Pandragon Dan

Pandragon Dan

Author/Reviewer/Blogger

Top Five Fantastic Father Characters

Today is Father’s Day, where we show love to all the father’s out there. I myself have a lot to thank my father for personally as it was because of him that I got into writing in the first place. Where it not for him reading me C.S. Lewis and Roald Dahl to me when I was younger, I never would have picked up the imagination that I have now. So Dad, thanks for the inspiration and support over the years. Love you loads pops! :)

 

So in honour of this day, I decided to show some respect to Fatherhood by doing a Top Five list of the Fantastic Father characters. In these examples, I look at five characters that for me, really capture the spirit of fatherhood – and what a great father should be. Some of these examples may not necessarily be father’s in their own right – but they do become fathers by proxy and therefore I believe they also can be honoured in this list.

 

As always, this list is in no particular order and purely based on my own opinion. Also, just a warning – there may be spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.

 

So here we go, this is my list for the Top Five Fantastic Fathers.

 

 

 

 

1. Harry Mason from Silent Hill

 

You know what it’s like guys – one minute you’re just driving around with your daughter towards a mysterious, fog filled town. Next thing, your car crashes, your daughter is missing and you being attacked by all manner of horrific monsters – all the time shifting between the “real” world and the Otherworld. Then you discover your daughter (who actually isn’t your real daughter BTW) is actually part of a girl called Aleyssa, who some evil cult burned to bring back a demonic God. Aleyssa broke her spirit off in two and that created Cheryl, and now they have to come together to bring this monster back to Earth to bring about a new paradise.

 

Wow – being a father in a Japanese horror game really does suck!

 

This is the dilemma that Harry finds himself in the first Silent Hill game. Bet he never thought that when his girl asked him “Daddy, what will I be when I grow up”, he answered “Oh, you’ll be the one that brings the God back to Earth and destroys all humanity.”

 

But in all seriousness, the fact that Harry is prepared to go through this hell, fighting all kinds of monsters (from giant moths to childlike monstrosities) and facing stuff that would drive a normal person insane to rescue his daughter really shows the strength of his character. Let’s face it, what parent wouldn’t go through hell to save their child? Harry could just turn and run, but no – he fights on, hoping he can rescue Cheryl and bring her home. Fair play to the guy!

 

Harry is such an important character that in Silent Hill 3, Heather (his daughter, now under a new name to protect her identity) has to go through this same hell – eventually having to avenge her dad when he dies. Harry is a strong, protective dad and the parent that Cheryl (or Aleyssa) deserved in the first place. Harry is one of those tough, action dads that is ready to kick ass and take names! You go Harry, my son!

 

 

 

 

2. Gru from Despicable Me

 

The supervillain turned doting father was a surprise for me. Prior to seeing Despicable Me, I had no idea of the story – other than it had the minions. So when the plot with Gru and the girls from the orphanage was introduced, I thought it added a lot of pathos and catharsis (get me with the big words!) to what could have been a fairly bland family movie.

 

Gru obviously isn’t a father himself, but becomes one through circumstance. When Vector, a rival villain steals a shrink ray that he needs to steal the moon, and failing to break into his base to get it back, Gru has to resort to subtle measures to get it back. He adopts three girls from an orphanage, with the idea that they sell cookies that are secretly robots to break into Vector’s base to steal the ray. What can go wrong, right?

 

Well, it doesn’t quite go that way for Gru. Though he finds the girls annoying and too needy at first, they do eventually grow on him. And through no fault of his own, he does actually become a great father – even blowing up a carnival stand to win a unicorn for Agnes (arguably the sweetest kid ever put on film). Even when they are sent back to the orphanage (by Gru’s assistant) so that he can concentrate on their villainous plot, he still tries to get back to their dance recital – only to find that they have been captured by Vector. And so Gru has to fight to save them!

 

Ok, so the last bit is kinda the typical “Damsel in Distress” trope that I often find myself moaning about, but the film more than makes up for it with the relationship between Gru and the girls. It adds a real human element to Gru’s character and turns him from a villain to a devoted father. And that last scene where he reads the kids a bedtime story is actually really touching and heartwarming – and although many won’t admit to it, I’m sure that scene brings a few tears out.

 

Despicable Me is a great film not just for the minions – but for Gru’s character development. He shows that even the hardest of hearts can be great fathers. This follows onto Despicable Me 2 where he has become fully devoted to his children and will do what he can to protect them. Despicable Me is a much stronger film because of this.

 

 

 
 

3. Lee Everett from The Walking Dead Video Game Season 1

 

I debated whether to have Rick Grimes from the TV series on this list, but in the end I went for Lee Everett from The Walking Dead video game. Simply because of the strong emotions that he brings out from the player.

 

At the start of The Walking Dead, Lee is on his way to prison, but then the Walkers start coming out and Lee is forced to fend for himself. That is until he finds Clementine, a young girl who has become separated from her parents (who were in Savannah when all this went down). Lee takes Clem under his wing to try and get her back to her parents safely, thus beginning one of the best partnerships in video game history in my opinion.

 

Now how Lee treats Clem is entirely down to the player – and their relationship ultimately changes depending on how you act around her. However there is one constant that never changes no matter how much of a jerk you make Lee – he will do anything to protect Clem. In fact, being around her brings out powerful instincts and he becomes a heroic father and protector to her.

 

Much like Harry Mason, Lee has to also go through hell to rescue Clementine at one point. Remember how I said earlier that spoilers were ahead? This is a pretty BIG one so cut to the next candidate if you don’t wanna know what happens.

 

Near the end of Season 1, he is bitten by a Walker and his health deteriorates quickly. But Clem is captured by a madman and he has to fight through an army of Walkers to get to him, in one of the best scenes of the whole game. But even though he rescues Clem, his condition is too far gone and it’s up to Clem how he meets his fate. However it happens, very few video games have such a heart wrenching ending as The Walking Dead, because usually a video game is supposed to have a happy ending and reward you for all your efforts. This ending is a real downer and the fact that Lee and Clem are going to be torn apart makes the ending that much sadder, after all they have been through.

 

But even though he doesn’t make it, Lee’s advice lives on in Clementine, who becomes the protagonist of Season 2. Everything that Lee taught her is carried across to this game and Clem’s character changed slightly, depending on what she learned. This makes Lee a very important character in Lee’s life, as his life lessons carry onto her – much like the advice of our own father’s carry with us for the rest of our lives.

 

For me, Lee represents how the actions of the parents will affect their children and makes us wonder, how do we want our children to turn out? But with Lee guiding her, I think Clementine will be ok. Hopefully.

 

 

 

 

4. Ted Kramer from Kramer vs. Kramer

 

I only saw this film for the first time last year – and boy was it amazing! I believe that, along with Rain Man, this is Dustin Hoffman’s best role, because the character arc that he goes through is just perfect.

 

Ted is a workaholic father that puts his career before his family. When Joanna, his wife leaves him, he is stuck with their son Billy and has now balance his working life with being a single father. At first he is utterly terrible at it, coming to arguments with his son more than once (especially during a scene where he tries, and fails, to make French toast), but gradually he settles into the role and, in many ways, becomes a better father than Joanna was a mother. For me the defining moment is when Billy is injured during an accident and he carries him as he runs to the hospital – even being with Billy when he has to have stitches. Ironically, though he becomes a fantastic father, his career suffers because of it. He doesn’t care though, he’s happy spending more time with his son and just earning enough to get by.

