Yesterday I discussed Avatar: The Last Airbender, ranking it lowest primarily because of it's likeness to some other games out there, and it being an obvious choice. I hope these remaining four choices will catch you all a little off-guard!
So, without further ado...
#4 - Danny Phantom
"Action-packed adventures of Danny Fenton, who straddles two worlds as a shy freshman at Casper High and a heroic phantom-fighter with ghostly superpowers. With his best friends, techno-geek Tucker and free-thinking Goth girl Sam, he thwarts the misdeeds of menacing ghosts; and stumbles through daily social hurdles."
What Makes It Awesome?
Danny Phantom is great because it's a superhero game with a unique (ghost, specifically) twist. Since Ghostwalk came out and the idea of playing a ghost actually became a possibility it got me pumped.
One of the best parts of Danny Phantom is the awesome villains you have the potential for. You've got full ghosts, half-ghosts, and ghost hunters, each of which can come in all shapes and sizes.
The main reason I love the potential of Danny Phantom as an RPG is because of the hilarious grouping of ghosts you can throw at your players. There are runty little ghosts that basic combat can take care of, puzzle ghosts who can be destroyed by figuring out what makes them tick and dealing with it, and then of course really powerful villains who never quite can be destroyed.
Another great thing Danny Phantom has going for it is the wide spectrum of character concepts. It would be played in a modern setting, and players could take the roles of half-ghosts, full ghosts, ghost hunters, computer whizzes, or any other variation of average joe who takes up the mantle of battling evil ghosts.
There are many options for unique adventures and challenges in this game, from ghost hunting, to protecting innocents, to evading the public eye. Obviously a party with ghost-members has a lot to worry about in terms of staying hidden amongst the normal populace, which can create some interesting plots and challenges.
From entire towns being hypnotized by ghostly music, to neighborhoods vanishing one by one as they join a ghostly pirate crew, to a massive underground scientific organization opening a ghost portal and using ghosts for their own gains, there are hundreds of potential adventures that your heroes could embark on.
Similarly, this game would include pretty awesome opportunities for playing evil ghosts - sneaking onto the mortal plane and causing chaos while avoiding ghost hunters and do-gooding ghost folk.
Lots of fun opportunities.
A Snapshot: Villains
Here are some of my favorite villains taken from the TV series, to give some ideas of villains that are possible in this system.
Ember McLain: Ember McLain is a hard rocking ghost girl who feeds off the idol worship in teenagers. Ember's appearance, song, and character in general, portrays her as a ghostly embodiment of teenage rebellion and disobedience to authority figures.
Skulker: Skulker is the predator ghost hunter who hunts down rare and unique things, and sets his sights on half-ghosts, unique humans or creatures, and rare artifacts. Skulker is actually a small ghost blob who wears a large battle suit.
Youngblood: Youngblood is portrayed as a child who plays Dress-Up as a game. He has an assistant, a skeleton-like shapeshifter who takes the form of animals who go along with these characters (when Youngblood is a pirate his shapeshifter is a parrot, or a horse when Youngblood is a cowboy)
Vortex: Vortex is a century-old ghost with the power to control the weather. He finds the earth to be a meaningless planet, and has wrought havoc on the earth throughout the ages. Vortex is a ghost of large stature. He wears metallic armor on his torso and, rather than having legs, his lower half mimics a tornado. A lightning-shaped "V" crosses his right shoulder and comes to a point at his chest. His most notable detail is his constant, mid-sentence wheezing.
Pariah Dark: Pariah Dark is the King of all Ghosts, with control of the powerful Ring of Rage and Crown of Fire. While wearing both of these items, Pariah Dark has near limitless power. He commands the Fright Knight as well as an army of Skeletal ghosts. Very powerful foe, but more interested in becoming king than defeating his enemies.
And my favorite...
Box Ghost: The Box Ghost has the standard ghost powers of intangibility, invisibility, and flight. Most importantly, he has the ability to control boxes, and to empty the items inside. Later versions in the series of Box Ghost also have the ability to control bubble wrap and the power to create energy cubes out of thin air. Box Ghost's goal is to find Pandora's Box, with which he temporarily gains unlimited evil power, rendering him unstoppable.
(Villain info taken from the Danny Phantom Wiki)
Why Number 4?
The idea of fighting ghosts has always appealed to me (one of the reasons I'm the only one in my White Wolf group who actually really wants to play a Hunter game).
One of the big reasons that Danny Phantom is great though, as I've said, is the wide expanse of villains, challenges, and encounters you can have. On top of ghosts invading the mortal realm, the Ghost Realm itself holds an entirely new world to explore.
The greatness of a Danny Phantom game really comes forth in the fact that the sky is the limit in terms of encounters. The downside is that most of the action comes in the form of combat encounters, and will pretty much always be fighting ghosts - regardless of how unique each individual enemy may be.
A much more unique setting in terms of RPGs then Avatar, Danny Phantom's game play could wind up being somewhat limited or repetitive in terms of encounters and abilities (unless you have a really creative GM). The sheer potential for creativity is huge, but not quite as huge as the cartoon which falls in at #3.
Stay tuned, the final three may surprise you!