Let’s Talk Character Designs: No More Heroes 2 Desperate Struggle

I had so much fun with the first No More Heroes post that I just want to get right to it again. High chance these will be the posts I could be doing the most. I just enjoy character designs when they are extremely good. It will be interesting when we get to bad character designs, I wonder who will get the chopping block? Either way I had talked about Kozaki and his work on the first No More Heroes and now we get to his work on the second game.

Travis Touchdown (NMH2)

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So here is the second design of Travis Touchdown. Now there are many common elements from the previous design. Travis still looks the same which means the Johnny Knoxville similarity stayed around. The ripped jeans are present and they look even more ripped. What is interesting in the second game, Travis is regarded as a legend of Santa Destroy, so I bet he did more fighting before the events of the second game. He is sporting a new jacket which I personally love more than the first one. The stars acting as the buttons does point to the idea of Travis being a legend of some kind. The best part of the jacket is the “X” on the top of the backside where below that you can see the tiger skin pattern of the first jacket design. It has that new vibe and yet still rings of the original so it is like Travis sees himself in a new light, but still remembers how he got here. The biggest change would have to be his insane belt! It wraps around his leg and in the game when you get new weapons, Travis keeps all of them on him. So even if Travis still has that chaotic look, he is starting to look more of a professional and the belt shows that off well. Also in this picture we see the Rose Nasty the final weapon in the game to get and showing this off in the character art was a smart move. Back then Travis stuck to one Beam Katana and now things have changed where he needs to unleash his chaos at twice the power. Overall, this is a great new design for the main character as it clearly shows how much he has changed while still keeping the characteristics that we loved about him before.

Sylvia Christel

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This time Sylvia can be mentioned since she keeps this design for the majority of the game. There are still some other outfits or hair styles, but for the most part this is the design they stuck with for a majority of the game. With the first design for her, it was a simple black outfit with some nice white frills. The second design sports a tan jacket and you thought her mini skirt from the first design was showing off her legs, the short shorts Sylvia wears in this design just shows off every aspect of her legs. She still has the high heels and exposing cleavage. The shades are a nice touch giving off the feel this girl is a model on her day off. Sylvia has always kept the beauty that can kill look and that is done with showing these business looking outfits on her and yet she spices it up in her own ways. Sylvia baits people with her looks and I saw this design has the work ascetic done better. The previous one mostly had beauty while I feel the second design still keeps the sexy look while having more of a business feel. Still in the end, Sylvia is a woman you do not want to be acquainted with because her looks can drag you into a deeper ring than seven.

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Skelter Helter

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Who remembers Helter Skelter? Well we get his younger brother in the second game and if you want to learn more about these two there is a cool mini comic called “No More Loser.” Anyways the first thing to mention is that like his older brother, Skelter keeps the grey tone of color. Just like with the previous brother, this means they are just nothing in the end which for the younger brother means something a bit different. Before his death, Helter would warn his brother to not get involved with a woman named Sylvia, but sadly the young brother wanted revenge and became an assassin just like the other. Before becoming the assassin he was going to college and even graduated, but when he took revenge it all went away into nothingness. The final tidbit to go on would be how this character has a huge resemblance to Cloud Strife. This was made because this character just became a near spitting image of his brother and is living his life. Sort of like how Cloud was with Zack Fair. It is easily showing off how crazy this man has gone for the sake of revenge and tried to have Travis remember his brother.

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Nathan Copeland

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Nathan Copeland took some time for me to really appreciate. Again during the early days of enjoying No More Heroes, I simply loved him for his death scene. Now thanks to learning more about literature and playwriting, I just adore how this character speaks in a Shakespearn tongue. This guy will go on about the divinity and deliverance and while his design still shows off the rapper, there are so many great designs that establishes his religious angle. They can be hard to see, but for both his hat and necklace they have a skull and a cross. The skull shows death obviously and seeing the cross behind it does have some sting. Nathan followed the divinity all the way even through death itself. Another nice tidbit is that on the back of his jacket says “Father” This is an obvious reference to God and in a nice little draft piece we can see he could have had one more thing that establishes this with it literally saying “I love God.” Even his color scheme really helps with this as the yellow shows hope and enlightenment while the overall black leads to a mystery. Nathan is a surprising character where he may seem excited and joyous, but in the end Nathan has talked about how unsatisfied he has been before. Nathan just keeps making me enjoy him more and more I look into him, his personality and lines always got me to remember him and now even his obvious rapper look has just been a diversion to his religious angle, simply amazing work.

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Charlie Macdonald

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Charlie and his groupies are pretty simple, but there is a nice use of color scheme again. First off, Charlie is huge! This is easily a joke towards steroid use. Also I feel like the cheerleaders soon lead to Lollipop Chainsaw, but even this girls beat Juliet in showing skin. Simply all of this over sexual and over muscular designs are making fun of American football culture. Now for color scheming there is yellow again which shows off excitement and these guys are excited for violence! The new color here though is green which shows balancing. Green is usually used for a peacemaker, a man who can unite others. Charlie easily has done that since in his team he holds ranking numbers 49-25! Another design to talk about though would be his giant mech, the Santa Death Parade! It is a giant robot that still keeps the green and yellow color scheme which this team literally are working together to pilot it so that is an obvious sign that the color scheme angle is true. Yet the overall color of the robot is black which is probably showing in the end they are still hiding things, high chance is that they are just secretly blood lusted as everyone else and that drove them insane to the point where it became their motivation. Also it could be to show even with their teamwork, they just found the easy way out of a fight because a giant robot could easily stomp a person to death. Some interesting ideas presented with such three simple designs. (PS. The robot is straight up a Gurren Lagann reference)

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Matt Helms

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There are many obvious design aspect for Matt Helms and that would be horror! His body type being a large overweight man with a bloody outfit easily references Leather Face. The helmet Matt wears is similar to an old school hockey helmet which easily points to Jason and his hockey mask. The use of the axe/flamethrower are probably references to Evil Dead and The Thing. Then there is the actual head of Matt Helms and what really makes it creepy is that in the concept art, he has rosy cheeks! This doll face easily points to how horror films love to use dolls. There are so many horror franchises that use this as the biggest one would be Child’s Play. The overall color scheme Matt has is white and orange, again white is perfection and the orange is showing joy and creativity. Knowing what Matt actually is, a child who swore revenge with hell fire and now simply haunts the living it is eerie knowing he just has joy with it. I bet Matt even created this large husk of a body which points to the creative aspect. Overall, if you are a big horror fan, you will love Matt Helms design. It has many references and really creates its own image at the same time, I would watch a movie with him as the killer.

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Cloe Walsh

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Credit to this amazing cosplay done by Blast!

Cloe Walsh is such an amazing design. It is so sad she has the easiest fight of the entire series. This design just gets my attention in many ways. I really love the fish nets she wears as it is a sexy design while still wearing actual clothes. Cloe really works with sexual themes which is not new to No More Heroes. Bad Girl had an odd way of showing the dominatrix, Cloe easily has many BDSM aspects. Again the obvious ones would be the fishnets, high heels, and the small use of leather around her body. Personally I do find her quite attractive as I do like the aspect of a woman having a bit of a bite to her. Again Cloe easily has the strong aspect done thanks to those interesting straps around her leg that give more focus to the high heels. The chained armlets she also wears which consists of leather belts makes me think she could smack you around with them. The final piece here would be the tattoo she has on her arm. It is a little hard to see, but it is a snake and roses. Knowing that Suda 51 is a big Batman fan, Cloe is a huge reference to Poison Ivy as both use poison and their looks to kill. Both have that sexy appeal and the dangerous approach too. Cloe is simply a great revision of Poison Ivy.

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Kimmy Howell

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Shinobu gets a completely new design in the second game so the team decided to do a new school girl design with Kimmy. Now what makes Kimmy different is that she is a reference to the Yandere trope. Someone who is in love with a man and that soon leads to them thinking of murder. The trope works extremely well when the girl looks innocent and Kimmy is as innocent as they come in terms of looks. The freckles and glasses, the cute bunny, the recorder, the neatly braided hair with hair bands in it, and the overall outfit she wears. The sweater vest really works well because who ever felt scared by a sweater vest? Kimmy even has calming blue eyes and with glasses they can make eyes seem a bit larger at times, which could be a Moe~ reference. Then her dual blade’s color is red which has been brought up time and time again. For Kimmy it is clearly passion as Kimmy is motivated to kill her idol, Travis the Great. Even her little bunny is in a little dress with ribbons on the ears, Kimmy makes some desserts look bitter in comparison! In the end though, in the world of No More Heroes, everyone is out for blood!

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Dr Letz Shake

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Well I got to talk about Letz Shake from the previous post, so it is time for the machine itself. Dr Letz Shake is a cool robot design. My favorite part of his design would have to be that 8-bit face he has. It has many emotions and it is a cute and easy way to express his emotions during his countdown. Compared to his previous design, I love that he got more width to him. It is a drastic change to his overall size and with those hammers having big caution colors really gives the dangerous vibe off. Even just looking at the wires with how it all connects is good attention to detail. Since these four parts are new for him, seeing the wires shows off how these parts got added. The overall color change from green to black was also a good decision as well since the colors of yellow and orange stand out thanks to the black. Then to finish things off, on his right you can see Henry as a statue and I do love how you can still see that during the fight. Sure we finally get to fight Letz Shake, but still seeing Henry just reminds me of the time he stole that first fight.

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Shinobu Jacobs

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Shinobu makes her return in the sequel as a playable character and with this new design. this girl is no longer in school so she ditches that outfit. It is fun to see what has retained from the original design though. Shinobu still has those flower stockings and on the hilt of the sword is the little tail, but the Bizarre Jelly key chains are gone. Funny enough for Shinobu’s new look we actually get to Gothic Lolita again. Shinobu is wearing a black dress that has many frills on it. I also do love how the hilt is on her back this time with a complete strap and everything, it really shows how more of professional she has become compared to her original design where the hilt was just tucked in with the school outfit. I even adore the scarf she has because that is so a Kamen Rider scarf to extreme lengths. Shinobu shows off a new look and her reasoning for the Lolita look could be to get Travis’ attention, again this style of fashion can be a fetish for some and for anime loving Travis, we know that would be one of his things. Another possibility is to show that Shinobu is more mature and not a school kid anymore so she feels free to be herself. Finally, the last tidbit to bring up is that she wears a glove over the hand that was sliced off from the first game, I wonder what that could be a reference too (insert sarcasm here)?

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Million Gunman

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While this character does remind me of Dr. Peace, the only big reason why that is would because of his age and the golden gun. Other than that, Million Gunman has a sweet rich man design. He does look rather different in the concept art compared to the actual game render. The render really made him look way older, in the art he looks like a forty year old man. My favorite part of his design would be the half glove he has, it is on his gun hand which really shows how much he has used that gun. The sweet scarf is a nice addition with the lion emblems on it. It is a lion with a crown and sword and the lion is considered the king of the jungle, quite easy symbolism there. What also helps show this demeanor would be the face, quite a mad old man he is which fits with the opposing lion emblem. Overall, he may not a memorable boss in the franchise, but the design is still top-notch.

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New Destroyman

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Destroyman comes back to fight Travis once more, but he gets a different foe this time around, or I should say him and his partner. I will say the choice to have two of him was just genius. Each one of these men have robotic halves which clearly shows how he died in the previous game. When looking at the robotic sides they are quite freaky! Just seeing the face itself really gives away the superhero vibe which shows that Destroyman is quite a monster. Back then his first design was just making fun of superheroes, now we are just seeing the monster he truly is now. A fun design choice is that both of them have a different color of energy. The vulgar one has red which shows the passion he has and that he is ready to take action whenever. The blue side though shows trust which is what Destroyman loves to do to trick his foes. Also for the red side of Destroyman, having that red-eye really just makes that half of the look like a new type of Terminator and knowing Suda 51, that is probably him having fun with referencing the franchise.

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ryuji

Remember when I talked about Jeane with the color scheme of red and white? Well Ryuji is simply a new way to use that scheme. White is perfection and the red is showing passion. A samurai would easily want to establish the sense of perfection since they are a true warrior in their minds. Now the passion side of things is because this is not Edo Japan here, this is modern-day with assassins killing each other. Ryuji is just showing that he is like everyone else, out to kill with some sort of pleasure with it. The other reason for the white and red color scheme is because of the samurai garb and to show off the dragon aspect as we can see the flames of the dragon on his logo. A very interesting design choice would have to be the X-shaped scar on his mouth which could show his silence as this man does not talk all that much. It also could be a reference to the new sword Travis gets since one of the motions he does his finishing slashes is a “X” formation. Then there his is weapon which is a long beam katana, but what is interesting about the weapon is that it looks like two hilts put together. There is a dragon holder in the middle which really makes it look like Ryuji put two hilts together to make a longer weapon. Finally, the biggest reason why he is the dragon is because Travis is the tiger, it is literally an Yin and Yang concept.

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Henry Cooldown

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Onto Henry who also became a playable character loses some of his old clothes as well. First off I loved the coat he wore for his first design, it perfectly fit his professional look. Well things have changed for Henry and it does feel like he is more of a rogue now than anything. Henry was just kind of around and all we really know is that Slyvia and him had a divorce. Henry probably quit that job of his and has just become like Travis, a legend roaming about. The first design really makes sense for Henry since he was not fighting in the ranks and kept hidden and with that big coat it is hard to really describe him. Now Henry has more distinct qualities with this design as my favorite part would be those chains on his pants. They really make a cool pattern with his pants that already have that big belt buckle. You can tell that Henry has some sort of pocket watch via the concept art and the skull he wears on his tie gives off that little vibe of an assassin. The second design for Henry is still classy and I am glad he can have this look, but his first design was more of my taste still.

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Mimmy

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This is the boss fight Henry has to deal with as he was resting in Travis’ bed. Henry has one crazy dream during that time and Mimmy is a clear representation of what Henry probably had to hear in his subconscious the whole time. Travis loves his magical girl anime and with Bizarre Jelly 5 having way more moe~ elements to it, Mimmy is clearly a representation of that style as well. If you want more proof of moe~ she is wearing a white school swimsuit. Then the final proof of moe~ would be the kanji on her back, it literally says moe~! The giant mech hands could also be from Travis’ entertainment since he did have a giant mech of his own which was in the original Bizarre Jelly. Now the biggest thing people love to talk about Mimmy is that she has the number “42” on her swimsuit. For those who do not know the meaning of “42” it is supposed to be the answer to the ultimate question of life which comes from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” No one knows the question or even how the answer even works, but it is supposed to be about life itself. So for a man like Travis who loves his shows, Mimmy is showing how absorbed Travis became with them. These shows have become apart of Travis’ life and this delusion Henry has is showing that. Or maybe Mimmy is actually a god!

