Characters of Color – Raven

Just so you guys know, I’m not the most faithful Tekken fan (more of a Virtua Fighter man myself) but I do love the characterization that their characters have. One example of this is today’s Character of Color, Raven. Debuting in Tekken 5, Raven is a no-nonsense, cold-blooded, possibly Canadian(?) covert operative. A practitioner  of ninjitsu, Raven mission was to investigate the Mishima Zaibatsu and G-Corporation and discovered Heihachi Mishima was killed. Raven entered the King of Iron Fist tournament to investigate this and stumbled onto secrets that forced him to enter the sixth tournament.

Raven is just awesome, he looks like Wesley Snipes from the Blade film but with a little bit of ninja thrown in. To me, his appearance in Street Fighter X Tekken made his character and moveset better. His conversion to Street Fighter fighting mechanics was done so well, that I can actually see him as a Street Fighter character full time. Oh well, I guess I can settle from him to be still in Tekken. as long as they keep making him awesome at least.

Characters of Color – Alyx Vance

Alyx_Vance

 

Ok a little history, Half Life stars Gordon Freeman a scientist who, along with the company he works for, Black Mesa, accidently opens a portal to an extra dimensional reality where aliens, of course want to take over the world. Naturally this scientist sends them packing but before happily ever after he’s given a choice by the mysterious G-Man: work for him or die. Easy choice, he sends him to the future where earth is conquered by another group of extra dimensional aliens called the Combine (this guy gots the worst luck doesn’t he). Well like the first game Freeman starts showing the combine the door, but not without help this time. Enter the resistance and one of their main leaders Alyx Vance, our character of color for today. Probably the most popular and famous deuterogamist (fancy way for saying elite sidekick & second most important character in a story) Alyx Vance is the perfect person you want to take into the unknown with you: she’s a skilled hacker and machinist (turned a simple meter high tinker toy into giant guardian who acts like a dog), brave and intelligent but cheerful and optimistic – Alyx will often lighten the mood in dire situations but also stays on task to the goals at hand. But to brass tax the most important thing that makes her so special is that as an NPC in a game as epic and unconventional and Half Life she holds her weight and then some. Never do you have to worry about if Alyx Vance will survive in a co-op mission, but rather if she’ll stop saving your booty throughout the game. Where you readers are done here, please write to Valve and tell them to stop try to make a console and start finished up the Half Life series – I want to have more adventures with  Alyx Vance before I’m 80 please.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Tavish ‘The Demoman’ Degroot

TF2_Main

Yeah, he’s a toy now. Actually he’s the perfect toy – teach kids everywhere that the best way to solve problems is to drink heavily and blow sheetz up. Buy yours today!

 

Yeah, this one we all saw coming. To be honest I’m actually surprised with myself for not put up sooner everyone’s favorite angry, drunken, one eyed, black, Scottish, explosive expert: the Demoman. This master of bringing the boom was orphaned at a young age to cultivate his TNT talents in the cold cruel world. Which would have been preferable compared to his actual parents, who are bind, crazed, workaholics, who believe having fewer than 26 separate jobs is slacking off. With them finishing up his training he grew up knowing blowing things to kingdom come was the only way and peace can only be found in a bottle. Heck he tried to have a best friend in the blue soldier (please note: that the main characters are usually on the red team, also why would he be friends with the blue soldier when the red soldier is exactly like him? Maybe he likes blue? I don’t know…), but to prevent the merc teams from finding out that they’re working for the same people they instigated a feud between the two with the promise of new weapons and outright lies. So the Demoman, TF merc, exploder of stuff, legendry drunk, tragic Character of Color.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford

Sarge

 

Once again it’s February people and for those who are experiencing February for the first time, it’s Black History Month. For the Armada that means a whole month of us highlighting the great black characters in games and animation in a segment we call Characters of Color. To start off this year we got an overlooked character in one of my personal favorite games:  Samuel D. ‘Sarge’ Redford. Now this guy is the squad leader of B Company or Bad Company in the game series Battlefield: Bad Company. Why, because this squad is full of soldiers (yeah, all four of them) that aren’t the ‘best of the best’ but the ‘screws ups of the meh’. Sarge himself is a creditable soldier but choose to lead B Company because he can retire early if he does. That’s right Sarge is not only rockin the ‘Retirony’ but the ‘Black Dude Dies First’ tropes. Guess what though, not only is he a component, no non-sense soldier that doesn’t die in the end, but is a wise and true leader taking responsibility for the knuckleheaded crap the team does (I’m looking at you Haggard) to the point of sacrificing his own retirement again and again to keep the brass of their backs. Sarge’s voiced by Bruce Johnson who also lent his talents to Crysis 2, which is also an awesome game. Finally Redford as well as the rest of Bad Company, despite being looked down as bullet fodder, was bad arse enough to steal mercenary gold in the first game and destroy a WWII super weapon in the second.  So Samuel D. Redford and salute you as an awesome character of color as the month is on the way.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Marshal from Pokemon: B & W

