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Dungapult Hurls Crap at...

2D Fighting Clones
~Another Society Correcting Rant~

      So I just got back from shopping and Iím all excited. As I was at the RST Video over near the local Quick Stop and they had another used and abused copy of "Bio-Dome" for sale! I did the mad dash, snatched it up, did a little kung fu ass kickiní to anyone else that even came close, and made it to the register with 1 hour and 46 minutes of gold in my hands.

      But when I slapped it on the counter the dude at the register shot me a really funny look. "Hey man," he said to me, "didnít I just sell you this movie last week? Actually, now that Iím thinking about itÖdidnít you also buy this movie two months ago?"
      "Yup," I agreed, counting out my nickels, "this is actually my twelfth copy."
      "Why in the hell would you buy the same movie twelve times? They getting ripped off or something?"
      "Oh no," I assured him, "I still have them all."
      "But why would you want to buy twelve copies of the same movie if you do, and continue to have, one already?" he asked incredulously.
      I thought about it for a second, resisting the urge to call him a moron, and finally explained, "Because itís such a great movie I just need to pick it up every time I see it on the shelf."

      That would seem pretty damned stupid, right? Buying the same movie twelve times, same story, same acting, same pictures, same action. Youíd think that, given it is the same frickiní thing, Iíd only need it once. At least, anyone with half a brain would think soÖSo then, can someone please explain to me why we need yet more Street Fighter and Street Fighter clones?

      Letís look at this logically. The First Street Fighter, way back in the late 80ís, was kick ass; new style of graphics engine, new style of game play, and a lice pickiní control system. True, it wasnít perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it was a lot of Monkey Luviní fun. Then came Street Fighter 2! Not only did it feature the then original six button control system and amazing cartoon graphics, but it also brought back our two heroes, Ken and Ryu, plus a whole bunch of their friends! It had character selects, it had killer bosses, it had fireballs and lightening bolts, it had fun dynamic backgrounds, and it ruled the arcade.

      Now, with the incredible success of SF2, the designers did the logical thing, and I canít really fault them for it- they made another. Street Fighter 2 Alpha I think it was called. And that was okay, too. Slightly upped graphics, same quality game play, and a new "normal or turbo" option. So, okay, sweet, not new, not original, but still more of the same fun.

      Then things start getting hokey. Iím not sure what all there were, but it went through something like Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter Alpha v.2, Street Fighter 2 Alpha Bravo, Street Fighter- More Quarter Eating, Street Fighter- Play This One We Added Bouncing Cleavage, Street Fighter- Youíd Better Know 80,000 Combos or Youíre Gonna Die, Street Fighter- The Search for More Quarter Eating. And whatís it on now, something like Street Fighter Extreme X Donkey Diddling Alpha Flash 3? Give me a frickiní break. There are no real improvements, no changes in game play, and no innovations. Just the same damned side scrolling button mashing combo learning boredom.

      And as if that wasnít bad enough, everyone else jumped on the frickiní bandwagon, a billion games with exactly the same graphics, exactly the same game play, and exactly the same stale-ass fighting. "Play this one- you get to be a floozy lookiní kitty chick whoís only covered by fur on her privates, but please ignore the fact that in actual game play she is absolutely no frickiní different than any of the other four thousand characters in games like these."

      But donít get me wrongÖI donít really blame the manufacturers. They only do, and always will, make the shit that people are willing to buy. And, if I was a producer, and had the option to take a chance on a new engine and risk several thousand dollars or to just turn out yet another clone whoís primary feature is "you can pit guys from this video game against guys in that video game," Iíd choose the clone, too.

      No, who I really blame is the lame-ass, non-thinking, lemming like sheep gamers who are willing to continually throw good money after bad at that crap. Those people, who give up any modicum of self-respect they could have in exchange for throwing fifty bucks at the newest clone. Do they not know theyíre just buying the same lame ass game all over again? Do they think that some how, magically, this game is going to be different? Do they really figure that Wolverine of the X-Men is really going to be any different than any other pre-fabbed, boring character in this newest version? Hell, for that matter, do they really think playing the new karate guy with the fire ball is any different than playing Ryu? Or, maybe, are they just really frickiní dumb? I honestly donít know.

      What I do know is that I continuously see people who are willing to drop coin on yet another rip off. I know that lots of other magazines, whether because theyíre idiots or because theyíre on the take, continue to give these rip off duplicate games good reviews. And I know that until we as gamers say "Enough Already!" we are just going to keep seeing more and more pour out.

      "But Dungapult," I hear you say, "isnít that true with just about all kinds of games? What about first person shooters? Arenít they just rip off clones, too?" Well, to a certain degree, yes, they are. Game play is, consistently, more or less the same. The difference comes in the huge level of innovation that has been seen within that genre. If you look at any of the great FPSí; Doom, Quake 2, Half Life, Battlezone, Unreal Tournament- you will see that the technology has gone through exponential improvements. The games have not just gotten prettier, but more in-depth, faster, smoother, more elaborate, and now support incredibly more in the way of play styles, players, and models than they ever used to. That is not to say FPSí donít have their worthless clones- I mean can we ever really forget Diakatana, Soldier of Fortune, Armorines, etc.? Probably only if we try really hard.

      But I digress. Back to the evil at handÖThese damned 2D fighters. So, what should you do? Well, my little Monkeys, Father Dungapult has the program all lined out.

      The first step is to determine if you are part of the problem. To do that I want you to go over to your video game collection and count all of the games that: 1) Let you just press backwards to block and up to jump. 2) Have "down to towards" + button combo as a special attack. 3) Have the same characters as at least 2 other games. 4) Has multiple characters in it that all have identical special moves (i.e. "Down-to-towards+punch=fireball"). 5) Has any number higher than a 2 in the title (that includes 2 Alpha, etc.). 6) Is yet another 2D side scrolling piece of crap.

      If you have more than 2, you are a part of the plague. Begin by flogging yourself and apologizing to the Great Monkey for contributing to crappy gaming. Once thatís done, you have three choices. 1) Euthanasia. Acknowledge that you are blight on the face of video society and save us the trouble of tracking you down. 2) Stop buying the damned pieces of junk and hope we donít find out about you. However, you know darned well that the cleansing is coming and that you canít hide that well. 3) Finally, you can of course reform! Come around to our side and help purge the evil. If you have trouble doing this on your own, you can sign up for the simple and guaranteed Monkey 2 Step Recovery Program. In it, if you feel weak and think about buying another lame ass rip off game (step 1) we pound you like a sheep at a Scottish family reunion (step 2).

      But, unfortunately, just being on the side of goodness isnít enough. You have to do more than just not buying these lame ass gamesÖyou have to help fight them. Write letters to those companies putting these shit piles on the market. Let them know that you want something new and refreshing in your games. Write to magazines that donít give a shit about good reviews and threaten their pets. Also, take a little evolution on yourself- if you see someone buying one of those games- explain to them that natural selection has obviously failed and that it is in the gene poolís best interest for you to punch them repeatedly in the throat until they either die or come to their senses.

      Remember, itís for the greater good and itís everyoneís responsibility.

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