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Top 5 Playable Guest Characters in Video Games

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Guest characters are not new in video games; but they aren’t that common either, which is why it’s a special event when two different game companies announce guest characters for their most recent games within a week of each other. We all know the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will cameo in Injustice 2 alongside Hellboy, and yesterday Bandai Namco revealed Final Fantasy XV protagonist Noctis will guest star in Tekken 7 — so now’s a good time as any to go through the history of guest characters and decide which are the best cameos. A few rules, though: the character must be playable (no cameo bosses), must not be just a simple reskin for an existing character, and must be in a game the public has played. Sorry, but the Monster Hunter monsters that guest star in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker didn’t make the cut, even though Solid Snake facing down a Tigrex is literally the coolest thing ever.

5. Doom Slayer in Quake Champions

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2016’s DOOM is a fantastic game. Not only is it fast and frantic (and bloody), but it tells a compelling story and gives the main character, the Doom Slayer, strong characterization without him uttering a single word. The only problem with DOOM is the multiplayer: it sucks. It uses a loadout system that is at odds with the rest of the game; players expected a fast and frantic mode similar to Quake but got something closer to Call of Duty, so it’s only fitting the Doom Slayer is in id Software’s (currently early access) Quake Champions. I would have put this entry higher on the list, but id Software owns/developed both games, so it was a no-brainer that Doom Slayer would become a guest character in Quake Champions, especially since Wolfenstein‘s B.J. Blazkowicz, another game and character owned/developed by id Software, is also in the game.

4. Rash in Killer Instinct

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Usually, game developers pick popular characters for cameos, but sometimes they include someone a little more underappreciated. And sometimes they just go all meta on us and include a character made by a particular studio that also created a popular game that has since switched owners. That’s what Rash is: a cult classic character from Battletoads, which is cult favorite game made by Rare, the studio behind the original Killer Instinct. Sure, Iron Galaxy now develops the modern Killer Instinct, but the studio is honoring the creators of the original game by including Rash, which is a very touching sentiment if you ask me.

3. Mega Man in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

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Capcom just doesn’t seem to love Mega Man anymore. Literally all of his games from 2006 to 2014 were cancelled, and the spiritual successor to the Mega Man franchise, Mighty No. 9, was a hot mess. The blue bomber had been absent from the gaming world for such a long time (this has since changed), and many assumed he would stay that way until Nintendo revealed Mega Man would be a guest character in Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Everyone on the Internet lost their collective minds, and for good reason: the game includes a faithful translation of the character. He was a major selling point of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and has proven a popular character, eclipsing many Smash Bros. alum such as Jigglypuff, Kirby, Samus, and Donkey Kong. Sure, the Super Smash Bros. franchise has always been about pitting different Nintendo characters against one another, but Mega Man isn’t a Nintendo property, which is why he counts as a guest character.

2. Dante in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

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Most playable guest characters are in multiplayer games; and few are ever found in single player games, which makes Dante’s guest appearance in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne all the more special. Not only does Dante play a major role in the game’s story (another rarity in video games; guest characters usually have little to no impact on the story), but he is an extremely powerful character. Dante would never have made it into SMTIII if it weren’t for the sheer number of Devil May Cry fans at Atlus. But, instead of just shoehorning him in as an Easter egg, the developers went above and beyond to turn Dante into a key player in SMTIII, which is why he is so high on the list.

1. Link in Soulcalibur 2

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Sometimes guest characters are used to convince gamers to buy a game; publishers tout the inclusion of a character from a popular game franchise as a major feature to increase sales, and it usually works. One of the earliest examples of this tactic was Soulcalibur 2, when Namco included a different character for each version of the game. PlayStation 2 players got Tekken‘s Heihachi; Xbox players received Spawn, and Nintendo Gamecube owners got The Legend of Zelda‘s Link. Each character was a faithful adaptation, and although Heihachi had the advantage of already being a fighting game character, Link was by far the most popular and boosted the Gamecube version’s sales. While Namco tried a similar tactic in future installments of Soulcalibur, they never achieved the same effect, Guest characters aside, all three versions of Soulcalibur II were the same (and fantastic!). But, the Gamecube version was the most popular thanks to Link, which goes to show how effective a good guest character can be.

