Tell us your favorite alternate look
Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes a bevy of scary releases in theaters and on game consoles around the world, so what better time than now to talk about how much we love scary games. I love a good jump scare or an even better slow build-up of mood and tension that culminates in a terrifying, pants-wetting crescendo so for this week’s Destructoid Discusses post I wanted to ask what your favorite scary moments in gaming…
What’s that? Wes already asked this question?
Well, fuck you Wes and thanks for nothing you washboard playing, moonshine jug blowing bastard. I guess this week there will be no question because of Wes, whose real name is Adolf Mussolini by the way, just had to take advantage of a Friday the 13th and do the totally predictable thing. I mean really, asking about frights on Friday the 13th? That’s lame and expected. Asking about scary games around Halloween? Totally original and shocking.
But I guess that’s it. Wes Adolf Mao Mussolini Bin Laden has killed this feature just like he killed that male hooker on the outskirts of Nashville two years ago in a sounding experiment gone wrong. Because there is absolutely nothing else I can do with video games that associate with Halloween. Yep, absolutely nothing else, nothing at all.
So anyway, costumes are pretty amazing this time of year and I look forward to the apologies that have to be issued after a flood of people complain on Twitter about the various Sexy Puerto Rican Survivor costumes absentminded celebrities will post on their Instagram this month. In gaming, alternate costumes allow us to play dress up with our favorite characters or let us express ourselves by creating a mishmash of styles that don’t really go together but do mad DPS on the plains of Azeroth.
There are so many games with amazing costumes to choose from that I can’t even begin to imagine what our Destructoid writers will choose. For me, nothing brought more joy to my soul then when it was revealed Little Mac in Super Smash Bros for Wii U would include a Wireframe alternate costume. It was badass enough that Little Mac was finally going to be included in the franchise, but then to go all the way back to the roots of the series, the original Arcade exclusive Punch-Out!!. Though technically not Little Mac, the playable character here was nothing but a wireframe outline of a boxer that allowed players to see the incoming attacks from Bald Bull, Glass Joe, and Piston Hurricane.
Most gamers probably only remember Punch-Out!! from its NES entry or its follow-ups on the SNES and Wii. Soon enough, Switch owners will get the chance to play the arcade original as part of the Arcade Archives collection. The wireframe alternate costume is a lovely throwback and reference to Nintendo’s roots. The fact that I can dress wireframe Mac up in the famous pink sweatsuit is all the more wonderful.
I know what it’s like to be a fan of that one random side character that shows up for a few minutes and is never heard from again.
For me, that was Roy Koopa. I don’t know what it was — the color scheme, the shades, the implication that he might have a slight attitude (but likely isn’t full-on crazy like Lemmy) — but I really wanted to see more of that little guy when he debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3. Because as it stood, you fight him for literally 10 seconds in his castle in 3 and that’s basically it. Small-time appearances in NSMB Wii/NSMB2/NSMBU/Mario & Luigi followed, by again, they were minor.
That’s why I appreciate the ability to play as all seven Koopalings in Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS. You know there’s some huge Larry or Wendy (or even Morton: seriously does anyone like Morton?) fan out there who was waiting for their chance to play their favorite baddie who feels the same.
Project M is the bee’s knees y’all. Beyond re-balancing Super Smash Bros Brawl to make it faster-paced and more technical, the mod also delivers on the second front Smash is known for: its fanservice.
Want to play as Toon Link with his Outset Island outfit? Maybe as Samus with her Light Suit from Metroid Prime 2? Oh, how about Shinobi Squirtle, Samurai King Dedede or Shadow Peach?
Picking any of these characters would be the making the biggest mistake of your life, of course. There’s an objectively superior character in the roster. The best alternate costume in all of gaming is obviously Mr. L. The enigmatic mustached man from Super Paper Mario works perfectly in Smash Bros. His edgy look combined with Luigi’s joke move set combine to create an amazing experience that totally nails the character. His desire to destroy the world… clashing against his inner gratefulness to the princess for inviting him over for picnics.
