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Round 1: Allan Muir on behalf of Chell from the Portal series

Two games, two entirely different opinions on the platform between releases. So, go all the way back to Fall of 2007 when Half-Life still had some sense of life. Half-Life 2 had released three years prior and the first episode had already been released as well. But I’m not here to talk about Half-Life or anything related to Dr. Gordon Freeman but what I am going to talk about is Portal, Portal 2, and the game of Gabe Newell’s thoughts on the PlayStation 3 hardware prior to the release of The Orange Box which contained Half-Life 2, Episode 1, Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and a small puzzle game called Portal. Ironically, people who were really into Valve games like myself were only in it for the Half-Life 2 content. Boy was I one of them dumb kids.

After listening to the Three Red Lights podcast around the time The Orange Box came out I knew I was missing out on something big and that big thing was Portal. You started the game out as a character named Chell who clearly had the same vocal problems Doctor Freeman had throughout the Half-Life series. You were essentially a lab rat who had to solve puzzles and the deeper into the game you got, the harder the tests became. Most of the player-base was either on PC or the Xbox 360 as “Gaben” wasn’t so hot on the PlayStation 3 architecture as he was quoted saying the system was “a waste of everybody’s time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There’s nothing there that you’re going to apply to anything else. You’re not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they’ve created.” This was courtesy of an Engadget article from 2007. Which can be found here.

A sequel was announced at E3 in 2010 and Gabe Newell changed his tune about the PlayStation 3 saying the following: “When the PlayStation 3 was introduced, I was the one of the platform’s biggest critics, however, Sony Computer Entertainment has proved that the PlayStation 3 is the most open platform of all the current generation consoles and has worked extremely hard to make the platform the most desirable for consumers and developers. As such, we are delighted to announce Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 and believe the Steamworks support included will make it the best console version of the game.” So as you can see, Gabe did a complete 180 on the PlayStation 3.

According to memory and the wiki, Portal 2 took place somewhere between 50 and 50,000 years after the events of the first Portal I won’t mention the ending of Portal 1 because of spoilers but oh boy was that an ending! You are woken up by a new character named Wheatley who honestly, was a complete idiot but was both funny and meant well. I won’t spoil the events of Portal 2 as well despite the game being nearly ten years old but it’s worth the playthrough. All I will say is the game changed the way I think about Lemons and what they could be used for.

Chell may not have been a Sony character in the beginning of the platforms life cycle but damn sure became a Sony character near the end of the PlayStation 3 life cycle.

Round 2: Emmett Watkins Jr on behalf of 2B from Nier: Automata

2017 was a valuable gaming year for me, as it was one of the first times I got way outside of my comfort zone, and was handsomely rewarded for doing so. I might be the kind of guy who plays every Call of Duty game, but in 2017, I tried my first visual novel with Doki Doki Literature Club. While that game blew me away, I was still a bit hesitant to play Nier: Automata. It had been talked up throughout the entire year, and with it being a Platinum developed game, I knew I would enjoy the combat. But the fact that it was an open world game with a massive narrative that, in order to fully be experienced, had to be played through multiple times, was incredibly intimidating. But when I rolled credits literally on the night of New Year’s Eve, I had just experienced one of the most delightfully wild rides I had ever taken in a game.

While the game is available on Xbox One now, it started at a PS4 console exclusive, so it certainly has roots as a PlayStation specific franchise. Plus, I don’t know if you’ve been on the internet recently, but people love this franchise. The waterfall of fan art I found while looking up images for this post seemed to never end. Plus, every gaming convention I’ve been two in the last 2 years have so shortage of merchandise for this game. So, with both of those factors in mind, 2B, the game’s protagonist, certainly deserves a spot on this roster.

But if she gets the spot, what would her moves be? Well, similar to Kratos’ moveset in the original All-Stars, Nier: Automata’s combat would translate very well into a 2D fighter. Incorporating one of her light weapons (like her katana) for her light attack, a heavy weapon (like one of her massive hammers) for her heavy attack would be obvious, but you could switch it up with her Pod. Much like Toro in the original All-Stars, she could switch between different Pods mid match, giving her different ranged attacks, such as a machine gun, lazer, or grappling hook.

As for her supers, that could introduce a new element into the game. The Pod abilities in Nier were varied, so why not incorporate that variation into the supers. Depending on which pod weapon she is using, 2B’s level one super would be different. Using the laser Pod? Then you’re level one super is a force field that slows everyone around her. Using the rocket launcher Pod? Then your level 1 super is a blade swipe that takes out anyone close, and so on. It would not only make her a more interesting character, but also allow for more level one super use, since most characters in the original game didn’t have much incentive to use their level one super.

Then for her next two supers, things get crazier. She could summon one of the rideable animals in the game to run through an entire row of enemies. And for level three, she could get into her YoRHa flight unit and really do some damage. Imagine the stage suddenly becoming a top down shooter, just like those segments found in Nier Automata, and players have to helplessly dodge the barrage of bullets coming from 2B. It’d be an awesome sight to behold.

So that’s my pitch, hopefully you guys will vote for the Glory of Mankind!

Round 3: Fight!

So, who are you backing in this fight, the power-weapon-wielding captive, or the unusually attractive, android badass? Vote in the Twitter poll embedded below, and follow @LosHarrowGames for the next match up!

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