If we’ve all learned one thing from social media, it’s that animals equal likes. You could hit up Facebook with a sonnet describing the pure beauty of sunrise on an African plain and it would get less attention than a Snapchat video of your cat falling off the sofa. Every hour we must bow to our furry overlords, watching them caper in the snow, play musical instruments and generally bask in our unwavering, and fully deserved, adoration. They are like babies but better because there are literally no good films starring babies and there are loads starring animals (this is a future blog waiting to happen, frankly).
This guaranteed formula doesn’t translate to video games, though. While some pixelated beasts have soared to success, others were almost instantly marked for a big needle and a pitiful glance from the vet. So obviously the question is, which video game animal is the best? Well, let me help you with that heavy burden by assessing some I have picked entirely at random and rating them out of 10 for spurious reasons.
Genuinely, what is a bandicoot? Stop googling it. You don’t know. 3/10 because what is it?
The battle-hardened wolf thing from snappily-titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You can even stroke him, which is more satisfying than it should be, but he still essentially ruins the game. Off he trots, sniffing around and revealing the locations of any enemies, meaning you don’t have to skulk around bases with your binoculars anymore. Also, on the very frequent occasions that the dog wanders right into enemy view they simply shoo him away like he’s just a stray wolf hound, seemingly ignoring that he is wearing a FUCKING EYE PATCH.
Still, the most aggrieved I’ve been by a game in the past two years was when old Diamond Pupper went to the kennel in the sky after getting too near to some tank fire, so he’s clearly pulled me in. All in all, an adorable bad-ass that turns from puppy to full-grown hell-beast in about three hours for some reason. Would royally fuck up your postman. 9/10
PARAPPA THE RAPPER
Literally a rapping dog. What more do you want? 10/10 for obvious reasons
Early members of the ‘steroid using water dwellers’ genre (see also: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Sharks and Lance Armstrong whenever he goes for a swim), these were a Canadian knock-off of the aforementioned turtles. However, there were only three of them and, with the monikers Rash, Zitz and Pimple, they were probably not named after renaissance artists. I am yet to fully understand the link between aggressive, anthropomorphic frogs and skin conditions. Still, one of them wore sunglasses indoors which really annoys people for some reason so bonus points for that. 6/10
Whereas cutesy fox Miles ‘Tails’ Prower was drafted in for Sonic 2 like a Hollywood movie bringing in some precocious child for a sequel, Knuckles the Echinda rocks up to Sonic 3 all pink and evil, instantly intriguing despite clearly being drawn by someone who has never seen an echinda. Not just different, but also educational, as I genuinely thought he was called Knuckles the Enchilada for several years. 6/10, loses marks for not being Mexican food
As if to underline how adorable this little twerp is, Nintendo recently rolled out Yoshi’s Woolly World, a game in which the titular tyrannosaur is made from wool for some reason that’s probably not anything to do with LSD use. In reality, should be ripping off Mario’s head and eating Luigi’s leg for breakfast like the terrible beast he is, but is actually trained like a big green lapdog instead. 3/10 for selling out his scaly brothers and allowing himself to be tamed. Still, if you want a nasty dinosaur…
THE T REX LARA KILLS IN THE FIRST TOMB RAIDER
So you’re an adventurer and you find what must surely be the world’s last ever dinosaur. You could alert the relevant authorities, lay claim to the beast and become a millionnaire, right?
But no. Maybe you’ve seen all the Jurassic Park films and are all too aware that man and scaly beast can never live in harmony. Surely it can’t be much of a threat, though? I mean, how long has that thing been down there? What has it been eating for 300 million years? It’ll be weaker than Alan Sugar’s punchlines.
Either way, you probably shot it. And there it is. You have officially caused the extinction of an entire species. This dinosaur is included on this list because it made us evaluate our own souls, for are not we, humans, the real monsters here? No, obviously dinosaurs are, but you see the point. 5/10 for philosophical point-scoring.
AND THE WINNER IS…
So there you have it. Parappa the Rapper wins with his slick flow and superfluous beanie hat (he is literally covered in fur, how cold can his head be!?). Well done, dope doggy.
This guest article was brought to you by Jonathan Markwell – If you like what you’ve read, you can follow him on Twitter @Jonnafang, or check out his blog here: https://jonnafang.wordpress.com