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Margaret Moonlight

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Now I get to my overall favorite boss in the entire franchise. Margaret has the best of everything, her fight, her music, and even her design are just the best! Gothic Lolita was mentioned before with Bad Girl as she shown a sweet look off, but this girl is showing a different side of it. She is showing the gothic side of it as she sports a white and black color scheme. Along with that she does have more of the classic side as well since she has frills with her clothes. I do love how they show the iron bars because it is showing the framing of those dresses while not having the dress cover them. Now the reason why she has more a gothic look is because she sees herself as the reaper, the angel of death. How the design shows this off along with her outfit would be her weapons. The scythe/gun weapon perfectly shows both the aspect of repear and angel. The reaper part of it is simple enough with the scythes being used. Margaret can also change this weapon into a sniper rifle or two guns and when they fire, crosses appear. On the weapon itself are angel wings. Everything about Margaret is just perfect and I am still hoping she has another appearance in the upcoming No More Heroes project.

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Captain Vladimir

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Captain Vladimir is a basic design of a crazy astronaut, but there is easily some odd tidbits in it. I have to say I love seeing the wires all around untangled and in a mess. It gives this eerie vibe to the character as even if they are plugged out of something, seeing them float around makes it feel that they still work. Then there are the many symbols on his suit and they are just so random. First off they are everywhere which just adds to the randomness because they never seem to be that close to each other at times. In the middle of his chest, it looks like an old school video game controller, kinda like a SNES controller. There are many star symbols around him which makes sense he is a spaceman and then there is just random science symbols around. This design sounds simple on paper, but Kozaki just found his ways to make even a spacesuit strange.

Alice Twilight

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Onto another fan favorite and there is a lot to enjoy with this design. The easiest aspect to get from Alice is the spider motif. She uses six beam katanas and I bet someone is going to say that spiders have eight legs. Yes, but there is something to Alice’s character that helps this design aspect. Alice is ranked second of fifty-one assassins, she easily had many fights and since she wants to get out, I bet she had some close calls before. Alice could have had more beam katanas and simply lost them in battle before the one with Travis. Many spiders go on fine with missing a leg or two. Another pointer for this design choice is the skull on her outfit, skulls like that can appear on spiders and it usually tells you they are dangerous. The closest one would be the Black Widow Spider funny enough Alice is a widow so the design choice just speaks more and more here. Now the use of pink mixed with the sorrowful black does show the softer side of Alice. She speaks philosophy that even Travis starts to ask and even though she was about to die, she went off with some strong lasting words that really makes things sad for Travis killing her. Alice is similar to Jeane where there is a back story that is hidden within the game and Alice sadly got trapped in the violence since black is a color of mystery and even death.

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By the way I adore the concept art with her in a dress, a nice connection to the widow aspect.

Jasper Batt Jr.

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Well we get to the boss that for me makes the original game better than the sequel. Now while I did not fully enjoy the boss fight in general. I will not lie on the fact that Jasper works as a character and design choice. A big thing to get out right now would be his color scheme. There is not too much point going through the meaning of colors with Jasper since he is a combination of the Joker and the Riddler. Suda is a big Batman fan as I said before and this is just him making his references again. Jasper in his kid form is quite shocking because the last time we saw a kid was with Matt Helms, but that was like a spirit of the damned, this time it is just a kid. Sure Jasper has done his shares of murdering, but getting to number one and seeing that it is a child is quite daunting. Travis just sliced through many challenging fights and now we just get to a kid in a giant toy car. That pizza tattoo is also really big and funny enough that is not on Jasper when he enters his giant form. So far though the person we are getting revenge on is a kid and even when Jasper buffs up he now just looks like a wrestler which is sometimes a child’s obsession, even Travis’. It is amazing how silly this all gets and I hate to repeat myself, but this is the person we are getting revenge on! Then in giant form he looks like a blimp you see during parades and the whole time fighting this guy, nothing feels right. Things would feel fine if the fight was with a grown man, but no it is this kid and no matter how many times he changes he cannot hide his youth. In the end Travis killed a child and even for how evil he was, it just leaves a bad taste. Overall, Jasper is a great design and works for what Suda was trying to do with the concept of revenge, but that does not excuse for how the fight plays out.

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Well this took a lot of time to get done. I am sorry if anyone reads this whole thing in one go. I will make sure for next time that I split a post like this into parts. I better do that next time because high chance I will be taking a look into a fighting game roster and those have a lot of characters. Either way, No More Heroes has my all time favorite designs for their characters. The designs speak a lot about the characters and they are all radically strange in their own ways.

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Yusuke Kozaki, I cannot wait for your work in the new game!

My First Try With ARMS

ARMS is the one of the upcoming games for the Nintendo Switch and it actually releases on my birthday which is June 16th. So I have some personal joy with any media being released on my birthday, hell I remember the first time a movie came out on my birthday which was Around the World in 80 Days with Jackie Chan. Funny enough I got the movie on DVD as a birthday gift when I was a kid and I never opened it, it is still in the plastic wrap. I can easily say ARMS is going to be opened when I get it and from my first run in with ARMS, there is a good chance this could be one of my favorite titles this year.

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One aspect that got my attention would be motion controls. I know that most people hate them and call them the bane of gaming sometimes. Personally I think that is done because of terrible games that were just meant to be shovelware. Some companies wanted a quick buck so they made terrible games with barely working controls. There is also the Kinect which sold well, but died with a terrible history with the people. There were actually some games that did work, they were simple and that is how motion controls started. Some great game designers learned the basics of what motion controls could do and we got some amazing titles from this early era. No More Heroes 1 and 2 of course! Red Steel 1 and 2 were nice titles as well, quite ambitious too during the early days. Madworld a game developed by Platinum was an extremely gory game for the Wii and still to this day fans love to debate which is better, No More Heroes or Madworld, for me it is No More Heroes all the way.

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Back to the subject though, ARMS is a fighting game with motion controls and there are many bad fighting games they tried motion controls before. There is a Bleach video game on the Wii which I own sadly (hey I was young and liked Bleach, many of us did in the past and we all regretted it). It literally just played with just flailing the controllers around and hopefully you got a win! Then back to the Kinect there was Fighter Within and my oh my that was a disgrace! This time you just flail your hands and feet and hopefully you win! There is a secret technique with that game though where if you crouch and keep punching the computer AI has a hard time dealing with it. So the idea of motion controls with fighting games has been hard. ARMS is showing that this idea actually works though.

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I even did a video on the terrible Bleach game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF7EPQ7n24A

The motion controls really work well and it took me only a little time to know how to play the game. There was barely much of a tutorial too. It starts to feel natural pretty quick which is great for any fighting game. ARMS even has some nice use of mechanics thanks to how stages are made, good mixture of weapons, and strong character variety. The stages are very different while the basic stage already shows how jumping really helps because of the springboards around the arena. There will also be some good use of springboards in other stages too because I remember there is one stage where it is in the center, but something is covering it. By destroying the floor panel will reveal the spring which is a spider’s web. There is a nice stage with stairs that gives you the taste of both low and high ground. The laboratory has many pillars which block your attacks and they can be destroyed. I know there will be much more later on in term of stages, but so far the design of them feel great and highlight the basics for advanced play.

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The weapons are well thought out thanks to light, medium, and heavy. Light weapons are the quickest and usually have some tricks to them. Mostly those tricks would be curving the weapons themselves. The risk with them though is that they can barely deflect weapons that are heavier. The medium ones are basic punches and some can have elements of homing or multiple shots. The heavy weapons are slow, but can just tear through other weapons and my favorite one if charged can stun foes. Yes there is even charging your weapons which is done with guarding or holding the jump button. Be warned though there are grabs so charging too long can get you tangled. There is even a special meter which is a triangle bar that fills through combat. People can guard against them, but there is chip damage which is something that I miss in some current fighting games. The overall use of weapons can get insane too, some are laser firing weapons, blobs of goo that slow down foes, shields that keep moving while deflecting attacks, boomerangs that really turn, or hammers that go up and then smack you! Overall I am happy with the weapon use and changing between rounds will probably become extremely important when the full game comes out.

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The characters also get my attention. I love their designs and all of them got something different going on. Spring Man and Ribbon Girl feel like your basic choices to learn the game and if you are strong with the basics you can really have these two become strong fighters. Master Mummy and Mechanica are big heavy-weights and again thanks to what weapons they get does change their style up. Ninjaro is extremely fast like Min Min, but the ninja can vanish while the ramen girl can deflect attacks while jumping. Helix is probably the most different character around where he can extend and shrink his body. Even his weapons are unlike the others where he has the blobs of goo and the shields. There are even more characters coming where Kid Cobra seems to be focused on those slappers, Twintella floats around and shows you how she is the ice queen, and then there is Byte and Barq where their teamwork will stomp out foes.

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Min Min is my favorite so far.

There are even many other fun options for ARMS which is a big plus. You love Tekken Ball? Well ARMS has volleyball as well and with the mixture of weapons you can do some interesting tricks and spikes. There will even be a basketball like mini game where you can dunk your foes. So there will be many fun things to do and with the thanks to good motion controls this game feels as smooth as the frame rate. Sixty frames per second is important to any fighting game and I am happy to see that ARMS is working with well with frames. I will say I had some little issues with the online play where some of my attacks went through others and when they disconnect could make it a win or a loss for you depending if it is a single, free for all, or team match. This is a demo and not the full product and if the online can be like Splatoon we should be in good hands.

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I will easily be playing ARMS again when the next demo run comes out for the weekend as my username is Godzilla60. If you find me facing you or on my side, be ready to give me your best use of ARMS!

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 You can also watch my first time with ARMS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZd3-2kEdHc

Let’s Talk Character Designs: No More Heroes

Something that always get on my mind would be designs. To be honest most of my favorite things usually catch my attention with their character designs. This was even one of the big reasons why something like Ace Attorney always stayed in my head. Character designs to me are some of the most important designs to any visual entertainment. Sure the posters for a movie are important too, but in the end there has to be that character that just makes the franchise. The early days had it pretty easy where a single man in usual martial arts gear worked for both Street Fighter and Virtua Fighter (even though I prefer Akira’s alternate design). I will easily bring up many series and games into this discussion. To start off though it has to be No More Heroes, my all time favorite product. It even has my all time favorite character designer, Yusuke Kozaki who has worked on both games and is working with the current project as well. Kozaki has also helped with other Grasshopper projects and even some big Nintendo products as well. To me though his greatest work comes from No More Heroes and I will go over pretty much all the designs of the first game.

Travis Touchdown

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Of course we start off with the main man himself, Travis Touchdown! Now something that has been obvious and revealed is that Travis’ design was inspired by Johnny Knoxville a man famous for the Jackass series and movies. A big reason why they went with this choice is that Johnny is very much a man who did not care for what people thought of his choices. Johnny was also quite destructive with his choices and if you have ever watched Jackass, you clearly know what I am talking about. One clip that Suda made people watch to get the feeling of Travis was the clip of Knoxville with the baby crocodile.  Suda said that would get the team to feel who Travis would be. How I feel about Travis in the first game is that he is a destructive man both to himself and others. A small aspect that can also show this would be his ripped jeans, quite small detail, but to me this does show some recklessness because I bet he ripped that himself. Travis does have some flash to him as well with that amazing red jacket and then the anime t-shirt have this interesting clash. Again a jacket like that easily has this punk feel to it. With the anime shirt it kinda destroys that image because it has these three cute girls on it. The badass jacket does not work with cute anime girls and yet that shows the chaotic mess Travis is. He wants to appear like a badass yet he cannot hide his obsessions because he loves his magical girl shows. Then there is the Beam Katana, I have talked about this thing before and it is a giant penis! Travis jerks the thing off to charge it and again it just adds to his attitude. Imagine someone with a flashy blade and just jerking it around, what would you think? Overall, Travis is a punk with a reckless attitude and again his design is short and simple by showing that.

Death Metal

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Death Metal has always been one of my favorite designs in the whole series. I find it interesting that No More Heroes starts off with two old men for the two first bosses. Both easily show wealth in different ways. Death Metal shows his wealth in a more scary fashion since he has these piercings in his face and that tattoo would so fit in a Yakuza. So this easily establishes that Death Metal has easily killed some people in his life. Now his age really does fit in with another style then. Something I have seen in Yakuza films or even in the video game series, Yakuza is that some of the characters have a sense of honor towards themselves or their gangs. It is quite hard to see in this image, but seeing the character move around and express really shows more of an honorable man. The man even talks about titles like the “Holy Sword” so he has honor in his fights. So we have a quite scary demeanor and yet an honorable man in the end. Then for a small tidbit, his tattoo really shows off the aspect of death and maybe it did seal Travis’ fate if we base that on the original ending.

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Dr. Peace

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Dr. Peace easily shows off his wealth through his fashion and weapons. He literally has golden guns! He is a well dressed man with that nice suit too. The bird on his back which could be a hawk or an eagle does show his Native American roots. This character also shows off many western stereotypes, back to is guns they are revolvers which are the suitable type for showdowns. His shoes both add to the classy and western ascetics because they are slightly plated and really work well for dress shoes. Then something that is interesting that connects back to Death Metal would be the flames both of these characters have. They are both older men and there is a saying for romance with the old flames, but these old flames do not get to reignite, they burn out just like some older men do in general. Both Death Metal and Dr. Peace work well in contrast to each other, both old flames that die out and funny enough both of their names start with the letter D, you know for death which is a common thing in the old west as well.

Shinobu

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One of the fan favorite characters in general and I will say I do love the No More Heroes 2 design more, but the first one has more to say about who Shinobu is. Clearly she is a school girl and she clearly works with the darker skin look which comes from a look that some girls get. Usually it is more tan that just black, but there is no doubt Shinobu is showing this theme. The big hint would be how the lips really stand out which is a common thing with those girls. The kogal style has these tanned girls with interesting additions to their school outfit and again their lips always stood out. Shinobu even has some additions to her uniform and I love the flower in her hair, showing a growing woman. Now the best part of her design would be her sword or the case of it to be more exact. It actually adds some innocence to her since she is just another product of someone who is a bit obsessed with what they like. She has little charms on her case which is similar to the charms that usual girls would have on their cell phones. She literally has the same girls that Travis has on his shirt. A cool way to connect the two characters and a good reminder of who they are. Shinobu is one of the best school outfit designs I have seen, it really stands out and has a bit of bite to it as well.

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Destroyman

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Another character with the letter “D” in the beginning, again this was clearly a motif here. Anyways, Destroyman is one of the best parodies on superheroes. He easily goes through the concept of who is the real identity issue, but that is more of his character. The design of Destroyman really points to Superman and some Japanese heroes like Kamen Rider. He clearly has a red, white, and blue color scheme going on and there are even stars on this outfit, AMERICA! Even Superman has a red and blue color scheme going on and he is a white man so red, white, and blue, AMERICA! Destroyman even has the silly look of having this underwear like thing outside of the suit which only took just recently for Superman to have a design get around that. Destroyman also has this big “V” on his chest, this is clearly for the meaning of victory because heroes are victorious! Then we get to his belt which again that is more of a Kamen Rider accessory and it has an “X” which points to Kamen Rider X. Also for an interesting side note that really makes me think is that on his back is this gadget that looks like a spine that is connected to the belt. High chance it is for how Destroyman can shoot beams from his head. Destroyman is one of the best bosses from the first game and his radical design really makes him memorable.

