TOP 10 HAMSTERS IN VIDEO GAMES RANKING UPDATE

Avatar image for moderatetrouble
Posted by moderateTrouble (89 posts) -

Hello fellow Hamster-fans,

As i'm sure you're all aware by now, there is a brand spanking new video game hamster on the scene! Brought to us by our friends at Blizzard, Hammond is the newest hero in Overwatch and oh BOY! OHHHHHHHH BOY!!!!!!! This changes everything! Its a MAJOR upset to the "Top 10 Hamsters in Video Games" List!!!!! And I've got a lot of thoughts I'm gonna share with YOU!

Let's break this little buddy's design down using the "Top 10" metrics I've established.

Let's get to work!
Let's get to work!

METRIC #1: CUTENESS

Before I saw Hammond, I was worried about how cute this little guy would look. As all Hamster-lovers know, the cuteness of fictional hamsters is considered on a gradient scale with "Hamtaro" on one end (maximum cute) and "Rhino" from Bolt on the other (minimal cute). "Ebichu" from Oruchuban Ebichu is right in the middle of the scale.

Most Western-style cartoon aesthetics tend to lean more "Rhino" than "Hamtaro" much to my chagrin. I have no idea why some people think we want to see really weirdly proportioned hamsters that fail to highlight their cuteness properly! Poor craftsmanship, in my opinion! I'm lookin at you Bojack Horseman.

My heart melted when I saw his cute fuzzy face
My heart melted when I saw his cute fuzzy face

To my delight, Hammond is closer to "Hamtaro" on the Cuteness Scale! I saw someone describe Hammond's character as geared more towards children, and I agree with that notion. Where Hammond's design shines, though, is in how it presents its aesthetics. The character is obviously funny at its core - his reveal trailer highlights this. You have a giant, destructive tank shell operated by a tiny, cute animal. But unlike many "Rhino"-like character designs, Blizzard focused less on creating a hamster character that was comedic because it's designed to be a comic relief, and instead comedic because it's cute and that cuteness contrasts the harsh violence of its weaponry/world.

Furthermore Blizzard presents us with one of the few hamster designs out there that, though cartoonish, is also identifiably a hamster, based off real hamsters. What non-Hamster-fanatics may not realize is there's actually many different breeds of hamsters. There's tiny Roborovski hamsters, medium sized Djungarian, dwarf and Chinese hamsters, and finally the largest domestic hamster, the Syrian hamster. Most hamster designs you'll see in media aren't any specific breed of hamster- they're usually a mishmash of a few (like Myron from Secret Life of Pets, a mash between Syrian and dwarf hamsters), or a weird... mishmash of different hamster traits (like Rhino - sorry to dunk on him so much).

Note the pink paws
Note the pink paws

Hammond stands outbecause he's clearly a Syrian hamster. He's got their common orange-white markings, a more oblong body type and pink paws + tail. The only other media I can recall being as distinct in their hamster designs is Hamtaro. I bring this up because it's important for understanding how Blizzard highlighted cuteness-over-comedy in Hammond's design.

Rhino from Bolt looks like a mix between Syrian, dwarf and Djungarian hamsters imo
Rhino from Bolt looks like a mix between Syrian, dwarf and Djungarian hamsters imo

Rhino and Myron's designs focus on the roundness of the character over distinct facial features. While roundness is important for cute hams, when it's their major design marker it leaves hamster characters reminiscent more of amorphous, cutesy balls of fluff than real-life animals. Myron is especially guilty of this. The character's exaggerated teeth are the only marker that it's a ham and it has human-like eyes. While Rhino is more clearly a hamster, his eerie human-like eyes allow for more exaggerated facial expression that a comic-relief character like him would need.

Hammond breaks this mold. His eyes are small but they're wholly black, giving the illusion of dilated pupils and affection. The main way the character expresses emotion is through his squishy face, big chubby cheeks and the tufts of fur above his eyes that act as eyebrows. Most importantly, Hammond is identifiable by only his silhouette. With the exception of Hamtaro, pretty much all hamsters previously mentioned in this blogpost would be difficult to identify by silhouette alone. But not Hammond. The emphasis on the cuteness of his design is what makeshis character so affective - and so endearing as a ham ham.

CUTENESS: 12/10

METRIC #2: INTERACTIVITY

Obviously Hammond starts out high on this one because you play AS him. But I want to take a moment to highlight two things: the HUD and Hammond's voice lines.

