Hi everybody! Sophie Prell won't be joining us today. Instead, allow me to introduce myself in her stead. I am Sofia Bell, video game journalist, humor writer, and just plain good-lookin' gal on the Internet. My lawyer has advised me to state that, for the record, I have never heard of Sophie Prell, and any similarities between my own writing and hers are purely coincidental. That disclaimer firmly and totally legally! out of the way, I thought I'd bring with my introduction a present. Dear Dorkly, I give you seven of the most blatant video game rip-offs of all time!
Let's face it, there isn't a single fighting game in all of history that makes a whole lot of sense, and likewise none that are too original. Fighter A punches Fighter B, both are competing to be top dog in the world's greatest martial arts tournament, which is secretly run by an evil dictator/corporation/demon/all of the above. Have I just described the plot to your favorite fighting game? Have I just described the plot to all of them?
Well not Fighter's History! Fighter's History was different, by god! At least, it was legally ruled to be so when Capcom sued developer Data East over copyright infringement. Why the suit? Oh, no reason. It totally looks like its own game. But hey, you know what Street Fighter never had? A weirdly androgynous Chun-Li. Mmm, just think about what might come from that spinning bird kick.
Let it never be said that early video game developers didn't believe in the concept of gender equality. Or maybe just a cheap buck. Take a look at this screenshot. Or this one. Even the recent port and upgrade for the DS version barely changes what is clearly a rip off of Super Mario Bros. tripping balls on acid. Goombas now have horns, lobster-ants crawl through lava, and Lovecraftian eyeball-tentacle monsters lie in wait around every corner.
And what in the goddamn is up with that cover? I understand that early games had notoriously bad presentation with their art, but this looks like the artist didn't know if they were going for a Heavy Metal homage or if they wanted to purposefully confuse every young male gamer's erection into painful submission. Is this game for children? I don't know! What's that dragon doing in the background? No idea! My entire reaction to this game can be summarized as a succinct and elegant, "What is this, I don't even."