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Holly Summers

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My favorite boss from the first game and the one that made me get into analyzing No More Heroes in general. She is a really special character to me and she is a simple design, but again there is a lot to say about it. The most obvious thing is her prosthetic leg. It is an obvious battle scar since she is armed to the teeth and the whole stage getting to her is full of army men. She is a general of some type I just know it. Holly is also a model from where she came from and again her figure and being able to show it off with a bikini points to that well. The swimsuit even has a camo color scheme and even though she looks good in a blue bikini in the PS3 Very Sweet Mode, I prefer the green camo since it works with her theme. Also the model and army theme work together when it comes to her weapons again she is armed to the teeth with grenades and surprisingly enough she wears them like a fashion design. She even wears a high heel on her actual leg which again points to the modeling aspect. My favorite part of her design though would be her eyes they have eye shadow around them and while that is a beauty aspect to me it also shows how hard she works herself. To me it shows how tired she is because if she is a model and some sort of general or war leader, that must be tiring! Overall, an extremely beautiful woman who clearly shows that roses have thorns or to be more accurate… explosives.

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Letz Shake

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We never got the chance to fight Letz Shake himself, but god damn he still has an amazing design. Now if Travis is more of a punk in terms of him just being an idiot, Letz Shake is the punk in more of a musical stance. Again Suda 51 loves his punk, so of course this would fit in somewhere. Letz Shake also has this Mad Max feel to him. The crazy hair, the scarf over his mouth, and the guitar! Along with that would be the wristbands he wears, the black leather coat, and how he shows off his chest. There is also a diamond thing going on in the chest region. Also another reason Letz Shake gives off a Mad Max feel would be the giant machine he has with him. Mad Max usually shows off some crazy vehicles and this giant brain can still move around on its own, so I can imagine this thing being used in Mad Max. Again we never get to fight him, but this crazy punk still leaves a nice image.

Harvey Moiseiwitsch Volodarskii

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Look how sparkly this man is! Harvey is an amazing magician and his design really shows that well. My personal favorite touch would have to be the mask he wears. The spilt mask really gives off the dual personality concept. One is the magician and the other is a killer! The use of blue and adding sparkles to it really feels magical to me. I do remember when some movies or even a Grasshopper game, Killer is Dead, they would use blue for darkness. I feel like that is why they are doing with the use of blue and the sparkles are stars. It gives off this mystic feel to him and magic is quite mystical. What also helps with that space and mystic feel is how the blue soon turns to pitch black at the end of the sleeves. Another cool addition to his design would be his two swords. One has a skull with red lights around it, clearly showing death. The other has an angel with blue lights around it and while the skull and red is threatening, the angel with blue is so calming. It is the dual reality of a magician’s performance, while it can be scary and life threatening a performer must keep calm. Also the wings of an angel could be a reference to pigeon wings. An amazing magician with a design that is as wonderous as his performances.

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Speed Buster

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To start off this character is a witch and an interesting tidbit I just noticed in the art is that at the bottom of her dress are those same sparkles. Again this is showing off a mystic vibe since this character actually has real magic. Her being old and yet still wearing high heels, fish nets, showing off her back, and having a large chest tries to give off a cougar feel to the character. Speed Buster always likes to talk about how foolish men are and seeing how she dresses, she likes to still think she is well… still in the market. Her most amazing feature has to be the cock cannon she has called the Buster Launcher. I also feel this character has a huge rack just because her actual name and her weapon name have “bust” in them. What is interesting about the cannon is that it hides like a shopping cart. She literally has groceries in the cart too. This easily just works with the old lady cliché and again this works with how Speed Buster says men are foolish, since some men do help an old lady. Now the chicken theme with the cannon is a huge joke to a penis and since Speed loves to make fun of men she is literally just showing she has a bigger cock than them. Speed Buster is probably the most bizarre in terms of designs for the first game, mostly because of that god damn cock cannon!

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Bad Girl

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If Holly shows roses have thorns, Bad Girl shows that some roses has a baseball bat! Bad Girl is literally wearing a Gothic Lolita outfit. Bad Girl has more of the Sweet look going on and high chance that is used because Bad Girl is not sweet at all. It is meant to be a polar opposite to really establish her character. Again the bloody baseball bat with the pink outfit is really confusing and scary. Bad Girl is even a blonde bombshell a sexual cliché in American culture. Bad Girl has many sexy traits to her and that is all there because is a clear representation of a dominatrix. They just decided to change her style of wear because in the end the Gothic Lolita still has some sexual drives to it just like the leather of a usual dominatrix. Bad Girl is easy to talk about because of how clear of what she is, but it is so shocking to see how they portrayed this with the concept of a “sweet” design.

Jeane

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This is my absolute favorite design in No More Heroes 1 and it my second favorite overall in the franchise. Jeane really comes off as a fighter in the purest sense. So many of these previous assassins have crazy themes and then Jeane is the closest we have to a real fighter. Just by looking at her you can tell she has a kick boxing style. In her design card, on the side of her boots you can read “UWE.” High chance this is just a reference to UFC as her wear really shows off that look. The tank top, the gloves, the shorts, and her overall build is just like a female UFC fighter. Then the overall red and white color scheme work so well with her pale skin. The white really stands out and it really helps make the red stand out even more. What I love the most are those markings she has on her body, I guess they could be tattoos though. Red can be shown to mean the will to survive and knowing Jeane’s character, yea she really did all she could do to survive. The red also gives this masculine feel which could have been hard to show with a female character. I even love that her eyes are red, this is literally a person full of energy. Jeane even has some sexual things in her story which again red shows that off. The white then can actually show how she perfected her style. Jeane is a professional fighter and has trained to work with her energy and control it for her fights. I just adore this design since it is a simple use of white and red, but there is so much done with it to make her feel empowering.

Henry Cooldown

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If Jeane shows off how a real fighter looks like, then Henry shows what a hitman looks like. He is well dressed, but the big coat gives off this mysterious vibe. Something that would blend in with the crowd. Even when Henry walks during his battle, it really gives off this menacing feel. It feels like a literal assassin hunting you down. Now an interesting touch to Henry is his sword having purple energy to it. Purple has the stimulation of red and also has the calmness of blue. Again this speaks true to Henry since he walks slowly and calmly, but when he goes in for the strike he goes all out. I will say I also like his first look more than his second look because having the coat really establishes his hitman feel. Also another cool design aspect that is present in some other characters would be a cross. Henry literally has that with his sword. It is quite a religious symbol of death since the cross has been used for execution something assassin are quite familiar with. Henry just literally waves that symbol around.

Helter Skelter

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To finish things off I want to speak about the first character we saw for No More Heroes. This character was only in the trailer and still to this day I cannot forget this character. I said before that characters can attract the viewer and that is what happened with me and Helter Skelter. He looked like a main character right off the bat and one aspect would be the white long hair. I cannot tell you how many important characters in entertainment have white hair. It literally became a trope back in the days. What is cool with this design is that he is a precursor to so many design aspects. First off, he has the cross on his sleeves and wears one has a necklace. The classy look is around which I have talked about before with Peace and Henry. There is even a demon like face on his belt buckle which reminds me of Death Metal. Even his name points to many design aspects of No More Heroes, as it comes out as “in disorderly haste or confusion.” You clearly see how confusing these characters can be simply based on their designs. Even if this man has white which is perfection (a pointer to Jeane) another big color would be grey the indecisive color and the unemotional color. This character was just nothing in the end which is funny because he was just in the trailer. All of this effort and this is my third favorite design in the overall franchise and he is only a character for the trailer, just amazing.

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He is also one the only character with smoking, probably really pointing to how he is going to die soon (smoking kills, do not smoke this has been a lovely PSA from No More Heroes, now go out and kill some assassins).

This is why I love character designs when they are done right. It really shows hard work that they really made these character stand out and easy to understand who they are. It is a great use of visual arts which is something I love with Suda 51 and his works in general. So much just speaks out loud for No More Heroes and most of it is thanks to those amazing character designs. Now for the reason I did not put Slyvia in this post, is because she has so many outfits and is simply a tease for Travis. There is also Dark Star, but in the end he is literally just a Darth Vader rip off for the sake of a joke. Dark Star still has a nice design, but just not enough to talk about. Overall the designs for No More Heroes have stuck with me over the years and are the best in video games to me. Next time I go over character designs it could be a two parter for a certain fighting game franchise or simply the second No More Heroes game.

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Still excited for the new game!

My Top Ten Favorite Street Fighter Characters

Last time I got my least favorite characters out-of-the-way because I was a bit loopy from medicine when I had a terrible cold. For some reason I wanted to have an unfiltered hatred presented in that post, now I did edit it later on the road to make sure I did not go too crazy. Either way I am feeling better and I know I can easily talk about my favorite characters without being in a craze.

10. Rashid

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To start things off I want to talk about my favorite of the newcomers to the franchise. Personally I feel Street Fighter V did very well with its new characters. Sure Fang is laughable on the tier list, but I really enjoy him has a character and his play style is still quite funny to use. Laura is an interesting projectile/grappler character with some revealing aspects… Even the recent addition of Kolin is strong as she feels like a new type of character in the series. Then there is Rashid who to me is the best around and many agree. Rashid is first off a nice person and has a good attitude about things, he even has good comic relief moments. I was surprised to see Rashid get a large amount of love in the story mode and it really made me like this character way more. Rashid took on a lot already and sometimes giving the new blood huge focus can go wrong so quickly, but give Rashid an awesome design and amazing fighting style and barely anyone would complain. His tornado style is a great mix up tool in terms of projectiles and his V-trigger with bigger tornadoes is fun to watch. His Critical Art is some of my favorites since surrounding foes in wind and your kicks is both awesome and funny at the same time. Finally, I also feel his English voice actor Ian Sinclair did extremely well with the role. Then of course we cannot forget about his awesome theme song… RASHDIOOO!

9. Alex

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Alex is yet another risky character in the franchise. You think Rashid had big impressions to work with, well Alex was going to be the new face of the franchise. People tend to forget what happened with Street Fighter 3 when it started. It was a new age for the franchise and Capcom wanted to make a completely new roster which looking at the majority of the roster are some my favorites even if there are some misses still. Alex being the new main character is really interesting since he did not play like Ryu at all. Alex is a cool mixture of a rush down and grappler character. Alex has some of my favorite grab specials in fighting games and what easily helped that was his appearance in Tatsunoko VS Capcom where the guy can throw Gold Lightan around! I will say his appearance in Street Fighter V could be better, but it is better than his initial reception where people just hated the guy because he was not any of the classic characters. Street Fighter 3 characters had some hard times in the beginning, but now most of these guys do get the love they deserve thanks to the one of the best fighting games called 3rd Strike!

8. Urien

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Wow another Street Fighter 3 character and this is clearly not the last one. Now the reason Urien tops Alex is because I do feel his Street Fighter V appearance is stronger. Urien in Street Fighter V is getting tons of love and his reveal really got people pumped (look up L.I Joe’s reaction). Again Urien was this unique character in the series where he had these strong projectiles, but can also be a counter to projectile characters. Urien had these intense moves that could get him close while avoiding fireballs. Then there is the famous Agesis Reflector that is doing extremely well as his V-Trigger in his current style. Another reason why Urien is a strong character is because his is canonically one of the strongest in general. We all know Gil is stronger than him, but Urien is pretty much right below him. I do love his costume choices as well since there is the classic banana hammock, but I will say I do love seeing Urien in a suit, nothing beats class in a fighting game.

7. Cammy

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Out from the classic era of Street Fighter 2 one of the newer additions are my absolute favorite. An honorable mention would be Fei Long, but to be honest he is just Bruce Lee. Cammy is more of her own character and she had some ups and downs in the franchise. Who remembers the original ending she had in Street Fighter 2 (have fun watching that)? Still how Cammy is implemented in the story is nice as she is kind of like Zero from the Megaman series. Cammy was an experiment for Bison since he needs to find a body to use later down the line. Cammy is the best of the dolls that Bison created and Cammy is the one that soon broke free and became one of the good guys. I do enjoy that aspect when a villain’s greatest invention actually turns out to be the hope for many. Cammy has a cool style of fighting where she jumps around to get a punch in or do some awesome slide kicks! Then we cannot ignore her design because we all know her pose from the games with that insanely tight uniform!

6. Akuma

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Akuma is on everyone’s list, end of discussion. I mentioned Akuma when I talked about Necalli since to me Akuma is one of the best chaotic neutral characters. Whenever Akuma shows up you know there is going to be an intense fight. His first appearance being a secret character shocked many and him being a hard fight made him memorable. What also makes Akuma awesome was the many incarnations of him in spin-off titles or boss variations of him. Shin Akuma destroyed a meteor, Oni is Akuma at his peak, then Cyber Akuma is too amazing to look upon. Akuma is extremely popular and many are loving his new style in Street Fighter V where this Ryu variation took a new path. Akuma is even appearing in Tekken, how crazy is that?! Overall, Akuma is easily one of the strongest fan favorites and he still to this day is looking for a worthy foe.

5. Dudley

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I mentioned with Urien that I do love having class in fighting games, well Dudley takes that to a new level. His talks like a gentlemen, acts likes one, and even tosses roses around. I do like my close range fist fighters and I will say the new Balrog is my favorite incarnation of that character, but Dudley is still my favorite boxer of fighting games. I do love his Cross Counter ability with that silly animation when he enters it. The way he boxes and still keeping style is amazing. Then there is his voice clips from Street Fighter 3, Uppercut! I will say his appearance in 4 is not as strong as it was in 3, but I still did enjoy his arcade story. He surrounds himself with a rose garden and travels the world to find the perfect sparring partner. Dudley basically works with concept and visual appeal and he just does that extremely well.

4. Ken Masters

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Ken has always been one of my favorites. I enjoy him way more than Ryu in style and character. Ken made me love with the aspect of fire fighters which is clearly seen with my enjoyment of Sol Badguy. To me Ken just fits more of my playing style compared to Ryu as well and since Ken has been in mostly every Street Fighter title, there is a lot to enjoy about him. First can we all mention that 3rd Strike Ken is the greatest, EVO moment #37 anyone? Out of the voices for Street Fighter characters both English and Japanese do amazing with the character as the current voice actors would be Ruben (Dante) for the English and Yuji (Red Racer). I have to pick between two of my favorite goofballs, that is just impossible! A big reason why I enjoy playing as Ken more is because of his hurricane kicks and his special moves. Amazing combo moves that can really change-up on how you use them. Also I extremely love his look in Street Fighter V, sure in-game it could look better, but the concept artwork for him is amazing. Then those fire kicks really come out strong in the recent title. Ken Master is an aggressively fast character and I will always pick him before Ryu.

3. Charlie Nash

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Originally I was thinking of making this a tie between Nash and Guile, but in the end I have to go with Nash in the end. Now what can get confusing is his name since in America it was Charlie and in Japan it was Nash. Pretty much I just put the two together and I think that is how many do it now these days or Charlie was like a codename for Nash. Either way it is Nash now because of Street Fighter V. Reminding me of that there will be a spoiler or two right now. Charlie is one of the rare characters in the series where he died. Sure he came back in Street Fighter V, but even then he sacrificed himself to take down Bison then. I will say this is probably a huge reason the character left an impact on me because he is simply not around anymore. Nash was even the man who taught Guile the moves we all love, Sonic Boom, Flash Kick! Charlie was even an early threat to Bison so much that Bison had to cheat to kill him! His design in the Alpha/Zero series is fantastic and his design in the recent title was surprising and awesome at the same time. I did love his teleports and how strong he was in Street Fighter V originally, but now with those recent patches he is still fun to play as, it is just the reward is not there anymore. Overall, Charlie or Nash whatever you want to call him he will always be remembered for what he did in the series.

