6 Game Characters that had Unexpected Reactions

Game

Sometimes, you just can’t predict how people are going to react to something.  Game developers create a character with the expectation that players will have one reaction only for them to go the opposite route.  For example, look at Teemo from League of Legends (pictured above).  He was obviously designed to serve as an adorable mascot character for the game.  While he’s had his share of success with that, many know him better as the single most frustrating assassin character in the game and has garnered the apt nickname of “The Devil Himself”.  This list will be looking at six characters that had similar reactions that must have caught their designers by surprise and looking into why they received the responses they did.

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6) The Great Fairy (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

With her long hair, heavy makeup, and distinctly un-Nintendo attire, there is only one thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Great Fairy: NIGHTMARE FUEL!  Early 3D games were a time where the uncanny valley ran rampant and character models would often just look off.  I’m guessing the reason that survival horror games had such a renaissance during this period is because it was the best time to make something look disturbing.  Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask generally used this to their advantage with truly horrifying models and animations for their enemies.  However, when the team tried to design a character with the opposite intent, the result was the most unsettling monstrosity in the entirety of either games.  Not helping matters is the fact that she lets out a blood-chilling banshee wail every time she appears.  Hyrule Warriors recently tried to update her appearance (pictured above), but the damage has already been done for many and she shall always remain a living nightmare.

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5) Silver the Hedgehog (Sonic ’06)

I honestly feel bad for Silver.  In any other circumstances, his telekinetic powers could have been revolutionary and he might have warranted his own spin-off series.  Instead, he made his debut in one of the most infamous games in the Sonic franchise and became the poster-boy for most of the game’s problems.  His post-apocalyptic time-travel backstory remains one of the greatest examples of a narrative trying far too hard and yet not nearly hard enough.  What truly sealed his fate as one of the most hated characters in the series was how much Sonic ’06 failed to deliver on the concept of his telekinetic powers.  This resulted in some of the worst controls in a game already built off of terrible controls.  Well, the telekinetic powers do get a chance to shine, but it’s at the worst possible time with the incredibly cheap boss fights you have against Silver.  Sega has kept him around and has tried to make him a mainstay of the cast, but the damage has already been done and IT’S NO USE!

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4) Villager (Super Smash Bros for Wii U)

The Villager from Animal Crossing was originally considered to be playable in Super Smash Bros Brawl, but he was dropped early on because the idea of seeing such a cheerful and carefree character getting involved in a fight just seemed too ridiculous.  Cue his inclusion in the latest installments on Wii U and 3DS and everyone immediately labels him as a crazed axe-murderer.  People took one look into his lifeless, doll-like eyes and saw nothing but the soul of a bloodthirsty monster.  Maybe he just wasn’t included in Brawl because the developers feared the unholy terror that they were bound to unleash.

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3) O’Neal (Aliens: Colonial Marines)

Everyone hates escort missions.  We can accept when we fail due to our own mistakes, but failing a level simply because the friendly AI that you’re stuck baby-sitting did something stupid is the worst punch in the gut that a game can give you.  Everything from Daikatana to Epic Mickey 2 has been largely undone by the inclusion of these digital parasites that call themselves your friends.  I could have filled this list with frustrating computer companions that only prove to be a greater threat than any actual enemy, but I’ve decided to focus specifically on O’Neal from Aliens: Colonial Marines.

O’Neal is your typical giant teddy bear-type of character; he’s big and gruff, but has a heart of gold underneath.  He’s supposed to be the best friend you could ask for when facing done ravenous xenomorphs.  There’s just one problem: he’s in Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game so historically awful that Sega and Gearbox were actually taken to court for daring to release it on the unsuspecting masses.  O’Neal follows suit with being horrible at everything he does.  Worse aim than a Star Wars stormtrooper?  Check.  Standing in narrow hallways for no reason other than to block your path from critical objectives?  Check.  The worst part is that you can’t even turn him off by having a second player like in most other games that stick you with an AI partner.  Even in co-op, O’Neal will still insist on being the third-wheel and getting in the way of both players.  Don’t you ever wish you could turn on friendly fire and knock the stupid out of these guys?  Well…

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2) Dino Baby (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)

While escort missions are notoriously hard to get right, good ones aren’t entirely unheard of.  For example, look at the section of Conker’s Bad Fur Day that has you escorting an adorable newborn dinosaur.  Not only is he invulnerable to damage, but he’s actually more capable in a fight than the character you’re playing as.  While Conker’s frying pan has a long wind-up and only stuns enemies, the dino baby can easily gobble up anything that comes near it.  Yeah, he gets stuck on corners every now and then and generally slows you down, but that’s a small price to pay for essentially playing on godmode.  If anything, he’s escorting you.  Actually, can we just ditch the drunken squirrel and play as this champion instead?

