Top 5 Sonic the Hedgehog Characters

After nearly three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog finally has his first outing on the big screen. To celebrate the occasion, I figured I’d write at least a few thing relating to the speedy blue hedgehog.

Let’s start with an obvious choice: the top 5 Sonic the Hedgehog characters! The Sonic series has introduced many, many characters over the years (too many), and while making a full-on top 10 list would have been nice, this is Sonic the Hedgehog we’re talking about. So let’s settle for five.

Keep in mind that, for my list, I’m only including characters from the games. While Sonic has branched off into other media which introduced characters of their own, I’m a bit of a purest when it comes to making lists like this. Since Sonic the Hedgehog is first and foremost a video game franchise, we’re only counting the video game characters.

Without further ado, let’s see who are the best of the best Sonic the Hedgehog characters!

Continue reading “Top 5 Sonic the Hedgehog Characters”

The Top 10 Characters of 2019

 

*Caution: Some implied spoilers ahead!*

I figured it was about time I did something a little different. So here’s something a little different!

2019 was an interesting year for movies, television and video games, to say the least. It provided some real winners in each of those areas, as well as more than a few duds. But with the good came some truly memorable characters, so I decided to compile a list of the ones I personally found to be the most memorable.

I have decided to simply acknowledge film, TV and video game characters into one list this time around. Because of that, this list also isn’t numbered. Instead, I’ll simply list these characters in alphabetical order. It is also for this reason that I’ll limit each individual work to one character (or two ‘tied’ characters if I feel said characters were of equal importance, and those ties will be listed by which character’s name comes first alphabetically).

Also, it’s important to note that characters are memorable for different reasons. Not every character has to be a deeply-written character. Their status in the public conscious and how well they played the roles they were made for often dictate how iconic a character is destined to become.

Because I am also busy compiling my lists of best films and video games of 2019, and planning my ‘Best of the Decade’ stuff, I will keep this short and sweet.

With that said, let’s move on to the top 10 characters of 2019!

Continue reading “The Top 10 Characters of 2019”

AfterStory’s Top 10 Games of 2017

2017 was a meteoric year for gaming, arguably dishing out some of the best titles the medium has seen in decades. Release upon release of exceptionally crafted works of art, 2017 flipped preconceived notions of established franchises, while pushing boundaries of creativity with precariously novel IPs. While 2017 had its fair share of shade –  it further cemented the toxic implementation of loot boxes and microtransactions – 2017 managed to maintain a pristine shine of quality, despite the ever growing culture of filth that has surrounded this beloved medium. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is an unpolished, yet addictive multiplayer experience that rightfully took the world by storm with its heart pounding action and unpredictable encounters. Nier: Automata, while not the underrated masterpiece fans claim it to be, is an exuberant experience with the foundation of a masterpiece, as technical and design limitations hold it back from further greatness. What Remains of Edith Finch is arguably the most diverse and entertaining walking simulator to date, with a sense of gameplay variance that is unprecedented for the notorious genre. ARMS is a surprising gem of local multiplayer goodness, crafting one of the best motion-controlled experiences to date. Seeing the release of two games that effortlessly entered my “favourite games of all-time list” and the copious amount of diversity and quality released throughout this illustrious year, 2017 will forever be remembered as  the best year of the current generation, a personal favourite of mine that continuously exceeded my expectations. Without further ado, below are my favourite games of 2017.

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Top 10 Films of 2016

Yes, I am extremely late in writing this. You may think “why bother making a top 10 films of 2016 list by this point? We’re more than five months into 2017 now!” Well, this is my site and I can do what I want on it. That’s reason enough for me.

In all serious though, I intended to write this some time ago, but there were a number of 2016 films that I had wanted to see that I didn’t get around to until much later. Now that I’ve seen them, I can write this with a deeper knowledge of 2016 films.

Of course, keep in mind that this is my own personal list. Ergo, my personal taste will probably make this look wildly different than many other lists. For example, I like movies that actually gain an audience and make money  a lot more than professional award committees seem to. Sure, I’m open to liking any movie if I think it’s good (hell, sometimes I like movies that I know are bad, if they provide enough entertainment). But I’m not going to place some critically acclaimed, artsy films just to make me look more “legit.” I like what I like, so that’s what’s going to be here.

As a whole, I don’t think 2016 was as good of a year for movies as 2015, but it still provided some gems. These are said gems that I really liked.

But first, I’d like to give a shoutout to both Dr. Strange and The Founder, both of which I greatly enjoyed and wish I could place on here as well. But top 10 is the tradition, and it’s a perfect number that appeases my OCD. So they have to settle for runners-up spots. Still, one’s a great superhero movie that changes things up by actually including magic (instead of skipping around it like Thor) held together by Benedict Cumberbatch and Mads Mikkelsen. The other is a surprisingly engaging look into the origins of the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant chain, lead by a great performance by Michael Keaton.

