Day Six! Thus far we’ve covered beat ’em ups, shoot ’em ups, and now we’re on hack and slash ’em ups. Hack ‘n slash games are differentiated from the aforementioned genres by their emphasis on real-time action combat involving melee weapons versus bare fists or blazing guns. This is a genre which really seems to have found its footing in the modern era, capitalizing on fast and powerful technology to create fast and powerful action games. No amount of tedious button mashing or sloppy motion controls seems to dampen the sheer energy and excitement which some of these games can generate.
De-scabbard your sword with characteristic and unrealistic “schawiiing!” because it’s time to name our favorite hack and slash action games…
The Green Screen Mage
Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core. For someone who has never beaten FFVII, I really like the spin-offs. Crisis Core is literally one of my favorite games on the planet. The story was so beautiful. I bawled like a baby at the end! Once again, I just like mashing buttons until enemies are dead. I’m sure there’s more of an art to it, but it works for me!
The Black Humor Mage
I haven’t played Bayonetta or Devil May Cry, yet, so this might be subject to change. Still, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a great game that introduces a new form of gameplay to the Metal Gear series. Is a step in the other direction, but still fun to hack n’ slash. Surprisingly, the game also includes some very fun and memorable boss fights.
The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)
God of War. It was a tough pick between the God of War series and the Prince of Persia series. I don’t think there is any way I could choose over God of War though. I remember the first time I played the first game in the series I stayed up literally all night. It has it all, great combos and hack and slash gameplay, Greek mythology which I love, and Kratos is the freakin’ man! Who couldn’t love him? I played the crap out of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time & The Two Thrones, but I feel the God of War series is a better representation of the genre. (Honorable Mentions – Prince of Persia, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Blades of Time)
The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)
Gauntlet Legends is close to my heart, as I used to always play it with friends, and today still play it with my girlfriend. A true classic if ever there was one. I NEED FOOD BADLY!
The Final Fourteenth Mage (Cilla vs. Games)
One Piece: Pirate Warriors. One Piece always seemed like an impossible series to get into. I am firmly on the Naruto fence and it just seemed way too hard to do both. So I picked up Pirate Warriors when it was on sale as a way to slowly introduce myself to the series and I was not disappointed. I had so much fun not only learning about the story but slashing down hordes of enemies in two musou style.
The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)
I wasn’t too sure what a ‘hack and slash’ was until I checked on Wikipedia…when I saw Wikipedia list No More Heroes I knew that was my pick. One of my favourite games ever, even if I’ve only ever got half way through (damn console generations being phased out!) Hilarious game and Travis Touchdown is my favourite character in gaming. He’s such an idiot, but you want to help him succeed because he makes you laugh. Plus, awesome light saber/Pro wrestling style fighting!
The Rage Mage
I love to hate The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and its slightly less inebriated cousin, Return of the King. Nothing better sums up J.R.R. Tolkien’s work than voice acting from actual actors that sounds as if they’ve fallen asleep in the sound booth. I mean I’m sure it takes a lot of directorial talent to make Viggo Mortensen sound even more bored than usual. When I read Lord of the Rings, I really thought it could use more button mashing. Peter Jackson turned Tolkien’s work into video games. This is the “Legolas-sliding-down-a-stairway-on-a-shield” of gaming. J. R. R.’s probably rolling in his Catholic urn.
The Well-Red Mage
This is the first category so far that I’ve really struggled with, not because I had too many games to choose from but because I had too few. Hack and slasher button mashers aren’t really my thing. I either find them too monotonous (strange, considering I like beat ’em ups) or I find their combo inputs too difficult. I was about to give the mention to Guardian Heroes but I only remember it vaguely since I never owned a Saturn, only played it at a friend’s house. There are a lot of modern, hyper-action games that fit into this category that I just can’t get into or haven’t gotten into: Devil May Cry, Darksiders, Bayonetta… Final Fantasy XV? Something turns me off about these. Anyways, I was on the brink of despair until I remembered Hyper Light Drifter, that amazing, pixel-art indie adventure with RPG and hack n’ slash elements. Yes, the ailing Drifter is armed with a lightsword so this counts as a game that emphasizes real-time combat with handheld weapons. It was one of my favorite games I played in 2016 and if you haven’t played it yourself, you’re really missing out on an elegant gaming experience.
What are some of your favorite melee mashers? Pass this event on so we can hear even more favorites! Thanks for reading and make sure to stop back in tomorrow for our next mystery genre!