Alas, it seems Rareware underestimated their own abilities and expected people to react to the dino baby the same way they do to most escort characters.  At the end of the level, you are forced to lead your superior onto a sacrificial alter and watch him meet a gruesome end in order for you to progress.  It’s the one point where the game’s dark sense of humor actually goes too far.  Whenever I think of the cruel choice that this game forced me to make, I feel a little less bad about the fact that Rareware is now doomed to make Kinect minigames for the rest of eternity and license out their IPs to more capable developers (like the people who made the Battleship shooter).

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1) Foxy (Five Nights at Freddy’s)

You can never truly anticipate how people will respond to fear.  Some flee while others fight, and others still merely embrace their fate.  And then you have the truly bizarre reactions that can best be described as an extreme form of denial.  Nothing may be a better showcase for this than the Five Nights at Freddy’s series.  Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s is your biggest threat in the game as he’s the only  one that doesn’t rely on catching you off-guard in order to get you.  He can charge directly into your office and attack faster than you can react.  The only way to keep him at bay is to constantly check your cameras and make sure he stays behind his curtain, which makes you vulnerable to all of the other haunted animatronics.  If it wasn’t for this one threat, each night wouldn’t nearly be as difficult as they are.

Strangely enough, Foxy has become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, characters in the series.  Several fans of the series, rather than recognize Foxy as the menace that he truly is, have crafted theories that Foxy is actually a good guy whose just checking in on you if you don’t check in on him for too long and that you just die from shock rather than him attacking you.  There is also a plethora of fan art out there that I dare not link you to nor attempt to describe.  To each their own, but you’d think people wouldn’t be drawn toward a screeching serial killer en masse.

What other characters had public responses that surprised you?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  Depending on the response we get, your suggestions may be featured on a follow-up article in the future.  Until then, keep your eyes peeled for that Villager.  I don’t trust that guy.

The Six Biggest Missed Opportunities In Destiny

Destiny

Destiny is a unique and innovative mammoth of a game, but it has unfortunately released with too many questionable design choices. The game has been severely held back from its full potential by Bungie. While not not surprising, I can’t help but feel a lot of disappointment. The game tends to shine in several areas, but all aspects of the game are marred by bad design and a lack of inspiration or thought.

Everyone is aware of the abysmal loot system in place, and everyone is aware that Peter Dinklage’s voice performance was sub-par. I’m here to bring you the six biggest missed opportunities in Destiny aside from the obvious, and how they could’ve made the game so much more than it is.

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The Lore 

When I heard that Dark Souls was the inspiration for how Bungie would tell Destiny‘s story, I was thrilled. I am too big a fan of the Souls series, and it had me even more excited for Destiny. One of my favourite parts of Dark Souls is how you have to dig to find the story. If you want to know who Gwyn is, why Quelaag resides where she does, and so on, you must dig through item descriptions and listen to dialogue to uncover details. If you were to map out a tree of lore for Dark Souls, it’d be massive and intertwined; the same cannot be said with Destiny.

Destiny tries to do the exact same thing, except that you aren’t finding items and reading them for your plot, you’re not speaking to NPCs and hearing their story, and you’re not walking through the ruins of an ancient city, scouring it for clues. In Destiny, you shoot things in the head, boot up the mobile app on your phone or PC, and read page after page of bland details. There’s no life to the world, as it’s been sucked out and placed on a tablet for your ‘viewing pleasure.’

Instead of Guns having jokes in their text, they should have history. Instead of loot chests containing grind-heavy spinmetal, they should have items that give you plot points. Instead of consumables simply explaining their purpose, they should offer insight into some of the smaller details of your character and how it functions. Instead of having about four cutscenes that slap exposition at you, there should be insightful dialogue with every NPC that you speak to – and more of them.

If you want to be Dark Souls, you have to try a lot harder than this Bungie.

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NPC Interaction

As previously mentioned, NPCs are scarce in Destiny. The worlds you explore are barren wastelands and dilapidated buildings, and the only life they offer are the enemies you slaughter. I don’t know why Bungie thought the only NPCs that the game has should be in The Tower, but that was already a mistake. NPCs that do reside in The Tower have absolutely no life to them. They have no personality, no character, and no lore. Bungie couldn’t even bother to give them actual names in some cases, as the robotic servants and other such characters are the most basic unmemorable names possible.

Why is it that NPCs do not talk to you? Why is it that they have nothing insightful to say about the items you bring them? Why did Bungie get celebrity voice cast and not utilize it to the full extent of their ability?  None of it makes sense to me, and it seems that if they wanted to make a living world, they should probably have life in it.

A huge problem that MMORPGs face is that they have dull NPCs. They generally have huge pages of dialogue to summarize the side-quest you’re about to do and why it matters. It’s unfortunate that Destiny couldn’t even contain dull dialogue, as they’d rather have approximately four speaking characters in the entirety of this ‘open world’.