2. Q/Skullomania

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Both of these characters really fit in the weirdo territory. Q is silent all the time and we really do not know what his deal is. Skullomania is simply a Kamen Rider in Street Fighter which I have no problem with at all. Both of these guys are just odd characters. Even how they fight is strange compared to previous characters. Q is slow, but has an ability where he can give himself a strength boost. Q’s grabs can be intense with that ability and he does have unique ways of approaching you. Skullomania is a faster Q in many ways. Strange fighting habits, but can easily get to you with his moves. In terms of designs both of these guys work on the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori’s characters. Q is a clear tribute to Robot Keiji K and Skullomania is based on the Skullman which was an early rough draft for what Kamen Rider was supposed to be. So both of these two characters work well with concepts and other characters that I love. Q and Skullomania really show the love of the original and also being their own character at the same time.

1. Juri

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I do love my kicking styles in anything fight oriented. I will say when Street Fighter 4 first came out it did not really get my attention. Then came along Super Street Fighter 4 with a bigger roster and the addition of Juri. First off in terms of designs I absolutely love both of them, even her alternate costumes are pretty great too. I usually like hair for female characters to be more straight down, but Juri really works well against that. It just adds more evil to her design. Juri even has the sexy appeal by even having more clothes on that many other characters. One of big things would be her legs and yet she wears those baggy pants and her V appearance she has a whole bodysuit on. The long belt in her 4 design really helps focus on the waist down and the spider on her back really does show you her legs are deadly. The eye patch on her V design puts more focus on the eye.  Juri simply has my favorite designs in Street Fighter and her sadistic nature is right up my alley. You think Tharja is sadistic? Juri would love to crush every bone in your body. Juri’s English voice actress, Jessica Straus do so well with showing how much pleasure Juri has with fighting. Juri is overall my favorite Street Fighter character around, awesome designs, my prefered fighting style of South Korean kick boxing, and a voice that is both delightful and terrifying at the same time. Juri even comes from the series of Street Fighter where most of my hated characters come from, how funny is that?

My Top Ten Least Favorite Street Fighter Characters

As you probably noticed from my favorite characters list, I enjoy fighting games a whole lot. A big reason would be for the roster of characters. Fighting game characters always stand out to me because they have to get appeal straight from their designs. I would say Guilty Gear has the best designs which always got my attention before actually playing it. Changing the subject though there is Street Fighter, the franchise that made this genre into what it is now. There are many characters and so with that there are going to be some flukes. Now I am not basing this on stats or anything like that, I am just looking at this with design and how they are as characters.

10. Yang and Yun

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To start the list off these two have always been characters I never liked. What is their thing, hip hop! Yes Street Fighter 3 did move to this new mood and they just wanted to show it with two new characters. Personally that is all I feel from them. Even in their appearances in the Street Fighter 4 series really gave me nothing to go crazy for. I will say I am more for Yang because I like his hair, but then both of their play styles are just not for me. I know Yun in Street Fighter 4 was insane and is still probably the best character of the game, but I cannot play as him. If I ever played as them I was forcing myself to learn their moves, nothing felt natural with them. These two are not terrible characters, but just two I have the most neutral feelings about which is bad as well.

9. C. Viper

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I know this character is actually quite popular among fans, but I just hate this character. What always got me to not like her would be her hair. I have never been a fan of her hair and it is the most appalling feature in her design. I have seen people drawn her with the hair down and I feel the effect is better. Long red hair really stands out and yet for some reason she has it bunched up in some pompadour and pony tail. Also she is a red-head so of course she has fire moves! Personally I enjoy Ken as my fire fighter. The thing that gets me with C. Viper is that she got into Marvel VS Capcom 3, I guess she was popular enough. In terms of an actual character though, she is just agent women which again if I wanted that, there is Chun Li. C. Viper just seems to be borrowing aspects from other fighters and just had to have odd character designs to make her stand out, also boobs.

8. Twelve

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This is just a boring character. Pure white, acts like goo, and transforms into other fighters. I feel there is only one character that has done the transforming aspect well in fighting games and that is Double from Skullgirls. With Double all of her moves are composed of what the other fighters have. With Twelve it is just a special move and you just become the character. Even then his move set is nothing to rave about. I will say I like how he flies and that is it. To be honest I do not have much to say about Twelve since there is really no character to speak of in terms of story. This one is the hardest to talk about since he is just some clone creature.

7. Seth

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Reminding me of uninspired, Seth is simply a slightly better Twelve, but why is he higher than Twelve. At least Twelve has some connections with Gill and Urien who are cool characters. Seth is connected with Bison and who isn’t? I actually enjoy Shadaloo’s characters, but Seth never impressed me. The silver body has been done to death in many entertainment mediums, his personality is just arrogance. Sure Bison is arrogant, but Bison is so evil about it and he does have his moments where he breaks into rage. Then I hate it when a boss character is playable and is nothing like their boss incarnation. Seth has some of the worst stats and ultra moves which sucks if you pick this guy expecting some strong moves. I understand balance, but the Seth that is playable is just a lie!

6. Necalli

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When I was making this list I thought I would not bring up Street Fighter V. To me this cast feels the strongest so far since Street Fighter 2. Again the third game has some misses and the fourth game has too many characters which just means there are going to be bad ones. The fifth installment gave us fan favorites and all the new characters really have a cool presence, except one. Necalli to me is just boring which is sad because I remember seeing his first trailer being excited for him. He looked like some out of control creature to be feared and yet his involvement in the story is literally nothing. In the end he was just a test for Ryu which we have Akuma for that! I generally even like Necalli’s design, it is cool when he enters his V-Trigger. The overall effect he has though in the end was nothing. It just felt like he appeared and left so this character really came to a disappointment. Maybe further in he can get better, but as of now he is quite underwhelming.

5. Abel

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Now we really get to the characters that I just hate. There are not many good fighting franchises where I have characters that I purely hate. I think even some bad fighting games have better characters compared to these five characters. Abel is the beginning of this because to give credit he is a good character in 4 in terms of game play, but I just hate everything else about him. He is a boring character and his only shocking thing was the sonic boom which meant he was connected with Nash the actual cool character. That is a sin for a character at times, making you think of another character. It is like a teaser and this is true because Nash came back in Street Fighter V. Even with that his interactions with other characters are just boring. The only one I liked was in Street Fighter X Tekken where he wanted to have Kuma as a pet. Finally his design is just that blue guy with blonde hair.

4. T. Hawk

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Early Street Fighter characters can be quite hard to talk about. Again there was barely any story in these days of Street Fighter and anyone can just do whatever with it. Just look at Street Fighter the Movie. Even then though barely anything was done with T. Hawk. At least later on someone made a cool Native character in Killer Instinct, but this character is odd. I do not like his body build at all, he is a big man, but he still has this hourglass like shape. He looks uncomfortable the whole time, he is just wearing tight pants or something? To give credit they did not give him any cliché weapons that some tribal or native characters can have, but his style is boring to me. For grapplers Zangief has always been cool, getting his body fully into motion and fully grabbing the character. T. Hawk just uses his arms which really makes me believe his waist and below are just waiting to break down. Then I said he has no weapons that are connected to any clichés with his race… well many of his moves are though… Overall I feel like this character is just an odd choice in the roster, he just stood out for the wrong reasons.

3. Shadowgeist
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You know who is cool? Skullomania! I love the skull man who is a direct reference to Skullman and even Kamen Rider. Skullomania even has a simple design that really works. It really looks like a suited hero. Take that concept again and just put the scale to over the top and we get Shadowgeist, a variation of Skullomania. There is just too much in his character design. He is a huge man so I guess the designer just had to fit whatever he could into this large man. Than let us just add a cape for no reason. I missed when Skullomania had the belt in his design, but hey Shadowgeist has one and it is a sun. Wait his name is Shadowgeist with a sun motif? Then he even has some scales on his design for some reason or maybe it is solar plates. Again this character just confuses me and his personality is literally Skullomania 2.0 which a revenge story this time, trying a little too hard on that Kamen Rider reference there. At least with Skullomania he was simple with it and reminded you of what makes the reference cool. Shadowgeist feels more like a modern rider before the modern era even came, confusing designs and over the top choices just to make him stand out.

2. Dee Jay

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The other Street Fighter 2 character that I absolutely detest. First off, I always thought this character was a villain. His big body and that grin of his always gave off this evil vibe to me. This guy is a good guy though and just does things. I will say out of all the racial stereotypes, I really hate the Jamaican ones the most. I will say I really loved the movie Cool Runnings which had some. Dee Jay just reminds me of the worst though because he is really has no character other than that. Just give him some maracas and we got ourself a character. I also feel that other fighting games did the dancing fighter better. Even the EX series did better with another dancer character. Dee Jay just felt like a prototype and even his later appearances did nothing to improve him, to be honest I think they did worse with the character over time.

1. Rufus

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Now we get to probably my overall most hated fighting game character of all time. Rufus just bothers me in the worst way possible. The guys at Capcom happened to see Bob from Tekken and wanted to do that character. The major difference is that Bob is awesome! Bob is a fat fighter, but how he acts is suave and gentle. Seeing him for the first time and knowing how he actually acts is quite surprising. Rufus is pretty much what you expect though. A fat silly man… because we do not have enough of them! Sure in fighting games it is rare, but the overall fat silly men are high. I also hate Rufus’ design with the only color being yellow! There is some black mixed in, but the over tone of yellow is blinding! Then for some reason he leaves his suit open in the middle. The worst part of it is that we see his god damn happy trail, learn to cover stuff up like that! I know he is a comedic character, but he is so annoying with it. What is funny about Bob is how much of a surprise he is and how he fights a stereotype, Rufus is just the sterotype!

The Silver Case: A Grasshopper’s Beginning

With the upcoming No More Heroes coming I decided that I want to take a further look into Grasshoppers Manufacture’s games. Now I was already going to get the Silver Case already before this decision, it just took a long time for me to get it… Either way I have the Silver Case and I went for a limited copy of it too, which is probably the reason it took some time. So for those who do not know about the Silver Case, this was the first title that Suda 51 made with his company, Grasshopper. Now the Kill the Past series does go back a bit with Suda’s works at Human Entertainment. There is Twilight Syndrome 1 and 2, but the real start of Kill the Past mostly starts at Moonlight Syndrome. Literally the beginning of the Silver Case has the surviving characters from Moonlight Syndrome. The concept of “Kill the Past” means that the past needs to be killed. A character has experience a horrible incident and while they moved on, they end up going back to it to finally kill it off. As the title says I will be starting with the Silver Case since I have no ways of playing the Syndrome series. Either way we start out with Suda’s first look into the idea of crime.

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Suda has talked about his first look into the idea of crime. To be honest, future titles of his does go into this as well. Flower Sun and Rain brings up similar crime angles that Silver Case started and then Killer 7 and No More Heroes brings up assassins into the mix. So how did it all start? Suda has said that he wanted to look on how crime is born. Is it natural, does it come because of other events, or does something control it? The idea of crime has been done before like with the movie Scarface and no I am not referring to the one with Al Pacino, I am talking about the original film, but both are pretty nice films. Either way, the focus on crime is quite high in entertainment. I will say though considering this was game for the original Playstation it still feels quite original. One of the big perks is how Suda does his story telling, I will get further into it, but this man keeps finding ways to make his stories unique. I do not know how he did with the Syndrome series, but the Silver Case really has that style that made me find No More Heroes so entertaining. The crazy concepts being brought up quite early, the dialogue being strange and yet strong with strong sense of diction, and the general art style. This is before No More Heroes as the designs are a bit more toned down compared to other Grasshopper games. The art and character designs were done by Takashi Miyamoto and I adore his style. Takashi was a big fan of French art styles and he really brought that into a horror like style as well. He was also a fan of noir which really fits well with this type of story. His favorite types of stories heavily dark in tone stories so his work on the Silver Case feels quite natural.

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So with I mentioned so far The Silver Case is a noir styled drama with a mix of supernatural horror. It is easily a strange mixture for sure and that is how Grasshopper does things to this day. The motto “Punk’s not dead” simply means that Suda wants to make each work distinct. The company would rarely want the some product again and again. To this day the only franchise this company has is No More Heroes even though Suda wanted to continue Killer 7 and I found out that Silver Case does continue, but it was only on mobile in Japan so far as Suda says is The Silver Case still does well even today, he will release the sequel as well. So far both Silver Cases are the only visual novels the company has under their belt. I have been opening up to visual novels over the years thanks to Zero Escape and Ace Attorney. Now I will not lie the age of this title does show just like playing Ace Attorney in the past feels quite different from their titles on the 3DS. In the end though what brings people to visual novels are the stories and while Zero Escape and Ace Attorney are deep with puzzles, The Silver Case is quite lighter on that. This title is more like an interactive story. You do not have many options in what to do and change. You can waste time and that is all it is then. So reviewing this has a game is not that possible since it is just busy work. So if you are a Suda fan expecting gameplay from this title, you will be disappointed. If you can get around that though, I can highly recommend this title for Suda fans like myself because there are many beginnings here that someone like me loves to notice.

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The biggest aspect that is carried over from Suda’s works is that the story does have a rather interesting way of presenting itself. Suda is known for bringing art house quality to game and Silver Case was the start. It all starts out with your character on a job to take out a criminal, pretty simple. You start to find victims of the criminal and already the art came up to me as shocking. It was not the most grotesque art, but it really came off with this horror vibe and the soundtrack did great to build that up. When tracking down the criminal you start to do little puzzles that just require simple decryption with a machine you find. A majority of the said puzzles are basically busy work, but I had my fun time with them. I cannot really remember the last time I had a simple puzzle made me feel uncomfortable. The thug is taken down later on, but it was done by an officer that decides to call you Chinchilla, lovely. He starts to tell you and your allies why you are in the business and that is to clear this world of crime, shoot it until it has no face! The supernatural angle comes up as it appears crime can bring ghosts of criminals and yes it was the same one who was killed and you clearly get the big picture of what happened to this man. Crime in the Silver Case is like a virus and the officers need to stop it before it spreads. That is a majority of how The Silver Case feels, you will be going down one path and while the introduction had a big turn, the next couple of chapters have you figuring things out earlier on. The first case even starts the story off well thanks to the theming and what was introduced already, many elements from those moments come back into play later.

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After that case, you soon find yourself part of the Crime Division where you meet the usual cast of characters for the rest of this title. The man who called you Chinchilla is no other than Testugoro Kusabi, a man who got promoted to this division because of “The Silver Case” incident. His partner is a young man by the name of Sumio Kodai and while these two seem to be at each other’s throats, they are extremely great partners to each other. Sumio comes off as a potential main character, he just has a simple attitude that is inviting for people to be with. Sumio easily comes in as the best character because of what happens later on and he soon becomes a titular character of “Kill the Past” in general. We also got Morikawa an older gentleman just like Kusabi, but not as hot-headed. He does come off as arrogant though as his style of investigation is the best around. Chizuru is the cold and distant scientific one of the group as she is by the book. Kusabi hates her “ancient” style of work and later on Morikawa gets annoyed by her at one point. The overall cast of characters personally feel more alive than what some modern titles have brought. The dialogue can get a big dragged on and some lines really come out of nowhere, but that is usual how my conversations go. I talk a whole lot as you can probably tell by my writing style. I would even regularly be open how certain things with anyone, so to me the dialouge easily fits well. Even the characters can be a bit radical, but to me that is what gives them more distinct personality and what really puts them in a league of their own in terms of characters.