 

When Joanna returns, a legal battle begins where she tries to get Billy. Even though he loses, even Joanna is amazed at the change that Ted has gone through – Billy seems to have brought out the best in him. Ted has a chance to try to appeal against this decision, but decides not to do it as it would involve putting his son on the stand. He won’t do that, knowing the trauma that this trial is putting Billy through already. This is a really unselfish action on his part and one that shows what a great parent he has become, as he is putting his child before himself. For me, that is what a great parent is.

 

Kramer vs. Kramer is a fantastic film with great performances all around – but Dustin Hoffman’s character development is one of the best that I have seen in a while. He goes from a totally unlikeable jerk to a devoted father and we follow him every step of the way. Joanna is by no means the villain, but Ted and Billy’s bonding is the true heart of the story. Ted shows that anyone can be a fantastic father as long as they follow this one simple rule – do what’s right for your children.

 

 

 

 

5. Homer Simpson – that is all!

 

I once used Marge Simpson on a Mother’s Day special to demonstrate empowering women, so why not use Homer Simpson to show a great father.

 

Well, ok, maybe great is not the word. Because, let’s be honest, Homer is in most cases a pretty terrible father. He’s reckless, selfish and even downright insensitive. He’s often lamenting about his life, cursing his family for holding him back and angry that he isn’t able to get the things he wants. Often, he will forget about important things like anniversaries, birthday parties and other stuff in favour of his own activities. For example, one time he brought Marge a bowling ball for an anniversary present (which almost threw her in the arms of another man), and that’s just ONE example of the downright selfish and horrible things he has done.

 

So why am I including him in this list of great fathers? Why not?

 

Actually, there is a good reason – because despite all the crap he puts his family through, despite all the nasty things he does to them, Homer does always come through for his family in the end. Homer knows that without his family, he is nothing. His family are what keep him together and show him that sometimes, the best things in life are right in front of you. And there have been a few times where he has come close to losing his family, but he will always do the right thing where needed.

 

We love Homer for his antics, but what makes him truly special is the fact that we know that he loves Marge, Lisa, Maggie and (though he won’t admit it) Bart. Homer maybe a knob sometimes, but he’s not a monster. His family are what keep him grounded and that will always be the case.

 

Maybe one day the time will come when the Simpson family get so tired of his antics and tell him to sling his hook, but with 25 Seasons (and counting) in them, let’s hope there is still some forgiveness in them yet.

 

 

What are you favourite father characters? Please let me know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments below.

 

Happy Fathers Day to all the great fathers out there. Keep being as fantastic as you are!

 

 

 

-------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Top Five Disney Villains

You know something – Disney and Pixar are awesome! Their movies just have a charm and a magic that few other films companies can match. They can make you laugh, make you cry, uplift you and also creep you the hell out! Not to mention they have some of the most evil mother****kers known to fiction!

 

Yup, even Disney is not safe from evil – and these films have some wicked characters that you just love to hate! But at the same time, Disney villains can also be quite complex and have disturbed personalities – so that you understand their motives, even if you don’t agree with them. And then – you just have those who are assholes! XD

 

Recently I did a top ten list on my Facebook page of the top ten Disney films (don’t ask me how but I did!) and so I decided to go a step further and talk about my top five Disney villains. I’ve already done a top five list of villains in the past – but why not give the bad guys of Disney a chance in the spotlight for today? So here is my list for the Top Five Disney Villains!

 

Remember, this is no particular order – save for the last on the list. Also, some spoilers are ahead so read with caution.

 

 

 

 

1. Lotso from Toy Story 3

 

Who’d have thought that such a cute and cuddly teddy bear could be such a conniving, sadistic bastard? That’s the case with Lotso from Toy Story 3. In many ways, he’s somewhat of an analogue to The Governor from The Walking Dead – a seemingly welcoming and kind person that is, in actual fact, a tyrant. He rules Sunnyside Daycare Centre with an iron fist, treating it more like a prison than a daycare centre.

 

When Andy’s toys are given to the Sunnyside Daycare Centre, Lotso is introduced as the de facto leader of the toys there. Whilst he comes across as caring and kind, willing to give lots of hugs, the toys soon realise something is up with him when he places them in a room where the toddlers abuse and misuse the toys. When Buzz Lightyear tries to appeal to Lotso, he then has him “deprogrammed” back to his factory settings – turning him against his friends and imprisoning them. He’s even willing to let the toys die when they are near the smelter. Basically, he’s a really nasty piece of work.

 

But if you look at his back-story, you can actually understand why he has such a morbid personality. Lotso was at one time the favourite toy of Daisy – along with Big Baby and Chuckles. Treated well and looked after, Lotso felt loved – until one day, he and the other three toys were left alone in a field. Desperate to get back, Lotso went through hell to try and get back to Daisy – only to find that he had been replaced by another Lotso toyed. This caused him to snap. Disillusioned and heartbroken, Lotso forced the other toys to leave with him, until they found the daycare centre – which Lotso proceeded to take over.

 

Is this not just a really tragic back-story? Lotso’s past demonstrate the fickle nature of the life of a toy – and also show us the difference between love and possessions. We’ve all had our hearts broken in some points and it screws us up in some way or another – in Lotso’s case it caused him to become twisted and evil. This makes him a great foil to Woody – who believes that Andy still loves his toys, whereas Lotso has learned the truth that their kind is expendable, as humans mature and move on.

 

Lotso is overpowering, twisted, but also a somewhat tragic villain that you feel sorry for – until he does something utterly evil! Just goes to show that even the cutest toys can have their breaking point.

 

 

 

 

2. Hans from Frozen

 

Even though I stand by my opinion that Frozen is a very overrated movie, there were some things about it I liked. Hans was one of them. Well, ok, I didn’t like Hans, he was a p**** – but I did like his character development in the story.

 

The funny thing is, you don’t even know Hans is the villain at first. When we first meet him, he appears as a charming, handsome man that catches Anna’s eye – so much so that they fall in love straight away and propose (an action which a lot of characters berate her for later). Leaving Hans in charge of the Kingdom whilst she goes to save Elsa, Hans does seem to be a caring ruler – even capturing Elsa so that he can try and protect her.

 

It’s not until Anna needs an act of love to save her that Hans shows his true colours. He never meant to save Elsa – but kill her and take her kingdom, taking Anna as his consort. Before I saw the film, I never understood why so many people hated him – when I saw the film he seemed decent enough. Until the twist in the film – that’s when it hit me! And all because he felt insecure along his brothers – who were more popular than him.

 

This is a really good twist that you actually don’t see coming, and a good spin on the “handsome hero” type you normally get in these movies. It also does well to point out the rashness of Anna’s decision to marry Hans straight away – proving that you have to be careful who you give you heart to. Although, I do have to ask. If his plan was to kill Elsa all along, why didn’t he just kill her at the ice palace? As many already thought Elsa was a monster (and she kinda proved that by attacking them) no one would have been any the wiser. But I guess you could argue that this is a typical villain trait, keeping the hero alive.

