Tara's G-Spot - Games that hit the spot, according to Tara Babcock - 20 MOST BADASS VIDEO GAME STUDS BY TARA BABCOCK - www.impulsegamer.com


It goes without saying that any beautiful woman can supplement a video game plot with ease, but we mustn't forget the men that strive for dominance and exert every ounce of energy they have to pillage, ravage and declare this 2D world theirs! I need my game men to possess immense physical power, be visually bulging and brawny, and rationally intelligent; men who can awe a woman, desecrate an enemy and take what they desire, all in one afternoon with plenty of bloodshed. That is my definition of badass! So, without further ado, I present to you the digital men who make me go "ooh, aah”! Here’s my Top 20 Most Badass Video Game Studs!

#20. Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble

To start off my list of badassery, I wanted to remind you all of a classic pair that so obviously belongs on my list, simply because they can manage being adorable and continue to maintain their deadly reputation. Dragons that can destroy you with a barrage of bubbles are definitely no laughing matter, people!

Bub and Bob, often called Bubblin and Bobblin (and many other forms of Bubby and Bobby), were created in the 1986 Bubble Bobble; a platformer arcade game that has since been released on nearly all gaming devices worldwide. These maniacal "Bubble Dragons" roam level after level shooting bubbles out of their mouths, trapping their enemies, then popping them and killing them instantly! Pretty scary, no? After playing one of the Bubble Bobble titles you will never view bubbles in the same light again!

Has anyone, like I once have, ever wondered why a copy of Bubble Bobble will usually be accompanied by the Rainbow Islands game? Get this: the little boys who throw rainbows to dissect anyone in their path (even huge jumping spiders, eek!) are actually Bub and Bob in their human forms! What's more, the version of Rainbow Islands you're surely most familiar with is actually entitled, "Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2", with the full name often omitted in mass production. Pretty ironic how the installation that is supposed to reveal the most about Bub and Bob's story doesn't even officially mention that you're playing the devastating duo!

#19. Worms

Interested in games featuring vast weapons and artillery, massacre, warfare and... worms? These adorable (usually British) worms fight each other in small teams using a plethora of different weapons including, but certainly not limited to, grenades, bazookas, machine guns and many other tactical items like girders and parachutes. Nothing is off limits in the all-out battle for worm dominance! The terrain is deformable, meaning each weapon fire will ruin bits and pieces of the crazy scenery while destroying as many of the opposing team's worm buddies as possible. Not only are worms cold-blooded military assassins, they will also taunt you, albeit squeakily, when you fail. I can just hear it now... "Steeewpid!"

Worms was first released in 1995 for the Commodore-Amiga computer and was later ported to, where I played it endlessly, PlayStation and many other consoles. More 2D versions have been released almost yearly and a total of three 3D titles have graced the franchise. Spin offs and tributes are rampant for the Worms series as well, making it one of the most beloved kick-ass games to date. What could be more macabre than a bunch of earthworm ruffians blowing each other to bits in the middle of a littered carnival floor or in the depths of fiery hell? Nothing, I say!

It was hard to eliminate Lemmings from my list! Walking into certain death without a care in the world is pretty ballsy, and I've always loved the series!

#18. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog definitely isn't your average, every day, small, pokey mammal! Not only does he travel at the speed of light (or faster!) on a whim, he's also a trash-talking, buddy-protecting, Robotnik-slaying machine!

Sonic the Hedgehog is the supersonic protagonist of his self-titled franchise which premiered in 1991, but this spiny lightning bolt didn't start off with his own game, he actually had a small cameo appearance prior to the Sonic the Hedgehog title in the arcades! Rad Mobile featured Sonic as, I'm sure you didn't guess it this time, an air freshener. Since then, Sonic has headed over thirty game titles collecting coins, vanquishing baddies and running way, way too fast.

On top of all of Sonic's ultra-badassity, one thing many of you may not have known is that he was also created by Sega as a mascot to rival Mario, Nintendo's super powered plumber. I think he did pretty well considering his opposition!

