Leon Hendrix, Freelance Writer
In my 2 decades of life on this planet, I have been privileged to experience a variety of what the video game industry has to offer. I have vanquished countless legions of undead warriors, found numerous magical weapons and saved the planet a dozen times over and yet, in the spirit of competition, I have to give props to the men, women, and creatures that have stood in my way. I feel it is only fair if I give credit to those who have made those triumphant moments so precious. I am referring, of course, to the bad boys and girls of gaming. I would love to single out a sole favorite, but in those years of gaming experience, it stands to reason that I have too many favorites to choose just one. Without further ado, here are my unofficial picks for the baddest of the bad and the meanest of the mean, in no particular order.
To start off with, I chose Edgar Barrett from Psi-Ops. For any of you who have played through the game, I probably don't have to justify that choice. Watching the man-mountain using his telekinesis to explode a few of his own soldiers in a rage is a truly jaw-dropping sight. The clincher for me was going TK for TK with big bad Barrett in a train yard full of cars. It was one of the more intense gaming experiences I have had. Kudos to Midway for creating a boss battle where the atmosphere isn't created just by having a thirty ton train car hurled at you. If you don't believe me, just wait until you hear the big man call you the B word taunting you to come out from hiding.
My next choice is a bit of a throwback from one of my all time favorite games. Ganondorf of Legend of Zelda fame is, without a doubt, a bad boy. Why, might you ask? First of all, any villain who breaks into an ancient temple and alters time itself to reshape the future into a hellish realm that only he can control is okay in my book. Second I think his boss fight, along with the tower you have to fight through to get to him, is one of the most solid play experiences around.
My third pick is Lord Saddler, a no-brainer for all the Resident Evil 4 fans. Despite the stellar gameplay of Sadler's boss battles, like every other boss battle in the game, I chose Saddler almost purely for his storyline contributions. As an integral part of arguably one of the best videogame stories I've ever heard, Sadler does an awesome job of setting a tone. I can't remember a villain I have wanted to punch in his face more. From the creepy B-movie reminiscent accent and wardrobe, to the random purple scepter, and arrogant, slow crawl with which he slinks about the screen, Sadler has it all.
Adam Brown, Freelance Writer
Good villains are usually essential for good games. Over the years, there have been a plethora of great villains in video games. From Bowser to Wesker, great villains always seem to be synonymous with great games. Of all the games that I've played and all of the various villains that I have experienced in my twenty plus years of gaming, my favorite villain has to be Wario.
The first time I saw Wario was as an end boss in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins for the spinach green Gameboy. The idea of a bizzaro world Mario was pure genius. Even more so than his nemesis Bowser, I thought that Wario made a much greater villain and adversary. Completely self-centered, greedy, and with a very liberal approach to hygiene, Wario was a character captivated my attention. I must have played through that game twenty times or more (thankfully a fairly short game) just to see Wario in all of his glory.
Later, when Nintendo decided to give Wario his well-deserved place among their other franchise characters, I was ecstatic. With his own line of Wario Land and now WarioWare titles, he continues to garner more fans. While all of his games have been fairly good for the most part, I do believe that Wario Land II and the first WarioWare title to be his best. Wario is also included in almost every multi-character game that Nintendo makes. Needless to say, when I'm playing Mario Party, Mario Kart, or the numerous Mario sport titles, I will, and have always, chose to play as my favorite dirt-bag Nintendo villain.
Whether he is spiking a tennis ball into someone's face, tricking people out of treasure, or just laughing at his opponents, Wario has left a lasting impression on me. While I would like to see Wario get some better games, as of late, WarioWare Smooth Moves is the only good one, however, I do continue to enjoy Wario as a character. I suppose until he gets into some better games, I will have to be content to play as him in the standard multi-character Mario titles. That being said, I'm looking forward to Mario Party 8, and am extremely excited about Wario's inclusion in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Finally, a chance to show the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom who is boss with an anal nuke.
Pete Richards, Freelance Writer
Not that the classic Resident Evil zombie was a totally original concept, but the way the series brought the walking dead to the video game world made zombie horror a little bit too real.
The classic "zombie" has always been appealing to me. Director George A. Romero perfected the most popular concept of what we now think zombies should be with his classic cult film Night of the Living Dead. The Romero zombie has remained one of the most terrifying creatures of any horror genre, with their over-the-top gore and relentless cannibalistic lust. The fact that they multiply but travel slow makes them so scary, and Romero taught us that, in any zombie situation, you must keep a cool head and a steady hand if you want to him 'em in the head.
Capcom took that concept and turned it into 1996's Resident Evil, still one of the most suspenseful and downright pant-soiling games of all time. The game borrowed elements from the 1989 NES game Sweet Home and more notably the original Alone in the Dark for PC, which really invented the survival horror genre. But Resident Evil continued to establish the genre in its own way, with the game's uneasy atmosphere and the feeling of unknowingness as to what is lurking throughout the dark and eerily quiet mansion. The infected persons found within the lab-mansion popped up on you with little warning, requiring you to keep your cool and aim well. To find one on the other side of a door or around the corner of a dark hallway had me gasping for air at times, and if they got close enough to latch onto you, it had me screaming. While the zombies came at you slowly, they often times traveled in hordes which made for some hectic moments. They lurched towards you because all they wanted to do was feast on your flesh, and the idea was a bit unnerving. No game before it, and no game since, featured enemies that instill so much fear in me while I'm playing that it gets my heart pounding and palms sweating so much it's hard to grip the controller.
And as the game series continues on with a number of sequels, the zombies become more varied and even more gruesome. They usually come half-rotted, wearing tattered clothing, smeared with gore and sometimes missing body parts. Nowadays they come in all shapes and sizes, men and women, of all different ethnic backgrounds. The original Resident Evil also introduced horror fans to a new kind of zombie with the Cerberus, undead Dobermans which were the main source for spreading the T-Virus. I don't think anyone had done zombie dogs before Resident Evil, and while the series did introduce many original mutants and frightening characters, it just wouldn't be Resident Evil without the standard zombies.
The series has been scrutinized by certain groups for its use of graphic violence, gore, and bloodshed which have proven to be one of the most notable elements of the game. However, unlike other extremely violent games, all the violence is directed towards the game's zombies and mutants rather than humans. While the RE games do come with a warning label on the cover, they just wouldn't be what they are without the excessive gore and its zombies which must be decapitated or destroyed completely.