Today I am having a little bit of fun as I look at some of the more unsung heroes of the video game world. The characters who are fun, have done a lot of good, who are badass or who are just generally awesome, but do not get the credit I feel they deserve. So there will be no Master Chief, Mario or Kratos here, but you will find some fantastic video game characters that deserve more love.
These days there is all this fandom for Waluigi and poor Wario is just taken for granted. Well, Wario is pretty damn awesome in his own right. To start with he went toe to toe with Mario in his first game, but Wario has become something of an antihero the last few years. He has of course been responsible for the super fun Wario Ware games, but Wario has also appeared in many fun platform/adventure style games.
Wario World on the GameCube, Wario Land Shake It on the Wii, Wario, Wario: Master of Disguise on the DS and of course the Wario Land series, in general, are all fantastic games. It would probably surprise you to know just how many games Wario has been the star of.
Regina: Dino Crisis
The 90’s gave us some cool and awesome female action stars in video games like Lara Croft, Jill Valentine, and Clair Redfield, but there is one who seems all but forgotten about and that is Regina from Dino Crisis. Regina is a special agent who does not go up against slow shuffling zombies or generic bad guys. She is going head to head with dinosaurs and other military bad guys!
The Dino Crisis series is amazing (well 1 and 2 are) and Regina is the main character in the first game and the co main character in the second. What makes her such a cool character is that she takes on anything that comes her way be it a dude with a gun or a T-Rex that wants to eat her. Best of all she does it with some real style and class as well. Regina is a very cool character and one that is not really talked about today.
You may be reading this and saying really? But Knuckles has fallen far from grace the last few years. When Knuckles was first introduced in Sonic The Hedgehog 3 he was a freaking badass. He was able to stop Super Sonic with an uppercut that is how badass he was. Knuckles for many years was the bad boy of the Sonic group. The one with the attitude and the one not scared to throw down in a moment’s notice.
Then came along Shadow The Hedgehog. Look Shadow is awesome, but when Shadow came along it was like Sega thought they could not have two badasses and now Knuckles feels like he is used more for jokes than he is being cool. Sega could do so much more with Knuckles, but he has really fallen to the wayside over the last few years.
Jackie Estacado: The Darkness
The Darkness is a comic book series that was turned into two fantastic video games for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. The main star of these games is a gangster called, Jackie Estacado. Like most gangsters, Jackie is the kind of guy that you do not want to get on the wrong side of. Although with him it is far more serious as he has control of The Darkness an ancient demonic entity that Jackie has inside of him.
Jackie is a fantastic character and his story arc over the two games makes him one of the more well written and underrated action heroes in gaming. At first, you think Jackie is a typical badass or action man type of character. But by the time the credits of the second game roll around you realize just how much depth he has as a character and a person. Such a shame we never got a Darkness 3!
Henshin-A-Go-Go, baby!!!! Oh, Capcom what have you done with Viewtiful Joe? Before he was used as a character to pad out the roster of Marvel vs Capcom. Viewtiful Joe looked like he was going to be a huge deal in the world of gaming. As regular Joe, he looks cool, has a hot girlfriend, loves movies and he can actually fight, but when he yells out Henshin-A-Go-Go, baby he turns into an action hero.
Viewtiful Joe is a really fun character, he can speed up and slow down time and do all other kinds of cool stuff. Plus he has his own mech called Six Machine! Viewtiful Joe can kick all kinds of ass and best of all he does it with style and a bunch of cool catchphrases. For whatever reason, Capcom has decided that they are done with Viewtiful Joe and the four games that we got appear to be all we will ever get.
Axel: Streets Of Rage
With the announcement of Streets Of Rage 4, I feel that this is very fitting. People love to tell you that Streets Of Rage 2 is one of their favorite games of all time, but very few will actually talk about the characters. The main character of the series is Axel Stone. He is a typical 80’s and 90’s action meathead and that is exactly what makes him awesome. He is the only character to actually be in all of the Streets Of Rage games.
What makes him so underrated in my opinion is his progression in the three Streets Of Rage games. First of all, he clearly has been hitting the gym in between each game. But Axel’s move set grows in each game. I think this is pretty awesome and not something that these series of games get enough credit for.
Rick/Terror Mask: Splatterhouse
A bit of a controversial one here I know, but hear me out. The version of Rick and his Terror Mask that I am specifically talking about is from the 2010 reboot of Splatterhouse on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Which in its own right is a criminally underrated game! Still, the main character, Rick and the Terror Mask attached to his face are truly fantastic and you cannot help, but get invested in their quest to save Ricks girl and stop that psycho Dr. Henry West M.D.
What makes Rick and the Terror Mask such a great character is that they talk a lot during the game. You get really connected to Rick and genuinely want to save Jennifer. I think the fact that voice acting and the writing is great also of course helps, but I really do feel that Rick does not get the credit he deserves in what is most likely the last ever Splatterhouse game.
These are the video game characters that I feel are underrated, but what about you? I would love to know what video game characters you feel deserve more love in the comments section down below.