7. Mario and Peach
The Relationship: Alright, if you're on this site, you know this one. If you somehow don't, just google it- wait, actually, don't google it. You may find some things.
The Problems: It's not a class issue: even Luigi managed to score a princess in the Mushroom Kingdom and, come on, he's Luigi here. No, the problem is that Princess Peach and Bowser are clearly doing the warp-pipe shuffle behind Mario's mustachioed back.
I'll give you a minute.
But Lev, you're saying, calling my name out to the computer with a plaintive wail of disbelief. "There are eight koopa kids, each with their own castle, plus Baby Bowser. How could Bowser and Peach crank that many out while she was captured?" Well, reader, maybe they didn't. Maybe the princess got peached while they were all together playing tennis. Or baseball. Or soccer. They have a lot of opportunities. And if Bowser really isn't hitting that, why is he so eager to spend summer recreation around his general enemies?
Pokemon X & Y was announced less than a week ago and the only information available to the public is in the announcement trailer. Yet within hours of its release, the internet went to work creating an absurd amount of fan art based on the FIVE new Pokemon we were made aware of. They made stylized art, GIFs, theoretical evolutions, and more. Here is just a small sample of the impossible amount of fan art that the internet has created for a game that won't be out for another 9 months.
Romance in video games: It makes us laugh, it makes us cry, it makes us scratch our heads and sort of sit back and look confusedly at the screen. Mostly the last one. There have been a lot of horrible romance subplots in video games, but here's our tribute to the worst.
8. Ryu Hayabusa and Irene Lew (Ninja Gaiden)
Ninja Gaiden for NES is a ludicrously hard side scroller with a ninja protagonist named Ryu whose romance starts when he sees a young girl and says, "Just a girl. Get out of here!" Ninja Gaiden comes from the era of dialogue that could only be produced by Koreans translating Japanese games into English without understanding either language. Not only does Irene shoot Ryu at one point, but they only end up together because Ryu proclaims that he'll be taking her as his payment for saving the world. Luckily, she's inexplicably aroused by this, so they kiss and sort of hold each other while they conclusively watch the sun rise. Even though she still probably wants to kill him.
7. AltaÃ¯r ibn-La'Ahad and Maria (Assassin's Creed 2)
The unfolding of this relationship can barely even be called a romantic subplot it's more like an afterthought. It's like Ubisoft realized two weeks before the game shipped out that the concept of DNA memory (and therefore the entire franchise) depends on AltaÃ¯r reproducing, even though he's a combination between ninjas and monks, the two most celibate professions in the ancient world. So they threw in a level where AltaÃ¯r chases a mysterious cloaked figure to the top of a tower, finds out it's a beautiful woman, and then has sex with her. On a tower, without a single word of foreplay or even warning, and with both of them wearing all their clothes. Then AltaÃ¯r uses his assassin skills to promptly get the hell out of there, because assassins make terrible dads.
10) Star Wars Post-Quels (Episodes 7/8/9)
This has long been a big dream for nerds, even if the prospect has faded considerably as of late: a new trilogy of films that would pick up where Return of the Jedi left off: the Empire has fallen, the New Republic has risen from the ashes, and Luke is about to restore the Jedi Order. The exciting thing about actual sequels (as opposed to the prequels) is that we wouldn't already know what happens (unless they used the many post-original trilogy books as inspiration, which they probably wouldn't). The reasons this dream is dead are:
- No one wants to see George Lucas create three more mildly underwhelming (I'm trying to keep it civil, okay?) Star Wars entries.
- George Lucas did not like the reception the prequels got, and has been quoted as saying he was done making Star Wars movies because he didn't want to go through that again.
- George Lucas is not going to let anyone but him create canonical, live action films. For a while, it looked like Spielberg might direct one of the prequels George squashed the idea quickly, refusing to let one of the best directors of our generation and his good friend even touch the series.
So maybe it's a blessing in disguise: we don't have to watch the internet get crazily worked up over new Star Wars films that would never live up to expectations no matter how good they were and we can always let "what happens next?" live in our imagination, which is probably better than whatever the reality would be. Plus, can you imagine Harrison Ford as a cranky, elderly Han Solo? I don't think anyone wants to see that. Then again, Mark Hamill could probably use the work.
UPDATE: We were wrong. We were so wrong.
1. No Traffic
The best thing about open-world driving games (think Burnout Paradise) is not the turbo, nor the ability to walk away from a horrible-yet-badass crash: It's the fact that there are barely any cars on the road. Sure, there might be some other vehicles, and in some games there are actually working stoplights, but it's hard to imagine a game where there is bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get off the highway.
And with good reason. Traffic is miserable. If human motorists drove like their NPC counterparts calmly, methodically, programmed to drive at the same pace and leave a safe following distance between cars, not only would road rage decline, but so would the majority of traffic collisions. Except for ones caused by turbo strips, of course.
Though we stand behind our first tribute to snow levels, we realize we overlooked a bunch of really great ones. So here's part 2! Enjoy our second tribute to the greatest wintery levels in videogame history. And if we missed one, maybe we'll make a part 3!
But don't count on it.
Few games seem so easily adaptable to the videogame world as Scott Pilgrim probably because Scott Pilgrim itself was so deeply influenced by videogames. Whether you think the Michael Cera film version was awesome or the awesomest (it's actually a little of both), it's hard to deny how great this throwback, beat-em-up game was and this level was a pretty fantastic introduction. It's games like this that make me wish my girlfriend had evil exes for me to defeat. And that people I beat up would turn into coins, instead of assault charges.
Ice Man may look like a relatively nonthreatening, slightly-deformed, neckless eskimo, but looks can be deceiving in the world of Mega Man. His stage is one of the most challenging in the original much moreso than the barely-not-copyright-infringing Bomb Man or the effective-against-Paper-Man Cut Man. The most challenging aspect was that nagging question: Why are there frozen-over palm trees in the background? Was it a bold statement about climate change, or did Capcom just try to lazily re-use some beach level sprites? You be the judge.