Hack n Slash games are near and dear to me as much as adventure games from the PS2 days. I’m always super excited whenever a new hack n slash game gets announced and it’s one of the few genres that I can genuinely say that I’m good at. I’ve played a lot of hack n slash games but only very few characters have managed to impress me enough to make this list. Here are my top 5 favorite hack n slash characters:
5. Hotsuma (Shinobi)
Hotsuma is a man out for revenge for his fallen clan, with a cursed sword constantly threatening his life and unmatched ninja skills at his disposal. The Shinobi game on PS2 was fast-paced and unforgiving, but very rewarding if you managed to get the right flow going. Hotsuma’s the kind of character who stands with a calm pose in the midst of several demonic enemies, right before he cuts them down instantly while teleporting between them. Able to stick to walls permanently like a lizard, Hotsuma was really fun to use in Shinobi and had very cool one-liners.
4. Nero (Devil May Cry 4)
Inheriting the dark power of Nelo Angelo’s devil arm, Nero uses his ‘Devil Bringer’ power to grab demons 4 times his size and make quick work of them. Nero’s kind of like a more cynical version of Dante, who cares nothing for responsibility and more for his close friend Kyrie. As Nero grows more powerful in DMC4, he does it with a cool demeanor and aggressive action in equal measure. While his combos and overall moves might not as extensive as Dante’s or other hack n slash protagonists, using his Exceed gauge to heat up his sword attacks makes for some extremely thrilling fights.
3. Raiden (Metal Gear Rising & Metal Gear Solid series)
Raiden went from an unsure Foxhound newbie to full-fledged cyborg ninja, performing feats as ridiculous as catching the arm of a Metal Gear Ray, throwing the whole thing into the sky and then cutting it to pieces. Raiden’s first outing in Metal Gear Solid 2 was a big, dramatic debut for him, but one that not many received well. But ever since he received the sword at the end of MGS2 I knew he was destined to be a hack n slash character. Metal Gear Rising is his respective game, where he gets to literally cut enemies to pieces and chop limbs off at will. Raiden isn’t all senseless violence though, as he’s driven by his conviction and his attempts to forget his past. Raiden knows what it takes to fight for what’s right even if it means cutting through a sea of enemies.
2. Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden series)
No matter what the situation, Ryu Hayabusa puts duty before all else. Having fought his way through monsters, demons, machines and even humans, Ryu puts his master ninja skills to use each time. The Ninja Gaiden series is notorious for being incredibly difficult, a challenge which never seems to shake Ryu’s resolve one bit. He’s sometimes considered as the ‘ultimate ninja’ since he possesses the ability to run across walls, teleport, use ninpo (ninja techniques), as well as wield a variety of powerful weapons with ease. When faced against an enemy of considerable threat, Ryu will immediately put his life on the line to take it down with precision. He may sometimes regret some of his actions and the weight of his kills comes back to haunt him, but regardless he presses on to fight for what is right.
1. Dante (Devil May Cry series)
Wise-cracking, super cheesy, a serious try-hard when it comes to being cool, sometimes just plain goofy but all around an awesome character. Dante has got the fight in him as much as he has terrible jokes and one-liners. He’s easily my favorite hack n slash character for being a character who isn’t at all over-powered but can take on enemies much stronger than him, which makes watching him grow stronger all the more engaging. He quite literally laughs in the face of danger but will become serious when necessary, so he’s not just some uncaring idiot. Dante is very cool, very fun, at times very silly, but ultimately a seriously stylish character.
So that’s my list! What are your favorite hack n slash characters? Let me know in the comments section, on my Facebook or Twitter.