games / Columns

The 8 Ball: Top 8 Worst Video Game Main Characters – Duke Nukem, Bubsy, More

November 6, 2018 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Duke Nukem

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about main characters, specifically main characters that I hate playing as. The games they are in could be good, but the act of playing these characters can really turn me off from playing the game. The only requirement, which I get into below, is that I could only pick one Final Fantasy character. Leg’s begin:

#8: Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem)

Duke Nukem is semi-low on this list just because people seem to like at least Duke Nukem 3D. But honestly, he’s a Ash Williams clone without the inherent charm of Bruce Campbell. Not that Jon St. John isn’t a good voice actor but Duke’s over the top bravado and machismo really grate on me after a while. I toyed with the idea of putting Matt Hazard on here, an even worse character because he is a Duke clone but then I remembered that no one cares/remembers about Hazard, so at least Duke has that going for him?

#7: Deputy (Far Cry 5)

I still can’t really fathom why Far Cry 5’s story is structured the way it is. Aside from the really lame cult stuff, the game places you in the role of a character where the only choice you have is whether or not you’re male or female. You have zero character agency in the game, you respond to no one, and it makes you (the player) not give a damn about what is going on. Other games/franchises do have silent protagonists sure, notably Legend of Zelda or Half-Life, but it just felt really awkward in this game, especially since the last two numbered Far Cry games (and even the cave man spin-off) had memorable leading characters.

#6: Ryder (Mass Effect)

The placid, doe-like expression of the default female Ryder not-withstanding, Ryder has to be the worst main character in a Bioware game. I’m really no fan of Jade Empire but at least the character you controlled in that game wasn’t a total idiot. “Remember, don’t shoot any aliens you come in contact with. Oh, an alien is shooting some random people, I guess it’s time to light them up!” Even if the technical aspects of Andromeda were in tip-top shape, the story is beyond awful, and the game is littered with characters that are annoying, starting with the main one.

#5: Bubsy (Bubsy)

“What could possibly go wrong?” Well Bubsy, how about everything?! Mario is generally seen as the family-friendly mascot/platformer. Sonic the Hedgehog was directly created as a response to that by giving him more “attitude” (which has been toned down past the Genesis). Bubsy was seemingly created as a response to Sonic, giving Bubsy even *more* attitude and nothing else. His quips are lame, you can barely control him in games, and he’s one of the worst mascot characters I’ve ever come across.

#4: Connor (Assassin’s Creed 3)

If they wanted to have a Native American lead character for an Assassin’s Creed game, they could have just used a Wooden Indian. It has more emotional range and personality than Connor did in Assassin’s Creed 3. There are some decent parts to his character, he is somewhat noble and at least tries, but too often he acts like a petulant child, especially when dealing with Achilles. He’s also naïve, moody, and all together morose about what’s happened in his life. Think about comparing him to Ezio, even in the first game (AC2) with him in it. Ezio had tragedy, sure, but it didn’t define him and he was an enjoyable character though out the game. This never really happens with Connor.

#3: Aiden Pearce (Watch Dogs)

The thing I like, and by like I mean hate, about Aiden is that he takes zero responsibility for his actions. His hacking/robbing of people got his niece killed? Well, time to go after the men responsible for said murder instead of taking a second of introspective thought and going “Hmm, maybe if I didn’t rob these criminals they wouldn’t have come after me?” Later in the game, Aiden’s sister pleads with him to leave Chicago for her/her son’s safety (who gets kidnapped or harassed at least twice, if I remember right) by criminals and he basically just goes “No, this is my town, I’m not leaving for anyone!” What a complete jackass of a character.

#2: Tidus (Final Fantasy X)

While Tidus isn’t a jackass in FFX, he is a petulant child for most of the game. Honestly, it’s tough just picking one Final Fantasy hero that sucks: Cloud is a moody prick, Squall is even worse, and Lightning is dumb. Tidus remains the worst guy for me. Even if you ignore the voice acting (Hey, it was still early for that, I give them a pass), his constant bitching about his dad, his dismissal of the religion in the world (which he has no clue of), and his “I’m a great Blitz Ball player, honest!” cheering gets old. His outfit is also hilariously stupid. It just proves that Nomura is an incredible hack when it comes to actually designing outfits for characters. No shirt, uneven pants legs, uneven arm sleeves, and (OF COURSE) a wallet chain! I wonder if Nomura had a brain tumor when designing Tidus where he physically couldn’t make a symmetrical outfit.

#1: Kratos (God of War 1, 2, 3)

“Hey y’all, I’m angry!” That’s it. That’s my SOLE character trait across at least six different video games. I was honestly astonished that the 2018 actually gave Kratos a personality since none of the past games bothered to do so. Not only that, they made Kratos a fairly nuanced and multi-faceted character (for a game, anyway) that made you care about him. The bummer is that Kratos was voiced by TC Carson, an actor I generally like, but Kratos had no character to really dig into. Hell, the Hulk has more emotional depth than Kratos does, at least until the recent GoW game. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I couldn’t get into the franchise before this year.

For comments, list your most hated main characters in a video game and why.

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Top 8 Voice Acting in Video Games

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