 

Hans serves a grim reminder that sometimes the tall, dark, handsome stranger isn’t all they are meant to be. But the way it’s revealed is nicely subtle and very well done. However, despite all the hate this character has – he is NOT the most evil of Disney villains. I’d say THIS guy is!

 

 

 

 

3. Scar from The Lion King

 

Excuse me a sec, guys. I just need to get something off my chest. *ahem*

 

F*** YOU SCAR!!! F*** YOU! F*** YOU! F*** YOU! F*** YOU! F*** YOU! F*** YOU! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO POOR SIMBA, YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD!!!

 

 

 

Ahem... sorry guys... Just relieving a childhood trauma there.

 

But seriously, where do I begin with this animal? He is, in my opinion, one of the most despicable villains in Disney history. Not only does he murder his own brother, but he makes little Simba believe that it is HIS fault, causing him to run away – meaning that Scar takes the role of the Lion King. What. A. Dick!

 

Seeing as The Lion King is the Hamlet of the Disney world, Scar is definitely the Claudius of the tale. The evil sibling that will step over anyone to get what he wants – even his own family. The way he tells Mufasa “Long live the King” right before he kills him still effects even years later. Scar has absolutely no morals whatsoever and will uses deceit and trickery to further his own plans. Fortunately, his perchance for treachery ends up being his undoing and he is ripped apart by his own henchmen. And how satisfying that is to watch!

 

There isn’t really much more I can say about Scar. He is responsible for many children’s tears in the cinema – a cruel, twisted psychopath that has no redeeming features and one that you WANT to get his comeuppance. Jeremy Irons captures all this perfectly in his voice, adding to his slimy nature. The fact that Scar can still bring out feelings of hatred in me years after the film’s release shows what a classic villain he is – and one that I think many Disney aficionado will agree is a total monster within the Disney pantheon of classic films.

 

 



 

 

4. King Candy/Turbo from Wreck-It Ralph

 

Much like Hans, you don’t really expect King Candy to be the villain at first – mainly because he’s just so foppish and over the top. But when you find out who he really is, and the darker elements to his character, you realise just what a selfish and nasty mofo he is!

 

Originally the star player of racing game TurboTime, Turbo was a much loved character and revelled in the popularity that he received from players. But when another game, RoadBlasters, threatened his popularity, he jumped from his own game to this one to sabotage it (creating the term “Going Turbo”). The plan worked, but in the process his own game was shut down – many believed Turbo dead, as within the context of Wreck-It Ralph, if you die outside your own game, you don’t respawn. However, Turbo escaped into the game Sugar Rush and, in an effort to preserve his own ego – reprogrammed the game so that the main character, Princess Vanellope, would appear as a glitch. He even deleted everyone’s memory of her. Remaining himself King Candy, he ruled the Sugar Rush Kingdom, with everyone believing his was the rightful ruler.

 

Now in fairness, I can kinda see it from Turbo’s point of view. I mean, if you were a highly popular video game character that received all this attention – only for another to steal your spotlight – you’d probably be pretty pissed. However, it’s the lengths that he is willing to go to perverse his fame that makes him villainous. He sabotages everything so that he himself gets all the attention, even going as far to trick Ralph into destroying Vanellope’s car so that she can’t race (because if she crosses the finishing line, the games code will return to normal).

 

Turbo is basically a spoilt brat that’s so afraid of failure (in my opinion) that he doesn’t care who he has to destroy to boost his own ego. He serves as a good juxtaposition to the main character Ralph, who is also seeking to be better than what he is – but in the process he comes close to destroying his own game, which is something he doesn’t intend. But like all villains, his power hungry appetite becomes his undoing, and he gets what's coming to him.

 

Like a lot of people on this list, Turbo is driven by his own selfishness and desire to be in the spotlight – which seems to be a fairly common theme in Disney movies. Just goes to show – if you look out for number one all the time, don’t be surprised if there is no one there to help you when you most need it.

 

 

 

 

5. Judge Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

 

Ok guys, this character, I would go so far to say, is the best Disney villain ever! At least in my opinion. He just has so many layers of complexity, more so than any other villain.

 

Now, by all accounts, I should hate this character. I mean, he murders a gypsy woman and tries to drown her baby, burns down half of Paris (and almost kills a family), lusts over Esmeralda, tortures and kills people, seeks to destroy the gypsies and even torments and bullies poor Quasimodo. But, unlike a lot of characters on this list, he doesn’t do it out of his own ego, or selfishness. He does this because he believes he is doing the Lord’s work.

 

Ok, so you could argue that he is just using that as an excuse maybe he is just using that as an excuse – but the film shows him as a pious man, devout to his faith. So maybe he believes that he can get away with anything because he is ultimately doing God’s work. He’s a great metaphor for fundamentalists in real life, who use religion to justify their own evils. Now, I know not all religious people are evil – but there are some out there that do give them a bad name. Frollo is one of them. This trait alone makes Frollo that much more sinister and gives him a sociopathic outlook on life. Anything that he considers heretic and unpure he will seek to destroy – the gypsies being the one thing he has made it his mission to stamp out.

 

Frollo is also noted for singing what is, in my opinion, the best Disney song ever. Hellfire. This song just gives me chills every time I hear it. Unlike most villain songs, this one is not played for laughs. It captures Frollo’s lust for Esmeralda, his fear of damnation – as lust is a sin – and finally his final desire that Esmeralda will be his, or he will condemn her to the fires of hell. It’s a song that is much darker than most other Disney songs, but has great visuals and really goes into the mentality of Frollo.

 

 

 

Hellfire is one of the most powerful tunes I’ve ever heard. I would actually go so far to say that this song isn’t just better than Let It Go... It eats it for breakfast! People ask me why I hate Let It Go so much – it’s because I know there are better Disney songs out there. And this is one of them. Sorry to any Frozen fans – but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

 

The final reason why I think Frollo is the best Disney villain ever is that he’s voiced by one of my favourite voice actors – the late Tony Jay. Anyone who has animation in general will know this guy has done a ton of work, in Disney especially. Everything from Shere Khan in Jungle Book 2 to Anubis in the Gargoyles cartoon. His deep, powerful voice adds a real demonic sense to Frollo, contradicting what should be a deeply religious character. When you add this all together, you have one of the most complex, sinister, tortured – and yet utterly evil characters in Disney fiction.

 

 

With so many great villains out there, I’m sure I missed out some of your favourites. Who are your favourite Disney villains? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

All above images are copyright of their respective owners.

Top Five Super Villains that SHOULD be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

SPOILER WARNING: This blog may contain spoilers for Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Marvel universe in general (comics and films)

 

 
 

I dunno about anyone else, but for me, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been very hit or miss. And sadly there have been more misses than hits in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I like the characters (May is kick ask, Skye is feisty as all hell and Agent Coulson – well he’s just awesome!) and the humour in it is typical Whedon. But... the storyline is VERY slow at the moment. They seem to be more times referencing the current Marvel films rather than working them into the story (though I’ll admit that they got this right with The Well episode) and they really were dragging on that Coulson plot as to how his survived (though thankfully they are making headways with it).

