You DARE to challenge us?
As much as games have grown over time, delivering powerful stories and thoughtful messages, challenging you to think or see things a little bit differently, there's still space for good old fashioned wish-fulfillment. There's nothing better than the way you feel when you find the perfect move, one that no enemy can withstand as you visit violent fury upon their pitiful souls. A move that makes you feel like a warrior, a king, a god among digital ants! Feel my wrath, weakling!
You're probably thinking about a particular special move right now. Everyone has that one amazing attack/combo/fury from the heavens that makes them feel like a golden god. We at GR+ are no exception, so we've collected some of the staff favorites for proper reverence. Read on to see what makes us feel distinctly deity-like - and don't forget to tell us what move makes you feel like more than a mere mortal.
Raging Demon (Street Fighter) - Maxwell McGee
Landing this attack almost feels like cheating, because you have to enter a special code to pull it off. The Raging Demon - or Shun Goku Satsu in Japanese - is Akuma's signature attack throughout the Street Fighter series. The super move starts with Akuma gliding towards his opponent; should he make contact, everything goes white and a series of lightning-fast strikes fly across the screen. Finally, everything returns to normal, only the opponent is lying unconscious on the ground, and Akuma has his back to the camera (usually with the kanji for "Heaven" emblazoned across his back).
The Raging Demon is basically an instantaneous smackdown that deals ludicrous amounts of damage, leading to a very abrupt - and stylish - end to the fight. I always hold my breath when this attack starts, whether I'm playing as or against Akuma - either I'm hoping it'll hit, or I'm desperately leaping to avoid it. But the most unique thing about the Raging Demon is the input. Instead of the typical half-circle and quarter-circle motions of other special moves, this move requires a sequence of five button presses to be performed. That's what makes it feel like entering a cheat code, because if you pull it off correctly you're almost certain to win the round.
Charged R2 attack with the Hunter's Axe (Bloodborne) - Justin Towell
I played through all of Bloodborne using the Hunter's Axe. Maxed it out for the trophy, too, but only during NG+. For the entirety of my first playthough, I only did three visceral attacks, tops (and the first was purely by accident). Why? I worked out very quickly that my axe in its longer form did more damage than in the shorter form, so I didn't use the shorter form. Also, I didn't realize that the gun is meant to be used as a parry, instead assuming it was a pretty useless ranged weapon.
So what's my point? The charged R2 attack with the trick version of the Hunter's Axe is amazing. Such raw power, such reach and spread it's like Link's 360-degree sword spin, only it goes round twice. There's also a moment of no return, where even if you get hit, the attack will play out. Not only that, my stamina soon allowed for a second such mega-swing to be powered immediately after loosing the first. This process takes exactly the right amount of time for the enemy to stand up from the first one, straight into the first impact of the second. Giants, brain-suckers, spiders all of them destroyed in moments. Heeeeeeeee.
The Assecution (The Darkness 2) - Andy Hartup
Look, pretty much any tentacle ability in The Darkness 2 qualifies as a gut-wrenching, godlike move. Slicing someone in half by throwing a car door at them? Beautifully horrific. Holding them in the air with one tentacle, while quartering them with the other? Words fail me. But perhaps the ultimate display of power, in a game that revels in letting you assert violent authority over your enemies, is the Assecution.
Not played The Darkness 2? Allow me to describe what happens. You're not squeamish, are you? Good. While holding an enemy upside down with one darkness tendril, our hero Jackie sends another one right between the poor foe's legs. Yup, where the sun don't shine. It emerges seconds later, having removed the victim's spine. Yes, through their own ass. Ok, it's sick and juvenile, but it makes you feel unstoppable, like there's nothing you can't do in this game. And much as I hate to admit it, it feels damn good - to pull off, that is.