Okay, now onto the top 10.

Continue reading “Top 10 Films of 2016”

Top 5 Video Game Skeletons

After last year’s list of top 5 video game witches, I’ve decided to carry on this tradition of Halloween top 5s. This year I’ve popped out a list of the top 5 video game ghosts, and am now giving it a counterpart list of the top 5 video game skeletons!

Now, lists like this are always difficult. Narrowing almost any category down to five is always a hefty task, and considering that skeletons have been a staple in video games for decades, a category like this will mean there will always be contenders I forgot to mention or will remember after the fact. Oh well, I guess I could always make a revised list later if need be.

Keep in mind that the skeletons I’ve included are all from games and series that I’ve played. So my sincerest apologies to Grim Fandango fans, but if I haven’t played it, I’d feel awkward placing its characters above those I’ve actually had experience with. Simply put, don’t hate me for not listing things on my list. It’s my list. It’s only five. I can’t please everyone.

So without further ado, the top 5 video game skeletons!

 

5: Dry Bones (Super Mario series)

Dry Bones

Much like Boos (and many other Mario enemies), Dry Bones first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. These undead Koopa Troopas are among Mario’s most persistent foes. Not only have they shown up in numerous games, but they only stay down for so long. While most of Mario’s enemies will be defeated with a jump to the head, Dry Bones will merely crumble for a few seconds, before picking himself back up.

Their placement in the Super Mario series has made them iconic, but their undead persistence is what makes Dry Bones so great.

4: Greg the Grim Reaper (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)

Greg the Grim Reaper

Perhaps the oddest depiction of the Grim Reaper, Greg pulls off one of the best “man behind the curtain” gags in gaming. His introduction at first seems dark and foreboding, before he steps into view to reveal his short stature and squeaky voice. He’s an expert of the nature of game overs, and has a perennial hatred of cats (whose nine lives make his job incredibly difficult).

In case the first chapter of Conker’s Bad Fur Day weren’t surprising enough, Greg the Grim Reaper’s introduction is proof that Conker is a game that just keeps the surprises coming.

3: Scorpion (Mortal Kombat series)

Scorpion

Though Scorpion’s true face is usually hidden underneath a facade of a human face, which in turn is hidden underneath a ninja mask, Scorpion is actually an undead warrior, complete with skull face. So he totally counts.

Scorpion’s undead self make him a particularly powerful Mortal Kombat warrior, with otherworldly abilities that make him an exceptionally deadly opponent.

A badass ninja on the outside, a horrifying undead warrior on the inside, it isn’t too hard to see why Scorpion remains one of the most popular Mortal Kombat characters.

2: Skull Man (Mega Man 4)

Skull Man

Skull Man is technically not a skeleton, he’s a robot. That’s the only thing preventing him from topping this list. He still makes it this high up despite his robot-ness, however, because he’s Skull Man.

Seriously, look how badass he is! He has the coolest character design out of any Robot Master in the Mega Man series (which is saying something), has an awesome stage with cool music, and his arena is made entirely out of skulls. What heinous acts did Skull Man have to do to make that place?

Even as an 8-bit sprite, Skull Man looked like an imposing figure. Let’s forget the fact that his mimicry of Mega Man’s moves make him one of the easiest bosses in the game, and that the power Mega Man earns from defeating him is just another Leaf Shield duplicate, everything else about Skull Man is awesome.

If the Mega Man series ever sees a resurgence, and old school Robot Masters are brought back for whatever reason, Skull Man is a must to make a return to the series. So cool.

1: Sans and Papyrus (Undertale)

Sans and Papyrus

Sans and Papyrus are skeleton brothers in the monster world. Sans is the shorter, fatter (big boned?) one with a penchant for bad jokes, and Papyrus is the tall, dimwitted one with a love of spaghetti. Like many of the characters in Undertale, their character development depends on the choices the player makes. Should you go the pacifist route and spare every creature you encounter, they’ll become best buds with the player. But if you go the way of a madman and kill every monster in battle, Papyrus will do his best to put an end to your tyranny, while Sans will serve as your final judge, jury and (potential) executioner as the final boss.

Both Sans and Papyrus are bursting with personality and charm, and perhaps better than any other character, represent what Undertale is all about. For a couple of skeletons, they certainly are fleshed out.

Ouch! That was worthy of Sans…

Top 5 Video Game Ghosts

Happy Halloween everybody! Last year on Halloween, I made a list of the top 5 video game witches. So I figured it made sense to follow it up this year with another such list, this time with ghosts!

Now, I know I’m going to be leaving out a ton of ghosts. There have been so many of them in video games it’s not even funny. Ghosts have given us perennial enemies and allies in the world of gaming, and narrowing it down to just five is never going to be easy.