 

But my biggest problem with the show? NO SUPERVILLIANS! I mean, come on! In a show set in a world of superheroes, you think they’d have more super-powered baddies for the agents to fight. And considering, according to an interview with Joss Whedon himself, they are supposed to be the “underdogs” of the Marvel Universe, I think having super villains for them to battle would be a great idea – because it would force them to use their own wits without having to rely on Captain America, Iron Man or the other Avengers. But no... so far the only thing REMOTELY close to super villains is Dr. Franklin Hall (Graviton) and... *sigh* Scorch. Scorch? Seriously? Was Toaster already taken?

 

My point is that there is only so much we can take of criminals/organisations using alien/advanced/magic technology without it getting stale. And since Arrow has managed to fit in everyone from Deathstroke to Solomon Grundy – even Ra’s Al Ghul has been mentioned more than once – then Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has no excuse!

 

I am aware that there are certain villains they can’t use for copyright reasons – but it’s not as if the Marvel Universe is short of a few villains! So today, I present the Top Five Villains that should be in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In my opinion and in no particular order.

 

 

 
 

1. The Taskmaster

 

This guys is just BEGGING to be in this show. In fact, in the comics, he’s even fought for and against S.H.I.E.L.D themselves. He’s most famous for this fights with the Avengers, Moon Knight and Deadpool to name a few, but I always thought he was one of the more underrated villains in the Marvel Universe.

 

The Taskmaster is an expert in many forms of combat, is an excellent swordsman and marksman and is in peak physical condition. But that’s not what makes him so badass. He has the power of photographic reflexes – meaning that he can copy the move of anyone he sees! This makes him, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous enemies in the Marvel universe – as he’s able to match heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America and even Daredevil in combat! Whilst he cannot mimic mutant or other superhuman abilities (like Cyclops optic blast for instance) he CAN go toe to toe with many of the heavy hitters. Heck, he once even took on the entire Avengers by himself! He can even mimic voices on occasion!

 

Taskmaster would be a brilliant addition to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series. I mean think about it, how can the team fight against someone that can mimic their moves flawlessly? It would require them to use their brains – not their brawn – to defeat him. Also I think a fight between him and May would be just cool to watch! Maybe they could introduce him as a character that underwent S.H.I.E.L.D. experimentation, but it went wrong and he sought revenge. Or something like that. And with his ability to mimic voices, he can easily use that to break into S.H.I.E.L.D and cause all kinds of discombobulations!

 

So I submit this guy as a prime candidate for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I think he would be awesome!

 

 

 
 

2. The Wrecking Crew

 

Seeing as they’ve already introduced Asgardian technology into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I don’t think this one is too much of a stretch.

 

The Wrecking Crew are four thugs that were granted superhuman strength and near invulnerability by an enchanted crowbar. They are kinda like the go-to guys for super villains when they want things broken. And they do their jobs very well – well they wouldn’t be called the Wrecking Crew otherwise! Whilst they aren’t the sharpest tools in the box, they certainly make up with this with pure brute strength!

 

Now, they have done something somewhat like this in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far. In the episode The Well, a pagan terrorist ground searched for parts of an Asgardian staff so that they can use it to – well, I guess destroy the world. But honestly, I’d prefer to see the real Wrecking Crew come into it. COULD be a good opportunity to have Thor as a guest appearance in an episode if the studios allow it. Or it could just an opportunity to have the Agents fight against a seemingly unstoppable group of enemies.

 

Either way, I think it would be pretty cool. As long as they lose the somewhat laughable attire.

 

 

 

 

3. Baron Zemo

 

This one was requested to me by a friend of mine, but I think this guy would be cool to add to this list. I mean, this guy's is one of Marvel’s heavy hitters – having been in several high profile super villain teams – from the Masters of Evil to the Thunderbolts.

 

Next to Red Skull, Heinrich Zemo was one of Captain America’s most dangerous opponents. A brilliant scientist working for the Nazi party – who just happened to ALSO be a sadistic psychopath – Zemo’s face was permanently stuck to his hood when Captain America foiled a plan of his to use a new super strong adhesive to stop the Allies. But Zemo didn’t give up there, he carried on making weapons that would help take down Captain America and the allies. He even returned to fight Cap years later after he was frozen for decades and thawed out by the Avengers, eventually meeting his end in a final battle with Cap.

 

But Zemo’s legacy would not stop there, his son – Helmut – would take up his father’s legacy and seek revenge against Captain America for the death of his father. Since then, he has gone on to fight pretty much every major hero in the Marvel Universe. Sometimes working with others, sometimes on his own, Zemo can stand up alongside Doctor Doom, Magneto and the Red Skull himself (who actually was his tutor) to battle the heroes of the Marvel Universe.

 

He would be a good addition – considering that they can always bring HYDRA into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at some point. And why not? Maybe Zemo in this universe could be a pupil of Red Skull and he wants to carry on HYDRA’s legacy? Either way, I think he could be a pretty good addition to the show and one that the agents would have to fight hard to defeat.

 

 

 

 

4. Carnage

 

I know that Sony has a lot of the rights to the Spider-Man baddies – but as far as I’m aware, Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, has not made any live action appearance, so there is nothing to say that he CAN’T be in this show yet!

 

Carnage is the “offspring” of Spider-Man enemy Venom. Whilst Eddie Brock was in prison, his symbiote reproduced and bonded with Cletus Kasady. And Kasady is pretty much the kinda psychopathic individual that you DON’T want to give superpowers to! Carnage is possibly the most insane person in the Marvel Universe – he kills without discrimination and without mercy. He’s so evil that even Spider-Man and Venom were forced to put their differences aside to stop him. There was even a comic book series called Maximum Carnage (one of my fav comic serials) where Carnage and some other villains go on a killing spree down New York, causing many heroes to band together to stop him.

 

They could easily put Carnage into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe having him as an experiment gone wrong. They did something similar to that in the Ultimate Marvel universe so I don’t see this being a problem. Plus, I think it would be pretty cool to have Carnage going on a killing spree to the tune of Carnage Rules by Green Jelly – which ironically is what they used in the soundtrack to the video game.

 

So listen up you fools - don't you know that CARNAGE RULES!!!

 

 

 

 

5. Chameleon

 

Now, admittedly, all I really know about this guy is what I’ve seen in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, but in one plot, the Chameleon (who had the ability to change appearance of anyone) masqueraded as Nick Fury as part of an assassination attempt – at least from what I remember – it’s been a while since I’ve seen that cartoon.

 

But even so, the idea of someone that can change their appearance like – well, a chameleon – is a sure fire storyline for this series. Do I need to really go on? A guy that can change appearance? HELLO! You can have him infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. and then maybe take on the images of the other characters – turning them against each other. It’s a storyline that I know has been done a lot of times before, but I think it would work in this context.

 

Maybe they could remake this storyline from the cartoon and have the Chameleon try and assassinate Nick Fury (because it would be cool to have him back in the series again!) and the team have to work out who he is. It could be a really good story about paranoia and all that jazz. Yeah, it would be pretty basic – but sometimes it’s best to keep things simple and not overly complicated.

