Beyond the Mind's Eye - Thoughts & Insights from Marriott_GuyBeyond the Mind's Eye - Thoughts & Insights from Marriott_Guy

Posted on Jun 16th 2011 at 08:52:56 PM by (Marriott_Guy)
Posted under MGs Game Take, MGs Gaming Take

 Video Game Weaponry
Melee Based

  
Game developers provide us with a myriad of instruments to defend ourselves against their virtual  army of evil.   These can be classified into the following categories:

Melee          Ranged          Magic

This article will take a look at the first class, the Melee based method of assault/defense.   This writing is not meant to be all-inclusive, inventory type of document, but more of a general overview from this old school gamer.

For me, this type of attack is the preferred method during gaming.   The personal, upfront confrontation with some dark spawn is my cup of tea, especially when I am brandishing an instrument of mass destruction in my gloves.   I also like the aspect of not running out of ammo or manna like you can with the other two types.  Sure, I have to keep watch in some games with my stamina level, but overall this is usually a small price to pay. 

The following takes a look at some of these pain-bringers and my thoughts on them.
 

FisticuffsHammer
 

Executing the uppercut of the century is always satisfying.  Even back in the day, the sound effects were spot on and conveyed perfectly when delivering bare-handed punishment to your foes.  Range, on the other hand, is always its downfall.  Be prepared to take a few whacks to your grill when powering up your guns.
 

 

They don't call it "The Persuader" for nothing.  The Hammer is not what you would call a subtle instrument of destruction.  Known for dishing out massive damage, this tool is extremely slow to wield and maneuver, often leaving the Hero in a vulnerable position.  It worked pretty well for Mario though.  Overall not one of my favs.
 

Crowbar

Lead Pipe

 

In my humble opinion, the Crowbar is one of the most underrated melee weapons of all time.  Sure, Gordon showed off its true potential in Half Life, but very few others have taken his cue.  Its simple, elegant form contradicts the pure pain-inflicting nature of this device.  Another plus is that it always comes in handy when having to break some window or pry open that door to a secret room filled with loot and other goodies.
 

 

The Lead Pipe has been a favorite weapon of game developers for quite sometime due to its overall effectiveness and simplistic design.  One overhead whack to the coconut and you can say goodnight to any villain.  One of the constants throughout the gaming years has been that hollow, high pitched 'clunk' sound effect when connecting with the bad guy's melon.  Unfortunately this iron pain baton has lost its luster through the years.
 

Aluminum Baseball BatAxe \ Hatchet
 

What is there not to like about the Aluminum Baseball Bat?  The sound effects are awesome, you can wield it with one or two hands and the damage is usually staggering.  There is also something unnerving when you see one in real life stashed in the back of someone's car or next to your lady friend's bed.  Out of all the blunt weapon types, this is definitely one of my favorites.
  

 

For whatever reason, the Axe doesn't really do anything for me. I admit that I am not a big fan of slow, cumbersome armaments like this (see Hammer).  Most times it is a two-handed affair which limits my options (shield, secondary arm, etc.).  I still have no idea to this day why every single member of the Dwarvian nation absolutely loves the Axe.  Must be something in their genes.
 

Chainsaw Whip
 

Nothing more clearly communicates your intentions to the baddies when you lumber towards them with a churning chainsaw in your mitts.  As a gamer, that guttural 'wheee' noise truly gets my blood pumping.  One of the great things about the Chainsaw is that it never runs out of gas, but it can get 'stuck' in monsters.
 

 

These come in all varieties and have been a staple throughout the evolution of gaming.  From Simon Belmont (Castlevania) to Kratos (God of War), the Whip has always proven to be an effective instrument during combat.  Though it inflicts moderate damage to the evil minions, its range and usefulness (climbing) are excellent.
 

KatanaLight Saber
  
 

There are all sorts of swords that become available to the gamer during their progress through a title, but the Katana is usually the ultimate score.  Lightening quick and capable of felling a foe with a single swipe, this sleek blade exhibits unusually high precision.  Unfortunately most games require two hands to take advantage of this power.  The is definitely a drawback, but it is still cool!
 

 

The infamous Light Saber.  This is most definitely one of the most versatile melee weapons out there.  It will not only dole out unequalled pain, but it can cut threw sealed doors, be thrown like a boomerang amongst other activities.  The bad thing is that use is usually restricted to members of 'The Force'.  Luke was cool, but if Han could also wield this blade I would be a very happy camper.
 

   
What are Your Favorite Melee Weapons?
Which Ones Do You Absolutely Abhor?
 

  




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Comments
 
I always thought Serge's weapon from Chrono Cross was pretty cool, I believe they called it a swallow.

Scythes aren't the most practical of weapons but I like them a lot too.
 
I have to go with the Baseball Bat. Fast, light, and packs a wallop. I'll take any of these weapons, as long as I can use them to whack a trash can and eat the cooked turkey that pops out.
 
I have always been a fan of bare knuckle brawling(uppercut FTW), the lead pipe(specifically Streets of Rage i loved the sound effect), and the axe.

Using the axe or other 2handed weapons generally requires a completely different type of play style (unlike in Golden Axe were) because you do not have the advantage of a shield or parry that a sword would offer.

I am generally not a fan of things like 2handed broadswords or Claymores. They seem to usually be weaker than an axe or other traditional heavy weapon while losing the the benefits of speed, accuracy and a shield hand that a traditional sword offers.
 
Limbs. (Stubbs The Zombie)
 
hmmm....The Master Sword comes to mind
 
There is just something about a sword. No mater if it requires two hands or just one, I can't pass up the opportunity to use one.
 
I'm a fan of games that include unconventional weaponry, like Earthbound with its frying pans or Contact with its fishing rods.

Of course, joke weapons are cool, too, whether they take the form of the conventional or unconventional, effective or ineffective. The Excalipoor's a recurring favorite, but I'll never forget ROTT's dog mode.
 
I'm always a fan of the huge slow 2 handed weapons. Battle Axes and Warhammers for me please!! Sure I get hit more often, but its very satisfying to unload a devastating attack that would split a person clean in 2, or crush them beyond recognition. You definately have to change up how you attack enemies, especially larger groups or fast baddies, but I've always found the positive to outweigh the negatives.

Shields are for wusses!!
 
Speaking of shields, more games need to let you weaponize them. If I can head into an enemy head first or mash them with a mop, then I can certainly bash them with my buckler.
 
Agreed.
Shields would be MUCH better if they had an offensive element to them.
 
Does the Dog from Shadow Dancer count?  The first time I saw that I was amazed and just loved that the dog would attack.  The Drill from Bioshock 2 is another unconventional melee weapon that I love - even though I the wrench in SS2 and BS1 was better.  And who can forget the Magic Rod from Legend of Zelda - pre Magic Book. 

But from a practically standpoint, I have to go with Hammer being my favorite melee weapon.  Stab a guy, there is a chance he will still come at you.  Hit him with a hammer, very few will stand back up.
 
I would say my favorite Melee weapon is people.  When you buy Grand Slam(?) in River City Ransom, you can pick up downed enemies and beat others with them.  Barf!
 
Id have to say swords they are just the most fun.

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