Honorable Mention: RWBY Characters in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

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I would say I’m cheating a bit here, but a demo of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle was playable at the Rooster Teeth booth at NYCC 2017. However, since the game isn’t out yet, I’ll just put Ruby and Weiss at an honorable mention/unofficial sixth best guest character(s). But, all that aside, yea, it’s awesome to see RWBY‘s Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee in a fighting game. Normally, guest character spots are reserved for characters from other video games, but this is one of the few cross-media crossovers in existence (I’m on the fence if Hellboy and the TMNT also count as cross-media crossovers since they’re comic book characters in a game that stars comic book characters). Ruby and Weiss’ spots in BlazBlue demonstrate how popular RWBY has become, and with luck they won’t be the only guest RWBY characters. If series creator Monty Oum were alive today, I’m sure he would be crying tears of joy right now.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Sony is reportedly engaged in discussions to form a partnership for a potential bid on Paramount

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There hasn’t been much buzz lately about any new acquisitions in the world of video game intellectual property. According to a recent report, Sony is currently engaged in discussions with a well-funded partner to potentially acquire the renowned film studio Paramount, along with all the exciting possibilities that come with such a merger.

As reported in the New York Times (thanks, ResetEra), Sony Picture Entertainment is reportedly in discussions with Apollo Global Management, an investment firm, as per two sources familiar with the matter. In the past, Apollo had made an offer to acquire Paramount for a minimum of $26 billion, but their bid was ultimately turned down.

The terms of the joint bid are currently under discussion, and there is a chance that the two parties may decide against making a formal offer. Unnamed sources have revealed that Paramount is currently in exclusive discussions with Skydance, preventing any official offer from being made at this time. Investor opposition to the recent deal that Skydance brought seems to have been significant.

The potential impact of such an acquisition is immense. First and foremost, it would introduce adaptations of Sonic and Halo into the expanding media empire of the PlayStation platform holder. Following the announcement, Paramount’s stock experienced a significant 11% surge in after-hours trading.

What are your thoughts on the news? Is there a possibility of Sony acquiring Paramount? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Helldivers 2 Players Face Overwhelming Hordes of Factory Striders

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In the ongoing conflict against the Automaton invasion fleet, the Helldivers 2 players have successfully halted their advance. However, the situation has now reached a tiresome stalemate. Yet again, the machines refuse to take a break from their relentless pursuit of progress, with reports emerging of the Factory Striders being deployed in record-breaking quantities.

There have been reports of alleged machines that were supposedly encountered during Operation Swift Disassembly, which was just the beginning of a larger campaign. However, these accounts should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are unverified and seem to be more on the imaginative side. Factory Striders have gained a reputation as formidable weapons platforms that can produce more Automatons while enduring significant damage. If the machines are able to withstand such a relentless assault, it will be necessary to develop innovative strategies.

Have you come across groups of Factory Striders in Helldivers 2? Which strategies are proving to be the most effective in taking down these armored brutes? The Orbital Railcannon Strike will prove to be a valuable asset in the comments section below.

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Todd Howard affirms that the timeline of the Fallout series is coherent and well-constructed

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The recent release of Amazon’s adaptation of Fallout has ignited a renewed interest in the series and brought attention to the captivating alternate history that forms its foundation. Fans have expressed concern that the TV show’s events might be at odds with the plot of the Obsidian Entertainment video game New Vegas. Warning: Spoilers ahead for New Vegas and Amazon’s show!

Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard and Fallout TV executive producer Jonathan Nolan recently sat down with IGN to discuss the timeline. Howard was taken aback when showrunners Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dworet presented him with the surprising concept of obliterating Shady Sands, the bustling capital of the New California Republic, in the aftermath of the events in New Vegas. Howard eventually warmed up to the idea: “After discussing it, we realized that this could be a significant story moment that many things hinge upon.”

It seems that they had to make some tough decisions to ensure everything fell into place, but Howard emphasizes the importance of preserving the integrity of the Fallout timeline: “We take great care with the timeline. There seems to be some confusion in certain areas. However, all the events from the previous games, including New Vegas, did occur. We take great caution in that matter. We’re really pushing the limits here, but the explosions occur right after the events of New Vegas.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it up to par? Even though it may not have a significant impact on the overall quality of the games or show, it is comforting to know that those in charge are paying attention. We value your feedback and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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