#17. Donkey Kong

Moving up my list is Donkey Kong, who is certainly not without his badass moments. Aside from his King Kong-esque appearance and abilities, and his leader of the pack status, he also began his video game front man career as Mario's archenemy. The 1981 Donkey Kong game focused on DK abducting Mario's current princess, then throwing barrels to prevent Mario from doing his thing. This nature for DK persisted until he dropped his menacing antagonist role with the release of the Donkey Kong Country series. DK Country brought the king of monkeys a new persona; he became a baddie-killer and a family man sporting a tie, instead of the babe-stealing giant!

Donkey Kong may have begun to leave Mario alone and show his heroic side, but that did not take away from his aggressive, leader of the pack mentality one bit. DK is still the biggest and baddest in the Super Smash Bros. titles, where he battles it out against fellow video game characters, and he has no issue disciplining Diddy Kong harshly for being a troublesome teenager! I bet a good batch of bananas could still tame the giant, hairy gorilla, though... not that I would dare get near enough to try! 

#16. Agent 47 from Hitman

Now we're getting somewhere! Where do I start? Agent 47, or sometimes simply 47, is genetically engineered from the DNA of the absolute top criminal minds. He's fast, intelligent, emotionless, and can blend into any circumstance until he finds the perfect time to strike and take his target's life... instantly. You'd never know if this black suit of badassery was right around the corner waiting to eliminate you. Wow!

47 originates from the Hitman series where he is a master assassin-for-hire with a flawless kill record. Each game has a unique set of hits from the rich and elite clientele that this exciting, stoic executioner must complete flawlessly.

Agent 47 has a barcode on his neck, with no real name, and is infused with the blood of many different ethnicities, which makes him mysterious and ever more useful in his line of work, simultaneously. 47 will choke you with a wire, make a small fortune, get any girl he decides to and still be home by five o'clock... now that's what I call badass. I just wish they could've casted someone that, um, compares for the big screen portrayal. Man, I can't wait for Hitman: Absolution! 

#15. Bowser (King Koopa) from Super Mario Bros

The King Koopa and Princess Peach-caper himself, Bowser! Though his studded metal armor and enormous spiked shell and horns may make him appear threatening, the real reason he made my list is his ever-evil demeanor!

Bowser broke (or, rather, annihilated) onto the gaming scene in 1985 with the release of Super Mario Bros. as the main, and extremely long-running, nemesis of Mario. Why is Mario so worried about Bowser? Is it his precious princess again? Well... yes, but not only does this giant Koopa lord steal beautiful blondes, he also commands a large, corrupt army of Koopa Troops and has nearly succeeded at taking control of the entire Mushroom Kingdom on numerous occasions.

Lord Koopa is strong, big, angry, and knows what he wants. That's everything I look for in a man! Being the paramount threat to an entire world doesn't make him unappealing either. Whether Bowser is desecrating opponents in Super Smash Bros. or concocting a brilliant, yet botched strategy to unravel the Mushroom universe, he'll always be a part of my registry of badass studs! 

#14. Dante from Devil May Cry

In 2001 the world was introduced to the mysterious, yet sharp-tongued, silver haired superstar of the demon-slaying world with the release of Devil May Cry. Dante is not only a contract demon vanquisher mercenary; he also runs his own business in that exact industry with two smoking hot babes at his disposal. It's not uncommon to see Dante slaying various monsters, revving his motorcycle-like blade and maintaining a slice of pizza all at once.

Dante is half human, half demon himself, which gives him the super strength, agility and badassness that makes him who he is. A twin brother (yes, Virgil looks almost identical to Dante, woot!) and son of Sparda, Dante is always making snide remarks and adding personal style. Plus, that red duster and his Ebony and Ivory guns are beyond rad, thus setting him apart from the rest of the studs on my list thus far.

Unfortunately, the newest Devil May Cry title, simply DmC, sports Dante's new, and quite disenamoring, look. I've never desired males to embrace the whole super skinny "emo" thing and I'm not a fan of the short, dark hairstyle. Capcom had better bring something awe-inspiring with this new persona to keep me hooked!

What were they thinking!? Dante was perfect!

Dante in Devil May Cry lifting up off of the sword that impaled him, Alastor, going through the handle. No big deal, you know how it is.

