The Top Five Game Characters That Need to Retire – Part II
Back in July I put fingers to my keyboard and pumped out The Top Five Game Characters That Need to Retire (found here). The response from the community (mostly death threats) was so overwhelming I figured it was time to put down five more money machines that need to retire. While the games these beloved characters may be great and these may be iconic characters it’s time to hang them up and come up with something new. So without further ado allow me to present The Top Five Game Characters That Need to Retire – Part II
5. Pac Man
Way back in 1980 Pac Man First hit arcades in Japan. In the 32 years since he first showed the little yellow ball with an appetite for pellets and blue ghosts has become infamous in the video game world and has spawned everything from cartoon shows to his very own song. The little yellow pizza with a slice missing has even gotten his own fashion line of T-shirts and toys. He holds the Guinness Book of World Records Award for most coin-operated arcade machines installed across the world at 293,822. After eating billions of little yellow dots I think it’s time for Pac Man to go on a diet…I suggest Jenny Craig.
Game Appearances: 67
Bomberman was a tough choice to put in to this list. On the one hand the little bomber has not been quite as exploited of as some of the previous big shots on this list but on the other hand the little guy has been in 88 games…really think about that. 88 games in 29 years are about 3 games a year. Today most characters are set loose about once a year. Bomberman is set in a galaxy known as the Bomber Nebula, on Planet Bomber and at one point he had a story line where he worked as a bomb maker…is anyone not investigating him for possible connections to terrorists and possibly Michael Bay?
Game Appearances: 88
3. Donkey Kong
One of Nintendo’s major players comes in the form of an ape with a tie that originally had a disturbing attraction to barrels. This arcade game was also the first appearance of Mario before he had that name and was still known as Jump Man. When he came to the good ol’ U S of A, Universal studios painted a nice target on Nintendo and attempted to sue the bejesus out of Nintendo. However the movie giant lost and was told that and I quote “They be crazy for trying to get mad money yo”. Nintendo took this victory and Donkey Kong’s success and ran with it for the last 31 years and even patented one of my favorite sayings “It’s on like Donkey Kong”. It’s tough to fault Nintendo for loving money but after 88 apperances it may be time for this monkey to get himself some bananas and a nice condo with plenty of ladders.
Game Appearances: 88
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
When Sega looked at Nintendo and seen the raw amount of coins they we’re raking in with everyone’s favorite plumber they thought to themselves…”hmmm how can we get some of that without being sued into a barrel (see what I did there?). Since Italian electricians would probably not be nearly as fun as being a plumber they turned to the obvious solution, animal cruelty. At what point did someone say “I have a good idea for a game character”, whipped out a real hedgehog and a can of blue spray paint and said “Check this out, our logo is blue…he can be blue… it’ll be great”. Nonetheless Sonic quickly ran his way into our hearts as the speedy oddly proportioned animal that we all know and love and became a serious contender for Mario. He’s been collecting rings since 1991 and probably now has more wealth than Switzerland. Being a hedgehog though he can probably get away with tax evasion in the US.
Game Appearances: 106
1. Mega Man
Even though Mega Man is only 25 years old he rivals Mario in the amount of games he has appeared in. Every single kid wanted to be Mega Man whether he knew it or not. Think about it…did you ever think about having the Mega Buster as an arm? No? Stop lying to your computer screen; it’s ok because no one is around you. The names of some of the enemies’ are a little unimaginative though, for instance Fire Man and Ice Man why not throw in a boss that did not have the last name “Man”. When the game first came out it brought something incredible to the table that it seems no one had thought of before (though why this had not been created before is beyond me): the choice of letting you choose which boss to tackle in what order. While many other games have tried to re create the success Mega Man had with this technique no one did it quite like the blue robot but after over 100 appearances throughout his games it may be time to take the Mega Blaster off your hand because at this point let’s face it, your hand can not (can’t stress the word “not” enough here) be smelling very good. I suggest some antibiotics immediately.
Game Appearances: 126
I want to once again mention that I am not saying that the games these characters are in are necessarily bad and I also understand that as entertaining as video games are, they are still a business and the point is to make money. However these companies should know when it’s time to make gazillions of dollars off of a franchise and when to come up with something new. Very few games these days can come up with new characters regularly and I understand it’s hard but we should hold the industry to a higher standard when it comes to wallpapering the same character into over a hundred games just so you can make an extra couple of million dollars off the name. Now for those of you who have made it to the end of this article and are not overcome with rage I would first like to thank you for reading through it and also invite you look on at the death threats that are sure to come.