I haven't had the chance to play Hammond myself yet (no PTR on PS4 unfortunately!) but Hammond is looking to be a really fun, new way to tank. My main in Overwatch is D.Va, I have more hours with her than any other character. I LOVE tanking. But I dislike all the other tanks in the game because they're painfully slow. D.Va's a highly mobile unit, one that can zip into action at a moments notice and knock around other players. Her mobility is counteracted by a weak primary weapon with lots of spread. She's a really FUN character to play as. Hammond seems to me to be another highly mobile tank with an added technical bit thrown in. That seems fun as hell to me. I love that they took the idea of a hamster in a ball and "rolled with it" - literally. Not only does that make for interesting gameplay, but it makes for play style that fits perfectly with the character itself. It's neat!

No Caption Provided

Also important to Hammond... he doesn't speak. A fact Jeff Kaplan made explicitly clear in his Developer Update. And oh my GOD will I forever be grateful for that decision. Battleborn has a similar cutesy-character-in-a-giant-mech named Toby who's fun design is entirely offset by a TERRIBLY shrill voice with 2-edgy-4-u catchphrases. I love ham hams, I think you all know that about me by now, but dear lord do I dislike when hamster or hamster-adjacent characters are given grating voices in cartoons. I personally don't find it cute or funny... Just annoying.

Thankfully there's none of that with Hammond. Instead he communicates with very cute, hamham-like squeaks. Real-life hamsters don't squeak unless they're surprised or scared BUT.... I'll give Blizzard a pass. It's pretty darn adorable. In lieu of human speech from Hammond himself, his mech will speak in a robotic voice for him. It's short bursts of "HELLO" and "GROUP UP" but I think it works well complimented by Hammond's little squeaks. I even heard a voice line where Hammond squeaks and the mech goes "HE SAYS THANK YOU." It was so sweet. My heart melted. However, I DON'T like the noise he makes when he gets hurt! It made me very sad and I think Jeff Kaplan should make a patch IMMEDIATELY that makes it so you can't hurt Hammond! Until then, I implore all of you, use restraint! Don't hurt Hammond!!

Oh... uh... anyway... back to the gameplay! My feelings may change once I start playing him, but I'm really pleased with how well Hammond's design meshes with his playable components. I think it's a great example of how matching character design with gameplay can enhance the character's effectiveness.

INTERACTIVITY: 13/10

METRIC #3: ROUNDNESS

Finally, my friends, we've reached perhaps the most important metric for ranking hamsters. Their roundness. I believe I've explained my admiration of Hammond's design and gameplay enough by this point, so I'll leave with just a few words about how perfectly, beautifully spherical this boy is.

No Caption Provided

I love that Blizzard took the idea of a hamster in a ball - an iconic visual motif associated with hamsters - and made a gosh darn character out of it. And I can't believe, on top of that, they made one that meshes all faucets of design so well together. It's awesome. I can't wait to play him. I love him so much.

ROUNDNESS: 14/10

---------

With that, I think it's clear that Hammond now takes the spot of "Best Hamster in Video Games". But only in a metaphorical sense, of course! Because ALL hamsters are good, they are all the best, and I love all of them so much. Even the weird Sims 4 potato hamster.

Thank you all for reading this far, I hope you'll be able to appreciate this brand new ham-friend as much as I have. What do you think of Hammond? If you've played him already, how's he feel? Let me know what you think of this new hamham down below.

I promise to love and protect you for all of time, Hammond!!!
I promise to love and protect you for all of time, Hammond!!!

Avatar image for tuff_mcawesome
#1 Posted by Tuff_McAwesome (7 posts) -

Awesome post.

Avatar image for devise22
#2 Posted by devise22 (749 posts) -

Yeah to be honest I was pretty blown away by this reveal and character. One of the things that always stood out about Overwatch was the continued uniqueness of their characters, specifically as they added more. You saw them answer problems and create a anti-mage type character with Sombra, go off the board entirely with characters like Doomfist (basically a fighting game character in a shooter) and Brigette/Moira as well were pretty different playing than you'd expect for new heroes.

But Hammond probably takes the cake. Despite it's growing roster size the actual diversity in the Overwatch characters continues to be pretty stunning. Hooray for the Hamsters lovers. :P

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#3 Edited by ripelivejam (13242 posts) -

Glad you're happy! Hamsters are invariably antisocial cannibalistic monsters. Rats ftw.

Though if more hamsters were like their fictional counterparts then I may give them a second chance. ;)

Avatar image for shagge
#4 Posted by ShaggE (9312 posts) -

Every time I think I'm about to fall off on Overwatch for a while, they go and do something like this.

Also, I'm with @ripelivejam: Rats all day, at least in the real world.

Avatar image for imhungry
#5 Posted by imhungry (1148 posts) -

Your writeup seems reasonable but scoring Hammond above Hamtaro in cuteness is ridiculous and makes me think you're in the pocket of Big Hamster. Not sure how I feel about our resident expert being on the take.

