This week we're going all electro-mechanical as we ask you to name your favorite video gaming robot - or android if you prefer. Hey. You can even nominate R.O.B. the friendly NES robot if that really floats your boat.
While you have a think about your answer, here's the USgamer team on their favorite robotic characters:
Yes, the original Super Fighting Robot, Mega Man. (Or "Rockman" if you're nasty.) Sure, he's a total Astro Boy ripoff, and his brother is Racer X, but Mega Man's broad pop-culture inspirations are a big part of his appeal. There's a healthy coating of pure cheese to the Mega Man games, from the cackling transparent villainy of Dr. Wily to the ridiculous robots Mega Man fights, but the central premise of the games themselves — solid run-and-gun platforming action, rewarding players with a stolen weapon at the end of each stage — just can't be beaten. Mega Man himself is fairly open to reinterpretation; besides all the different versions that exist in the spinoffs, the character himself has been painted in a tremendous variety of brushstrokes ranging from wide-eyed naïf to those weirdly violent Brazilian comics. Yet even in his most off-model forms (see: Captain N), he's still recognizably Mega Man. The iconic blue robot. Who couldn't love that?
I've been playing so much Overwatch recently, the first 'bot that springs to mind is Bastion. Even though he can only communicate by making strange beeping noises, I think he's a really strong and appealing character. He's a blast to play with too - quite literally. If he's left alone while in turret mode, he can be an absolute terror, mowing down the enemy mercilessly with his incredibly powerful chain gun.
But upon further reflection, I think I need to go with the 001 Influence Device from the classic Commodore 64 shooter, Paradroid. I absolutely loved that title when it was released way back in 1985. The game's objective is to enter a giant hulk of a spaceship on a mission to destroy the army of droids residing therein. The 001 Influence Device has no weapons and no armor, but can hack other droids and take control of them for a limited period of time. Doing so requires winning a brilliant arcade/puzzle mini-game that involves routing power through a circuit board and overloading the target (while avoiding being overloaded yourself).
Enemy droids have serial numbers (up to 999), and the higher their number, the faster, heavier, better armored, and more powerfully armed they are - and the more challenging they are to influence. Higher-level droids are also less stable, meaning you have less time to control them before your influence wears off and you're kicked back out to your highly vulnerable 001 form. When that happens, you have to quickly find another robot to take over, before you get blasted to bits. It makes for a rollercoaster ride of a game where you have great power for limited amounts of time, followed by periods of panic when you're trying to find a new robot to influence. Brilliant, classic stuff!
I'll have to go with the creatively named Robo from the 1995 Square RPG, Chrono Trigger. An obvious choice, I guess, but since his (yes, the future has gendered robots) name was the first to pop into my head upon seeing this question, I guess that means something. But ultimately, my reasons are superficial: Robo's cute, and his design feels like a happy medium between Star Wars' R2-D2 and Lost in Space's arm-flailing robot.
Robo also gains a lot of appeal by being at the center of one of Chrono Trigger's most touching side-quests. In order to restore a forest to its former glory, Robo essentially spends centuries working selflessly on a major landscaping project as the rest of the team instantly jumps to the future to witness the results of his handiwork. Even if he's functionally immortal, spending hundreds of years toiling in solitude definitely amounts to a major sacrifice. And hey, if the pathos of Robo doesn't tug at your heartstrings, at the very least his personal theme song sounds a hell of a lot like "Never Gonna Give You Up," so there you go.