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Here Are Your Favorite Video Games, According To You

By Lord Castleton | Miscellaneous | June 8, 2015 |


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The final results are in for the Pajiba Favorite Five and as the second smallest category (after ‘Other’, which was mostly characters from plays and commercials) it wasn’t as tough of a grind to breach the top five. That’s a gaming pun. Hiyo!

WAIT NON-GAMERS! DON’T LEAVE! I promise to do this write-up without using terms like l33t or suxx0rs or REKT. The world is changing and you can’t bury your head in the sand forever. That message brought to you by the 55 MILLION unique visitors that swing by Twitch.tv every month to WATCH OTHER PEOPLE PLAY VIDEO GAMES. You know what else has 55 million people every month?

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If you’re a fan of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One and you know that we’re less than one Liam Hemsworth and a Winter Olympics away from all living in the OASIS, you can chuckle at the simple folk who picked Shakespearean heroines or Discworld anti-heroes in their favorite five. If your own character isn’t among your five favorites, perhaps you’re playing the game of life all wrong.

There might just be a simple reason behind why someone might choose a video game character to list among their five favorite: time spent. The older I get, the less time I have to just port myself into a fantasy world where I alone can save the universe or whatever, but when I do, modern games really help you build a certain level of familiarity with a character the way you can’t in other mediums.

One of my personal favorite characters was on television. When I watch him I feel connected because of the quality of his acting skill and the story line that his character meanders along, but it’s a one sided thing. He’s going to make whatever choices he makes no matter what my hypothetical input might be.

Another character I chose was from a novel. This one is more personal to me because outside of the very basic descriptions, I get to fill in the blanks about his physicality and how I imagine him moving, the tone of his voice, how his eyes look when they glance around. I have a description of the setting and the action sequences, but I run it all through a filter that is uniquely mine. This dynamic allows the reader to take more ownership of a novel and a character, and the end result can feel more personal.

With a video game, there’s a world, which is sometimes wide open and sometimes more of a rat in a maze, but everything inside both of those places is me. Modern games let you customize everything from the speed at which your mouse (or controller) moves your weapon to the physical appearance and voice. You choose the scars and the muffin top and the cybernetic arm. Not all of those things in the same build, necessarily, but you get the idea. In fact the lowest point for me in the whole Mass Effect Trilogy was when I couldn’t seamlessly port my character from ME2 to ME3. I tried everything, and wasted precious - I mean precious gametime trying to get that bastard to work. In the end, I just had to get as close to my original avatar as possible and it was a massive downer.

Why? Because it wasn’t me. I had bled and made difficult choices and watched members of my team extinguished before my very eyes with a ruddy, battle-hardened Commander Shepherd. He looked a little like this dude:

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The closest I could get to that character in ME3 was basically taking what they claimed was the structural framework for that face type, giving him a weird orangina spray tan and airbrushing his skin until he basically looked like this.

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I was bitter. For the first few hours, anytime I had to interact with an NPC (non-player character) I would respond out loud and say “Commander Rrrrrrico Suave says ci.”

Finally, Lady Castleton walked up behind me and said “you get like one hour a week to be Commander Rico Suave. Don’t take it out on him. He doesn’t like his look any more than you do.”

After that, I saved the galaxy. Like fifty three weeks later. Me, goddamnit. I did it. Not some dude on TV that doesn’t know I exist. Not some lady I admire from a book. Me. Commander Rico Motherfuckin’ Suave.

Now then, the top five games, according to votes for characters from Pajiba. And, honestly, these are all kick-ass characters and kick-ass games.

#5) Bioshock - 2K Games

Bioshock was a statement game for me. A game changer. It seemed to me the first time a video game was capable of pulling off a grand vision while still keeping the gameplay enjoyable. There was everything before Bioshock and everything after. Great concept, gorgeous art direction and edge of your seat gameplay with a morality element. “We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.” The whole series is impressive but I’m not sure anything beats the initial sense of wonder the first iteration had.

Character Pajibans want you to look for:

100% Jack

#4) Portal / Portal 2 - Valve

I’ve been (rightly) accused of wasting all of our time with my unabashed love for and internet tributes to GLaDOS. Guilty as charged. Portal is the video game that keeps on giving. It’s sharp-witted and edgy and the problem solving just feels like a completely different thing than most of your standard mainstream shoot ‘em up fare. I’m thrilled to live in a world where this game is a thing. It’s mesmerizing. Is there actually cake? That’s for you to figure out.

Characters Pajibans want you to look for:

87% GLaDOS
13% Wheatley

#3) Mass Effect Trilogy - Bioware

I’m sure I’ve talked this game up enough but one thing that stood out for me in this series, outside of the well constructed morality element, was how tough calls stayed with you throughout all three games. If you made a certain choice in ME1, that choice is still part of who you are in ME3. And more than any other game, it was easy to care about your ‘team.’ I know that sounds…crazy. Especially to non-gamers. Believe me, it feels crazy to type it, but the writers and game designers really did a masterful job making you give a shit. Outstanding voice acting really went a long way, including those from voices you might recognize like Martin Sheen and Yvonne Strahovski and Seth Green and Tricia Helfer and Carrie-Anne Moss and Keith David.

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Many gamers were ticked off by the ending of ME3, but in general the series is among the best ever made. Also who you choose to “romance” is telling. Let’s be honest: even though it’s a insta-fail, who among us would pass up a volcanic death orgasm with an Ardat-Yakshi, amirite? Ho ho ho! Ahem.

Character Pajibans want you to look for:

30% Mordin Solus
30% Garrus Vakarian
20% The Illusive Man
10% Commander Shepherd
10% L’iara T’soni

#2) Uncharted - Naughty Dog

I wish I had played this game to be able to hype it up, but I game on a PC primarily and an Xbox Console (we have both 360 and One) and Uncharted is a proprietary Sony game for the Playstation system. Those of you who know it best can sing its praises, but as an outside observer, it looks like the Indiana Jones game everyone always wanted. I’ve read that the gameplay is so much fun that you never want to stop and it has a great cover system. Plus, it looks visually breathtaking.

Character Pajibans want you to look for:

%100 Nathan Drake

#1) The Last of Us - Naughty Dog

The top pick for Pajibans is another proprietary Sony game that I also haven’t played, but I’ll say this: after watching it when it first came out, it was the game that almost made me take the Playstation plunge. It’s tough, because unless you’re making a living playing on Twitch or reviewing games (which, let’s face it, I totally am) it’s tough to justify both major consoles. And by that, obviously, I mean it’s tough to ferret away enough cash to secretly buy one without Lady Castleton knowing that I’m sneaking Sally through the alley.

When The Last of Us came out I think they had to invent new gaming magazines just to give it more ‘Game of the Year’ awards. And honestly, it looks astounding. It’s so immersive and makes you care so much that people have breakdowns after playing it. I could rave from afar, but I’m sure commenters who know more than me can take it away. It just feels like the next step in gaming. Come for the heart wrenching zombie apocalypse, stay for the giraffe petting. The Last of Us, your Pajiba favorite five #1 game.

Characters Pajibans want you to look for:

70% Ellie
30% Joel

And for those of you wondering, here’s the rest of the gaming list. Enjoy.

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REKT.


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