 

Finally we wrap up Characters of Color with Marshal from the latest installment of the Pokemon series. Now as it turns out Pokemon Black and White respectively had three characters of color in it (Lenora, Iris, and Marshal); but Marshal is my favorite because he’s part of the elite four – the most powerful trainers in the region (next to the champ of course). Now granted he’s not the most interesting character nor does he have a lot of screen time but he’s the stoic embodiment of the strong Pokemon trainer. Hear me out: first of all the Pokemon he uses are strong but lack in defense, but in battle it will take everything players have just to survive, even with using Ghost/Psychic types. Next Marshal is strong and knows the valve of strength; however he also knows that strength alone won’t be enough to be a great trainer and tries to tell that to you and your companions/rivals. Finally he learns from his defeats and comes back stronger than before. They could have made Marshal any type of character but they choose to make him strong, wise and icon to trainers everywhere. Personality I would have liked for him to be the Pokemon champ in B & W instead of that fop Alder, but hey one step at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Crow from Def Jam: Fight for NY

Well the time has come, the end the February which mean the end of the Characters of Color segment for the year – I know I’m sad too, but at least you all have something to look forward to next year. Well as an end of the year gift I’m doing two profiles today – starting with Crow. No not that fudd awful movie but the main bad guy in the game ‘Def Jam: Fight for NY’. Now the game itself is excellent, the player saves the main boss from the first game (which is an awesome game as well) from arrest. As a reward, D-Mob allows the player to join his crew and fight for him in underground fight clubs. However after the events of the first game D-Mob lost a lot of turf control to the vicious, ambitious leader of Club Murder: Crow who is voiced by none other than Snoop Dogg. In the beginning the self-made mobsters worked together to run New York, but while D-Mob was no angel he follow the rule of respect. Crow however thought fear was a better motivator – over time their different ‘business strategies’ spilt them apart and became bitter rivals ever since. So like an opportunistic piranha, when D-Mob was caught slipping in the first game, Crow came in and devoured all of his territories and recruited the best fighters to protect them. Now Crow may be just gang banger but he’s smart, he’s cruel, and will use any means to destroy his opposition. Traps, assassinations, and seemingless endless capital are the tools he uses but his best weapon is fear. For his enemies: fear of himself and his forces; for his allies: fear of losing the good life or their lives as consequence of failure. Crow even uses fear against the player. As he defeats Crows’ fighters Crow decides to kidnap the players’ girlfriend and force him to join Crow on the threat of killing her if he doesn’t. Despite all of these Crow isn’t afraid of taking care of business himself. His fighting style focuses on both speed and defense so he can strike quickly and take damage – essentially wearing down opponents to the point of breaking with his signature move: 187.  Of course if he’s actually losing the fight he got his glock and a hidden cane blade to fall back on; so yea Crow – Evil, Bad, Wanna Kill You.

 

 

 

 

 

Characters of Color – Storm

 

Ah the legendary X-Men, a group devoted to the peaceful understanding between Mutants (or Homo Superiors – really…) and normal humans; while at the same time protect the world from evil Mutants who misuse their powers. The group has changed in many ways since its origins but the face of the X-Men still remain strong – and Storm is one member you could never forget. Her real name is Ororo Idaqi T’Challa and she was orphaned after her parents died in a plane crash. Storm who had to become a thief to survive until met (or rather trying to pickpocket) a 20 something Charles Xavier. He stopped her with his abilities but didn’t relive himself (or her at that matter) as a mutant until years later where circumstances forced Xavier to recruit mutants to save the Original X-Men (Cyclops, Angel, Havok, Iceman, Marvel Girl/Jean Grey and Polaris).The rest was history; Ororo got the name Storm (because of her abilities – which I’ll explain in a minute) and within the group she gained a new family, a life, and through them a future as the Queen of Wakanda married to Black Panther (another cool character of color). As one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe, Storm has the ability to control the weather (tornados, snow storms, earthquakes, etc.) but choose to use her massive abilities to defend people. Over time Storm has led the X-Men herself against Juggernaut, Magneto, and freaken Dracula! Was considered (and almost made into) a Goddess in many parts of the world and thanks her marriage with Black Panther (a non-mutant mind you) she was considered the most important mutant alive because if there was an example of mutants co-existing with humans their marriage is it. So that’s Storm, all powerful, goddess, queen of an extremely advanced country, the virtual face of the X-Men, and the single hope for unity for all of mankind.