 

 

So that’s my pick for the Top Five super villains. If by some small change that anyone that works on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is reading this - PLEASE consider the above to appear in your show? Pretty please? If not for me, do it for this kitten.

 

 

 
 

Which villains do YOU want to see make an appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? List them in the comments below and join me next time for...

 

 

 
 

Huh? What the hell was that?

 

Er, sorry guys... I’ll see you all later... looks like I have some bugs in my blog at the mo...

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

Top Five Awesomely Kick Ass Female Characters (International Women's Day Special)

I realise that I’ve done one of these types of Top Five’s before, but to be honest – I wasn’t really happy with my first list and have been wanting a chance to redo it as I think I have MUCH stronger examples in this one. And seeing that today is International Women’s Day, I’m flying my feminist flags and celebrating today by bringing you my pick for the Top Five Awesomely Kickass Heroines!

 

Now, just to clarify, awesomely kickass doesn’t mean that all the girls on this list are super powered goddesses that can beat the tar out of anyone that crosses them (in fact I have deliberately excluded many superheroines from this list for the sake of having it as balanced as possible), it just means that all the females on this list are awesome in their own right. These are the type of girls that can stand on their own, be there when they are needed, and don’t need a man to save them (although a couple on this list do – but they still get their moment of awesome). There probably will be a few spoilers in this post, so read at your own risk.

 

So, in no particular order, let’s celebrate International Women’s Day by counting down the Top Five...

 

Crowd Chanting: ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA! ELSA!

 

 

Ah, yes! Elsa from Frozen. Arguable the most popular female at the moment! Indeed I have heard a lot about this character. So it would be silly of me NOT to include her on this list. However, here’s the thing... I haven’t actually SEEN Frozen yet, even though it is on my list of films to see. And the rules for Top Five’s state that I can only include things that I have seen/read/played in order to give a fair review of it. So, sorry, Elsa – you’re not getting ANY love this time.

 

 
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

 

OK! OK! OK! Calm down people! Here, maybe this first one will cheer you up!

 

 

 

 

1. Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

 

Hopefully this will make up for not including Elsa on the list! Hopefully...

 

Now, I’m gonna be honest with you guys – I am NOT a fan of Disney Princesses (geez, hardly into my first one and I’ve already PO’d most of my readers!). That’s not to say that I HATE them exactly – most of them have a good personality and stand out on their own. But for the most part, they are little more than damsel in distresses that serve little more than to be rescued – and everyone knows I HATE those types of characters. There are, of course, obvious exceptions – and Belle is one of them.

 

Technically though, she isn’t a Princess to begin with – she’s a regular girl with real dreams and aspirations. That makes her more relatable and realistic compared to a lot of other Disney Princesses. However, a fateful encounter with the Beast and she becomes the key to saving him from his curse. Whilst the Beast is a jerk to her at the beginning, he soon warms to her and she sees the good in him.

 

Yes, Belle DOES have to be rescued from Gaston at the end – but in my opinion it’s Belle that turns out the hero of the story? Why? Ok, I suppose I should give a SPOILER warning here, but if you don’t know how this story ends by now then where the hell have you been? Lol. Anyway, as Beast lays dying, Belle declares her love for him, breaking the curse and saving his life. She saves the Beast – not the other way around! And come on, admit it, you cried at the end when you thought Beast was dead – it was a very sad scene.

 

Belle’s greatest strength is her love and the ability to see PAST the monster and into the human inside. And love is the greatest strength of all in my opinion. Belle is a tough cookie in her own right, but it’s her love that frees the Beast from his damnation. And, at the risk of losing any manliness I may have, I love a good romantic story (blame Mysti Parker for that – her books turned me round!).

 

Belle, we salute you in honour of International Women’s Day – you prove that love can truly conquer all!

 

 

 

 

2. She-Ra from She-Ra: Princess of Power

 

Yeah, I know I said I wasn’t gonna include many superheroines in this list – but I didn’t say I wasn’t gonna include any! I decided to pick one for the list – and I went for my favourite of all time! She-Ra: Princess of Power!

 

The twin sister to He-Man, She-Ra was created to introduce a wider audience to the Master of the Universe franchise – in this case the female market. And whilst she didn’t last as long as her brother did, she arguably attracted a greater following and fan base. I myself was one of them and still am to this day! I know that there had been plenty of superheroines in the past (Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Emma Peel to name a few), but She-Ra was the first superheroine I got into. Until I saw She-Ra, most of the female characters in cartoons were just damsel in distresses. Then I saw She-Ra, and saw this uberpowerful woman totally dominating everyone WITHOUT the need of a man – I was just in awe. I think if anything, She-Ra taught me to respect women and... er...

 

Ok, ok, I had the hots for She-Ra – there I said it! But come on – even today I still think she is one of the sexiest women in fiction. She combined beauty and raw power to create an unstoppable force that will make sure all the bad guys pay. BUT she also encompasses a strong moral fibre to protect those in need, including the ones she cares about. If it wasn’t for She-Ra, there would be no Daniar Dragonkin from the Draconica series.

 

So to She-Ra, we salute you! Thank you for teaching me to respect women, for showing the strength of females and for showing us that you don’t need a man to protect you. And what’s more, she does all this – whilst wearing the most ridiculously low cut top and short skirt, and hardly showing ANY cleavage or panty shots! Now THAT’S classy! XD

 

 

 

 

3. Olenna Redwyne from Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

 

When people talk about their favourite female characters in this series, the most prominent ones on people’s lips are usually Daenarys or Arya. But for me, if you want a no-nonsense, balls to the wall (ooer) female in this series, look no further than Olenna Redwyne!

 

In Westerosi culture, women generally have a somewhat diminished role in society – and most of the time they were just there to look pretty and speak only when spoken to. Olenna totally does away with that! This is a woman that will speak her mind and she will NOT be silenced. Her tongue is sharp as her wit, gaining her the nickname “Queen of Thorns” – and woe betide anyone that is on the receiving end of one of the taunts!

 

Olenna has been around for a few years and seen all the hypocrisy and bloodshed that politics and war have brought. She has lost her husband to war and now her granddaughter is to be wed to the horrible King Joffery. In her twilight years, she sees no reason to hold back and speaking her mind. She is quick to let you know what she feels about you and won’t sugar-coat her words in anyway, whether you’re a peasant or prince. And she does it in the wittiest way she can, silencing any male that dares speak back to her. Even Tywin and Tyrion are put in their place at her words – and few can honestly do that!

 

Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail about her character as I don’t want to give any spoilers for those watching Game of Thrones – at least before season 4 comes up. But trust me, this woman will make a large impact in the story. Let me just say this, Olenna is awesome because she does what she wants, when she wants and HOW she wants. And in a society where men are supposed to be in control, that is a scary thought for most of them.

 

And if you still don’t think Olenna is one of the strongest feminists in fiction – in Game of Thrones she’s played by Dame Diana Rigg, one of the greatest feminist icons of her time. And, let’s be honest, Diana Rigg is just awesome anyway!

 

So let’s send a salute to Olenna Redwyne – a woman that shows that you can be a lady without needing to sit and look pretty. All you need is fire in your belly and a sharp tongue!

