Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback (Heather Kiley)
Back for more? One article of gaming’s best items just wasn’t enough. With so many awesome uses for our favorite items in gaming history naming the best of the best in one round is just the tip of the iceberg. The evolution of useful items is an interesting idea, Prolong a life with the classic red Mario’s mushroom by being able to take more hits, evolves into obtaining an entire heart container in the Zelda series. Now the vast array of ways that player’s health is lost and gained in games extends to every end of the imagination. Health and stamina bars, damage shields, or sometimes health is lost and the only way to stay alive is moving to the next area. This exponential growth on the idea of a single item is termed the diffusion of innovation and over the years staple items have turned into fantastic parts of every story we experience on-screen.
Say that five times fast, or you can just say the Gravity Gun. The Gravity Gun was originally introduced in 2004 as a way to literally lift heavy objects and move them from place to place. It also gave players a way to handle hazardous materials without damaging themselves. Let’s not kid ourselves though, our most favorite use for the gravity gun is having the ability to pick up incredibly large objects and launch them in high velocity at your enemy. More intricate uses involved stacking several objects or using objects in a productive way to advance through the game creating even greater push for developers in the future to use the idea. Doom 3, Crysis, Bioshock, and Skyrim built on the idea of the Gravity Gun making this item the focal point of one of the greatest items in gaming history.
When we say the word bayonet it might bring about the ideological classic bayonet used by a fancifully dressed gentlemen atop an equestrious creature, whose freshly powered wig compliments his colorful military attire. That was your mom’s bayonet, the chainsaw bayonet, is your worst nightmare! Getting close enough to your enemy to use the chainsaw bayonet was an extremely rewarding experience. The camera would zoom in on your character just in time for you to experience a sequence bathed in blood. Ram the chainsaw bayonet into your opponent cracking open their rib cage and breaking every bone in their body on the way out while the teeth of the revolving saw sprayed blood and pieces of gut all over the camera behind you. This was an instant kill made even better by online play. If you could pull off using the bayonet you enjoyed the sequence while the player getting killed raged at watching themselves die slowly.
Luigi’s a funny kinda guy. He’s a hero for sure but unlike Mario he’s a bit more passive about his approach. When Professor E. Gadd decided to send Luigi into the scariest place in Nintendo’s world he armed him with the Poltergust 3000, a vacuum cleaner that Luigi could clean up the haunted mansions with. Using his trusty vacuum, Luigi could help out by capturing ghosts without actually fighting them. The greatest thing about this item is that it brings out Luigi’s individual personality in video games perfectly. By shining his flashlight in the face of danger he could collect the enemy in a canister on his back saving the rest of us from the horrors of ghosts run his world.
There are currently 649 Pokemon species in the series as of the writing of this article. If history tells us anything about what Nintendo will do with the series it’s that they will not hesitate the add more. In September of 1998 the famous slogan “Gotta catch em’ all” appeared on Pokemon Red and Blue in the United States. How would we have ever enjoyed the vast lessons that Pokemon has taught us without the power of the Pokeball? This amazing item apparently has the power to hold any past, present, and future Pokemon at bay no matter what their elemental powers. It also downsizes some beasts so that they are easily carried by the player. The Pokeball may not be something that we actively think about while playing the game but it is one of the most iconic symbols of video gaming since it’s beginning.
When you first come across the T-51b armor it is completely in shatters and doesn’t have much use at all. If you can figure out how to repair it however, you’ve built yourself a beast to be reckoned with. Besides the fact that it looks soul-crushingly awesome to wear, it’s the most damage resistant armor in the entire game. It takes a ton of work to get it repaired but the reward is well worth it. Not only does it make you nearly invulnerable to attack but your character receives +1 charisma and +25 radiation resistance.
Racing games have evolved for a long time and yet still there is something about the blue shell that cannot be topped. Never has there been another item that makes you wish that you weren’t in first place. This item tends to pop up for people trailing behind during a race and deployment means a swift and steady explosion for the person in first place. This winged, spiked, bombshell makes a B-line straight for player one leaving an atomic bomb like effect on the racetrack. The aftermath of the shell can be hit by players near, or coming up to player one, leaving them to be left in the dust as well. A blue shell can mean going from losing the game to winning it in the blink of an eye.
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