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There are many other characters too as the deeper you get into the Silver Case, more players start to reveal themselves later on. There is a side story section where you play as a reporter who got involved in a case. Ever since then he has been going further into this case. He does become a freelance reporter as he is paid to find information on the man named Kamui, a legendary criminal. These sections of the game are their own story and at the same time act as cliff notes for the general story. I feel this is needed because there are times where I am thinking about too many possibilities. The writing was done by different people other than Suda and while I do love how unfiltered Suda is with his writing because of how far it goes. I will not lie and say actually learning the story is needed as well. Not saying that you cannot get any details from the main story, I can just easily see some being confused on certain events. If you just focus on the dialogue, you can get rather lost, but again the art really pops out so I do not see how someone can ignore it. The art really speaks out on its own at many times which to be honest this is the first visual novel where I actually have that. Either way, Tokio is also a rather calm collected man who just happens to have a tad attitude problem. Being involved with a Kamui case though, I do not blame him as the information he starts to uncover would stress anyone out. Tokio’s sections are rather repetitive, but what really gets the suspense going is what new information is brought up in those sections. I highly recommend playing his section as they are unlocked, the two stories go back and forth with each other.

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Overall, The Silver Case is a strong beginning to how Suda 51 starts to bring his unique style of story to gaming. While the game is just a bunch of busy work, I only got tired around the end of the game. The title always has this constant vibe of uneasiness that I was not bothered by the busy work. Also for a man anticipating for what “Kill the Past” has I was excited to find many beginnings of aspects and sound effects that would be used later on in future titles. I will have another post about The Silver Case and that will be rather spoiler heavy as I will bring up, “Kill the Past.” For my initial thoughts on The Silver Case though, it was an artsy crime drama that feels of its own product as the look on crime is rather deep. What makes a criminal?

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My Top 14 Episodes of Mr. Bean

I am easily changes things up a bit for my category of posts. I do say I am the man who looks into anything. Recently it has been tons of Japanese media and this is probably the most I have seen. I love playing video games from Japanese developers, watched tons of anime as a child and still go back to watch the older ones I missed out on, and then even got into Tokusatsu. With that though there is easily something different on my all time favorites list and that would be the British comedy hit, Mr. Bean. For those who do not know who Mr. Bean, he is a character played by one of my favorite actors, Rowan Atkinson. I grew up watching Mr.Bean at my grandparents house as they had a collection of the series on VHS tapes. My brother and I loved these episodes so much, we even taken home ourselves. Right now those tapes are still with my grandmother, but I can still watch Bean anytime I want thanks to DVD collections. Which is funny, back then my sister had a DVD collection as well and I borrowed that too. For the longest time I thought I still had it. Either way I adore Rowan and his idea of the man-child that is Mr. Bean. Not only does this show make me laugh it does remind me to adore the child that is in me as well. I feel like that is what Mr.Bean does the best. It has a cartoony way of presenting itself while in real life situations. Bean feels like a live action cartoon in many ways mostly because of our title character. Well I feel like talking about this show and all of its brilliant episodes as I do enjoy every episode of the show. Listing these off does come down to personal favorites at some point.

14. Mind the Baby Mr.Bean

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Episode nine of the series has an extremely great idea of Mr.Bean at a fun fair and the chaos can already be imagined I bet with his track record at this point. Fate gives him something to be mind of though, a baby that he accidentally gets because of his car. Bean does his best to keep the baby safe and happy, but that does not mean he is aiming for fun himself. I put this episode at last place because I feel like more could have been done with the idea of Bean being with baby. The episode though does get a bit lazy and just put the baby in a little car ride for about 1/4 of the episode. Even when the baby is around then there are some jokes that do not need the baby. Now there are some great moments in this episode as Bean cheats at these games. Pretending to hit the cards with darts and try hitting  machine to get coins. It also does have one of my personal favorite moments as a kid when Bean had to keep a fish alive in his mouth. Also the episodes ends on a strong note with the baby returning to his mother safely even if Mr Bean is going to miss the kid.

13. Mr. Bean in Room 426

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This was a rare episode in the series as this whole episode is shot in one location (the first one). Usually Mr. Bean is traveling around and while things were funny, I personally love the aspect of Bean traveling around causing chaos. I guess this is another reason I am not that fond of the previous episode mentioned because both of these feels a bit restricted. Now there will be an episode where this idea is done stronger so I feel like episode eight and nine were precursors for what was coming up later for the show. Bean does a good job of making havoc in this hotel though and while some never noticed. I do enjoy the beginning for the most part as Bean is racing someone to their rooms, decorating his room, playing with his television, and getting into someone’s bath. Sadly this episode does actually repeat a joke and while I do find the second time to be better because of the circumstance given, I was not a fan of the first time it was done. Mr. Bean stuck behind an old lady while on stairs. He goes to insane lengths to get around her, but at some point he just gives up, the Bean I know would so not give up. The ending for the episode was strong as well with the title card saying “Mr. Bean was in Room 426.” Overall a fun episode, but just like Mind the Baby, it just feels a bit restricted. This episode does do more with the hotel concept though.

12. Good Night Mr. Bean

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Overall this episode is a really good one. Bean has an injury or some kind at the hospital and does not want to wait for too long. So he starts to steal other tickets from patients, but things just get worse for him. There is even the skit where he messes with a royal guard so he can have a nice souvenir picture. I have to say big props to the actor who was the guard or maybe they  got a real guard to do this (nah looked it on IMDB). Either way I am surprised he did not bust out laughing, maybe I should try looking for behind the scenes stuff on this. They even explore the concept of Bean simply going to bed and him with Teddy is always a delight. Bean loves his little friend and puts him to sleep and gives him his own little bed. Then comes how he turns out the lights, Bean has a gun! Hold the phone here, why does this man have a gun? I do not know gun laws in that country, but this still comes to a complete surprise. Bean simply just shoots the lightbulb with the gun, but I am still bothered that he has a gun. To be honest it is one of the biggest surprises I have with the show. Then we get to Bean just trying to sleep which to be honest to me was the weakest ending until the end. So many things are being done off-screen as we just focus on Bean which is good in its own way since Rowan does a great job performing. It is just hearing stock sound effects does get trying. Overall a weaker ending compared to what transpired in this episode.

11. Mr. Bean Goes to Town

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This episode to me has a weak beginning compared to what transpires to everything else. Mr. Bean simply has television troubles and while getting naked to solve it is quite ridiculous it ends as you assume it will. Later on, Bean runs into a thief and you do not mess with him. He literally gets a trash can on the man and starts poking him with his sharp pencils. This guy is just lucky this was episode four, if it was later Bean would have his gun. Then even to find out who the thief was at the police line up, he recreates the scene to hear the thief’s scream of pain. Then we get to the night club where Bean ruins a magician’s act and as he goes into the dance floor there is a crazy magician with a sword after Bean. I always love that idea that this magician is possibly out for blood. During this whole time Bean was on a date with the most reoccurring character of the show. She ends up getting interested in another man though and Bean does not take that well. To be honest I hated when she did this because it took less than a couple of minutes to forget Bean. He is the reason why you are here, sheesh have some respect woman! I am not even that fond of the ending as Bean leaves the dance club and turns on the power for his revenge. While funny in the end Bean lost and that magician is still at large.

10. Mr. Bean

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The first episode makes it right at number ten and it is a good start for Bean. First off the beginning is still rare since Bean is taking an exam and it is pretty high level of math. Bean is surprisingly pretty good at math I guess. He ends up freaking out though since he does not know the answers. Again a fun idea with how Bean tries to cheat and this does show how far his mind will go to do things. The second parts tops the first part with how Bean tries to changes his clothes for the beach while someone is right behind him. The end of this skit always gets a laugh out of me. Then the third part is the best as Bean is trying to survive church and this does bring up one of the best moments of Bean. When he sleeps, he can fall onto the floor and get complete balance on his forehead. This comes up many times in shorts and movies as this one time situation always stays in many minds. The first episode also brings up Bean’s true rival of the series, the driver in the blue car. This poor person is just in Bean’s way at the wrong times and I always love seeing this car in the early episodes. So the first episode shows off what Bean was going to be and it was a strong beginning since it has many aspect that people remember.

9. The Return of Mr. Bean

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Next is the second episode of the series. While this episode has one of my absolute favorite skits in the series. The other two parts do not hold up. The restaurant skit is near perfect in a comedy piece. The first part is simply Bean shopping and soon getting his hand stuck into someone’s pocket and I will admit the ending was incredible though. Everything else was pretty simple though. Then the third part of the episode is too much build up, but yet again the punchline was well done. The idea of the Queen getting a headbutt is always funny. Now the resturant skit which is the second part of the episode is just way too amazing for this episode. It really just beats the other two skits up which this is also the reason why I put this episode at number nine. The whole episode should feel strong and while there are good jokes still being done, the one skit really stands out for the most part. Bean orders some food at a resturant and he personally hates what he bought. The man does whatever he can do to get rid of this food. My favorite part is just spitting some of it out into a performer’s pants. That part is so unexpected and the idea of having that in your pants just seems uncomfortable. Then even the ending part of the skit is genius where Bean cannot escape his fate this time. Overall the second episode has one amazing skit that just blows the other two out.

8. The Trouble With Mr. Bean

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The fifth episode really does well with pretty much everything. The beginning is quite strange as Bean as interesting set ups for his alarm in the morning. They are so strange and yet still do not work and are solved in simple manners which really has this odd match up making this sequence quite silly. Then we get to Bean changing while driving his car, just wow what an idea. It is amazing to see each step of this process and to see that nothing terrible happens is astonishing. My favorite part is when he gets to the circle and just keeps going in a loop for like four rotations. We even hit more gold with the dentist. Bean just screws around with the equipment and it soon leads to the dentist getting his leg paralyzed and nearly crushed by his own machinery. This is the chaos that I love in Mr. Bean, you got a normal person doing their normal job, but that is all thrown out the window thanks to Bean. Then we get to see how he has his own mayhem by himself. At the picnic he fights a bee over a cupcake and we all have that desire in ourselves to kill those tiny little insects that dare to touch our food. Bean just takes that concept to a high extreme and thankfully Bean gets out of this with no stings. It is quite an interesting episode in its pacing as it starts extreme with nothing bad happening, to a simple profession going wrong, and then even a simple picnic alone goes wrong. This just shows you that what is simply mundane can be quite as dangerous.

7. The Curse of Mr. Bean

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The Curse of Mr. Bean really works with the simple and mundane aspects of normal day life. Again since Bean is really more of a child he acts like a complete fool in many situations. The pool scene starts that off well by showing Bean trying to slide down on the elephant slides. Bean starts to get ballsy then and aims for the big jumps where he quickly finds himself falling off and losing his trunks. We all have that fear of being naked in the wrong place or at least we all had it before (hey if you want to be naked that is fine by me, but not for many others). Then we move to a simple scene where Bean tries to get out of a parking garage without paying and the end result is great. Quite terrifying too I must say as Bean goes Fast and the Furious on his rival in the blue car just to get out. My favorite skit though is Bean making a sandwich by cutting bread with scissors, knocking fish out, and crushing his pepper with his shoe. There are many more steps to his process, but the best part about the skit is that he carries everything in his coat. It reminds me of the pen joke in the first episode where Bean would just have pen after pen and you have no idea when it would end. In the end his sandwhich plan goes wrong and the person sitting next to him decides to give him a half of his own sandwhich. That ending really made this skit for me because usually people would just see Bean as a freak and just run away or do something against him. This man had the kindness to give Bean a sandwhich and even though he looked afraid to do it, it was still a kind act in the end. The horror skit was okay then. It is relatable because we all get that feeling that we will love something and then just end up hating something like a horror film when it actually starts. Overall it is the sandwhich skit that makes this episode for me, but the other skits work well with each other too.

6. Mr. Bean Rides Again

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This episode does hold one of my all time favorite moments of all Bean, but the overall episode is not worthy of the top five. The first one is surprisingly a darker toned joke for the series. A man has a heart attack and Bean just happens to be around because of his car. Bean tries his best to save the man and I have a feeling he could make it and then the end of the skit happened. While still quite funny there is no doubt that Bean pretty much killed someone, which can make it funnier if you love that humor. The post card stuff was pretty basic and not to special to be honest. Bean just lost his stamp and did whatever he could to make sure his letter would be sent. Now we get to the traveling sections of the episode where Bean tries to pack up. He has a small case so he tries cutting down what he has, literally. This joke really plays well with if you are in a rush you can tend to forget things while packing which we all have had some quick packing to do before. The train section is when Bean just wants to read his book in peace and then his buddy in the same cart will just not stop laughing. Bean does finally get his peace thanks to some gum and the aftermath is some of the best, one quick reflex and I am laughing like the annoying guy in the skit. Then we get to the plane skit where Bean helps a young boy while on the trip. He tries whatever he can and many of these moments appear in the two movies Bean has had. Cutting out bits of a magazine and putting them on his eyes and tongue. Then we get to the paper bag gag. Bean tries to make a loud noise with the little bags he had, but unfortunately the kid had one big paper bag ready for Bean. The cut away to black where Bean was so ecstatic to pop this bag just kills me so much. I remember the first time I saw this I would rewind the tape so many time to experience that again and again. Personally, it is one of the best cut away gags I have seen. The airplane skit also does work really well with the inner child because Bean is helping out a kid enjoy his plane ride.

5. Hair by Mr.Bean of London

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The last episode of the series and what a note to leave on I must say. Even though movies and many shorts do come out afterwards, this was the end of the television series. The first skit is Bean trying to cut hair to get some money out of it. At first he just plays along, but when money got involved he wanted to do it some more. He first starts out with a kid and does actually pretty good with the simple bowl cut style. One mess up though leads to one big one! Things just get worse from there, he cuts off someone’s pony tail and even takes off most of someone’s hair and tries to cover it up with shreds of hair. The level of chaos was great in this episode and then the chaos turns around a bit at another fair. Things start out simple where Bean is just being a dirty cheat and then we get to where Bean is just throwing sponges at someone. It leads to him finding more things to throw and that poor man is seeing death straight in the face. The best part is that Bean tries to throw a chair at the end of that moment, oh god this episode is after the one where he had the gun, that old man has every right to be afraid. Then we get to the pet show which is just delightful to watch where Bean uses Teddy in the competition. Even though the adults did not enjoy it, I loved that the kids had a blast seeing Bean and Teddy compete. It really shows that childish joy of Mr. Bean that works so well in the overall comedic idea of the character. All things good have to come to an end though and Bean just causes mayhem anyways, a good way to do it too just throw the big juicy bone in front of other dogs. The final skit is amazing though. Bean simply wants to take the train and cannot afford a ticket. This leads Bean crawling around in a mail bag which really reminds me of the times I would cover myself with a blanket or sleeping bag. I love it when Bean thought he had won and just falls onto the tracks. Then he accidentally gets shipped all the way to Moscow and that is the end. What an ending! We will not see Bean anymore for sometime because he is literally in Russia. This episode just had pretty much everything for Bean, the chaos, the good nature, and even the personal destruction that Bean can do.