1st to 4th gear powerslide (Daytona USA) - Paul Taylor
Bruce Lee once said he didn't fear the man who practiced 10,000 kicks, but the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. I am the man who practiced the lap-defining final right-hander in Daytona USA's Dinosaur Canyon 10,000 times over, and with every gear shift, my heart is in my throat while my right foot is squashing the accelerator flat to the floor.
Its a move that teeters on the edge of tragedy on lap one, with half a dozen other cars kicking around four flat lanes to mess up the exit, and a cruel slab of concrete greeting anyone who tickles the grass with their rear wheels. From fourth gear to first to loosen the polygonal tread, a sharp turn right and back - now in third - to counter-steer and clipping the inside apex, then just as the corner becomes a straight, the shifter must be in fourth. I am all-powerful, a bellowing extension of Number 41 when I get the timing right and the slipstream of a brute in front slices a few precious milliseconds off my lap. Fudge it and I may as well do a U-turn into the pit lane and stare at the Congratulations! You just lost your sponsors billboard.
Kens ambiguous cross-up' combo (Street Fighter) - Dave Houghton
Its not the most technically demanding of combos, nor is it the most universally useful. But good God, does it feel good. The gist is this: Kens flying medium kick has a really long hitbox on it - so long in fact, that if you jump not directly at your opponent, but almost over them, theyll rarely be able to predict which side its going to hit on. Hell, half the time I dont know until it lands, but thats half the fun. Thus, effective blocking is hard.
Then, the instant my feet hit the ground, I roll from medium punch to fierce, to launch a savaging one-two so impactful that it just should not be viable. Rounding off with an easily chained flaming Dragon Punch, the effect is so satisfying its almost painful. Like all the best Street Fighter combos, theres a musicality to its pacing and feedback, like Ive nailed a killer drum-fill and broken someones face to boot. Crump, boom-boom. Boo-boo-BOOM. Thats how it sounds. Its the way it just explodes out of nowhere, that moment of uncertainty as I hang in the air, before dropping like a bomb and delivering like a meat-tenderizer. Id still use it even if it did minimal damage (it doesnt). Its the ultimate in shocks and showmanship, and it feels sodding amazing each and every time.
The High Bolide spell (Dragon's Dogma) - Joe Skrebels
Games get magic wrong. Most of them treat the ability to wield spiritual elements like it's some kind of Eldritch gun - point-'n'-shoot using only your brain. It's so much more grand than that - sorcerers are people bending the the most intractable particles of nature to their will. It's about as godlike an action as you can get, so it should feel like that. Trust Dragon's Dogma and its masterful, undersung reworking of the RPG genre to stick its oar in. Frankly, most of the magic in this game feels incredible to use, but there's something extra special about High Bolide.
Firstly, it's in how shitting long the thing takes to use in the first place. Your character stands still in the midst of battle for eighteen seconds, waving their arms like someone pretending they can do tai chi. They float a little, gesture like a furious conductor, and stop. For a second, there's nothing. Then, there's everything. The sky rains enormous meteors, presumably wrenched from their gentle orbits in space to do your bidding. There's no targeting exactly where they land, and that's part of the fun - you're powerful, but space debris plummeting at terminal velocity against the grain of physics is only so controllable. But when it hits? You're not godlike. You're god.
Being Bourne (Hitman Blood Money) - Leon Hurley
I have an odd relationship with Hitman games. As a rule, I always play nice when theres a choice, but if Agent 47s involved, Ill drop anyone the second I think somethings off. Its a hugely (and worryingly) satisfying ability to pull a silenced pistol from your jacket, make someone quiet, and walk off unnoticed. Ive left many a nosey guard sleeping in the chair they barely had a chance to get out of. MY PAPERS WERE FINE.
However, I reached peak Hitman during Blood Money, which added the ability to disarm enemies. Id completed my hit at the opera house and got away unseen, but for some reason the guards in the lobby were alerted. Without stopping, I walked up to the first guy, disarmed him (taking him down in the process) and shot his partner with his gun. Then I dropped it and walked out the door without breaking pace, before the bodies even hit the floor. I dont think Ive ever felt more powerful. I probably need help, dont I?