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Gestures

This might seem like a nitpick compared to some of the large problems in Destiny, but I would argue that even the smallest of details matter in the long run. Gestures are a prime example of a huge misstep in basic gameplay.

Another obvious cue from Dark Souls is Destiny‘s gesture system. If you hit one of the four directional buttons on the D-Pad, your character will do an action such as sitting, dancing, or waving. This is a cute idea with comical implementation, and it even  benefits the game as you can essentially use basic communication in a game with no voice chat (why?!).

the frustrating misstep comes in with the customization of the gestures, or lack thereof. You get a total of four that are not interchangeable or customizable. Your dance changes depending on your race, but that is the extend of the creativity Bungie put in with gestures.

Why can you not learn taunts or friendly bows? Why can you not customize where your character points or the type of wave he has? Dark Souls allowed the player to do a number of actions to earn a multitude of gestures, all interchangeable at your leisure. This system helped communicate in a world of no communication,and it added flavour to the multiplayer components.

As with everything else in Destiny, they dropped the ball.

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Open World of Emptiness

It will forever baffle me that Destiny, clearly inspired by Borderlands, wanted to do away with any sort of actual collectibles and loot. Why is it that we’re given 4 sprawling planets to explore, when nothing in the world is actually worth exploring?

I had an experience with a friend when the game launched. We were casually marching to our first mission on Earth, when we noticed a cave. I immediately shouted that we should inspect the cave, for surely, there’d be some sort of reward for my keen eye and our persistence? To my dismay, all that resided within the cave was an ugly texture that somewhat resembled what a cave would look like … how exciting!

These planets are huge, and there are tons of hidden nooks and crannies for potential chests, containing randomly generated gear and items. This would actually tie in with the lore, in that you could spend time hunting out different gear and items. All of the items you’d hunt could give you benefits and insight into the lore and history of the area you’re exploring.

Instead of this, we get a total of five (wow!) golden chests to collect, half of which are hidden in missions, and a few randomly generated silver chests. This wouldn’t be so bad if the contents were more interesting, or if we had NPCs hiding in caves and other hidden areas that offered some sort of dialogue or side quest. It’s clear that Bungie would rather we go interact with a green flashy thing and get an arbitrary mission of little purpose.

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Vehicles

When Destiny was being teased, there were several images of the types of vehicles the game would offer. I don’t think I was alone when I pictured a game that would allow us to actually pilot them. Little did I know however, is that we’d only be able to actually fly or pilot two types, and they’d both be mission-specific and severely underutilized. Beyond the two attack vehicles, you are given a Sparrow, a type of transport land-speeder that allows the player to traverse the world much faster than traditional running. The Sparrow is an excellently designed vehicle, except that it lacks any actual customization beyond colour swaps.

This is not the focus of my point, however, as the main problem I see is the jump ships. We’re given several choices with the jump ship we use to travel between planets, except that you only ever see it on loading screens. There is zero purpose to the ships beyond aesthetic value, and the cost of glimmer to buy a different skin is laughable.

Why could we not have space-centric PVP where you customize and pilot a ship? Why could the Sparrow not be customized and outfitted with boosters or decals or weaponry? Why can we not fly from planet to planet? the questions go on and on, and there are no satisfactory answers to be heard.

I was so saddened to see how little purpose vehicles serve in Destiny, and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t have actual space flight or at least bare-bones customization.

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Factions

When you reach the end-game in Destiny, you’re given an option to choose a faction to fight for in the Crucible. Doing so nets you specific legendary and exotic gear, though you must rank up the faction before being able to buy anything. This sounds fine, except that it’s yet another prime example of a missed opportunity and only the most basic understanding in how a feature should be implemented.

It seems that Dark Souls is not going to stop being referenced as an inspiration for Destiny, so we’ll do with another comparison. In Dark Souls, covenants (factions) allow the player to align themselves with a specific covenant that will allow you to take part in interesting new gameplay mechanics or expand upon your experience. The Brotherhood of Blood allows you to go fight in PVP arenas where the fight is fair, The Heirs Of The Sun allow you to have a glowing orange figure as you net rewards for helping your fellow man defeat tough areas, the Bellkeepers allow you to defend the bell from intruders by being a sort of guardian. The list goes on and on for each of the Souls games, and there are a large amount of covenants to try out – all with their own specific rewards for your dedication.

In Destiny, you have three factions, none of which have any actual purpose beyond earning their gear, and even that is just as arbitrary as everything else in the game. You buy your class armour to swear yourself to the faction, and fight like normal in the PVP to rank up. There is no new mechanics added, no faction-restricted game modes, or anything to offer the player to entice them to try out a faction. It is just a title and the title is as grindy as everything else. They couldn’t even bother to make your choice a meaningful one, as you can just buy each faction’s item and rank them all up.