Cats in Games: The Unsung Heros of Video Games

Cats in Games: The Unsung Heros of Video Games
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I've had enough of dogs in games. Call of Duty: Black Ops. Metal Gear Sold 5. Fallout 4. Grand Theft Auto 5. Too many dogs in too many games. Let's take a look at the good times. The cat times.

Sure, dogs in games are fine. Sometimes great. Dogmeat in Fallout 4 is nearly as adept at killing feral ghouls as my level-50 character is while sneaking around with a fully upgraded Fat Man. And Chop in Grand Theft Auto 5 has become as dear to me as any real life dog ever has.

But who out there has thought, as I have, why couldn't Dogmeat have been Catmeat? Why couldn't Franklin roam the streets of San Andreas with his trusty Maine Coon, Sparkles? Cats could be just as impactful as dogs in video games. Probably even more so!

Here's just 5-times that our feline friends got the love they so dearly deserve.

Cat Mario - Super Mario 3D World

When it comes to Mario, I think we can all agree on a few things. Does he have an impressive vertical leap for such a short guy? Yes. Is he sun-smart? Absolutely. Does he look good in red? You better believe it. Is he the perfect face of Movember? Correct.
But, where many opinions differ is whether or not he is extremely cute and adorable. Some people really dig a guy in overalls with a bitter distate for turtles, a hairy upperlip and an egg-pooping dinosaur for a pet. I, as you can probably guess, am more of a cat guy.

Well in 2013, Nintendo successfully managed to turn everyone's favourite bulbus nosed plumber into the cutest thing in video games so far this century.

How, you ask? Cats.

Not only is the new catsuit a super functional addition to Mario's wardrobe (the Catsuit makes characters super mobile and able to climb walls) it's ultra cute. 
You can't help but smile when playing a stage with four other players all dressed in catsuits. 

 

cats - Catlateral damage

Cats are awesome. But let's be honest, sometimes cats are the worst things ever. It's only that they spend 99% of the time being totally amazing that we even let them into our house.
Sometimes you buy them cool things and they don't want to play with them. Often you splash out and buy them fancy food and they refuse to eat it. Every now and then they decide using the litter tray is beneath them. And, sometimes, you come home from work to find everything in your house has been thrown to the ground in a fit of rage and boredom. 

Well Catlateral Damage gives us a little bit of insight into why our feline friends do this.

It's a first person, procedurally generated game that tasks you with one mission. Knock everything to the ground before the timer runs out... It's more of a cute game than a deep game.

Catlateral_Damage.png

 

Residents of cat cabin and cat apartment - fallout 4

I love massive open-world RPG's. And Bethesda's Fallout 4 is one of the best. I love this game. I've started the game from the beginning a grand total of three times. Reached level 50 twice. Racked up around 200 total hours wandering the wasteland. But I've somehow managed to finish the main story exactly zero times

Why? Because there's just so much to do and the idea of missing a side quest, easter egg or unmarked location haunts my dreams. So, I wander. Hoping to stumble across a location, character or item hidden for only the lucky or the heartbreakingly persistent to find.

Cat_Fallout4.jpg

So imagine my surprise when, through the mist, I spy a shack out in the middle of nowhere inhabited entirely by a dozen goddamn cats and decorated by what I believe to be the only image that should ever be committed to frame: a kitten playing with a ball of wool. I was beside myself. I vividly remember looking down at my own cat, who happened to be sitting on my lap at the time, and saying, "Look Nicks, bloody cats in Fallout!" The level of immersion was greater than any VR game could offer. 

Well, wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall when, not an hour later, I mosied on into an unmarked apartment in Diamond City to find it completely over run by the very same furry creatures and one lucky old lady! 

Video game studios of the world, take a page out of Bethesda's book. If you're going to surprise the player with something, make it cats. 

 

King tom XIV - ni no kuni: wrath of the white witch

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was a sneaky awesome game that came out on the Playstation 3 and Nintendo DS in 2010. It was a super difficult, turn based RPG with an amazing art style and spectacular storyline.

Oh, and it also had a totally rad cat called King Tom XIV in it too. Sure, he's a bad guy and a particularly difficult boss who took me hours to defeat, but I always respected the fact that he managed to climb the ladder and become the king of Ding Dong Dell.

King_Tom.jpg

 

Bubsy

Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind not only has a cat as the main character and has a pun as the title, it was also a spanker of a game... when I was five. 

A friend of mine once made a compelling argument that, had both Mario and Sonic not existed, Bubsy would have been the most recognisable face in video games. And, while I think that is completely absurd and never would have been the case, I do think that Bubsy is great.

And it had a lot of things going for it too. That same feeling of momentum that you would get from a Sonic game. The same bright colours and fun character design as Mario. And Bubsy was a cat. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for a game to me. 
Sure, when it was released it was canned for being a mediocre Sonic rip-off. But everytime I see Bubsy winking at me and hear him say "What could possibly go wrong?" I'm reminded of a time when, for me, the coolest character in video games was a sweater wearing orange cat.

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