4. Do it Yourself Mr. Bean

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This episode probably hold the biggest iconic moment of all Mr. Bean. We will get to that moment, but we have to start out at the beginning. It is New Year’s Eve and Bean tries to have a party with two friends of his. The problem is, he sticks to how they did it back then and he did not have many snacks to offer. I will say his two “friends” were quite the dicks as they trick Bean and not just tell them something else or just being honest. At least one of them gets what is coming to him. After a disappointing New Year’s Eve, Bean goes shopping and gets way too much in his car. This leads the man to set up a way where he could be on top of a chair on top of his car and still drive it. How insane is this man?! The image of Bean doing this is crazy enough to make it stand out. When it was Bean’s anniversary they recreate this moment as Bean drives to around the city and soon gets a bunch of gifts to celebrate the character’s birthday. The final part is also a big moment in the series where even Mythbusters brought this episode up. Bean wants to do some renovating for his room as he cuts out parts of his wall that had pictures and a phone on it. Him trying to paint as he uses Teddy to do this and just gives up and blows up the paint can! While Bean was out of the room that “friend” of his tried to get his hat back and he got hit by a crap ton of paint, serves him right! While the episode starts out on a sad note, it does have Bean jump right back into his usual self. Bean found a way to cope and had fun doing what many can find to be a complete bore.

3. Tee Off Mr. Bean

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The twelfth episode of the series may not start out as my personal favorite, but the skit is still rather good. Bean is just a launderette and loses his pants again. This does lead Bean wearing a long skirt and while the guy was being a dick to him in the beginning. When Bean was wearing something else, the guy started to be well a bit flirtatious. I am quite sure he was just doing this to be a prick still and yet I am not one hundred percent sure, maybe he has a thing for guys in skirts. The ending is quite great though as everything Bean had ends up in a wreck, even poor Teddy shrunk to where he can fit in his front coat pocket. The big part of the episode is when Bean goes mini-golfing and I love myself some mini golf so as a kid I loved this episode a whole lot. Looking back this skit was amazing. It starts out showing that Bean is really good at mini golf, but then one mistakes leads to too many. Bean explores all over town just to get this ball and even destroys someone’s groceries to do so. The exploration angle of this skit just shows you how far Bean’s mayhem can go and it has no mercy. The best part has to come when Bean runs into his rival in the blue car. They bring back that joke for so long and whoever is in that car did want to help Bean, but he just refuses it. Who is that man in the car? I have been wondering for so long and that episode almost had it, it actually gets me a little angry at times and then I start to laugh because some mysteries are left untold. This episode had a really nice end credits scene where Bean gets back to the golf course to finish his rounds. The overall mini golf skit is one of the best because of how far Bean goes around town and the gags that come from it are both silly and quite evil at the same time.

2. Back to School Mr. Bean

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This is another time where the whole episode takes place in one area. Bean goes to a school as they are having some sort of open house for adults. Again even if this episode is in one area there were really no boundaries to be had for this episode. It is quite random on what happens and Bean even loses his pants again! It starts out with Bean messing with army men, to him annoying a man while looking at some art, to messing with stamps, calligraphy, and even static electricity. The best parts come in part two of the episode where Bean blows up a chemistry lab and tries to partake in some art himself. He starts to draw some bananas and then he was easily not expecting the next thing to come up. I did say this school was for more adult purposes. We then get to Bean learning some martial arts and the best ones are in the arts of cowardice. This then to leads to Bean losing his pants and this is the best one where he literally goes to the bathroom and pulls them off of the man while doing his business. The ending is even quite random for this episode and while it is a bit sad, Bean finds his way of happiness again. This overall episode is just out of control and I love it. This episode really shown off that the writers really found a way to do the one area concept better. It really stands out and the other characters partaking in this episode were quite amazing. The art teacher really stays in my head as she got really into her love for the arts a bit too much. I even feel the soundtrack for this episode was done well as I love the track where Bean is looking for his pants. Overall it is quite a crazy episode with even crazy people who make Bean look normal

1. Merry Christmas Mr. Bean

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Out of all the holiday special there are, this is the one I always love the most. Not only is this a good Christmas special, to me it is the best Mr. Bean has to offer. The chaos that is Bean during the holidays is amazing. First he is testing out to see which mall Santa have real beards, bouncing decorations on the floor to test them out, and even plugging out lights and Christmas tress for his personal benefit. The stand out moment for me though has to be when messes around with a baby Jesus set up. He just starts to bring the characters to life by giving them little sounds and he starts to bring marching bands, sheep, robots, dinosaurs, and tanks in the mix. This would be so me messing around with my toys and making anything up in my head. I just love that whole presentation since the sound effects Bean bring to that scene are so delightful. We even see an awesome moment of him performing as the conductor of a band. Again this is one of those moments where Bean’s childish joys can actually bring happiness to the people. I also enjoy when Bean is in his apartment getting everything set up for the holidays. He gives himself cards just like he did in episode three, he even has stockings for Teddy and a neighboring mouse. As we continue, Bean literally wears a turkey and has dinner with the reoccurring female character. She first appeared telling Bean she wanted a big fancy ring and she tried her hardest to point to it, but we all know Mr. Bean at this point. Again Bean has a man-child really speaks out here as he avoids kisses for gifts and is completely oblivious to everything. While ending on a bit on a somber note, the episode ended on bang still literally has Bean really bulked up a fire cracker. There is a lot to love in this episode and this was the first episode I saw of Mr. Bean. A wonderful Christmas special that always gets me laughing.

Well that is a pretty big look into the British comedy hit. Maybe I could look into the movies later on even if they are not as good as the series. Still I enjoy Mr. Bean so much, I can still watch them and get tons of childish delight from it. Bean holds much nostalgia for me as Rowan Atkinson really shows why he is a comedic legend in this short television series. I would also recommend finding his other works like his stand up performance, shows like Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line, and of course the many shorts that continue the legend of Mr. Bean.

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Kamen Rider Kiva: Potentially Better

Kamen Rider Kiva was my first Kamen Rider series. I remember hearing when Kamen Rider Dragon Knight was coming and I knew I heard that name somewhere before. I remembered about Saban’s Masked Rider and I did some research finding out that Kamen meant Masked in Japanese. So that got me curious because why did an American show need to use a Japanese word in their title. Then I found the Kamen Rider series and soon later on the Super Sentai series with Go-onger being my first. I still do enjoy both shows, but I can agree that Kiva has many faults. To be honest though Kiva is a show I see tons of potential in though. There are many concepts that I enjoyed in the show, but many of them never reach fruition. A huge reason was how the show wasted time in the beginning and even in the later episodes made some bad decisions with time travel. Still the idea of a race trying to be dominant and the humans simply fighting back with some love triangles mixed in can actually work. Love stories with warring sides is not original, but there is tons of things you can do with that.

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As I said before a big problem with the show was the beginning half where it felt like it stalled for time. Even for me some episodes got a bit harder to watch as the years kept passing by. I understand the significance of some of the episodes with Wataru needing to open up with others. Who knows this could have led to him actually revealing his secret to the others and not just having dumb luck doing it. Even if with this idea in the beginning the show still could have shown off big players. Rook was introduced fairly well into the show so why not introduce the rest of the Checkmate Four around the same time? Show the hierarchy that the heroes would have to deal with. The better part would be to only show their monster forms so they can blend in with even the audience not knowing who is who. Taiga easily could have been around in the show being a good friend towards Wataru and again could have been a great way to help him open up with others thanks to an old childhood friend. This could have even started the love between Mio and Wataru as they simply start out as friends along with Taiga being around. Developing the bond between the three early on would be nice. You can even have comedic parts slapped in too which Kiva had a little too much of that as well.

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Reminding me of comedy, one of the biggest jokes in the series was the Azora Organization. They barely had any members and got their asses handed to them even years after their first confrontations with the Fangire. A nice sense of an upgrade would have been nice to see which we got with IXA a bit later on, but man this organization was still a joke. If IXA got powered up, why not a smaller troops of the powered down IXA? I know that is suit budget then and could have been a problem on its own, but I’m sorry the little gun blades barely did anything. At least give the troops with no armor a powerful weapon like the IXA Knuckle. Along with that line of thinking, IXA was a troubling rider. Nago started out as a crazy man with a button fetish, but later on I actually enjoyed him as a character. He started to learn his faults and tried to improve himself not only as a fighter, but also a person. I feel like this could have still been in, but they really made it over the top in the show. Just make Nago serious about taking down Kiva because of what the past events were. Nago was stubborn so I can see him having fights with Kiva way more than usual. Maybe having someone like Kamen Rider Saga show up earlier could get Nago to see what is really going on. Saga would be seen as another Kiva because he essentially is, or just scrap Saga and just get Dark Kiva in. Nago could have learned to work with Kiva even without him knowing it was Wataru. Later on Kengo becomes a member of the organization and I think it would have been better if he never became IXA, but was close to. Kengo could have been a solider quickly climbing up the ranks and get rid of the soldier personality and keep his up beat attitude. Nago would have seen many things about himself through Kengo again not only as a warrior, but also a person. It would have been a nice friendly rivalry as Kengo almost becoming IXA would strive Nago to be stronger and kinder.

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A huge aspect of the show was the use of flashing back and forth between two different times. This introduced us to many other characters like Otoya, Yuri, and Jiro and his two allies. I feel the flashbacks were over saturated and sometimes were all not that needed just to show that a Fangire survived over the years. There are many important things that happen in the events of the past and there are two ways to still use it. The first one is to simply have dialogue explain what has happened and that is the easy way out. Again depending on how budget is, it could be the last resort. The other way is to simply limit the flashbacks and just have an episode focusing on the current time. This would also get rid of many glaring problems in the past. First is with Jiro, I really like this guy and his crew. They are surviving members of their race trying to well survive. They are also looking for mates and to be honest Jiro was close… until he became a rapist… Yea this is a good reason to limit the flashbacks to prevent issues like that! Just have them be good honest people trying to survive and hell even giving a lending hand to the organization like Jiro was. You can still have Otoya and Yuri fall in love, but do not make it so deep as the show did. It just went a little too far so when Otoya feel in love with Maya it felt like cheating. Another good thing that comes to limiting flashbacks means we can have some nice introductions earlier on. Like showing off King in the past and then having that cool realization that Taiga has some connections with him. Personally I really enjoyed King he was threatening as he was trying to exterminate other races. Pretty much I feel the show could have kept how Otoya tapped into Kiva’s powers and bloodline since I feel it was a high point for not only the character, but for the story as well. Just focusing on the signficant aspects of the past would easily put into stone of why the present is the way it is.

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Aspects of the show I do heavily enjoy are the final arcs, but the build up to them were just weak which is thanks to not taking time with them. I enjoy the battles that Wataru had with Taiga and imagine if IXA actually could be more part of that too. Bishop is my favorite character of the show, he had a great actor and his part of the story was strong. Bishop wanted the current King to take the mantle and he feels things are ruining that so he does his own actions. Bishop even loses it and causes chaos which leads to the revival of the past king. Maybe having King being revived could have been much bigger than just being the final boss for the series. Make him into an actual character at this point because in the show was just a monster at the end. This is King, he wiped out many races so having him back should have shown that off. This could soon lead to Taiga and Mio being forced to fight under the past King. Mio tries to fight back which leads to her death by either King or Bishop. This both makes Wataru and Taiga have a crushing defeat, but together they get through it and fight the good battle. This gets rid of the silliness that was Wataru trying to kill himself by traveling into the past. An idea I brought up was if Jiro and his allies worked with the organization which could have led to a nice fight in the present. With Jiro helping out with IXA early on, the three do actually get to repopulate and with the time gap we have that is enough time to have the younger blood be in the battle of the present. Hell this would easily be a good way to give Kiva the three forms he gets. Wataru finding new allies by improving his social situation.

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Now we get to the ideas of the form changes and to be honest Megumi can work with this. Megumi could actually be Wolfen since Jiro actually being a good person means he got to be with Yuri. Again this avoids the way too extreme rape plot point. Megumi was also the first person to get Wataru out of his house and then leading to her being a sort of power-up for Wataru would be a nice step forward. Now I know the reason why Kiva got the forms to begin with was because the three got changed into items. Still maybe you can have the offspring of the these three be the ones to give Wataru the weapons.The Emperor form can still be around in its entirety because it is the way Kiva gets to be like Dark Kiva. This was an aspect I thought of myself for Kiva and that when there is a new Kiva they start out as the base form and soon become their own version. With Kiva’s final form being called Emperor it does give off a lineage feel to it. Dark Kiva is just another form of Kiva, but it soon becomes the default for the King who uses it. Who knows we can simply have Taiga’s Kiva form be Saga because to be honest I feel that Saga was actually a pretty cool rider design and should have been used a bit more. This way we can keep Dark Kiva with King even when he is revived.

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Well that is pretty much all I have on my mind about Kiva and how I felt it could have played out. Now with the aspects of filler episodes they can stay, but just do not have the flashbacks be part of them. Having the flashbacks signifies when something important is coming up. If you have any thoughts about Kiva, tell me. I am always interested to how others see certain shows. If Kiva is your favorite show of the franchise that is great because I still do like the show myself in some regards. It is a strange feeling I got with the show, I like it so much that I think of changing things around. Kiva had some cool concepts and designs so they just keep me thinking about Kiva in the end.

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My Favorite Video Game Characters (10-1)

10. Junpei Iori (Persona)

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Persona 3 was an extremely important game for me. This was a JRPG that saved gaming for me in general. Ever since a game like Heavy Rain came out, I had terrible discussions about that game and for my young self back then was making me think differently about video games. A great friend got me to play Blazblue which started my love for fighting games and then Persona 3 FES. I will still pick Persona 3 over 4 mostly for what an impact the franchises made such a huge impression with me when I started with 3. Also I personally love how the story works compared to 4. Then for my favorite character of the franchise would have to be Junpei. In the beginning he was quite an idiot, but he wanted to do well. He wanted to make sure he got the spotlight for a reason and did not want to be outdone by anyone. Junpei changes his mind quickly though after he almost got himself killed. Now he still does act like a ladies’ man and fails almost every single time… Still he has a straight up fun attitude and can actually be the positive voice of the group. What made him stand out for me though was when he was with Chidori who sadly was on the opposing side. The two had a cute relationship starting out and then it was taken away from Junpei because of the battle. Her death not only causes Junpei to get a stronger Persona since both of theirs become one, but it actually has him stick to his positive attitude only more. He knew how devastating it was for him to lose someone he loved and in the end he thought of how others are losing people as well. It takes strength to not to be selfish after personal loss because people feel like things have only been taken away from them and they deserve more. Junpei lost someone and wanted to make sure others did not feel his pain. Now in Persona 3 Portable you can save Chidori after her death which I personally love that is canon. Then in the Persona 4 Arena series, he is the grand slam slugger! His play style is one of my favorites in fighting games, the whole baseball aesthetic is silly and shockingly strong. Overall Junpei is Stupei, but that is who he is and not only he is fine with that, so am I.