 

 

 
 

4. Carrie Mathison from Homeland

 

Now this is a character that I’ve wanted to talk about for a LONG time. Carrie Mathison is, in my opinion, one of the strongest females in television. She is the perfect mixture of a strong, independent woman, mixed with heartbreaking vulnerabilities. She’s the sort of woman that you just want to give a big hug to and say “You’re doing fine, girl. Everything will be ok”.

 

A C.I.A. operative in Homeland, Carrie is brought into a conspiracy when Nicolas Brodie (a soldier that was lost in the Middle East for many years) is found and returned to US soil. But, is he still an American soldier – or has he been brainwashed by a terrorist cell? Carrie has her suspicions and the more she digs into Nicolas Brodie, the more her personal feelings shine through for him and conflict with her work ethic.

 

Carrie is a kind of “Dirty Harry” character, always willing to do what it takes to try and stop the bad guys – but often halted by plenty of red tape and procedures and all other crap that stops her from doing the right thing. But Carrie is resolute in her beliefs and will find ways round it, whether through her frienemy (yes frienemy) Saul Barrington (who has one of the COOLEST beards ever). Often, Saul knows that Carrie is right – whether he wants to admit it or not, and will try and help her where he can. It’s Carrie’s Never-Say-Die attitude that I think makes her a great character.

 

But there is another reason – Carrie suffers from bi-polar disorder and she is on heavy medication. Speaking as someone that does occasionally get huge bouts of depression, and who also knows people with bi-polar disorder, I really appreciate this level of nuance. Often Carrie will be erratic in her behaviour – up one moment, down the next, then breaking down another. This adds a level of uncertainty to her character – is she right, or is it just her condition blinding her? Even Carrie herself doubts herself on occasion – and we really hope that she is right. It’s this character trait that makes her so loveable and you support her every step of the way.

 

My only complaint about her? Ever since Claire Danes has become Executive Producer of Homeland from season 3 onwards, it feels that ALL the attention seems to be focused on Carrie – and as such many other characters get pushed to the background. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carrie – but there ARE other characters to drive the story.

 

This aside though, I have no problem in repeating my earlier statement that Carrie is one of the best female leads to appear on TV in years. So to Carrie Mathison, we give you a salute. You show us that you can show vulnerabilities and emotions – and yet STILL be a strong role model. Not just for women, but for ANYONE that suffers from a mental disorder. You’re doing fine, girl.

 

 

 

 

5. Ellen Ripley from the Alien Movies

 

Do I even need to say anything – it’s ELLEN RIPLEY from the Alien movies.

 

Ok, I suppose I better for the sake of the post. XD

 

Ellen Ripley is definitely one of my favourite heroines in fiction. In fact she’s probably most people’s favourite heroine – and one that has made Sigourney Weaver a household name. And what’s not to like about her? She goes through such an amazing journey from the first film to Alien Resurrection (and even plenty of stories in the expanded universe), and has to fight some of the most terrifying monsters the Universe has to offer.

 

In Alien, she becomes an unlikely hero, being the sole survivor of an xenomorph attack on her ship (well her and the cat!). At the time, considering how most females in horror movies were little more than “Scream Queens” or dead bodies – the idea that Ripley actually stands up to the beast and fights back was a big thing. How can forget the awesome moment when Ripley blasts the alien out into space? Now that was cool!

 

In Aliens, she is reluctantly brought along with a group of marines to help clear out a colony that has been invested by millions of the little beggars. Discovering a lone survivor in the form of Newt, Ripley becomes a surrogate mother to her – and in newt she finds new strength. After newt is captured by the xenomorphs, Ripley has to literary go into hell itself to drag her out – coming face to face with the Alien Queen. It’s almost like Dante’s Inferno, with Ripley going to the very bowels to face the devil herself.

 

When we think the alien queen is destroyed, she comes back for one last attack, going after newt once again. And this is when Ripley gets her crowning moment of awesome when she steps out of the cargo bay, powering the loader suit, walks up to the queen and says the immortal lines “Get away from her you BITCH!”

 

I LOVE this line! It really is one of those “Oh hell yeah, it’s on now!” moments. And the fight scene is just epic! A true battle of good versus evil, David versus Goliath, Liverpool F.C versus Manchester United... and so on! It’s the moment where Ripley has lost all her fear and she is going to confront her demons.

 

There’s not much more to say about Ripley – as I’m sure I’ve covered everything needed to be said. So let’s just raise a salute to Ellen Ripley, in honour of International Women’s Day for – hell, just for being Ellen Ripley! She’s just awesome!

 

 

With so many strong females out there, I’m sure I missed out a lot of your favourites. So please tell me, who are your favourite fictional females? Please leave a comment below to let me know. Thanks for reading guys, Happy International Women’s Day and... huh?

 

 

Oh, hey Zarracka – and Elsa?

 

Zarracka: Yeah, haven’t you heard? Me and Elsa are BFFF’s.

 

Me: BFFF’s?

 

Zarracka: Best Frozen Friends Forever XD. Anyway, what’s this I hear about you NOT including Elsa in this list? What, have you got a death wish or something?

 

Me: Oh... that! Well... as I said, I haven’t seen Frozen, so I couldn’t include her on the list...

 

Zarracka: You haven’t seen Frozen? HELLO! The best selling Disney film of all time, multiple award winner AND the only Disney film in ages where the girls save the day?

 

Elsa: Not to mention the song Let It Go is the most popular song around at the moment!

 

Me: Yeah... I actually don’t like that song...

 

Elsa: (fixes me with a glare that could melt ice) What... did you say?

 

Me: Er... I'm not saying it’s a bad song... I just... really... don’t think it’s the best song ever... It's ok, I guess. That's... just my opinion...

 

(Elsa and Zarracka look at each other – and I know instantly that I’m screwed!)

 

Zarracka: Did he just insult your song? Your OSCAR WINNING SONG?

 

Elsa: Let’s ice this sucker!

 

 

 

Me: No, no, no, NOOOOOOO!!!

 

 

 
 
 

Zarracka: Don’t worry folks, we’ll thaw him out for the next blog. Maybe... ;)

 

Kisses Zarracka and Elsa x x x x x

 

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

Disclaimer: Zarracka Dragonkin is my character - but all other characters/images are owned by respective copyright holders. Their use is purely for this blog and I claim no ownership of them whatsoever.

 

Additional Disclaimer: Don't **** with Disney Princesses! XD

 

Picture of Zarracka and Elsa by http://elangkarosingo.deviantart.com/

Top Five Survival Horror Games

This post is sort of a belated Halloween post – considering that I didn’t have time to do anything yesterday. But hope you all had a good Halloween – and for you trick or treaters you got lots of candy!

 

 

Anyway, I toyed with the idea of doing a Halloween themed Top Five this year, but I wanted to do something a little different to the usual “Top Five Horror Movies” or “Top Five Monsters” post. So I came up with THIS idea.

 

Survival Horror games have taken off immensely in the last few years, especially in the indie horror market. Arguably, depending on who you speak to, they are even MORE scarier than horror movies. Reason being, because, unlike in a horror movie, you are caught in the centre of the horror – you are the one being hunted and you are involved in the story. That’s a pretty frightening experience in itself!

