Someone mentioned Streets of Rage 2, but I'm gonna lump it together and say Streets of Rage 2 and 3.
First off, what's not to love about a side-scrolling fighter starring the gang of Scooby Doo as jaded 90's teens named after failed American Gladiators?
Yes, let's meet the characters:
We've got Axel
, the notoriously handsome Aryan male who is the best at everything ever including Pantene hair and muscles for his muscles, his hot prostitute girlfriend Blaze
who has mysteriously become a Judo master while walking the streets and can't adequately practice said martial art unless she's got 82% (that's a scientific measurement) of her cleavage hanging out, and then, of course, Skate
. The token black kid. Who is, unsurprisingly, wearing roller blades. The whole time.
It doesn't matter that the inclusion of said skates would make it hilariously impossible for the average mortal to kick a sufficient amount of ass in order to take down Mr. X, save the day, blah blah, because the kid seems to have made some kind of martial arts-breakdancing hybrid from his time in the 'hood that makes all of his creepy middle-aged attackers think twice about diddling other innocent 11-year-olds in the future. Besides, he probably has his gat stuffed down his gym shorts along side a bottle of malt liquor and other hilariously bad racial stereotypes...you know, just in case.
The kid's kind of a bastard anyway -- if you've played the game, I think you know, and I think you've also probably wondered why he's not in school getting an education. Kids these days.
In Streets of Rage 2, we get Muscly McMeaty, whose name I can't recall, but it doesn't actually matter because he's the prototypical slow oaf whose only real talents in fighting are destroying things with his horrifying, Thor's-Hammer-styled fists of rage. In Streets of Rage 3, we are given Zan
, who seems to be David Bowie's geriatric incarnate -- you know, after they slowly replace his body parts with machine parts in order to give him and his disturbing bulge in his pants a shot at immortality. Don't take my word for it.
With an arm that also acts like a tazer and more abs than he probably knows what to do with, if I were an innocent 11-year-old boy, I'd probably let him touch me like that, too, and
promise not to tell my parents.
Anyway, the storyline is something like -- well, wait...there was a storyline?!
Frankly, I didn't pay attention. Because it really doesn't matter and the dialogue is so trite, the story so unoriginal and cliche that you could probably watch any Die Hard movie to get the gist of what kind of a watered-down John McClane our protagonist hero of the master race Axel is. But what does
matter is that Streets of Rage was ahead of its time. You could be young, old, black, female -- there was even a code to unlock so that you can fight as a really bad gay stereotype, not to mention the father of all awesome unlockables -- a round where you assault and eventually kill a clown, beat its pet kangaroo into submission, and then you can fight as it, too! Can you say awesome?
But besides that, you don't just go all vigilante justice on the pasty asses of muscly white guys -- your enemies were all kinds! You can beat up fat people
, gay people
, questionably-gendered female dancers with mohawks wearing offensive amounts of spandex
, government agents with guns
(so much muscle, YOU DEFLECT BULLETS), dominatrices
, i don't know what this is
, and SO MUCH MORE. This game not only lacks discrimination against age, sex, race, and sexual orientation, but also does not discriminate against such petty features as species or even mythological status! Amazing.
Best game ever. I rest my case.