#13. Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy

Yummy! Vincent Valentine! This vampiric hottie has always been my favorite male Final Fantasy character, ever. Every girl loves a nice guy with a tormented past, and Vincent fully encompasses the deep, mysterious and lonely warrior.

Shamefully, Vincent was originally not set to appear at all in the storyline of Final Fantasy VII, but ultimately appeared as an optional playable character. Square made up for this mistake, though, by making him the protagonist in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. He was also available in a few more prequel and sequel expansions of the original story. In FFVII, main hero Cloud discovers Vincent snoozing in a coffin. Vincent was once a Turk agent, but mad scientist Hojo got ahold of his body for experimentation and turned him into the Vincent we know and love today.

On top of all of the craziness that is Mr. Valentine, he also gears up in the coolest high-collared cloak and golden gauntlet that sends shivers down my spine. Vengeful, strong, youthful and shy... what more is there to want? Did I mention he's a total MILF chaser? We'll leave the Lucrecia story for a later date!

#12. Protagonist from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

I know what you all are thinking. Who the hell is this skinny creeper and why would he be on Tara's badass stud list? Well, if you haven't played Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne yet, you must go grab a copy, if you manage to find one! This mysterious, sexy game guy doesn't speak a word throughout the whole title, nor does he have a name. He is simply referred to as "Protagonist", unless you choose otherwise. Shin Megami fans would often call him Demon-fiend. How many friends do you have who call you that? Yeah, that's right, none.

Nocturne is essentially a turn-based RPG, and an extremely disturbing one, actually. Demon-Fiend (but we'll call him DF to give it a pop-star feel) was just an average high school kid and video game dork with slight affiliation in the occult. He, relatively randomly, found himself in the middle of the Conception, which is essentially post-apocalyptic Tokyo experiencing an acid trip. He controls a number of demonic companions along the way and spends much of his time in what appears to be someone's squishy red arteries when he is summoned by an old man with a hot wife who keeps giving him more and more demon abilities.

The allure of DF is that he's incredibly mysterious, becomes innumerably powerful, controlling many terrifying demons on a whim, and he seems to be uncharacteristically calm during a narrative so eerie I actually cannot bear to play it in the dark. Awesomely enough, Dante is an unlockable demon you can control. Yes, DF is even badass enough to control Dante from Devil May Cry himself! 

#11. Duke Nukem

Duke's your stereotypical cocky, self-absorbed "tough guy", but you’ve gotta admit... he is kind of justified, isn't he? This wise-cracking, gun-slinging badass macho man can't seem to stop winning. He was employed by the CIA to kick-butt and he did so for over ten installments. Duke not only kills monsters and enemies with ease, he also gets all of the busty babes who just happen to fall in his, uh, lap, making it worth the mature game rating. He's also super muscular, which gives automatic "Tara points" on sight... or inspection.

Our first experience with Duke's antics was on the MS-DOS in 1991. Since then Duke has been featured in many asininely-titled sequels like Bikini Project and Land of Babes. Duke is actually supposed to be loosely based on the comical mish-mashed ideal of the Hollywood male badass, but does anyone else simply think of a more successful Johnny Bravo when they look at muscle-bound and blonde Nukem? In any case, Duke is back after a zillion-year hiatus with Duke Nukem Forever, and even though I love Duke, the game developers obviously left us wanting. Apparently they think so much of their star hunk that they lacked in other aspects, even after making us wait for an updated version on a current platform for so freaking long! 

#10. Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid

Before my over-aware readers here at Impulse Gamer send me hate mail for being a poser, I want to assure that I am aware the image above is likely Big Boss from MGS3: Snake Eater and not, in actuality, Solid Snake. I am in love with the aesthetics of the younger Snake from the very first game, but alas, there are no high-quality FMV captures or works of art of anything younger than forty-something MGS4 Snake... so his clone-father Big Boss will have to do. Same model, functionally the same guy! Shush!