Uphill jamming (Jet Set Radio) - Connor Sheridan
Wheels like to roll downhill. That's physics. And even in Jet Set Radio, which is filled with gravity-and-momentum-defying moves like hairpin rail grinds and seconds-long wallrides, it's still tough to coax your roller skates up a steep incline. Tough, but not impossible. The only way up is to keep pressing that speed boost button, and the only way to keep enough boost in the tank is rudie rule one: Always Be Combo-ing.
That means you're leaping, grinding, and wall-riding for your very life, because momentum is life in Jet Set Radio. Miss one gap and your futuristic turbo skates will sputter out, leaving you to scoot shamefully back to the base of the hill. But if you can nail every diagonal inch, you'll just keep boosting on up, up, up, simultaneously flipping the bird to society and physics alike in an uncanny maneuver that researchers refer to as a great big slalomous gravityfuck.
Izuna Drop (Ninja Gaiden) - Ludwig Kietzmann
Though Ryu Hayabusa claims to be a ninja, his extravagant flair for violence in the modern Ninja Gaiden suggests a staggering incompetence in the art of stealth. We can forgive him this, however, as his true calling - the acrobatic annihilation of fleshy minions - grants us the greatest maneuver in all of video games. The Izuna Drop is the mic drop of deadly melee finishers, with that last audible thump exploding into a gross miasma of body parts.
The squishy violence isn't the thrill of it. The Izuna drop has a primal tap-tap-tap cadence to it, and an airborne trajectory that's both pleasing to see and a relief to execute, with Ryu becoming temporarily invulnerable during the process. A few sword slashes open the move, slash-slash-slash, after which Ryu clamps his muscles around his snarling dance partner, rockets into the air, flips and fires downward in a blaze of HYYAAARRGGHH! It's a literal, ground-breaking death spiral that deserves its own bit of poetry. Up. Down. Splat. The End.
Supersonic bodyslam (Saints Row 4) - Lucas Sullivan
Everything about the late game in Saints Row 4 is designed to make you feel like a god. Though The Boss-turned-President of the United States ends up trapped in a simulation of Steelport, life in the faux-Matrix comes with a few perks. Chief among them is a full suite of superhuman powers, once you've figured out how to bend virtual reality to your will (and snagged a few upgrades). While the over-the-top finisher animations from Saints Row The Third are a hoot, they're nothing compared to SR4's supersonic grappling moves.
There's no wrong way to enjoy a mach-speed takedown. I'm a big advocate of running across town so fast that my legs become blue blurs that leave car wrecks in their wake, then coming to a stop by slamming into a baddie and stomping their heads into mush (preferably while this song is playing). You can also scoff when a nearby enemy pulls a firearm on you, then dash up to them and perform a suplex like you're The Flash doing his best pro wrestler imitation.
Undertow/Shock Jockey combo (BioShock Infinite) - Ashley Reed
The key to conquering BioShock Infinite's vigor system is a proper understanding of its various combos. You need to know what different vigors do when used together, the best situation to employ them, the timing needed to make it work, and (most importantly) which are so powerful that they leave you cackling viciously over your own godliness. Everyone has a favorite, and mine is easily the Undertow/Shock Jockey fusion.
Once you fully upgrade the Undertow vigor, you'll be able to reach across a space roughly the size of a baseball diamond with a magic water tentacle and grab up to five enemies. Then you pull all of them close, switch to Shock Jockey, and electrocute the tentacle, instantly vaporizing everyone in its grasp. You can immediately reach out again and grab another set of mooks and repeat the process over and over, disintegrating packs of opponents in seconds. Sometimes your hurricane of death even brings the game's framerate to a grinding halt, proving to these pitiful mortals you are too mighty for the game itself to withstand!