While you make a lot of good points, I have to point out I actually quite like the various Robins, and Nightwing especially, because of both A) their various personalities, and B) it never hurts to have a backup (and Batman has backups upon backups, that somehow lead to more backups). Sidekicks do have a good role to play, beyond audience-identification, depending on how they're used.
yep, I personally like a good sidekick from time to time. But then you've got problems like Ashley or Sheeva in the Resident Evil games that are not only a hindrence, but seem to be there cause the developers probably thought it would help to have a female role somewhere. At least Sheeva was a strong female character, but Ashley's just a damsel in distress... ugh.
Actually, although I don't usually read superhero comics, as a librarian I am required by law to like Oracle. And I did like Nightwing, especially when Chuck Dixon was writing him. It came across less as "that guy who used to be Robin" and more as "What would Batman be like if he was a blue-collar, working-class stiff instead of a billionaire industrialist?"
But I agree, sidekicks in games are usually more trouble than they're worth. The best ones are the Oracle/Otacon/Voice With An Internet Connection type, or the ones you summon for special attacks and then leave.
You know Morte, Pey'j and Max the rabbity thing are basically sidekicks? Can you imagine Torment, Beyond Good and Evil, or Sam and Max without them?
I find that sidekicks are okay in video games as long as there is no collision (or friendly fire) with the player, or when the sidekick serves a valuable function or serves as the objective itself (Ico).
I like Robin by the way, without him Batman has no moral barometer and continues to slide deeper into the abyss. And because I'm a comic nerd I have to fix the author's misrepresentation of the Robin/Nightwing remarks. Watch a few episodes of 'Teen Titans' if you want to dig Robin.
The first Robin was Dick Grayson, the acrobat that everyone is familiar with. He changed his identity to Nightwing because he was creating a persona for himself.
The second Robin was Jason Todd, and he had his skull caved in with a crowbar (then bombed) by the Joker and was killed off after a fan contest to decide the fate of Robin.
The third Robin was Tim Drake, a neighbor of Bruce Wayne's who had figured out who Batman was. Tim was more up-to-speed on modern technology and served as Robin until his dad found out what he'd been doing.
The fourth Robin was Stephanie Brown, the daughter of a lame villain called 'Cluemaster' and on/off girlfriend of Tim Drake. Batman brought Stephanie on as Robin in order to manipulate Tim Drake into returning (although Batman denies this).
After Batman fires Stephanie, she is tortured to death by Black Mask, and Tim Drake returns to become Robin.
Nightwing is still Nightwing and operates as a police officer in a city about half hour south of Gotham city. Robin (Tim) is still doing the sidekick thing. 2 Robins dead, and two living (and no I don't want anyone to correct this with any Red Hood nonsense, let people read it themselves).
What's not to love about Robin? I agree with MovieBob.
Robin and Nightwing were not the best examples to have for useless sidekicks. If you want an example find the first 100 covers of Captain America and look at every other cover. You will notice a trend in them. It's a simple trend, Bucky is tied up. If you're lucky that would be the other fate of the videogame sidekick. A plot device to move the story. If you want examples of bad sidekicks, see the ZP review of Army of Two, or Gears of War 2.
Editor's Note: Second Banana
Sidekicks are generally useless, says Russ Pitts, unless they serve as the Greek chorus to our tragic hero.
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Itsinteresting thast you bring up Robin, who is a very well known side kick. And well he seems to always end up as one.
At the same time there are side kicks like Bucky. Who came back as the Winter Soldier, and then later became the new Captain America.
Sure I think a lot of people still consider him to be Caps old side kick, but Marvel seems determinded that Bucky is now the real Cap.
Didn't DC do somethign simmilar to Batman? I don't read much DC so I have no idea how that story panned out.
Interesting topic, I'm excited to read the issue! See varying thoughts on sidekicks. For me it really depends on how fleshed out they are in the story. If they serve a purpose rather then just being there as filler, or what not, then I tend to like them more.