Anyway, moving on. Even though he is the protagonist through a vast portion of the Metal Gear Solid series, he was first part of the little pixelated world of Metal Gear in 1987. He's a sexy, rugged black ops mercenary soldier who scours dozens of different harsh sceneries, completing impossible missions without being detected at all, not that I would know that from my playing experience. From Metal Gear Solid on the first PlayStation all the way through the latest game in the franchise, I continued to make it through just barely with, what I call, the "surprise them, shoot first, freak out, repeat" technique. I could not get enough of Snake (or David, which is his real name... what!?) and his neck slitting, silencer action! Guys in camouflage are so awesome! Eventually you realize it's not your run-of-the-mill military stealth game when some supernatural happenings and talks of cloning occur, but I won't bore you with the non-sexy stuff! SS also has an awesome sense of humor. My favorite and most memorable feature in the MGS games is his numerous box-hiding spots. "What was that!? Oh, it's just a box!"

Snake is somewhat of a legend to others as well. He was the first non-Nintendo guest of Super Smash Bros. (box included) and can be seen in other great titles like LittleBigPlanet and Ape Escape. I think the fans have also made it clear; we can't get enough of Solid Snake!

Box action! Too bad it's not big enough for the both of us! Heh! 

#9. Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin's Creed

I know I've already hated on Ezio's appearance publicly, prior to this article, saying he looks like the hideous "pseudo-comedy" (Haha!) actor, Adam Sandler, but all of that is in the past. If you want to know how a real man should act, play the optional "Cristina Missions" in AC: Brotherhood (Mission 3 "The Best Man" specifically)!

Ezio Auditore grew up as a Florentine noble and son of a seemingly average banker during the Italian Renaissance. Upon his father's murder by an enemy associated with the Templar order, Ezio is thrust into (heh...) uncovering his father's "night job" and becoming a part of the assassin brotherhood. The once-normal, mischievous and popular 17-year-old kid is suddenly in a world of hidden-blade killing action. He quickly becomes a widely-feared key in the end of the Templar menace and looks far sexier in assassin's white robes than his wide-waisted predecessor, Altair. He's got a sexy deep voice with a distinguished accent, collected attitude and mad massacring skills.

Traversing the whole of Italia and beyond, Ezio grows older, wiser, eventually becomes the leader of an entire assassin guild, earning the title of maestro. Accomplished with hundreds of swift kills under his belt, and easily obtaining powerful and beautiful female companionship, it's no wonder Ezio Auditore da Firenze made my top 20!

NOTE: Watching the trailer for Assassin's Creed: Revelations is completely required, Guys! The song rocks and Ezio's performance (although he's gotta be, like, 50 by then) still gives me goose bumps! I can't wait until it's released here in the US this fall! 

#8. M. Bison from Street Fighter

One look at M. Bison's bulging, broad muscular body is enough to grant him access to dictatorship of my country any day! This wanna-be world leader will stop at nothing until all of his diabolical evildoings come to fruition... and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Bison sports a Nazi-chic ensemble and harnesses an extremely mighty force, known as "Psycho Power", that allows him the super strength to compete in the Street Fighter tournaments. Assisting with world domination plots is his crime syndicate, Shadaloo, at his side, obeying his every beck and call. Master Bison, as some have called him in confusion regarding his mysterious M. initial, is not only the main calamity of many Street Fighters, he's also busy creating super-soldiers and perfecting his destruction abilities.

Interestingly, M. Bison is referred to as "Vega" back in his origin of Japan, despite another character in the English version who goes by that name. M. Bison is no less than my near-flawless vision of a gaming super-villain. He's got it all, muscular frame, evil and driven tendencies and way too much testosterone! He can make me say, "YES! YES!" anytime! Ah... jokes. Feel free to Google that one!

#7. Nightmare (Siegfried Schtauffen) from Soul Calibur

Siegfried Schtauffen is just an uber-awesome German soldier with beautiful flowing blonde hair (usually) and an impressive self-taught sword-wielding talent. Nightmare, on the other hand, is an evil god!

Once a hero, Siegried got ahold of a legendary weapon, Soul Edge, which consumed him, thus inevitably creating an incredibly terrifying alter ego. Nightmare started off as an identity of the German cutie, but eventually became a complete entity, remaining one of the most horrifying malefactors of the Soul series.