9. Bayonetta and Jeanne/ Dante and Vergil (Bayonetta/Devil May Cry)

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Well this was a tricky spot… I will not lie I love the action genre and the late 2000’s have done amazing with the genre in general. Two franchises that still do stand out would be Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Both have strong action sequences, silly stories, and an overall huge sense of fun. Now for Devil May Cry I mostly like to focus on 3 and 4. The first Devil May Cry was a good beginning for the franchise, but the series started to have its great image with the 3 and 4. Bayonetta was amazing from day one and then Bayonetta 2 is simply one of the best games I ever played and I still have a hard time deciding which is better Devil May Cry 3 or Bayonetta 2. Either way for terms of characters I had to make this a four-way tie. First with Bayonetta and Dante, even if they have different stories, in terms of personality they are nearly the same. Both are flashy fighters that can get a bit over their heads at times. Then Dante is not afraid of the fan service just like Bayonetta, again Devil May Cry 3 has shirtless Dante and he has no shame spinning around a stripper pole. I love their overall fashion and style. The humor of these characters still stands out to me and then we get to the other characters. Vergil and Jeane were originally fighting their respective main characters and while Jeane has become a permanent ally for the Umbra Witch, Vergil only fought alongside Dante one time. Why I still can’t even pick over these two as well is that they both work perfectly with the main characters. I cannot imagine Dante without Vergil because the fights they had in Devil May Cry 3 is some of the best rival fights in general. Dante and Vergil have a strong story with each other and work has great foils as well. I defend the original Vergil a lot, people think he is a dumb character, but to be honest he is quite a tragic character. Unlike Dante who became carefree and wanted to help the humans since the death of his mother, the same did not go for Vergil. Again Dante wanted to help humans so that not only himself had to feel the pain of losing another, it was for others as well. Vergil focused on his despair and wanted to make sure no one could hurt him again hence why he wanted to become stronger than he once was. Then with Jeane, she originally tried to stop Bayonetta because of a prophecy with the Umbra Witches and was the one who sealed Bayo away. Bayo comes back though and the two fight and again they have some great fights and Jeane was a bit cruel, even if she was trying to defend the world from devastation. I love how Jeane turns a new leaf though and decide to help Bayo and the two just work together so well. Again I cannot see Bayo without Jeane now. What really helped with this was in Bayonetta 2 where the two had great exchanges of dialogue, even if a bit small, and it shown how much they cared for each other. Overall these two main characters are simply insanely fun people and the other two extremely help their image even more.

8. Sol Badguy (Guilty Gear)

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Guilty Gear in terms of it story took some time to really dawn on me. Originally I thought it was too straight forward, but looking back at it there are many great things about it, one being the main character himself and the best fighting game protagonist, Sol Badguy. You want a badass? Well Sol Badguy would be that badass. He can be a bit brash and hot-headed and at the same time he is an incredible scientist and an overall strong hero. That is one aspect I do love about the character is how insanely strong he is. To me, he is the strongest fictional character I can recall. Most of his biggest wins come from when he was holding back his powers and at the same time he keeps getting stronger as well. Even if he is this insanely powerful character, he does not have that get over his head. He has had tough fights in his past like with Ky Kiske (which he won every fight), he took down Justice which is someone Kilff could not stop even when he was at his strongest (that guy killed a Hydra the size of Everest!), and he still stayed toe to toe with That Man (who actually has a name now, but I want to stick with That Man). Sol only has one loss in his record which is with That Man, but that would make sense since That Man made Sol near indestructible. Along with that then Sol has some great powers of using fire based attacks, the Dragon Install being my favorite transformation even with Devil Trigger around, it is no Dragon Install. Then his story is well another tragic one (again go figure) where he is forced to become a Gear and even ends up fighting the love of his life and him actually killing her (twice in a technical standing). After all of that though he isolated himself from many people, it did not also help that many people wanted him dead. He was seen to be dangerous because of his powers and some would try to test it or simply want to kill him. He could not trust anyone including himself. Thanks to great progression though, people start to change. The best being Ky Kiske who stopped being hot headed and tried to overcome Sol in combat and ended up falling in love with the half Gear, Dizzy and even had a son who carried Gear blood. Sol’s mission was to kill all of the gears, but he could not bring himself to kill Dizzy or Sin. It is because Ky changed and not only was he kind to others, more importantly he became kind to Sol and looked up to him. Sol killed the love of his life and believed he even did it before that time. Ky had something that Sol could not have, a family. Sol did not get jealous, he felt compassion. Which is thanks to how Ky even extends his hand to him to help and he trusts Sol so much to even watch over his son because of how many people would be after Sin since he was half Gear. Sol Badguy is just an overall nice guy, he can be a bit blunt and straight forward, but he is done losing things in his life and the same goes for others. He has no reason to take anything from them since he lost too much and knows that pain.

7. Zihark and Ilyana (Fire Emblem)

Now for Fire Emblem characters these are not main characters, but hey Thraja is my favorite unit from Awakening along with her daughter simply because they are enjoyable characters so this match up falls in the same category. Zihark and Ilyana make their debut in Path of Raidence as recruit able units, and where you get them are two of my favorite missions in Fire Emblem history. Ilyana you get from mission eight where Ike helps her get out of the wrong crowd as they were forcing her to fight so that she could eat again. The silly thing about her though is that she can eat a lot, like servings worthy of five men. The frail girl also does have some Laguz blood in her which are these half human half beast creatures. The best part about her is she has the best supports which I will mention on later. Still a crowning moment has to go to the time she tried to eat someone’s shoe! Along with that she is my favorite magic user because of her use of lighting and how she can achieve the strongest lighting magic in the game which becomes so helpful against Dragon units late in both games. Then Zihark was in mission eleven where he is helping out some rebels and Daein forces to take out Ike’s crew, but when he sees that Laguz are part of Ike’s crew he starts to consider if he was fighting on the right side. Zihark’s story is that he did have a lover who was a Laguz, but because of the social status issue he had to be separated from her (or in the Japanese version of the game she was killed right before his eyes). Zihark wishes the bloodshed can end between the two races so that everyone can live in harmony. Zihark is still not afraid to fight though if it comes down to it and his is just my overall favorite unit to use. He is strong, fast, and can have a killer skill set if used properly. I also love when we first meet him he has the Killing Edge, along with his good critical chances that is already doubled and add-on his good Skill stat he can activate adept many times which just leaves for more chances for a critical strike. Now the reason this is a tie is because I love the Zihark and Ilyana support conversations! There are only three, but damn they are great! Zihark just like many other men give Ilyana food, but then he decides to stop and actually teach her a lesson about respect. Ilyana takes many people’s food, but never truly thanked them; she does not even remember their names. She soon starts to listen to Zihark and she does in fact remember acts of kindness now, a little too much though as in Radiant Dawn she recalls that Zihark helped her twenty-three times, but who’s counting? This relationship is just too much for me, it works to damn well! It is the only time you will ever hear me ship characters because these two are just perfect. Zihark even mentions about marrying her in Radiant Dawn (but there are no good support conversations in that game that could build up on that…WHY?!). Overall these two units are just my favorite, they are both powerful and their support with each other is just too much for me to handle.

6. Raiden (Metal Gear)

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Here is quite a controversial character, originally being the main character of Metal Gear Solid 2 many people hated how he was the main character, only because he was kept a secret and everyone just wanted Snake again. I personally love the change of pace as Raiden is my favorite character from the Metal Gear series. He was a child who was taught to kill at an early age and he was effective at it. He was only ten years old and was put into war! Raiden even gained a nickname from his war days, Jack the Ripper. He soon fights for his independence again from the man who adopted him and forced him into the fray and got the codename Raiden. He even fell in love with a woman named Rose and sadly she was part of an organization that soon used Raiden for their experiments. Then we get to Metal Gear Solid 4 where he is mostly machine now, but luckily, he already had a son before that, phew! With him being the cyborg ninja he became insanely powerful and then later on with nanomachine technology he only became stronger. Again has I said before a video game character can simply be awesome when you play as them. Well being able to slice through anything is too much damn fun! In Metal Gear Rising, Raiden not only becomes my favorite Metal Gear character, but also a character I can put in my top ten. Raiden becomes even more mechanical than he once was and in that game and he delivers a whole ton of butt whopping! Also in Rising I do love how he is finally fully accepting himself even with his Jack the Ripper attitude. Which even opens another awesome mechanic where he can just slice anything at will (usually he would have to perform a certain attack to do that). I love how down in the dirt he got in Rising and how he finally found that he is fighting for himself in a good way of course. Still I just cannot get enough of playing as Raiden in Metal Gear in general as he started out streaking in Metal Gear Solid 2 and then slices through Metal Gears like they are nothing in Rising… I so want Rising 2!

5. Miles Edgeworth (Ace Attorney)

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Man, I only recently got into the Ace Attorney series and already these games got me impressed with the depth it has. Not only were the puzzles great both in and outside of the court, but even the character progression is amazing. Phoenix who starts out as the hero of the courtroom who even loses his badge at some point for seven whole years! Phoenix still picks his old job back up, but during those seven years he was a father which is quite shocking. Anyways this is sort of off topic, but let’s just say the Ace Attorney series is not afraid to do certain things. Then with progression Miles Edgeworth started out a prosecutor that wanted to find people guilty so that no criminal can walk free. He witnessed a man no one believed in of being not guilty get a not guilty verdict and this was about his father none the less. That anger made Edgeworth into the scary prosecutor he started out as. Rumors said he would use forged evidence just like his mentor Von Karma and while not true, Edgeworth still had to work around those rumors when he started to turn a new leaf. Edgeworth even left his profession for some time and when he came back he might still be stubborn and quite rude, but his pursuit for the truth speaks clear in the end. Things get way more developed for this character as we hit his own spin-off series where Edgeworth had to face near impossible enemies to bring into the courtroom. Some of the best still has to go the second game of his series where he was questioning of what he should be, a defense lawyer or a prosecutor. Edgeworth dealt with some annoying prosecutors and they tried to strip him of his title, but he kept finding ways to interfere with the situation. The best moment had to be when poor Kay was being suspected of murder even when she had no memories. Edgeworth literally throws his badge away to help his friend. Edgeworth put pride into his job and that was clear in the beginning, but now he clearly fights for the truth and the innocent even if he is on the prosecuting side. What also makes Edgeworth fun is that he is a constant surprise when you face him in the courtroom. Even in the most recent games he can still be a scary foe. Edgeworth’s logic can really work out some crazy situations. I am even a fan of how Edgeworth has logic battles and is never a poor sport. He had made bonds by working with others even if he intended to or not to. Overall, Edgeworth started out as a scary prosecutor to another law hero like Phoenix which is quite surprising to watch develop.

4. Baiken and Sheena (Guilty Gear/Symphonia)

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These two ladies are no pushovers and that is a huge reason why I do enjoy them so much. Sheena has been a childhood favorite of mine ever since I played Tales of Symphonia. Then Baiken has always stood out to me the most in the Guilty Gear franchise. Baiken is a pure badass in so many ways. Even when I first saw her I just fell in love with how different she felt compared to a large majority of female characters before and after her. Baiken will kick anyone around if they dare to piss her off and her anger does come from somewhere too. Both Sheena and Baiken have hard lives and both started around their childhood. Baiken lost her family, her eye, and arm due to the attack on Japan that started the war against the Gears. Baiken is also one of the few people who saw That Man and wanted revenge no matter what. Sheena has a child could not make a pact with a vicious summon spirit that soon attacked the chief of her village and put him into a coma and killed many others. Many never forgave her for failing and this even becomes a side story for this character. Sheena became afraid of making pacts because of the bloodshed around her. Then both of these characters did have someone to set them straight a bit. Baiken had Anji who is very calm and thinks things through. Anji wanted to meet That Man to learn of what really happened as the two traveled together and I think they still do for the most part. Anji even got Baiken to forget about her revenge since getting to That Man was near impossible. Sheena then had Corrine and Lloyd. Corrine offered his life for Sheena and Lloyd was the one to bring her out of her fear (also for the romantic option, I always pick Lloyd and Sheena). Then in terms of their play styles I love them both. Sheena is a mixture of close range combat with far range summoning spells, she can even change elements around which really helps if you need that advantage. Baiken is a pure offensive character so much that her defense is offensive. Baiken has many counters on her where she can do a quick stab, an anti-air counter, summon the kickboard, or even inflict a status effect on her foes. Baiken also has my all-time favorite special move even if it is a simple extension of slashes, it just melds so perfectly with any of her attacks. It is also high damaging! The number one thing I love about these gals is they are tough and while they do have some beauty as well, the first thing I think for them is how tough they are. Which to me is quite rare to find sometimes with female characters because there is so much fan service all around. Baiken really shows that since she even throws out her gender, she is a warrior first and foremost. Both have their hardships and learn from them, something I love my characters to keep on doing.

3. Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)

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Shulk is simply one of the best RPG protagonists around. Shulk really stands out as the main hero because he is after Dunban most of all, the man who took on an army by himself. Shulk stayed inside for the most part studying the Monado a sword known for defeating his deadliest foes, the Mechon. Shulk wanted to discover everything it had and well he does since he starts wielding it. When the Mechon return, Shulk takes the Monado and has no side effects while using it. Shulk also picked up the ability to see into the future and has the ability to change it. Sadly, this does go well for him in the beginning as Fiora was murdered by the Mechon known as Metal Face as Shulk had to witness that twice. Filled with despair, Shulk decides to get revenge for his fallen comrades in his colony along with Reyn and later on Dunban. The man builds up a pretty large party and it was because of him being a genuine good person and leader. Shulk is honest with himself as when he is on his quest he knows it is not noble to fight for revenge. He knows this and still fights because the Mechon are also a great threat as he wants to prevent further tragedy. Even throughout his journey he starts to show mercy for his foes. Again, in the beginning he yelled out bloody murder for Metal Face’s head and the later on he actually gives him mercy. I always loved this about Shulk since it shows courage and trust in others. Sharla and Melia join forces since they all share the common feeling of losing others. It felt genuine and not forced at all which is thanks to how Shulk acts. He will never force his way to be the better way which is great leader quality for me. The overall journey Shulk has just builds on his character and it is amazing how many people he works, fights, and even bond with. Then him using the Monado is incredibly fun. Being able to use many buffs to change the tide of battle and unleashing massive damage to any type of foe. Shulk even carries some nice personal heals with him and a great arsenal of back and side attacks. Teamwork is the key which is Shulk motto from the beginning so seeing that work in gameplay really speaks true to his character. Shulk is an unexpected hero as he does not seem to be the strongest, but surprises can come anywhere.

