3 Lists of 3 Video Game Characters

Some video game characters get all the love. Some don’t get enough. Your uncle Geekly wants to even things out a bit with this week’s three list of three. I could also use some costume ideas so don’t be surprised if you see me dressed in a primary color jump suit—or two.

Underrated Video Game Characters

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Zelda

Yes. A famous video game series shares her name, but how many people have you seen point to the guy dressed in a green elf costume and say Zelda? That’s Link. Link gets all the attention, but he’s also the more static of the two characters.

Zelda has been portrayed in so many ways. She even gets in on the action as her alter egos Sheik and Tetra every once and while. She’s been the leader of sages and even a goddess. Link rocks the same kind of outfit game after game, but gamers don’t know what they’re going to get with Zelda. She may even be a ghost.

Ness

Ness

Many gamers would consider EarthBound (1994) or Mother 2 in Japan as one of the best RPGs to come out for the SNES, but many more of them don’t remember who the main character of the game was. Ness is a 13-year-old boy with psychic powers.

Sure, there are other characters gained along the way in EarthBound, but Ness is the players first and strongest, and a lot of the game’s character comes from Ness.

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Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik

Most gamers know of Mario’s Bowzer, but Sonic’s Dr. Eggman goes unheralded. It’s a shame. He may come off as a mad scientist clone, and he is for the most part, but Eggman wants to conquer the world, so he can install his ultimate utopia, the Eggman Empire.

A lot of other mad scientist types have had a similar motivation of wanting to rule the world because they’re the best person for the job—Doctor Doom comes to mind—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good motivation. What’s Bowzer trying to do most of the time besides kidnapping a princess?

Overrated Video Game Characters

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Master Chief

First off, Master Chief isn’t a Master Chief in the navy. That’s an enlisted rank (a very high enlisted rank), not an officer’s.

Second, you can take Master Chief out of Halo and no one would miss him. He may as well be Jeff Johnson or John Jeffson. My apologies to any Jeff Johnsons or John Jeffsons who may be reading this.

Halo’s multiplayer mode is what most gamers play this game for. They aren’t looking for story, and Master Chief isn’t much of a character.

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Gordon Freeman

The whole point of Half-Life 2’s protagonist is that he’s a blank slate, but if he’s a blank slate, only defined by the suit he wears, he isn’t much of a character. He’s kind of like Master Chief in that sense. Cool suit. Great abilities. What’s your name again?

Iron Man detractors claim that Tony Stark wouldn’t be anything without his suit, but he’d still be rich, a genius, and have plenty of personality. Gordon Freeman is none of those things.

Kratos

Kratos

2018’s God of War notwithstanding, Kratos was a bloody He-Man for the modern era. Gamers knew he’d lost his family—which was explained more in the most recent God of War—and that’s most of what they knew about him. Kratos was an excuse for a muscle-bound, over-sexed man to tear apart some Greek gods.

He received the post-hero treatment in 2018’s God of War and while it was a refreshing take on the character, it could’ve carried more weight if there was more to the character prior to that offering.

Video Game Sidekicks

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Garrus

Yeah, this turian may take offense with being called a sidekick, but he deserves to be on this list. He’s the only squad member available to Shepard in each Mass Effect game, he survives a rocket to the face, and he and Shepard have a special bond.

Get your head out of the gutter. Hmm. They could have a “special bond” if you play the game a certain way, come to think of it. Anyway, one of the most satisfying moments in the Mass Effect series is watching the two pal around and watching their relationship grow.

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Luigi

He’s always number two to Mario’s top banana, but Luigi doesn’t complain, not even when Nintendo named him Luigi Mario. I guess that would make his brother Mario Mario. Man, that’s a terrible name.

Give him a vacuum to suck up ghosts and he can be a main character. A gamer may want to play as him in Super Mario Bros. 2, and I never minded letting my younger brother take the controller during the original Super Mario Bros., not telling him where any of the shortcuts or secrets were, and then use them after he lost a man. Ah, memories.

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Sparx

I had to put Sparx from Spryo the Dragon on here because so many of my family members love that game, and Sparx doesn’t get much love. I also don’t like it when games force a player to run over every little gem or coin or ring. All you’ve gotta do is get close to a gem, and Sparx picks it up for you.

Sparx also represents one of the cleverest ways to denote health in a video game. He changes color, gets dim, as you take damage and disappears when Spyro has one hit point left.

Yep. I’m sure I missed the boat on a lot of these characters. Please direct your complaints to our intern Jeff Johnson—or is it John Jeffson—or let me know which video game characters you’d choose by leaving a comment.

TV for Fall 2018

TV? I know what you’re thinking. The last iteration of JKGeekly devolved into nothing but TV posts. Don’t worry, we’ll get back to other geekery. Today we’re going to warm up  with a new type of post: 3 Lists of 3.

This particular type of post will feature three small, interrelated lists of three. I hope you like the format because I have more than this one planned for Mondays. Here are three lists of three for television that I’m sure will offend someone. I don’t care. Do your worst.