Perhaps I’m a bit of a softy, or it’s my love of classic video games, but this list isn’t really comprised of genuinely terrifying specters. Perhaps some time I’ll get around to making a list of the scariest ghosts in video games, to better represent the horror genres of gaming. But this particular list is mostly comprised of ghosts who stand out to me, so they’re going to be more iconic than scary.

If you have a problem with that, deal with it and move on with your life.

Anyway, let’s get on with this Halloween celebration by shedding some light on my top 5 video game ghosts!

*Honorable mention goes to LeChuck from the Monkey Island series. But because he’s sometimes a demon and sometimes a zombie, I can’t in good conscience just list him as a ghost. sorry.*

5: Wrinkly Kong (Donkey Kong series)

Wrinkly Kong

The interesting thing about Wrinkly Kong’s status as a ghost is that she wasn’t always a ghost. But she’s been one ever since DK64, so she’s consistently been depicted as an apparition since then. After running a school in DKC2 and housing Banana Birds in DKC3 (both times serving as a save point), she passed away at some point, and has been DK and company’s friendly guide from beyond the grave ever since.

4: Poes (The Legend of Zelda series)

Poe

Poes are something of an easter egg hunt in the form of an army of ghosts. Whether it’s in Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, whatever, Link is always going to have to track down Poes, defeat them, and capture their souls in bottles for one reason or another (aren’t they already ghosts? How are their souls separate entities?). One thing is for sure, the constant side quests provided by Poes have made them an invaluable element in the Zelda series.

3: Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar (Pokemon series)

Pokéghosts

There have been plenty of ghost-type Pokemon added to the series since its inception, but the spot on this list has to go to the originals. In Pokemon Red and Blue, there were only three ghost Pokemon, all part of the same evolutionary chain. Ghastly, Haunter and Gengar were all among the coolest Pokemon from the original titles, and added a mischievous charm to the otherwise cute and cuddly Pokemon of the day. They paved the way for all ghost Pokemon to follow.

 

2: Boo (Super Mario series)

Boos

Cutest. Ghosts. Ever.

Boos first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3, and have become one of the most iconic and beloved Nintendo baddies ever since. But what really gets Boos such a high spot on this list is just how cute they are! I’m not just talking about their simplistic character designs, but the concept behind them as well. They’re ghosts who are shy! They’ll only try to spook their unsuspecting victims when their backs are turned. Should Mario (or anyone else) be looking at them dead on, they’ll stop in their tracks and blush. How adorable!

1: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde (Pac-Man)

Inky Blinky Pinky Clyde

The original gaming ghosts. Not only do Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde date back to the golden age of arcades, but they also set the stage for the many “cute ghosts” who were found in gaming during the 80s and 90s. Without this quartet of ghosts, perhaps Boos wouldn’t be as cute as they are (I shudder to think)!

Really, when you think of video game ghosts, who else would come to mind first? The Pac-Man ghosts may not be terrifying like the ghouls found in modern video games, nor are they even as cute as some of the specters they inspired. But the fact remains that they are the video game ghosts. Their simplistic “bed sheet” character designs, distinguished solely by their differing colors, made them instantly recognizable. They’ve been the eternal thorn in Pac-Man’s side, and paved the way for countless other ghosts to be eternal thorns in the sides of other video game heroes.

Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde are the video game ghosts.

My First 150 Reviewed Video Games…Ranked!

At least one-hundred and fifty, or more to see! To be a Pokemon master is my destinyyy!

That’s right, the Dojo has finally amassed one-hundred and fifty video game reviews! All of which were written by yours truly, of course. Perhaps one day I’ll sucker in some poor souls to help me write this stuff.

Anyway, with these one-hundred and fifty video game reviews, I figured it would be a fun idea to rank each and every last one of those games from least to greatest. While we’re at it, I wonder if anyone can find a way to make a Pokerap parody out of these games?

I’ll keep this introduction short since we have a lot of games to cover. For my full reviews of each game, just check out the Game Reviews page.

Before we move on to the rankings, keep these little notes in mind.

  • Games are ranked by the score I gave them in their respective reviews. Each number scored is akin to its own category, so a game that scored an 8.0, for example, will be weighted against all the other 8.0 games. The list will begin with the lowest score of 1, and will gradually get higher as each game within each score gets better and better.
  • These games are all ranked by personal taste and how well I think they hold up. Things like historical significance and the like don’t matter here at all.
  • This is not my long-promised list of favorite video games (if it were, why would I be putting the games I graded badly on here?). Some of my favorite games do appear here towards the top of course, and may give you a sneak peak into my upcoming favorites of all-time list. But said favorites of all-time list will be happening at a later date, after I’ve reviewed even more games and stuff.
  • The top four are basically interchangeable. Don’t hold it against me if I say something that contradicts this list later.

That’s really all you need to know. Now, let’s see how these 150 games stack up against each other! Continue reading “My First 150 Reviewed Video Games…Ranked!”