2. Zero (Megaman X)

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If I was making this list like back then on my old blog, Zero would be number one with no regrets at all. Zero has been my favorite character in my early days. I love the Megaman X and the Megaman Zero series and the biggest reason is Zero. First off, I love his designs. I am not the biggest fan of the Megaman Zero design, but the weapons he does carry make the design better. Classic Zero is the way to go for me with the great flowing blonde hair with his red armor and green laser saber. My all-time favorite design of his has to be Black Zero where he gets white hair, black armor, and the purple laser sword! I remember the first time I saw this design and I knew I was in for a fight. Then there was the journey of being able to play as Zero. In the beginning, you played as X who got to be strong as Zero then we soon get to X2 where we save Zero and bring him back. X3 and X4 is where he is starting to become playable and man his sword frenzies never get boring. Sure, he has to get in close, but his sword skills are no joke. I love short hopping around for some quick slashes and when you get the full combo in that is massive damage. Then with X4 and Megaman Zero 3 being my favorites of the Megaman franchise both of these games say a lot about Zero. In X4, he is brought to fight a friend and lover and yes there is the iconic “What am I fighting for,” but as for me as a kid I did not see the bad voice acting I saw the pain Zero went through. Megaman Zero 3 brought everything to light to what happened to Zero and how he lived on through the carnage. Then Megaman Zero 4 was his end and he died as a hero which to be honest is funny considering who built him. There is a lot to Zero as he brings a lot to the Megaman franchise. He was my motivation as a child and I can never forget that.

1. Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes)

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Now here is an interesting outlier to everything I have brought up. I love characters that stand up for the good fight and develop as people. Edgeworth changed himself to be a better person to protect others, Baiken and Sheena learn how to deal with their feelings, Shulk learns about his philosophy, and Zero loses many close to him and becomes a war hero. Travis Touchdown is none of that at all. In the first game, he was fighting to sleep with a woman and just happened to forget what he was really fighting for. Then in the second game he fights for revenge and does learn more about what fighting really means. Travis still does develop as a person, but just not in the ways some others would. Travis is also a big-time loser and pervert as he stays in his crappy motel and watches the same anime, wrestling, and porno videos. What makes Travis awesome though is how ridiculous he can be. This man literally has to jerk off his sword to charge it, who does that?! In the beginning, Travis was a literal contradiction in every way possible. He forgets what he was fighting for and boasts off things he is not even sure about. Like fighting to become number one and saying he is not fighting for any titles. Sparing Shinobu only so she can be stronger later on and then Travis can kill her later with a more satisfying fight. He even yells at someone for being a perverted psychopath which he is! Playing as Travis can get confusing, but it is a fun journey to learn his logic. Travis can also be quite a smart ass with many great lines. He is surprisingly strong and takes blows from many powerful foes. In No More Heroes 2, Travis feels a bit different since he has become the type of person he wanted to fight. Travis became a legend and got back into the ranking fights because of revenge. The best moments for him in the second game is when he is talking about his fights. Travis can be many things, but a fight is important to him. This was quite clear in the first game too. Travis did learn of how it feels to fight with everything and he did kill many people as most of those people were strong foes and some did leave an impact on him. Holly teaching Travis to fear death and to then always fight with everything he has. In the second game that tone really stays strong when Travis gets closer to the first rank. He fights many honorable foes and wants to respect them as such. Travis’ speech when he kills Alice still rings true to me as death is important. Even if a character is fictional they still will die like a normal person (unless some characters are immortal, but forget that part). It just speaks true to me as a man who enjoys the entertainment medium and loving the characters I enjoy to this day. To be honest a character’s death can be many things and it should be important. You can go out in fashion and leave on an awesome note or their death can bring sadness, but that is okay. Also with Travis being the most non-noble person does make an easy bond with him since he is like many others with desires to fight for. It can be for revenge for someone or it can just be for pleasure. Playing as Travis really taught me that since we all deal with grief in many ways. “Some people f%#@ at funerals, I cut off heads.” Travis is simply an enjoyable mess of a person and being that No More Heroes is my go to game, I can say Travis just stuck onto me over the years.

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So that is my list of my favorite video game characters. Leave any comments about your personal favorites. Again characters are all important to someone in different ways and I would love to learn about those views.

My Favorite Video Game Characters (20-11)

Characters can come in many forms. They can be human, sub-human, or even inanimate objects brought to life. Either way though there are many characters out there which makes these lists interesting to look at. There can be many icons and yet someone can pick a character that most do not know about. This is why I am here to spread the word about things I just personally enjoy. Also this list might contain some spoilers on characters so you have been warned. Let us start off with probably my most interesting choice of the entire list.

20. Francis York Morgan

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Deadly Premonition is one of my favorite guilty pleasures of gaming. The game plays horribly and the story is a big rip-off of the hit show Twin Peaks, but man it is so self-aware about it. Then we have York who is the best FBI agent around. York is a strange character and yet not the strangest one either which is really saying something compared to the other characters in Deadly Premonition. What makes York so great though is well at the end, but in the beginning he is straight up annoying people with his personal habits like smoking right in their faces. The guy even does not know when to close his mouth about certain subjects like recent cases he has covered. Personally I love that kind of attitude because having no limits on your conversations can really spice things up. Further in we do learn about him and what strange things he had in the past, like his love for rock as a teenager and actually looking like a punk at some point. What also makes me enjoy this character is his special friend Zach who is always talking to at all times and who is Zach… well you have to find out. Finally, York is a big movie buff and I love his constant rambles about Jaws, Superman, Mars Attacks, Killer Clowns from Outer Space, and An American Werewolf in London. Overall he is a lovable guy even though he can get annoying at times, he is strangely unique and that is why I enjoy this guy and Deadly Premonition.

19. Jack-O (Guilty Gear)

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Daiksuke really knows how to make fighting game characters. He is always ready to experiment with new ideas. One thing that I love about his characters is that when they are newcomers, they already feel like they are cemented in the franchise. A new character feels as great as a veteran. Any newcomer in the franchise already feels like a full-fledged character thanks to how their personalities are represented and their character desgins. Jack-O is simply my favorite of a majority of the cast. First off, her design is as strong as many of Daisuke’s designs. My favorite part is that mask she wears, it loudly roars the jack-o lantern theme and just fits her silly tone. The nice shades of red in her gloves and the inside parts of her hair are fantastic. The red really pops out when the overall color scheme has white. Then how she plays is simply up there with Baiken in terms of fun and smoothness. Jack-O can summon houses that spawn minions and they can bring some mayhem if her foes are not fast enough. She can do many commands with them too like invigorate them and blow them up. This character even comes with unique Dust moves which makes meter burning the best with her. Jack-O even has great special moves which just flow so well. A simple backwards motion with a button press is so easy to work with and then a 360 motion with Dust is a great idea. Even if you do not get the special move, high chance you will get the normal grab so it does not punish you for messing it up. Jack-O even has large story importance as this was just another quick way to make her feel like she is a needed character. Jack-O overall has some of my favorite fighting game moments and that is saying something when she only came out like last year.

18. Dunban (Xenoblade Chronicles)

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Dunban is simply a man I can like. He is a badass who has lost a lot, but still continues to fight. Dunban not only lost the use of his arm, he even lost fellow comrades in the previous war, and even his own sister. Throughout all of this sorrow, he never drops down. He actually helps Shulk to deal with Fiora’s death. Then there was the fact is that he was the hero. Dunban wielded the Monado before Shulk and used it to defeat an army of Mechon by himself! It damages his arm, but he still decides to use the sword once more to protect his town. When Shulk soon wields the Monado, Dunban still comes to fight on his side even with that arm completely disabled. I love his design when he returns to the party since he covers his arm with a great cape. He has a matador look to him and his overall stoic looks just works perfectly with that. Dunban is the past hero and that never gets himself filled with glory or anything like that. Dunban is proud to simply be fighting the good fight. Also I don’t want to spoil too much about the game, but there is an awesome scene of Dunban fighting in a snow field that just made him one of the best characters of Xenoblade.

17. Luigi (Mario)

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Luigi has always been a childhood favorite of mine. I grew up with an older brother and for a while I did feel like I was inferior to my older brother. I felt like Luigi had that similar issue and I was actually right, but that is just the start of Luigi’s personality. He might get scared at times and yet he will be by his brother’s side. If I had to pick my favorite Luigi moment, it would have to be from Dream Team where we hear Luigi’s inner thoughts about why he sticks around. He is the little brother and may not get all the attention and glory, but in the end he wants to protect his brother and do the right thing just like he does. Along with that, Luigi is some unknown power and Dream Team really explored that with Dreamy Luigi where he fought Bowser mostly by himself. Along with that, Luigi gave me some good ghost busting fun in Luigi’s Mansion 1 and 2.

16. Naoto Shirogane (Persona)

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Naoto shares a similar feeling I had with Luigi which was that I felt like I had to meet someone’s expectations. Naoto is from Persona 4 and even though they tried to hide it, Naoto is clearly a woman. The problem is that she comes from a family of detectives and they have been all guys. Sadly Naoto has no brothers so she has some tough expectations to meet. She even wanted to become a boy so that she would not have to worry about that burden. Accepting that dark side of herself though got her to realize that her dreams cannot be held back by people’s expectations. She even deals with extreme shyness and continuing to get her Social Link does help her to break out of that. To be honest I used to be a sheltered person as well, but now I am free and I want to do what I want to do! Naoto is also one of my favorites to use in the Arena series as her gun play is extremely fun!

15. Kirby

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Kibry is Kibry. What more can I say about the pink puff-ball that has the destructive power of a God! The thing about Kirby is that he is always getting some new powers that will soon top what he had before. So far Kirby’s power in Triple Deluxe is amazingly powerful and those Ultra Abilities from Return’s to Dreamland are beyond anything in Dreamland. I always love to play as Kirby, if it is a new game of his or in Smash Bros. Kirby has some of the best moves in any game because of just how many there are and in newer titles they keep expanding on these powers. Just playing as Kirby makes you feel as destructive has him and then just look at him! How can something be so powerful and cute at the same time?

14. Ike and Zelgius (Fire Emblem)

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I have talked about Ike before, but the big thing that made Ike such a great character was a rival. Now for Ike he grew up in a mercenary group with his father. Soon the mercenaries get tied into a tricky situation with Princess Elincia since she is being chased after a powerful empire. One of those people in the empire is that said rival. The Black Knight aka Zelgius was easily one of the best Fire Emblem bosses or even just one of the best villains in Nintendo history. He kills Ike’s father Greil which soon causes Ike to become the leader and soon become the leader of an entire army. Now the whole thing with Greil is that he used to be part of the powerful empire and he had a student which was Zelgius. This man takes down his teacher, but without knowing what has happened in the past. Either way the rivalry between Ike and Zelgius is one of my favorites because of how these two never truly hated each other. Sure Ike did in the beginning, but throughout his journey he was learning to be a true warrior. Zelgius then shares his burden of being a half race and wanted to purge the world anew so that the new people did not have to deal with the issues of racism in the land. Even when Ike does defeat Zelgius at the end, Zelgius thanks him for giving him the fight he has been hoping for and Ike even considered him his final teacher and not as a foe. These two share burdens and these two wanted to make sure everyone can live together, sadly Zelgius fell on the wrong path.

13. Makoto Nanaya (Blazblue)

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I remember when I started Blazblue with the second game and then I got the downloadable characters later on and man I loved to play as Makoto. I still do play this character a great amount and just have fun with what she has. I may have someone better, but Makoto is still my favorite to play as. Makoto is fast and strong with some amazingly strong punches that can even destroy moons! Makoto’s part of the story is not the biggest, but she is a great friend of Noel and Tsubaki and man that was a rocky relationship for those two. For the longest time Makoto was a shut in because she was a beastkin, pretty much a half human and animal hybrid. It was Noel and Tsubaki that got her to open up and drop the cold act for good. After that she becomes very close to her gals, a little too close at times. Again just like York I got something in common with her and it was thanks to some great friends of mine that got me to open up and just be as strange as possible. Sometimes I do invade personal spaces a little too much, but everyone gets a laugh in the end. Also I will admit that this is the character I would say I have a crush on the most. Her design just works for me and that big squirrel tail of hers is awesome! Makoto still has one weird thing about her though and that is her turn on for pedophilia… Yea I still do not get that, but hey we all have our own sexual kinks.

12. Margaret  Moonlight (No More Heroes)

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Picking a No More Heroes character can be very tricky since a majority of the character only appear like once in a game. We got Travis, Slyvia, Shinobu, and Henry that are the big four of the franchise, but a lot of people get killed in No More Heroes. So picking a character from this series can be tricky, but I have to go with my favorite boss. A close one for this spot would be Holly Summers and how deep her speech was and how much of a game changer she was for the first game. For me though Margret Moonlight is the best boss in terms of execution. That is always No More Heroes best quality, how it did these one shot characters. Players got to learn a lot from them from their quick appearances. Margret even has the one of the lowest amount of dialogue in terms of the scenes, hell one boss doesn’t even talk in No More Heroes 2. Still Margret stays on top of a building and only at night she will appear and when you fight her, a song will be played. This is where Margret speaks the most as her song is taunting Travis during their fight. Yet her song speaks many truths about the theme of the sequel game. The fight itself is great with her sniping you down from afar, then changing her weapon into scythes and tries to jump down on you, which then leads to her vanishing and taking things from afar again with her dual guns. When you get close to her once more, she brings out the scythes again and can even change them into one. Yea that is the big thing with her weapon, it is a sniper rifle, dual guns, and even scythes which has two variations! So her weapon is four in one! Even her design with the Gothic Lolita theme and black and white color schemes works perfectly with the reaper angle she is playing with. Now the reason why she is not in the top ten was because well… she has one appearance only and even though she is the near perfect boss fight, that is the only thing to love about her. Maybe if she appears in No More Heroes 3 that could help her chances and that could actually be possible since her body was not seen after she supposedly died.

11. Shun Akiyama (Yakuza)

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I recently got into the Yakuza franchise because for action games this one really stands out. The combat is insane in more realistic angle compared to No More Heroes, Devil May Cry, and Bayonetta. Now my favorite game in the franchise is Yakuza 4 which is where we meet many new characters and I really liked how they explored multiple angles in the story. We got to see how people reacted to the explosion on Millennium Tower where billions of yen scatter around the city, we got to learn about Majima’s (who was originally going to be on this list, but he could I have to play Yakuza 0!) past of how he became a big leader and lost his eye. There were even new angles with the police of the city and how Kiryu still has business to take care of. The character I got to like the most though was Akiyama who has my favorite fighting style, the best character design, and just the best personality. He is heavily carefree and takes life in a gung-ho feeling. What Akiyama deals with is being a loan shark, but he is not your usual one. He will give someone money, but he does not force them to pay back. The price comes with that these people need to pass his tests which usually deal with their personal issues and changes them into better people. He even runs a hostess club which easily keeps his money up even though it will be a long time before his loan shark takes a huge chunk of his cash. How Akiyama became rich is actually a sad story that soon turns into a miracle. He worked as a banker back then and was framed by his own company which caused him to be homeless and he was a person who got tons of money from the explosion I mentioned before. He rebuilt his life and even though it is still not the most amazing one, he is fine with the smallest pleasures and constantly helps people so that they do not have to deal with the problems he had before. This guy even parties with the homeless and gives them tons of food and drinks. This guy may have a sharp tongue at times, but this guy is extremely kind which makes him stand out in the franchise, because usually there are many characters that are just after money for their own purposes.