South Park: The Stick of Truth is somehow, someway, one of the top 10 games I’ve played. It’s crude, it’s rough around the edges and quite frankly crawling through Mr. Slave’s rectum made me want to turn straight. But it’s also the very best of South Park with jokes that somehow kept being funny through my second playthrough (that I did right after my first one). It’s like Earthbound for adults and I can’t stop thinking about it.
I also can’t stop thinking about the Jew class. Stick of Truth is a wildly broken game. It is so fucking easy to become an unstoppable hero far too early in the game. My first run through was with the Jew and I absolutely ate up everything it had to offer. I loved the uncouth jokes, I loved the increasingly Hasidic costumes and I love calling down the plagues of Egypt to wipe out anything that stood in my way. Seriously, that move is broken as fuck. I don’t know if I’d complain about that with any other game, but here it only makes me love it more.
I just found out I can achieve the King rank in the post-game that gives you a costume to make you look like Jesus, so I imagine the next time I have a weekend free I’m going to have to run through this game one more time to unlock that. South Park: The Stick of Truth may yet be my favorite RPG, and the Jew class is a significant reason for why that is. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the classes listed below might as well not exist while this world is blessed with something as magnificent as the Jew.
Occams Electric Toothbrush
It started with Final Fantasy II. When you beat the Mist Dragon and Rydia is like, “Oh that’s my mom!” and then you can summon her. You could summon a dragon. I thought that was the coolest shit ever. So, you’d save them for the really big battles and it took a few turns so every time it happened it felt like this epic moment in the game. Those summons are some of my favorite memories of playing RPG games. Years later the summoner class has become a staple for the genre. Even games like Diablo have their own summoner type classes. And I never get tired of them. Whether it’s something epic and grandiose like Bahamut or Leviathan in the Final Fantasy series or the decidedly metal band named Blood Golem in Diablo II, the Summoner class is hands down my absolute favorite.
I’ve always been intrigued by multi-class characters in any game, whether it’s Scholars/Summoners in Final Fantasy XIV or Shamans in World of Warcraft.
But the latter was my first real MMO introduction to the gig, and as such, my original Orc Shaman will forever be etched into my memory. I just love the idea of swapping back and forth between healer and damage dealer (which itself was split between caster and melee), or throwing out a raid-saving spot heal every now and then.
Although totems have changed drastically since their inception, the concept of putting down a special area buff was really fun to manage on top of your normal duties, and as one of the only classes that originally could resurrect players in combat, it was useful to have at least one of.
The “Jack of All Trades Master of None” shtick has been done terribly across many mediums, but MMOs generally get it right.
I think this started with Diablo II, but my preferred class in every RPG is some form of barbarian or warrior. I’ve never been too big into stat building or micromanaging various meters; I just like picking up weapons and smacking enemies with them. As such, warrior classes typically ask the least of the player with regards to the inner workings of the game.
That doesn’t mean games like World of Warcraft or even Diablo II can’t become incredibly deep while sticking to melee weapons, but you usually can get by with a basic knowledge of the mechanics of the game when going with a warrior.
Also, I know that image is of the Lich King, who would technically be a Death Knight, but that is essentially a glorified warrior.
I try and force myself to try out different classes in RPGs. As a result, it’s hard to pin down my absolute favorite class. Instead, I’ll talk about one that I miss dearly: Final Fantasy XI‘s Puppet Master.
I’m always a fan of the stranger Final Fantasy jobs and the Puppet Master was my jam. Attack your enemies with a creepy automaton possessed by magic, I was a marionette murderer. Swords and shields are fine, but if you can attack with a blade-wielding puppet I’m down.
Also, if anyone at Square is reading this, I’d appreciate the Puppet Master coming to Final Fantasy XIV real soon.
Most of my favorite RPG fighters of all time defy any specific character class. Prince Poo from EarthBound is a shape changing martial artist who does worse when he’s equipped with conventional armor and weapons. So, does that make him a Freegan? Or maybe he’s just stylish? It’s not entirely clear. The same goes for Kumatora in Mother 3 and Barry Goodman from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. They are unique people, not defined by class, which makes them all the more interesting and believable.
That’s how Kain from Final Fantasy II/IV felt the first time I saw him. He wasn’t just a fighter, as his partner Cecil filled that role, and the two were very different. In fact, Kain seemed to exist for the explicit purpose to make Cecil seem weaker and less interesting by comparison. His existence signaled to me the Final Fantasy brand was moving on from its Dungeons and Dragons inspired origins and was ready to give me all new, all different ideas. Kain literally broke boundaries in the genre by jumping so high he left the screen entirely, hung in the air somewhere above your TV for a turn, then landed with supernatural force on defenseless enemies that had no choice but to take what they had coming.
He was also called a “Dragoon”, which sounded like a fun made up word, or maybe even a mistranslation from Japanese to English. I loved that kind of stuff as a kid and I still do today. Later, I came to find that Dragoons were actual horse riding knights from Europe who could not, in fact, jump over 30 feet in the air then land on victims with lethal force. I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but I know I still love Dragoons and everything they stand for.
There aren’t enough games out there that focus on mixing and matches jobs or classes. Final Fantasy V and the Bravely series has already completely proven how awesome it can be, but I’m ready for more of it. What’s fun about these games is that you’re not just restricted to Fighters, Black Mages, Thieves and the like, but you get much more exotic options as well.