Appearing in every game in some form or another, Sieg-mare is among the longest running characters of the series. Siegfried hailed from the very first arcade-bound Soul Edge in 1996, while evildoer, Nightmare, erupted onto the scene in Soul Calibur 1998. Although Nightmare's violent and ruthless tendencies already put him high up in the countdown of killers, it's not that which intrigued me most, but rather his appearance. Nightmare wields a seemingly alive gigantic blade with an eye, firstly. He also appears as a shadowy blue knight with a fleshy right claw-arm. I've never seen anything nearly as freakish (or as cool!) as Nightmare, the Avatar of Darkness.

...And sometimes he has a crazy set of teeth instead of an abdomen! No big deal.

#6. Tychus Findlay from StarCraft

Tychus Findlay is hands-down my favorite StarCraft character. He's rough, loyal, and a brutal killing machine on top of having an extremely masculine, large, muscle-encased frame.

Tychus appeared in his share of StarCraft literature, but his most notable video game presence was in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Part of an elite group of Confederate Marines once upon a time, Tychus was a "legend" due to over-exaggerations of his already pretty fascinating military conquests. He ended his career as an outlaw and was eventually taken to prison, then released, but forced to wear special armor soldered to his flesh, making him a full-time, super charged Marine warrior. There is a catch though, should he try to escape, the suit will self-destruct, becoming his tomb.

Whether it's Zerg monstrosities or opposing soldiers, Tychus is sure to desecrate the competition. His reputation may be shaky and muddled, but this big, burly mass-murdering soldier always seems to come through for those in his circle... that's true badassery right there. Wings of Liberty's ending reminds me of the good old saying, "What happens on Planet Char... makes Tara really, really angry at Blizzard!"

#5. Arthas (The Lich King) Menethil from Warcraft

Who other than Arthas Menethil to hold the title of "Top 5 Most Badass Video Game Studs"? Arthas has been the king of two whole kingdoms, and has slain innumerous combatants on both sides of the scale, light and dark. He's the most badass character in Warcraft history and the bane of Azeroth since he obtained Frostmourne and fully-consumed the Lich King title.

Arthas was once a handsome, mighty knight and the crown prince of Lordaeron. He led his people with honor and nobility and was a mighty Paladin. The soon-to-be king also rides two awesome skeletal mounts, risen from the dead, (as well as Jaina Proudmoore, but that's another story) an undead horse, Invincible, and a slain dragon named Sindragosa. He succumbs to his sword, goes insane, and becomes a Death Knight and leader of the scourge in Azeroth.

I've been playing Warcraft my whole life, both non-MMO titles like Warcraft II and III, as well as World of Warcraft, and Arthas cannot be beat in my eyes. Even though the Wrath of the Lich King expansion is a thing of the past in WoW, Arthas will always be my main Warcraft man!

#4. War from Darksiders

War from Darksiders is just ridiculously badass in every way! View the picture above and try to fathom him riding up to you on his horse, gigantic muscles bouncing and heavy, detailed steel armor clashing; then tell me you would not piss your pants!

War spawns in the 2010 Darksiders video game where he is depicted as the initial of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Contrary to his bloodcurdling appearance, War is not entirely evil... nor entirely heavenly, for that matter. His entire purpose is to await summons to Earth to help protect the order and balance between the two worlds, heaven and hell, during the battle of Armageddon.

Monstrous, chivalrous and enduring are all spot-on adjectives you would use to describe War and his strict code of honor. He's the stuff that legends are made of, and his persona took a generally unheard-of game development company and put it on the map! I'm cheering for War and hoping (most likely in vain) for a sequel!

#3. Kratos from God of War

If you all feel I haven't spent enough time praising the God-creation that is Kratos and his many badass moments and trials, then you're in luck! It was difficult not to place Kratos at the most prominent spot on my list because of how astonishing he is, but I can assure you all that it was a very close race!

