Saturday, December 15, 2012

Top 15 Power Armors - 15 To 6

Alrighty, now let's chill out and just do something fun. I haven't posted any Top Ns for ages, so to fix things up, here you go. But what's that?! Yeah, this time it has unbelievably 15 positions! Bite that, Nostalgia Critic!

Today we're gonna talk about the Power Armors. It is a classic trope of sci-fi battle gear, with the roots growing from R. Heinlein's Starship Troopers novel and Games Workshop's Warhammer 40000 board game. Unlike the more traditional science fiction character designs, like Flash Gordon, or John Carter, or Captain Future, the power armors are massive, bulky and inconvenient, bordering the line of clothing and mecha. But at the same time, their massiveness and size give a serious boost to the threatening factor, and not to mention that some of these fatigues can be simply seen as works of visual art, aside of all pros and cons of their actual military capabilities. So, which criteria did I use here? Pretty much anything. Some of them have historic value, some are here mostly for aesthetics, some are worn by especially kick-ass characters, so it's less a traditional rating and more lie a simple list of what I consider to be the greatest power armor suits of all time.

So wear your over-the-top shoulder pads now, saddle up and lock-n-load!

15. The EXO Squad

Ahh, now that's a proper introduction! EXO Squad is an obscure-ish animated TV series from the US made in the 90s, that centers around an army squad participating in the mankind's war against the artificial race called the Neosapiens, all in a classis 90s space opera setting. It was a great show, obviously inspired by the wave of Japanese anime that has just started gaining enormous popularity in the US at the time. It had great animation, some drama, even a couple of romantic subplots, but the real spectacle was just to see these EXOskeletons blast the shit out of each other. The icing on a cake? Each character had his own unique model!

OK, I'll be lying if I say I didn't watch it for those killer female zerosuits. Don't look at me, it was my damn puberty!

14. Isaak Clarke (Dead Space)

Mr Clarke gets some serious bonus points for living in the future where something as simple and boring as a welder's uniform looks as badass as the military uniforms from all the other futures! Same goes for his tools - soldering iron is already a serious, yet melee, weapon in real life, but when it's heavy enough to bash the alien monsters' brains out and is most prominently used for dismembering them to make sure that these bastards never rise again - you got one hell of a maintenance worker!

Easy money, they said. Just a regular plumbing, they said. No ripping off Event Horizon, they said!

13. Silencer (Crusader)

You can read more about this guy and his game no further than here. Just to recap: he's a commando maintained by the futuristic megacorporation, the World Economic Consortium, that has turned against his masters in an act of protest and rebellion. He never speaks, but through his actions (for example, no penalty being for shooting the WEC civilians) we see a strong and determined person with a strong 'everyone is full of shit' attitude. And according to the box art, if you don't have the attitude, you don't have a chance. Oh, but you'd still better don't forget this Boba Fett's crimson power armor, you'll be safer that way.

Busty scientists? ...Yeah, I don't get it either.

12. Nomad (Crysis)

Though I am supposed to hate it for everything I hate in modern games, I actually like Crysis. It's a fast and fun shooter with addicting gameplay and several interesting features, one of which is the Nano-suit. You can channel its power several ways to increase your offense, defense, to become invisible, and so on. Not much to say about Nomad, a guy who wears it, since Crysis is predictably lacking when it comes to story, but hey, if a game had the best PC graphics at the time of its release, and the 'MAXIMUM STRENGTH!!!' signal has become an internet meme, there has got to be something good in it anyway, eh?

The editorial of Earth Under Lucifer Mk. II feels an immediate need to point out that Nomad's pose on the image above is exactly the same as Isaac Clarke's in the Dead Space paragraph. After summoning a meeting with all the staff responsible for the content verification and approval, it has been decided that this has to do something with the fact that both Dead Space and Crysis happen to be published by Electronic Arts. Whew.

