious bad-ass with pretty much any kind of weapon and is a formidable foe (or ally) at any point in which she appears.
3. Chun-Li (Street Fighter)
Female characters in fighting games sort of set the stage for other digitized women to take the ball and run with it in their own solo games, and when you think of female fighting game characters Chun-Li is the first that comes to mind. One of the star characters of Street Fighter and its successive sequels, Chun Li was considered essential enough to get her own movie, even if it did suck even more than the original 1994 film. Chun-Li was a character who could hold her own against men in a pure fighting environment and that earns her a lot of points with me.
2. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
Yes, Lara isn’t #1. Get over it. That isn’t a slight against her though; Madame Croft holds an iconic role in terms of influencing women in video games and I’m not just talking about the increasingly sexualized depictions. Lara was one of the first heroines of action games and changed the game for women from being damsels in distress to pistol-wielding adventurers. There was of course a point where she became too cartoonish and that’s why I’m happy about the reboot, but without Lara Croft the video game field would be very different indeed.
1. Samus Aran (Metroid)
If Lara Croft wasn’t #1, you had to know it would be Samus. One of the great “holy crap” moments in early console gaming was the reveal at the end of Metroid that the hero of the game was in fact a heroine. It completely threw some people and is remembered as a surprising turn of events to this day. Since then, Samus has been tearing her way through the franchise left and right, successfully making the transition into the modern era with Metroid Prime, Metroid: Other M and so on. Few people of either gender have had a longer-lived career of kicking ass in video games, and certainly no female characters.
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Games Coming Out the Week of 03/10/13
God of War: Ascension (PS3)
Starcraft II: Heart of Swarm (PC)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Darkstalkers Resurrection (PSN & XBLA)
WRC Powerslide (Xbox Live Arcade Only)