I've had it with video game wizards. Not the video game equivalent of pinball wizards, which are in fact human beings, I'm talking about real wizards. Okay, not real wizards, as they don't actually exist, but the virtual representations of real wizards, if wizards were real. With me so far? I hate wizards in video games. That ought to clarify things.
Wizards, for all their superior abilities, are portrayed as nothing more than one-dimensional, insanely clichéd characters. Every line is delivered in a flat, cryptic tone. They're all so damn serious. If I could fly, turn base metals into gold, and blast dragons with magical spells, I would be having myself one hell of a party. Never mind hanging out in some remote cave waiting for some wide-eyed bummed out anime nerd to come along and fill his head with bumper-sticker philosophies.
While I'm at it, warriors, clerics, generals, and kings aren't that much fun either. The monsters, rogues, and evil dudes hold more appeal, but that's probably due to my slight psychotic predisposition.
The range and depth of characters in the average RPG is comparable to the icons on a chessboard. They merely represent a quantity of some sort. But if you're going to go through the trouble of animating a character, giving it a voice and a name, then, for crying out loud, give it some personality. Show some effort at least. Everyone is cheating off the original patented D&D class outline. What the developers of the spinoffs are forgetting is that you, or a friend, supplied the personality to these characters, as the game was played with pen and paper. Hence the name of the genre: role playing. But I suppose that's the price you pay when your only friends are bots.
Wizards should be the most celebrated characters in all of video gamedom. They have everything needed to kick major ass. Those Nazi bastards and the Juggernauts from war games such as Call of Duty are no match for the awesome power of a wizard. With their crystal ball they can gather recon, and even see into the future. They can fly into remote areas and clear the screen with one swoop of the wand.
I just want to be a wizard in every game I ever play, even in NASCAR sims. I would never need a cheat code. No enemy would stand a chance. But I might have to ditch the gown and the sparkly KKK hat.
It's too bad games treat wizards like impotent circus animals. They are clichéd and downplayed, carrying about as much authority and/or dignity as a McDonald's manager.
Theoretically, I love wizards, I just hate what game developers have done to them. The once revered, respected, wizened, omnipotent wizard has been reduced to someone more befitting to greet thee at the threshold of Walmart, or mutter that immortal phrase, "Would you like fries with that?"
Date: February 17, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*