Avatar image for bollard
#6 Posted by Bollard (8186 posts) -

This is the good shit I've been waiting for.

@imhungry said:

Your writeup seems reasonable but scoring Hammond above Hamtaro in cuteness is ridiculous and makes me think you're in the pocket of Big Hamster. Not sure how I feel about our resident expert being on the take.

It's a shocking revelation for sure - I thought Hamtaro was unassailable, at least in terms of cuteness - but I think we have to respect the expert's decision and superior knowledge in this matter.

Avatar image for soulcake
#8 Edited by soulcake (2827 posts) -

This is up there with Top ten anime noses.

Context

all credit's to Jeremy Medina.

The Blizzard Hamster reminds me of Those Hamsters in Wildstar

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for captain_insano
#9 Posted by Captain_Insano (3540 posts) -
Loading Video...

Best Hamster related dialogue

Avatar image for hamst3r
#10 Posted by Hamst3r (5482 posts) -

All hail Hamtaro.

If only there was an Ebichu video game.

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for baka_shinji17
#11 Posted by baka_shinji17 (1473 posts) -

Those hamsters look tasty.

Avatar image for therealturk
#12 Posted by TheRealTurk (596 posts) -

I can't help but feel like a hamster based character is Blizzard making some kind of meta-commentary on selling people loot boxes. I mean, looking at those screenshots, he's basically a much cuter version of the Shadow of War merchant orc. They should probably just go ahead and make an animation of Hammond running on a wheel to throw up on the screen when people are on the store page.

No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided

Avatar image for sarnecki
#13 Posted by Sarnecki (1358 posts) -

I love the Chua even more if only because they're EVIL mischievous lil buggers.

@soulcake said:

This is up there with Top ten anime noses.

Context

all credit's to Jeremy Medina.

The Blizzard Hamster reminds me of Those Hamsters in Wildstar

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for indigomaterie
#14 Posted by Indigomaterie (29 posts) -

Don't forget Weird Ed's Hamster in Maniac Mansion!

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for moderatetrouble
#16 Posted by moderateTrouble (89 posts) -

Glad you're happy! Hamsters are invariably antisocial cannibalistic monsters. Rats ftw.

Though if more hamsters were like their fictional counterparts then I may give them a second chance. ;)

hey now, don't be like that! hamsters get a bad rap just because they dont like to hang out with others much! theyre just nature's introverts is all. Plus, hamsters arent antisocial cannibals as much as they are balls of pure anxiety that need plenty of space to run and store food .... and when people put them in COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE, waaaaaaaay too tiny plastic critter trail cages they aren't getting the care they need! just like you wouldn't want to keep a great dane in a studio apartment, hamsters shouldn't be kept in too-small cages. i mean, if me and my 6'5" brother were locked in a broom closet 24/7 and all we got was a plate of food, i'd probably freak out and try to fight him too! Hamsters are extremely sweet animals, you just have to be patient with them, recognize when they're scared, do a little research into proper care, and give them time to warm up to you c:

Also lets be real: ALL rodents are wonderful, beautiful and very cute creatures. no need to pit them against each other! why fight when we could all be friends!

@imhungry said:

Your writeup seems reasonable but scoring Hammond above Hamtaro in cuteness is ridiculous and makes me think you're in the pocket of Big Hamster. Not sure how I feel about our resident expert being on the take.

Now now, there's a method to my madness! we're talking about VIDEO GAME Hamtaro! Specifically I was referring to the Ham Ham Heartbreak hamtaro on my original list. Which is very cute by default because 1) its hamtaro! and 2) its really nicely done sprite work. I had to normalize for cute sprite work because that gives the game an unfair bias against its competitors, and as a lover of hamsters AND science I won't have my work be tainted by that!

However, if we're talking about Rainbow Rescue Hamtaro, that wins by a goddamn landslide. I mean, look at that ham! It's so goddamn cute. Gold standard right there.

(though being in the pocket of a big hamster sounds WONDERFUL. i would love to be close to a big ham, give it a big hug. i think thats my ideal version of heaven? yeah.)

Best Hamster related dialogue

Check out my last list!! I included Boo on there. I relate to Minsc on a spiritual level.

Don't forget Weird Ed's Hamster in Maniac Mansion!

No Caption Provided

I did not forget that ham. I mention him on my original Top 10 Hamster list as a dishonorable mention!!! We will not speak of what they do to that ham, but its horrible. Lucas Games will pay for what they've done, someday...

@soulcake said:

This is up there with Top ten anime noses.

Context

all credit's to Jeremy Medina.

The Blizzard Hamster reminds me of Those Hamsters in Wildstar

No Caption Provided

I DONT LIKE THAT.