Christmas isn't really about snow, carols, or even baby Jesus. Christmas, in our commercialised, hyper-capitalist world, is about presents. Big prezzies, small prezzies, cheap prezzies, expensive prezzies, it doesn't matter. All that matters is prezzies. And I thought about writing all the fun things you could get your favourite video game characters, then I remembered a) they're not real, and b) bad presents are so much more interesting than good presents. So instead, here's the worst presents you could get for some of gaming's most famous figures.
Kratos – Shampoo
Ha, get it? 'Cause he's bald! Oh, the fun we have here. Look, they get better from here but this was the first one I thought of and it was amusing to me and my silly little brain, so here we are. Other terrible gifts for Kratos include a voucher for anger management classes and some moisturiser for those rough, callused hands, both of which are useful and neither of which would be used.
Mario – A New Voice
I've made enemies all across the internet with my most terrible opinion – Chris Pratt's voice as Mario is fine. He was fine in The Lego Movie, and he's mostly fine in Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy too. Sure, he's carried by Elizabeth Banks, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Zoe Saldana in those projects, but he'll be carried by Anya Taylor-Joy here. I'd like it to have been Charles Martinet, but other than that, I really don't think anyone else would have done any better.
Marcus Fenix – Anyone Other Than Dave Bautista
Speaking of people who have carried Chris Pratt in ensemble casts, let's talk about Dave Bautista. The man is desperate to play Marcus Fenix in the long awaited live-action Gears of War adaptation, and they'd be foolish to even consider anyone else. Where the other successful wrestler-turned-actors like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena have traded on charisma and action star roles with a dash of comedy, Bautista is a deeper well with a broader range, and easily the most talented star likely to be interested in an Xbox adaptation.
Zagreus – A Book
Our beloved himbo has no use for books. Colouring books, maybe. Stick to DVDs or something. Alternatively, body oil is a big winner with Zagreus, and another reason he can't read books – his fingers are too slippery.
Rayman – New Trousers
Rayman has no legs, which makes this joke as simple as the whole Kratos/shampoo thing, but it also gives me a chance to talk about one of my favourite gaming adverts ever. For the youngest gamers amongst you, when you think of gaming commercials you probably think of funny tweets and CGI cinematics on television. That isn't how it used to be. Instead, gaming adverts used to be in magazines, and they'd say things like 'People who play Spyro the Dragon have a huge dick for doing sex with!' or 'Hate your wife? Want to escape the crushing ennui of modern day life? Constantly fighting intrusive thoughts about murdering call girls? Try playing Croc: Legend of the Gobbos!'. One of these showed Rayman in a public bathroom, and implied his penis floated magically through the air just as his hands do. Anyway, don't buy him trousers.
Lara Croft – A Netflix Subscription
Lara's always too busy adventuring around the world for a night parked in front of the TV, so she'd never use it. When she's not busy raiding tombs, which in fairness is less of her thing these days, she's setting up camp in a Peruvian village. You can get Netflix on your phone these days, but she probably doesn't have the best reception out there. Plus the Tomb Raider movies are on there, and she's best off avoiding them.
Joel – A New Golf Club
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