TheMagicians

Underrated or Overlooked TV Series

 The Magicians (7.5 out of 10 on imdb)

This particular list of 3 was difficult to compile. I’m starting with a series that isn’t that lowly rated, but it’s still rated a 7-point-something; it’ll be hard to find something good to say about a 6 or less. The Magicians gets a lot of gratuitous nudity and over-sexed hate that Game of Thrones gets—more on GoT in a bit—but like Game of Thrones that hate may go too far. It also gets saddled as a Harry Potter clone, and again, that’s as unfair of a comparison as GoT and Lord of the Rings. The Magicians is an interesting take on magic in a modern setting and is one of the better, binge-able SyFy shows.

BBC’s Skins (8.2 out of 10 on imdb)

Did I mention how difficult this list was to compile? The BBC version of Skins makes this list despite being rated an 8.2 because fewer people have seen it, and they should. Skins is an odd show. It centers around teenagers making their way in the world and the bizarre things that happen to them. We’re talking a musical number breaking out of nowhere and someone who suffers from anorexia getting phantom text messages to tell her to eat. I received text messages for weeks, telling me to eat more fiber. Those were some angry butt dials.

Anyway, Skins is also an odd show to watch as several of the cast regulars, who were in their late teens or early twenties at the time, have since appeared in major films and television shows.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (7.7 out of 10 on imdb)

Yeah, Skins may have two or three sneaky musical numbers in the series run, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has two or three musical numbers in each episode. It’s not for everyone. I even pause the show every once and a while because it’s getting too ridiculous. She’s singing about period sex again. Turn on the red light.

It’s also a bit of a cheat having the show on this list because the critics at Rotten Tomatoes rate it in the 90s, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is very good and tends to get overlooked.

It’s a CW show that satires other CW shows. At first, it subtly suggests that someone who lives their life according to romances (books, TV shows, and movies) should seek psychiatric help because life doesn’t follow a romance plot. After a while it flat out says, life isn’t a romantic comedy. It’s okay to enjoy them, but don’t expect your life to be one. There is more love in life than romantic love. You can love your family and friends. Sorry. Uncle Geekly has a long, complicated history with CW shows, so this sentiment is refreshing, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend also does a good job at handling mental illness and behavioral problems without stigma. And some of the musical numbers are catchy and fun—even the ones about period sex.

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Overrated TV Series

Game of Thrones (9.4 out of 10 on imdb)

I’m not saying that Game of Thrones is bad by any means, but 9.4 is a little high. As of this write-up it’s the fourth best TV show of all time according to imdb, edging out Breaking Bad. I’d place Breaking Bad ahead of Game of Thrones and there are plenty of shows further down the list that I’d happily place ahead of the gang from Westeros too. Oddly enough, some of the reasons I’d knock Game of Thrones down a few dozen spots are the same reasons George R. R. Martin believed that it wouldn’t make a good TV show: too many characters, and at times, unfocused storytelling.

Stranger Things (8.9 out of 10 on imdb)

If neuroscience is correct in saying that nostalgia provides a similar chemical brain reaction as methamphetamines, then Stranger Things is TV’s version of crystal meth. Hey, another Breaking Bad reference. Yay! There’s little else to this series than a ton of callbacks that include frame-by-frame recreations of 80s shows and movies. I like plenty of 80s properties, but if I have a hankering for 80s nostalgia, I’ll watch the originals.

House of Cards (8.8 out of 10 on imdb)

House of Cards can be fun to watch. I like seeing how the various traps are set and schemes come to fruition, but the show gets a little too ridiculous at times. Perhaps even random musical number ridiculous. One needs to suspend disbelief to an absurd measure with this title. While I’m okay doing that for the occasional fantasy or science fiction story, it’s a little difficult to do so for shows that are supposed to be more grounded.

It also doesn’t help that Kevin Spacey’s recent sex scandal and subsequent firing from the show make House of Cards difficult to watch.

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Intriguing Upcoming TV Series

The Romanoffs (October 12, 2018)

The Romanoffs is the first TV show from the creator of Mad Men since Mad Men ended in 2015. It also features a great cast of Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, and Paul Reiser and centers around various people who believe they’re descendant of the Russian royal family. This could get trippy, and I look forward to watching the Amazon original.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (October 26, 2018)

The reboot of the campy teen series Sabrina the Teenage Witch airs just before Halloween and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina pits a young witch against the forces of evil that threaten her family and the world. Mad Men star Kiernan Shipka stars as Sabrina, and the reboot shows plenty of promise. But if there’s no talking cat, I might reconsider.

Homecoming (November 2, 2018)

I may need to listen to the hit Gimlet Media podcast of the same name, but the excellent cast (Julia Roberts, Sissy Spacek, and Dermot Mulroney to name a few) and Mr. Robot creator Sam pique my interest.

Are there any shows we missed with our lists? Which shows do you think are overrated or underrated? Which shows do you look forward to this upcoming season? Let us know in the comments.