Thursday, February 21, 2013

Top Ten Gaming Duos

Warning: This article contains spoilers, so please tread carefully.

Last Thursday we here at SuperPhillip Central took a look at the greatest gaming couples. Why not do something similar the following week and study some of the best gaming duos. While last week's relationships were built on a fond affection and even love, these platonic relationships and duos today are built on trust, respect, among other endearing qualities.

10) Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series)


A good relationship is built heavily on trust, and that is exact what you get when you pair up Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine. The two met when they both joined the military force S.T.A.R.S. and had their first mission at the Spencer Mountains in the Arklay Mountains. Over the course of this and many other missions, the two bonded and became great confidants to one another. The trust that is the foundation of their partnership makes them one duo to be reckoned with.

9) Baby Mario and Yoshi (Yoshi's Island series)


Before Mario could even comb his mustache, he was riding in the saddle of Yoshi. Even then he was on an adventure to rescue somebody, and in Yoshi's Island's case, his brother Luigi. The bond that Baby Mario and Yoshi has is timeless. When Baby Mario is separated from Yoshi, Yoshi does his best to nab the future Mushroom Kingdom hero, throwing caution to the wind, as if Mario was Yoshi's own child. It's this parental relationship that makes this partnership so interesting.

8) Banjo and Kazooie (Banjo-Kazooie series)


Rare's bear and bird duo may have seen better days, but there is no question that they were on top of the world with both of their Nintendo 64 releases, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. While Kazooie is never hesitant to sass whoever she likes, Banjo is always the one to apologize for what comes out of her mouth. Together the two are a mighty combination. Kazooie gives Banjo the ability to gain extra distance and height in his jumps, the ability to climb up steep slopes, while Banjo gives Kazooie direction when she unloads eggs from her beak. Nothing their nemesis Gruntilda can muster is enough to defeat this duo.

7) Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter series)


Another duo that is one part straight man and one part smart mouth is the duo that is Jak and Daxter. In the original game, Jak was a silent hero and Daxter did all of the talking. With the darker direction of the subsequent sequels, Jak gained his own voice. Still, Daxter was the smart aleck and the comedy relief-- Jak's comedic foil. The fairly recently released Jak and Daxter Collection can be purchased for the PlayStation 3 for an MSRP of $19.99. There's no better time to witness this charming duo. While one brings the guns, making his actions speak louder than his words, Daxter brings the 'tude, showing that his words speak louder than his actions.

6) Link and Midna (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)


One of The Legend of Zelda fans' favorite partnerships in the series is the one between Link and Midna in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Like Jak in the original Jak and Daxter, Link is of course the strong silent type. When Link and Midna meet, the Hero of Time is chained up in wolf form in a prison cell. Midna, shown in imp form, releases him, and the relationship builds from there. At the start, Midna shows little concern for Link's safety, simply telling him what to do for her own gain. By the end, she shows great respect for Link for helping her regain her true form and the Twilight Realm throne that the evil Zant stole from her. And how can you not like the play on Link seldom speaking when Midna utters, "Am I so beautiful that you've no words left?"

5) Mega Man and Rush (Mega Man series)


Every robotic boy needs a robotic buddy. Dr. Light, the creator of Mega Man, built the Blue Bomber a canine companion in the form of Rush. Rush debuted in Mega Man 3, and allowed Mega Man three helpful abilities: coil, jet, and submarine. Coil allowed Mega to leap high into the air, jet allowed Mega to cross over wide chasms and perilous bottomless pits, and submarine granted access to an aquatic vehicle. In Mega Man 6, Rush even gets more involved with the action by fusing himself with Mega Man to grant Mega different specialized suits. Assisting Mega Man and just being robot's best friend, Rush makes his partnership with Mega Man and great one.

4) Ratchet and Clank (Ratchet & Clank series)


In their debut game together, Ratchet and Clank did not get along very well. Clank was naive and led both him and Ratchet into Captain Qwark's trap; Ratchet didn't lay off Clank for that foul up for a good portion of the game. By the end of Ratchet & Clank, the two became close companions. With the game's sequel, Going Commando, the two's relationship was as it is presently-- very buddy-buddy. While the two are separated at times in the series, they really depend on each other on each occasion they need to save the galaxy. Ratchet needs Clank for mobility across gaps and to reach high platforms, and Clank needs Ratchet for his sheer strength.

3) Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong (Donkey Kong Country series)


Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong are two of the coolest monkeys around. When they're not saving the day by defeating what ever instance of King K. Rool that is causing trouble, they can be seen gobbling up bananas and playing practical jokes on each other. The duo is great because you have a nice combination of pure brawn and pure agility. Donkey Kong could take care of bigger foes while Diddy Kong was much more agile and light on his feet. Both served a purpose in their partnership, and that is what makes this duo so delightful.

2) Sonic and Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog series)


Sonic and Tails have the type of partnership where even though Sonic is clearly superior, the Blue Blur still has respect for his close friend. While Sonic can no doubt defeat Dr. Robotnik/Eggman on his own, Tails is usually always there to lend a helping hand, whether it's through carrying his best friend to a higher place or creating a crafty new invention. No matter how many times Sonic ditches the two-tailed fox by speeding through a level, Tails always comes back for him. That is some serious dedication. What other team can beat down Eggman and cap the day off by chowing down some chili dogs?

1) Mario and Luigi (Super Mario Bros. series)


The number one gaming duo is probably a cop out choice. It's not controversial in any regard. Mario and Luigi are one of the seminal pairs in gaming. The two have been through everything together-- 2D platforming adventures, role-playing affairs, parties, kart racing, tennis matches, multiple rounds of golf, and so on and so forth. While Mario is always portrayed as the brave one while Luigi is seen as the scaredy cat of sorts and under Mario's shadow, together the pair is unstoppable. Whether they're partners in time or simply taking it to Bowser to save Princess Peach for the umpteenth time, the Mario brothers are without a doubt the best and most notable duo in gaming.

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There goes our list of what SuperPhillip Central's favorite gaming duos are. What are yours? You can probably come up with ones we didn't even think of! Let your voice be heard in the comments below.

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