In honor of the release of James Cameron’s multi-billion dollar tech-fest Avatar on Blu-ray and DVD, we’ve decided to put together a little list inspired by the movie’s second most redeeming quality behind the 3D: the utterly ridiculous fight between Lanky McBlueSkin (aka Jake Sully) and the knife wielding mech inhabited by Gruffy Von Insultingly-Casual-Coffee-Drinker (aka Colonel Miles Quaritch).
So here you have it: Our picks for the Top Five Mech Moments in Gaming (Not Counting the Avatar Game):
5. Zone of Enders: 2nd Runner -- This Hideo Kojima produced sequel from Konami sported a slick cel-shaded presentation, epic boss battles and lightning fast, robot-blasting gameplay on an absurd scale. In spite of its narrative shortcomings, any game that lets you unleash clusters of rockets at giant swarms of flying robots is OK in our book. Quite OK indeed.
4. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Charlie MacDonald Fight -- I’ll turn this one over to X-Play producer Rob Manuel, because he’s awesome, and he brings the truth high and hard:
“The Charlie MacDonald mech fight comes completely out of left field, not fitting the stereotypical trappings of such a fight. We meet Charlie, a star football player, surrounded by his adoring cheerleader squad. None of this indicated a giant mech battle until they all launch into the sky to form the robot monstrosity. The rest is played out in typical tongue-in-cheek fashion, but it’s almost the shock of one battle turning into a completely different fight which makes this mech fight memorable.”
3. Metal Wolf Chaos -- I’ll admit (with shame now that I know what this game is actually about) that I had never heard of this game until Sterling McGarvey jumped out of his cubicle and demanded with resounding force that no mech-inspired list would be complete without From Software’s Japanese-exclusive Xbox game Metal Wolf Chaos. All you need to know to understand why this game is on this list is this: you play as the President of the United States…who also happens to use his giant mech suit to save the world from the mech-wearing Vice President. If you had any doubts as to just how amazing this premise truly is, behold the game’s final sequence, which has, without a doubt, one of the single greatest closing lines I’ve ever heard (made all the more brilliant given the context in which it’s delivered). Sheer brilliance.
2. Metal Gear Solid -- Solid Snake vs. Metal Gear Rex: There are obviously many, many sequences throughout the Metal Gear Solid franchise that could just have easily taken this spot, but Solid Snake vs. Metal Gear Rex from the original MGS just…well, it just felt right. Not only is the battle itself one of the franchise’s most epic encounters, we still dream of one day having a warhead-launching magnetic rail run to call our very own.
1. Borderlands: Secret Armory of General Knoxx -- This one is kind of a no brainer, but instead of carefully constructing some elaborate graph about why it’s great and why it deserves to be at the top of an Avatar-related mechs post, I’ll let X-Play’s Abbie Heppe do the talking, since she already summed it up perfectly in her review of this particular DLC for Gearbox Software’s brilliant shooter:
“If you pay attention to only one thing of late that involves a giant mech suit battle on a planet called Pandora…it should be this.”
Done and done.
Obviously, this list could have been hundreds of entries long, but concessions had to be made. So feel free to toss out your picks for the greatest mech moments in gaming in the comments section. That way, everyone wins!