11. Big Daddy (BioShock)

At this point in time, I believe that BioShock needs no introduction. It's one of the greatest first-person shooters that came in recent years - it has its style, it has a setting, it has a concept, and of course it has these creepy hulks wandering around the post-apocalyptic underwater city of Rapture. My favorite part is when they start punching the holes in walls and make their loud wailing cries - it looks just so heartbreaking, especially if you don't know why they do that (relax, I won't spoil it!). As for BioShock 2, it was more like a forgettable fan service game rather than a serious sequel, IMO. Why fan service? Because in the first game, I was and still am wondering - what the hell is actually underneath those overblown aqualungs? Well, turns out, this time no John, you are the Big Daddy! Just who can refuse to play a game where you have an arm drill? Arm drill!

Arm drill!

10. COG Gears (Gears Of War)

I fucking LOVE Gears Of War. I cannot do more justice to this series rather than say that it is one of the coolest, badassest, grittiest and downright most brutal third person shooter games ever! Mr Fenix has made an appearance in my Top 10 Video Game Gentlemen list, topping Kratos and Ryu Hayabusa. The characters are already as balls-to-the-wall as the space marines can get, but with those killer battle gears - in an Epic Games game, no less! (we'll see them again soon) - Fenix, Dom, Cole and Baird are one four-men army to destroy every alien who ever had balls to disturb the mankind on Sera or on any other planet.

Fan service? In my GoW?!

9. The Helghast (Killzone)

Abandoned and left for dead on the wretched human space colony of Helghan, mutated to adapt to its hazardous environment, armed up to their teeth and dangerous as hell, these guys take no prisoners. Their gas masks serve a practical purpose actually, but why do I get the feeling that these evil red eyes that stare into your sins from every Killzone cover are intentionally were designed to be that sinister? Just watch the intro to the first game, as they are all gathered in their ACVs with only one undoubted purpose - to come to Earth and destroy all resistance. Helghast don't fuck around. Even their weapons have much more threatening visual designs than the Terran firearms. And to be fair, I think that between all 4 games in the franchise, their uniforms became even cooler-looking each time! It's one thing when you make the main villain memorable, but the regular grunts? That's the power of the Power Armor.

Uhhh... sorry for sounding immature, but does the amount of silicon filler in this girl make her a better shielding than your whole friggin' suit?!

8. Miria (The Guardian Legend)

I have a feeling that the next time I'll say anything more about her, my fiancee will kick me. So, just cold hard facts: Scantily clad. Useless headset. Ability to transform into a space fighter. Enough strength to carry some huge arsenal. Was featured in the Top 10 Video Game Ladies.

Is Kusanagi her last name, BTW?

7. The Kerberos Police Unit (Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade)

Once again, these guys have been featured very recently in my blog. Essentially, the Kerberos unit is the elite police force established in Japan of the 50s to keep the street riots and terrorist activity under control. You can definitely say that at the same time, they've become the daddies for Helghast, as those helms and brutally looking gas masks are almost identical. Though unlike the Killzone baddies, the Kerberos mostly consist of troubled psychologically scarred killing machines that manage to fail even at such simple things as having a girlfriend. But anyway, Jin Roh's Constable Fuse is an interesting character, and their fatigue is one hell of an example of memorable costume design.

Now that's something you won't expect from a Helghast to do.

6. Guyver (Bio Booster Armor Guyver)

To be honest, I've never watched much Guyver. I remember only seeing the anime ten-something years ago on TV, then one random clip on YouTube (being dubbed 'the greatest old-school anime scene ever'), and that's pretty much it. from what I can gather, Guyver is something akin to Marvel's Venom, only a good guy, and whatever the story is, it takes place in a dark dystopian cyberpunk world. During the 90s that was a guaranteed recipe for great anime, and there were even two live-action movies made in the US, one with Mark Hamill as the extra, and the second one where this guy(ver) was played by none other than David Hayter of all actors!

Ya, what he said.

Guyver! Guyver!! GUYVEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!11 T_T