My favorite of those options shockingly ISN’T Bravely Second‘s Catmancer. Instead I like to put my trust in the Spell Fencer, otherwise known as the Mystic Knight.
Spell Fencers are the purest form of what fantasy buffs might call battle mages. Instead of throwing fireballs around they channel their magic directly into their swords for maximum efficiency. This allows them to add some elemental damage to their attacks and on top of that they can also channel status effects, MP draining, and sometimes even instant death.
What makes Spell Fencers great is how well they combo with skills learned from other classes. Knights holding a greatsword with two hands or dual-wielding Ninjas can make great use of the extra kick provided by the Spell Fencer’s magic. Bosses sure as hell don’t like it when they’re getting their face caved in by an oversized sword that also happens to be channeling their elemental weakness.
There is really no reason not to add to your arsenal what Spell Fencers have to offer. They let you combine the might of a warrior with the magic of a wizard, all for the low, low price of only one spell casting.
Plus, you get to look like you walked straight out of Aladdin.
Final Fantasy Tactics‘s Calculator is so baller.
Pixie The Fairy
What my favorite class is tends to vary from RPG to the next, but if we’re just talking about overall concept then my favorite is Gambler. Setzer Gabbiani set it off in Final Fantasy VI with his slot machine skill and throwing cards. He was actually created and designed by Tetsuya Nomura, who was otherwise designing monsters back before he became obsessed with belts and zippers.
While Gambler has not been revisited in the single player Final Fantasy games since the Lady Luck incarnation in FFX-2, it has resurfaced in the MMOs, appearing in FFXI as the Blackjack-lovin’ Corsair and though the stargazing divinations of FFXIV’s Astrologian. Both jobs place the party’s fate in the cards, yielding various buffs to their performance. It’s not always going to be a sure thing, but that’s what makes them fun and exciting. You’re taking a chance to turn the tables.
Plus, they can’t pull duds and get everyone killed like Setzer does.
I actually plan to get back to Astrologian soon in FFXIV, it’s just the role is saddled with healing and I often get the under-geared morons who think healers exist to carry them through the game. I prefer healing smart people who let me play with my cards.
Surprise! My favorite class is the ninja class!
Ninjas in Final Fantasy or Bravely Default never seem to be concerned with stealth though. No, my favorite classes are concerned with DPS, and ninjas in the Square Enix universe of RPGs specialize in dual wielding weapons to get the most physical bang for your damage buck. Especially in Bravely Default, I always made my damage dealers ninjas and supplemented them with crazy things like spell buffs from the Spell Fencers or ax specialization from the Pirate class.
Basically, if my Dark Knight wasn’t dual wielding dark magic nukes, my ninjas were swinging two katanas or two axes like maniacs while evading attacks and counter-attacking. Even though ninjas aren’t famed for raw physical strength, the sheer volume of attacks combined with their agility made for impressive DPS. I always love the deeps in RPG. And no, I don’t play the deeps in class shooters.
During my teen and early adulthood, my preference in a class varied on my mood. In some cases, I would stick with summoning and offensive magic. Then there are times where I want to hit things with a melee weapon. When I first played the .hack//G.U. trilogy, I loved that Haseo’s Adept Rogue job lets him switch between different fighting styles.
While I found this feature to be cool, my favorite thing about the Adept Rogue is its mechanics. According to one of the manga adaptations of .hack//G.U., a player can choose the class’ weapons during the character creation process. They’re given four points, which are used to pick two or three proficiencies. For example, I could be an Edge Punisher (one point), a fighter who uses great swords, who can change into a Macabre Dancer (three points), a balanced caster that fights with fans. With this configuration, I can obliterate monsters with hard shells, do elemental damage, buff my allies, and debuff my targets.
Thanks to Adept Rogue’s versatility, I don’t have to commit to one specialty. Sure, my stats will be lower than the other jobs, but the tradeoff is that I get more abilities. Other than that, the other reason why it’s my favorite class is I get to use The World R:2‘s version of a modern-day Kamen Rider. I guess this is due to my recent love of characters who like to change things up.
If CyberConnect2 decides to make a new .hack game, I hope they let players pick the main character’s job. That way, I can play as a hero who has access to my favorite weapons and fighting styles.
My Shepard was a Vanguard. Always has been, always will be. I chose a Vanguard even when they were kind of boring and bad, during the Mass Effect 1 days. Being a Vanguard connects Shepard to the core conceits of the Mass Effect series in a way that no other character class in could. Being a Vanguard justifies the myth of Commander Shepard, making her special like a hero should be. Soldier Shepard is just really good at shooting guns. Engineer Shepard is good at using her omni-tool. You don’t even see Infiltrator Shepard, but a hero needs to be seen to be cool. Adept Shepard is just kind of freaky. But Vanguard Shepard? Vanguard Shepard is an elite soldier (check), heir to the Mass Effect setting’s superpowers (biotics), and the kind of leader that fights on the front line, like a classical hero does.
Now sure, you could say the same about Sentinel Shepard… but not after Mass Effect 2, which added the Vanguard’s party piece: Biotic Charge. Now Vanguard Shepard is the true hero that jumps in head-first against the Reapers or whoever to save the day, while Sentinel Shepard cowers in cover, waiting for her Tech Armor to recharge. Being a Vanguard is having space magic and still being able to feel like a badass with or without it.
I think Final Fantasy needs to bring back the Calculator class and have everyone in it look like the ladies from Hidden Figures.