Persona is one of my favorite game series of all time. In fact, Persona 5 ate a good portion of my life earlier this year and that game was filled with some pretty awesome extra costumes for the party. None of the costumes in P5 could even dare to compete with Persona 4’s perfect group costume. I’m talking of course about Neo Featherman.
Neo Featherman is the most popular Super Sentai show in the Persona universe. Masks for the Neo Featherman characters actually play a pretty big role in Persona 2, but in P4, a damn near perfect game, you could dress your entire party up like the Featherman crew.
Not only is running around dungeons dressed like god damn Power Rangers awesome, the costumes also have the characters perform awesome poses during battles and group up for a Ginyu Force style victory pose. Clearly, Neo Featherman blows all other alternate costumes out of the water.
This is another one where it’s impossible to pick just one. Frank West as Roll Caskett in Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop, the Mario mask shells the Koopa’s wear in Super Mario World after you beat the special stages, and SNK Vs. Capcom‘s Midnight Bliss exclusive outfits are just a few of my favorites.
Cave Story+ beats them all though, even if all you’re counting is sheer volume. Every character and background in the game was remade for a special time-sensitive Halloween celebration, which just happens to be going on right now! [Edit: It’s actually not going on right now. The real dates are October 27th to November 3rd]. Jellyfish become Metroids, Professor Booster becomes Freddy Kruger, Curly becomes Samus, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve already beaten the game at least ten times, but every time Halloween comes around, I can’t help but run through it one more time. That candy corn is impossible to resist.
Occams Electric Toothbrush
Costumes in games are great. They can bring a sense of badassery to a character or levity to an intense game. For me, it was always the sillier the better. So thinking back on all the costumes I’ve seen over the years in all the games, I’ll always have a favorite. And that’s the Octopus/Crab costume from Rule of Rose.
In the grand realm of fucked up horror games, Rule of Rose is up there. Hell, it may even take top honors. You’ve got child molestation, abortions, weird female sexual identity stuff, and much like puberty in general, the controls were extremely awkward. It was an uncomfortable game that felt equal parts horror movie, fairy tale, and art film.
So as you would expect from such a grim and heavy game, you can unlock the ability to transform the main character into a fully articulated octopus and her canine companion in a king crab. As a cephalopod/crustacean fan and aficionado of the absurd, this is like catnip to me.
I’m a really vanilla guy, so for me, I tend to stick with the default on everything. I usually pick the main character of every game and I greatly prefer being in their generic attire. I suppose that explains why Ryu is my favorite Street Fighter character. Sometimes, though, an alternate costume is so amazing and cool that it actually spawns a brand new character, so how could I not list Luigi?
He began as a simple palette swap to his shorter, pudgier brother, but soon morphed into a personality all his own. A lot of people will tell you they prefer Luigi and if I wasn’t such a plain Jane, I’d probably agree. For me, though, I’ll always associate Luigi with my sister, who ended up getting saddled with him in our youth because I demanded to be Mario. I can’t imagine a life without my sister and I honestly don’t know where Mario would be without his little bro. My sister is older than me, though, so we kind of got that detail backward. Whatever, Luigi is great.
I appreciate silly costumes in horror games. They’re usually unlocked after one or two playthroughs, and they counterbalance all the tension if you want to do a quick run. Heather’s Princess Heart costume in Silent Hill 3 is my favorite not only because it’s cute and fun but also because I like to imagine that Heather was a big anime fan before she found herself in Silent Hill. Maybe she went to the mall that day to find Sailor Moon Super S the Movie: Black Dream Hole at FYE.
One of the things I love about alternate costumes is seeing your favorite video game hero take down his/her enemy while wearing a ridiculous outfit. That being said, Sousuke Sagara’s Bonta-kun suit from Super Robot Wars V is the perfect candidate for this scenario. But wait, isn’t he from an anime series? Well, I didn’t see a rule about characters from licensed titles not being allowed.
The beautiful thing about Bonta-kun is that you’re taking down giant robots and monsters as a guy wearing a cute theme park mascot suit. In some cases, you’ll get to face a god-like being. Of course, this makes him more powerful than the outfit featured in the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu anime. Other than that, the idea of watching your target express their humiliation is priceless. Also, there’s something amazing about hearing The A-Team theme when the fight begins.
