There’s nothing like a junk-ass list to break me out of a bit of a motivational block, when I’m struggling to find the words to write about something that requires a little more thought. So, what better way is there to get the rust cleared and the gears moving than regurgitating information about weapons in video games I like.
This isn’t an ordered list in any regard, it’s just me plucking out weapons from video games I like and talking about them. I ended up making a pretty lengthy list in the end, so this might continue on in the future when I feel like I need something to clear the cobwebs again.
When the moral panic patrol need something to distract boomers from the problems in the world their generation are causing, the media like to come back to violence in video games and a scapegoat. And to be fair, it’s made itself an easy target, because there are an awful lot of video games that are packed full of violence.
And what better way is there to reap this bloody path than with some kind of tool of destruction in your hands. Different games treat weapons in different ways throughout the years, in some a single weapon it your constant companion, one you get to know intimately well. In others, they’re merely shiny baubles, used until a shiner bauble ends up replacing them.
Different games all provide different mechanics that forge a players relationship with the weapons they use, I’ll get into the specifics with each entry on this list, but looking back, it’s surprising to me how many different weapons in games I feel affinity for, and for the range of different reasons behind it.
Bouncer – Ratchet & Clank series
The first entry on this list is the Bouncer from Ratchet & Clank 2. A series known for having a ton of outlandish and weird weapons, the Bouncer is a pretty unassuming weapon in both name and function. And yet it’s one of the first weapons that comes to mind when I think of the Ratchet series.
My affection for this cluster bomb launcher comes from a place of pure function in game, and how devastatingly effective it ends up being, even more so than the RYNO guns, which are supposed to be the most overpowered guns in each of the games they appear in.
It’s a gun that simply shoots a ball that explodes into a ton of other balls. With an upgrade, an acid mod can be applied to it also, adding a damage over time effect on top of the massive spread the carpet of explosions you can continuously spam into a crowd of enemies, or into a single enemy as the mini-balls home in on it.
It’s for the sake of pure versatility and effectiveness than I always fell back on this weapon and it remains one of my most memorable weapons from a game where weird and unique weapons are one of its hallmarks.
Switch Axe – Monster Hunter series
Your chosen weapon in Monster Hunter is something that becomes an extension of yourself. Now we have Monster Hunter World; a game that increased the accessibility of the game to a much broader audience, the trial by fire that was getting your toes into the Monster Hunter franchise is much less harrowing than it used to be.
For the longest time, it felt like Monster Hunter wasn’t a game you played, it was a game you learned. You learned the minutia of the dense menu system, you learned the patterns and tells of each individual monster and you learned the ins and outs of one of the 14 different weapons.
Anyone who puts any significant time into the game will end up using a number of weapons in the game, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our favourites, and my favourite is certainly the Switch Axe, introduced in Monster Hunter Tri for the Nintendo Wii; the game that really got be back into the series after not playing it since the first entry.
One of the more complex weapons, the Switch Axe is, you guessed it, a big axe that switches into a sword. Unlike most of the older weapons in the series, there is a rhythm and a cycle to using the Switch Axe. Meaning you have to alternate between the two modes to get the most of the more limited, but more damaging, sword mode before switching back to the more mobile axe mode to recharge.
Monster Hunter is a game that grants extreme satisfaction with ones self when able to master a weapon and get the absolute most out of it when in combat. Getting good takes time and effort, and thus being good makes you feel accomplished, not hurt by the fact that jumping onto a monster, jabbing the sword into them and exploding it is cool as hell.
Polaris Lance – Destiny series
A player’s relationship with weapons in a game like Destiny is strange. There are so many, with so many little variables that a single gun could be just one of a hundred weapons you simply throw away without a second thought, or it could one of your favourite things you’ve touched in a video game. That is of course until something better comes along, and then that previous gun you have thousands of kills logged with becomes trash.
I have a lot of weapons I’ve grown attached to in Destiny, too many to list really. And it’d be too difficult to really put my finger on why I loved that Blast Furnace for so long before they nerfed Feeding Frenzy, and this sentence is a perfect example of how I’d be talking utter gibberish to someone not familiar with the game.
However, there are a class of weapons, the exotic weapons that are easier to describe. Exotic weapons in Destiny are unique in that they have set perks as opposed to random ones, and all have a unique trait that makes them different to any other gun in the game.
The Polaris Lance is a scout rifle; a single shot, long range gun with a combination of perks and weapon feel that made made it a mainstay of my inventory since it was introduced in May of 2008. Bungie have a fantastic design mentality when it comes to how their guns look, sound and feel, and the Polaris Lance is no different.
The combination of the sound of its gunfire, the loading of a round back into a chamber upon every critical hit and then the sounds of the solar explosion on every 4th critical is music to my ears, combined with the guns general versatility and use in all modes of the game make it stick in my head as one of the many cool-ass guns that Bungie have made into their video games over the years.
Like I said at the top, I have plenty on this list to keep me going. So it’ll make a nice change for me personally to just ramble on about some video game stuff and a good warm up exercise when it comes to writing more substantial content. If I still do that ever.