 

Now, I don’t play a lot of horror games (because, simply, I’m a coward!) but there have been a few that I’ve played that I’ve really enjoyed. So today, in honour of Halloween, I count down my Top Five Survival Horror Games. In no particular order.

 

WARNING: Some sections may contain spoilers.

 

 

 

1. Silent Hill 2

 

When it comes to the best known Survival Horror Franchise, most people often look to the Resident Evil or Silent Hill series. Personally, I was never that fond of Resident Evil, I played the first two games, but that was about it. They weren’t bad games by any means, I just found them generic horror stories that were more about jump scares and terrible voice acting (“You were almost a Jill Sandwich!” XD). Silent Hill had more of a psychological feel to it, with each game layered with themes of inner demons and religious symbolism. Not to mention the shifts to the Otherworld were terrifying and really made you feel like you were trapped in Hell. It just had a bit more depth for me.

 

Even though I know this game is listed as the best in the series, Silent Hill 2 for me is a fantastic game. It has a deep, involving (and also moving) story that is open to interpretation – the monsters are symbolic and perfectly capture the protagonist’s (James Sunderland) inner anguish. And the music – it is both terrifying and beautiful to listen to at the same time, composed by legendary game musician Akira Yamaoka. Oh, and it also has Pyramid Head, one of the freakiest villains of all time.

 

Silent Hill 2 is not a direct sequel to the first Silent Hill game, but a self contained story – whilst at the same time continuing many themes of the first game. James gets a note from his wife to meet her at Silent Hill. The only problem is that his wife died a few years ago. Confused? Don’t worry, it will all be revealed. As James wanders through the town of Silent Hill, he is besieged by monsters and unrelenting fog as he dives deeper into the history of Silent Hill – and his own psychosis.

 

The game is very easy to pick up and play and fun. But it is also extremely creepy to play. Often you are obscured by fog and darkness and have to rely on your flashlight to guide you. You have a radio with you that emits static when monsters are nearby – and when you hear the sound, better ready a weapon! Of course, you can just run past them to converse ammo as well. The monsters are hideous and disturbing creatures, each one a representative of James’s inner anguish or his feelings towards his wife. The town is decaying and rusted, even more so with the Otherworld. You get a real feeling of isolation and loneliness in this game – with no hope of rescue.

 

But for me, it has to be the ending that does it for me. I won’t spoil the ending, but it truly is one of the saddest endings in a video game. Those that believe that the horror genre can’t move you will have to look to this game. And not only that, but there are multiple endings as well. Some of them bleak, others a little happier, some... well, a little strange.

 

Silent Hill 2 has so much psychological depth to it that you could discuss it for years and still not come to a direct conclusion as to WHAT actually happens in the game. But it’s that mix of psychological horror and human emotion that makes this game so enduring and not really a surprise as to why it’s many people’s favourite of the series.

 

 

 

2. The Suffering

 

Now this game I feel is highly underrated amongst horror games. Ok, it may not be the scariest game out there (thought it does have its fair share of creepy moments), but it does have one of the coolest stories and some of the best monster designs I’ve seen in a game.

 

The Suffering has you play a criminal called Torque – a man sent to Abbott prison (on Carnate Island) to be executed for a crime that he may or may not have committed. Supposedly, he murdered his family – but claims to have blacked out when it happened. On his first night in the cells, the Island descends into Hell and many Hellish creatures start attacking the Island. It turns out that Carnate has a history of bloodshed and evil, and Torques rage sparks of a cataclysm that summons all manner of demons forward. Torque must now fight his way through the monsters, whilst discovering the truth about his past.

 

It’s a pretty straightforward game, you run and shoot monsters, but it does add a little twist to it. Every so often, Torque can “Hulk out” and turn into a massive monster for a short period of time, ripping through his enemies like paper and turning them into mush. Interestingly, according to some notes found during the game and conversations with other inmates, Torque actually does not transfer into a monster himself – he just becomes enraged. Therefore, the monster is symbolic of Torque’s inner demons and the anger that he had felt all his life. Nevertheless, it is fun to use this to tear through the monsters!

 

Another thing that’s cool about The Suffering is the mortality element of it. Remember how I said that Torque may or may not have killed his family? Well that’s down for YOU to decide. Throughout the game, you will meet a series of inmates and CO’s caught up in the horror and you have to decide whether to help them, leave them or kill them. How you do affects the games ending and there are three possible outcomes. Not only that, but Torque actually changes appearance the more you do things, becoming cleaner and healthier if he does good stuff, and becoming bloodier and more monstrous is he does evil. Interestingly enough, doing bad things means that health packs will heal less energy and doing good things gives you more health, almost like the game is punishing you for doing evil and rewarding you for being good.

 

There are three bosses in the game (not including the final boss) and these characters are really interesting and one of the best elements in the game in my opinion. Reason being is that they represent the various aspects of Torque’s psyche in some way. They are Hermes, a gas like humanoid that is the spirit of a barbaric CO that enjoyed torturing his victims until he, himself, killed himself in the gas chamber – Horace, a regretful inmate that killed his girlfriend in a conjugal visit and was killed in the chair, hence why he is always followed by electricity and is in constant pain – and Dr Killjoy, who was a surgeon that performed barbaric experiments on his patients and only appears through the use of old fashioned cameras. He seems to want to help Torque, albeit somewhat questionably.

 

If you get a chance to play this game then I recommend it. It’s got a pretty good story, it has a lot of action going for it and the setting has a lot of interesting history. It’s worth a look.

 

 

 

3. Bioshock

 

Another of my favourite game series. The first Bioshock game, much like Silent Hill, has a depth to it that most other horror games lack. Aside from horror, this game also features elements such as objectivism, altruism and the illusion of freewill – the kinda stuff that George Orwell would love to write about. It also has one of the best twists in any video game mid way – and one of the best villains ever. Perhaps you remember me talking about Andrew Ryan in my Top Five Video Game Villains post.

 

In the first Bioshock, you find yourself trapped at sea after a plane crash. Discovering a nearby lighthouse, you take a Bathysphere down to the underwater city of Rapture – which was previously built by Ryan so that the very best of society would live without government oppression. However, now it has become a warzone, with the people of Rapture driven insane and turned into Splicers, thanks to the overuse of Plasmids called ADAM – which gives them superpowers, but has turned them into monsters. You have to fight your way through this fallen city, battling the Splicers and trying to find his way out.

 

Man did this game freak me out! The city is decaying and some of it even falls apart, the areas dark and the Splicers... dear god, the Splicers! They are just creepy to look at! They come at you when you least expect it, their insane ramblings will creep you out – and sometimes you can’t even see them until they are in your face, trying to tear it out! I think the freakiest of these Splicers is Sander Cohen – that guy is just messed up! All in all this makes it a very disturbing game to play as you’re never sure when the enemy is going to come out at you next.

 

Luckily, you also have access to plasmids, allowing you all manner of special abilities such as freezing, burning or blasting away your opponents. This adds a really interesting battle strategy to the game as you can mix and match your tactics depending on what you have nearby, meaning that the environment is your weapon. For example, you can set a Splicer on fire and watch him run into the water, then electrocute the water to kill them. Your battles are limited only to your imagination.