Ever since Bonta-kun’s video game debut in Super Robot Wars J, he continues to be one of the franchise’s silliest units. Since the costume forces Sagara to only say variations of the word “Fumoffu” in battles and story scenes, these segments tend to make me laugh.
Like, damn girl.
Chun-li’s blue qipao is pretty iconic. It practically symbolizes a powerful woman at this point. But I also really like the outfits Chun-li wears that imply that she has a life outside of work. Because let’s be honest, the better part of her history until we see Chun-li teaching kids wing chun in Street Fighter 3rd Strike can be characterized by, “I must avenge my father as a policewoman.”
Also, I specifically refer to her fancy dress from SFIV because she keeps her signature ox horns on. She doesn’t wear her hair up in ox horns alongside this dress when it returns in SFV, therefore, it is inferior.
I tend to be a vanilla sort of guy when it comes to alternate costumes since I get all uncomfortable when characters look too “off” in cutscenes and whatnot. That’s why the playable Persona 3 and Persona 4 costumes in Persona 5 are right up my alley. Both of those represent the vanilla looks of the characters from their respective games, and better still, the costumes themselves change the battle music to that of the appropriate game, which is awesome and totally worth the fact that the DLC costs money.
Pixie The Fairy
Not gonna lie, I could go on forever about alternate costumes and looks in games. My quick posts and tweets are littered with alternate looks for my Final Fantasy character alone. I’ll spend countless hours just making new looks for each job I play.
Do I go out as a heavily armored Warrior or go out in the Thavnarian Bustier set but keep my axe? Do I want to look like a Samurai by way of Sephiroth, Shiren the Wanderer, a J-rockstar or something a bit more rustic? Do I want my Ninja more like Shadow, like something out of Naruto or do I insert some western rogueish charm into it? Do I like my Monk pious or looking like a street thug?
FFXIV’s glamour and dye systems can provide so many options, it even lets me be evil in crafting. I dye everything I make rose pink before I put it up for sale in the auction house just to play into the hazing of lower level players. You won’t just look like a garden gnome, you’ll be a rose pink one.
Geez CJ, calm down. I haven’t seen a man cry like that since that one male hooker outside of Nashville. And at least he was getting paid to do it – you’re just doing it for free. Maybe next week you can beat me to the punch and ask the staff what their favorite rabbits are in preparation for Easter?
And it’s Wes Russolini, thank you very much!
Anyway, being the very cheap bastard that I am, I almost never buy games brand new. Even rarer is me caring enough to pre-order a game, just to help WB meet pre-launch quotas so I can be one of the first players to experience being milked for every dime I own. It’s just not something I like to support. That said, every now and again a company will do something so horrible and dastardly that I’m really left with no choice in the matter.
Like everyone, I have a few things that really make me tick. One of which is The Evil Dead because it’s awesome, and another is gratuitously sexy cosplay because I’m pathetic. When it was announced that Lollipop Chainsaw would have an Ashley J. Williams skin for the game’s hero Juliet Starling, both of my orange glowing weak spots were exposed, and the unsavory practice of pre-ordering games absolutely fucking unloaded on me. Did I care that the skin was exclusive to GameStop? God, that hurt. Did it stop me from forking over my hard-earned cash when I could have saved 20% at Best Buy for the same game, sans Sexy Ash costume?
What do you think?
Man, my head bounced around to so many things while thinking about this question. Smash Bros. obviously is a great place for many alternate costumes and Mario Maker recently made getting Mystery Mushrooms super exciting. Then I thought of it. The best alternate costume for one of the best video games ever created.
The Cod of War.
God of War II is such a great game that I probably would have re-visited it at some point no matter what, but after beating the game and unlocking the Cod of War costumes, I immediately jumped back in; I had to see this in action. Kratos is such a badass throughout the entire series so the added silliness of this costume works wonders for the entertainment factor. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an alternate costume more than this one, so I had to give it my nod.
I literally can’t think of a better note to end on than Cod of War. To tell us how stupid we are for leaving out any and every alternate Bayonetta costume, take to the comments below.