Kratos was formed as one of the most epic, savage and incredibly sexy video game characters in 2005 with the release of God of War. In GoW, Kratos is the protagonist and a Spartan warlord. He makes the mistake of trading his soul to Ares, the current God of War, for the decapitation of his even burlier combatant on the war field. After that moment, he ends up brutally gutting his own family, chasing down and murdering gods (as a freaking mortal, no less), becoming the God of War himself, losing the title and climbing out of hell with the flaming blades that are permanently seared onto his vascular forearms. Oh no, that's not all, he actually killed and killed and kept massacring until there was nothing left of the universe or Olympus, but ash, carnage and souls. I need not mention that he often stopped during his conquests of vengeance to please multiple topless beauties, including becoming Aphrodite's (yes, that one, the most beautiful woman ever created and goddess of love) favorite fling.

After embarking on that mouthful (jokes are too easy and too dirty, will omit... this time), he is featured in many other games, taking on just as fearless and atrocious behaviors. I just can't get enough of Kratos, God of Taraslistofbadassgamingstudmuffins!

#2. Barbarian from Diablo

The Barbarians from Diablo II and future (no one knows how far in... yet) Diablo III are the most brutal, honorable and relentless class in any Blizzard game by far. They are so fierce that their exuded awesomeness was so strong; they became a confirmed returning class for Diablo III, the only class to do so between the second and third installment.

The Barbarians take runner-up in my crazed men list for a few obvious reasons. One is the amazing amount of immense mass they've put on their skeletons through the hard labors, dedication and everyday lives they must endure in order to keep their cherished Mount Arreat safe from harm. They, additionally, are so strong that they can wield two two-handed weapons, whereas other classes can barely muster enough raw power to lift one. They are driven by fury and do an insane amount of damage, combined with being able to contain and eliminate a plethora of multiple enemies at once. No other can stand alongside the Barbarian when it comes to blood thirst, yet they combine that with a strong noble vigil and are often prejudged as being mindless, when they are both savage and cunning. That's full badassness there!

Barbarians are what have made me so incredibly antsy for the D3 release, and are what have made the Blizzard Diablo games what they are. They blow Warriors from WoW out of the water and make StarCraft Terran Marines look like sissies!  

#1. Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat

Now, I know I may be slightly biased, but at the very peak of my mountain of testosterone-pumping super studs is none other than Shao Kahn, ruler of Outworld!

My animated studly husband is multi-talented! He's a master sorcerer, has vast knowledge of black magic, uncharacteristic intellect and strategic cunning that one wouldn't initially expect from a man of such... brutish appearance. Shao Kahn's other, and more obvious skill is his god-like strength and unending vigor.

1993 saw the release of Mortal Kombat II where Kahn was already the king out Outworld, and making the pathetically incomparable sorcerer, Shang Tsung, beg for his life. He overthrew the colossal dragon king, Onaga, took on his own plan of ruling and combining all realms and becoming immortal, and went with it. He stole a queen for his bride, killed her husband, claimed their land and made use of their daughter for years. He commands armies of large muscled four-armed Shokan warriors and he keeps women chained up as servants to him, as he creates panic and fear in anyone he comes in contact with.

Shao Kahn is my choice for nomination of the award, absolute most badass male video game character of all time. Massive, vindictive, ingenious, and aesthetically pleasing: Shao Kahn is one imposing badass! 

Meanwhile, in Tara Land...

I've got some exciting news! You can now get to my G-Spot section through the shortcut URL www.tarasgspot.com! Don't worry, I am still working with Impulse Gamer and following the short link will still allow you to venture off and explore the awesomeness of gaming and entertainment that is ImpulseGamer.com!

In addition, I am now on Google+! Add me to your circle of friends and you'll be able to receive article updates for Impulse Gamer as soon as they are released, as well as updates on photo sets, journals, Tara Advice and much more for tarababcock.com

You can find me here! (Google+)

I'd also like to apologize to all of my readers about my lateness in publishing this article, it's been a hectic couple of weeks shooting, traveling and working on my official website's updates; it can be a bit overwhelming! So, with that said, I've put together a set of 10 sexy and nerdy images from my recent shoot in Seattle with photographer extraordinaire, Jared Ribic! Just for Impulse Gamer fans, I've also added 4 never-before-seen shots to the mix. Stay tuned and I'll have the full set available on my site. I hope you all enjoy! 


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