 

But in order to power up your ADAM, you will have to get more. Across Rapture, there are these little girls called Little Sisters, girls that have been implanted with ADAM and now are hunted by the Splicers. If you want to get more ADAM, you must find them. However, first you must take out their guardians, the Big Daddy. A huge, lumbering monster in a deep sea suit, these beasts will attack you if you think of hurting their Little Sister – and they take a LOT to take down. Interestingly, I must say I do like the relationship between the Big Daddy and the Little Sister – you genuinely feel a connection between the two characters and almost feel sad when a Sister cries over the dead body of one. After dealing with the Big Daddy, you can choose to either save the Little Sister or harvest them. Harvesting them will give you more ADAM, but will kill her. Personally, I NEVER do this, because the idea of killing a child (even in a game) just feels horrific to me.

 

Earlier this year, they released Bioshock Infinite, one of the best games I’ve ever played. It may not have had much of the horror elements, but it was still an amazingly good game with an incredible story to boot. But it was the first Bioshock game, with its deep social commentary, incredible characters and shocking twists that made this game an instant favourite. If you want to explore this series, I suggest this is where you start.

 

So would you kindly go and get yourself a copy of this game now. :)

 

 

 

4. The Walking Dead

 

Released as an episodic series of games on Steam, The Walking Dead is actually based on the comic book, rather than the TV series. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing game to play and one of the few games where your choices actually matter.

 

Done as a kind of Point and Click Adventure (which I loved back in the day), you play as Lee – a man who was convicted of killing a senator that slept with his wife. On his way to prison, the “Walker” apocalypse begins and Lee is caught in it. Fighting on his own, he later comes across a girl called Clementine – whose parents are in Savannah – and he takes her under his protection. They meet other characters along the way – some of which the readers of the comics will know of.

 

The game actually plays more like a movie than a video game. Every so often the game will force you to make a choice at a certain point – whether it’s answering a question, making a comment or doing an action. You only have a certain amount of time to make it though, or the game chooses for you. Be warned though, your choices have consequences – because what you say or do affects how the game plays out, how certain people will react to you, help you or leave to rot – and in some cases it determines who lives or dies! It’s one of these games that really makes you think about your choices and whether you can live with them or not. But this is the games main selling point, as it means that EVERY player gets a different game depending on what they want to do. There are tons of different ways the game can play out and this alone gives the game a lot of replay value.

 

Although a Survival Horror game, it is focused more on story and character development than scares. Even though there are some really intense scenes with the Walkers (and frightening), most of the drama comes from the characters that Lee and Clementine meet along the way. You will most likely find growing attached to some characters in the game, and becoming surprised at how quickly they can turn. But don’t get too attached – no one is safe in this game. And as I said, sometimes you have to make some REALLY tough choices.

 

For example, in the first chapter, the every end involves you having to save two people from some Walkers, whoever you don’t save will die. And, you guessed it, you only have time to save ONE person – so you have to decide who you want to rescue. Another chapter, one of the characters son’s is infected, but he won’t believe he could turn. You have to either talk him down to see sense, or fight him. THEN you have to decide whether he should put a bullet in his kid to stop him turning, or you do it yourself. Of course, you can always leave him as an option. And these are just SOME of the tough choices you have to make. I honestly do not think any game has disturbed me as much as this one with the hard decisions I’ve had to make.

 

All of this leads up to one of the most emotional finales I’ve ever seen in a game – in fact the whole GAME is a tearjerker in places. If you play this game, have a box of tissues ready as it will guarantee to make you cry at least once. The more you become attached to these characters, the more you don’t want them to die – and it so heart wrenching to see a character die. Never has a game had so much emotional power to it in my eyes. Even if you never read the comic, or watched the TV series, you should definitely check out this game. With excellent writing, multiple paths and complex and interesting characters, this will definitely keep you entertained, as well as scared.

 

 

 

5. Amnesia: The Dark Descent

 

I would have to say, hands down this is the most frightening game I have ever played! Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a game that has been lauded for its creepy and terrifying atmosphere, superb storytelling and immersive world. It has also set the standard for many other Survival Horror games, in particular the critically acclaimed Slenderman: The Eight Pages (which I have downloaded, but never played. Maybe one day).

 

In Amnesia, you play as Daniel (which makes him automatically cool in my eyes! XD), who wakes up in a strange castle of Brennenburg, with no memory. Finding notes apparently written by himself, he is told to find a guy called Alexander and kill him – but that he is being hunted by a “Shadow”. Daniel must now traverse the castle, with only a lantern to light the way, avoiding the horrors of Brennenburg castle.

 

As far as horror goes, this game is spot on. It doesn’t rely on jump scares, but creating an atmosphere. The corridors are dark and claustrophobic and often your lantern can’t light up too much. Eerie sounds echo throughout the creaking castle, adding a sense of dread all time. Notes left around add to the horror, especially when Daniel finds notes about his past and how he got here. All in all, it’s a pretty unsettling environment that only gets worse as the game goes on. You rarely have a moment to rest, paranoia setting in each second. Also, in this game you have a sanity meter, which can drain the more you see disturbing things – it can cause your vision to blur, your breathing to intensify (alerting you to the monsters in the castle) and you can even pass out if you go too insane.

 

But the most terrifying aspect of this game is how you deal with the monsters that you face. Silent Hill 2 may have had some disturbing creatures, but at least you can pull a gun out and kill them. The Suffering had you turn into a monster to deal with them, Bioshock lets you use plasmids – and even The Walking Dead has a few cases when you can use a weapon to deal with a Walker. In Amnesia you have NO way of defending yourself. There are no weapons in the game and the monsters can’t be killed or hurt – so you have to hide from them wherever you can. This alone makes it extremely terrifying as you have to rely on your wits to survive. But even if you hide in darkness it can drain your sanity, making an already difficult moment intense. And even when you THINK the monster is gone, you hear the music kick in – the screeching sound that notifies you that the monster is close. That’s when you know you have to get the **** out of there! Nothing has terrified me more than when I’m being chased by a monster!

 

This game I think H.P. Lovecraft would enjoy playing – in fact it was indeed inspired by one of his writings – The Outsider, which deals with the themes of loneliness, isolation and the fear of being alone. I haven’t even touched on the story of this game, but that’s because I want you to experience it yourself. The story is fantastic and, once you learn the truth of it, you’ll be horrified! I guarantee you no game will scare you psychotically than this one storywise.

 

Recently, they released a second game called Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Honestly though, that game was a bit of a disappointment. It took away a lot of aspects of what made the first game cool (such as the sanity meter) and, truthfully, the story was a little too convoluted and didn’t entirely work in my eyes. But if you want to experience true horror, then play this game. And if you don’t believe me how frightening it could be – watch some let’s plays on Youtube and see people’s reactions to it!

 

 

That’s my top five. Please feel free to leave a comment below if I missed out any of your favs. Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! Take care and stay safe!

 

 

--------------------------

PANDRAGON

 

Facebook:  LINK

Twitter:  LINK

Website:  LINK

 

All above images copyright of their respective owners

Blog Stats

  • Total posts(293)
  • Total comments(318)

Forgot your password?