During the late 1980s and early 1990s there was one arcade game that attracted lines so long that from a distance one would think Cindy Crawford had set up a kissing booth (or any girl for that matter). A closer look would reveal Capcom’s fighting game classic Street Fighter. There have now been several versions of Street Fighter games that have produced numerous gladiatorial characters. There are 10 Street Fighter characters that stand head, shoulders and one flattop above the rest.
It’s not easy being green. That is unless you’re a savage monster that can roll into a ball, barrel into his opponent and emit an electric current from your body. In that case being green is pretty awesome.
Sagat has one characteristic that makes him stick out from all the other Street Fighter warriors. It’s not his combination of speed or strength or his mastery of the Muay Thai fighting style. Sagat’s one advantage over all his other adversaries is that he has an eye patch and eye patches rock!
When Nintendo dropped Mike Tyson from their Punch-Out series and introduced the lame Mr. Dream the video game world needed another boxing hero. Balrog was never quite Mike Tyson levels of awesomeness but he did an adequate job of representing the boxing community.
When combining two iconic fictional characters to make a third, there are not many choices better than Jason (from Friday the 13th) and Wolverine (from the X-Men). The nice twist with Vega was that even though he wore a hockey mask like a horror villain and had claws like everybody’s favorite mutant, he was actually a lover and not a fighter. Okay, Vega was a fighter. It is called Street Fighter after all. But he was more lover than fighter.
8) Chun Li
Chun Li was the first female character in the Street Fighter series and is an icon simply because there was no better way to insult an opponent than to take down the ravaging green monster or the burly boxer than with a 100 pound Chinese girl. Defeating another fighter with Chun Li was like a “Yo Momma” joke for intelligent video game geeks.
7) Dan Hibiki
Every video game needs a little comic relief and Dan Hibiki’s jabs at the rest of the fighting game genre hits the spot. Truly Dan Hibiki knows the art of fighting, is the king of fighters, has primal rage, is an eternal champion and he is the ClayFighter! I know, the last one didn’t make sense, I should’ve have stopped the joke one game earlier.
Chun Li is the iconic female Street Fighter character but I like my women fighters British. Cammy is also cool because Hollywood has not defaced her excellence with a horrible movie adaptation. Hey, if Hollywood casts a Canadian (Kristen Kreuk) as a Chinese fighter then who would they cast as a British fighter? Freida Pinto maybe?
The sign of somebody that is awesome is when they are so famous that they can go by just one name, but “Ken” is the only name that belongs to two characters of that stature. This Ken is not the plastic genitalia-less friend of Barbie but rather is the long-haired blonde that is totally not as cool as Ryu, but not bad for an American!
Someone at Capcom must love them some Akuma because he has gotten a crazy push. First, Akuma gets to lay the smack down on M Bison in his first appearance. Second, Akuma gets to hang out with superheroes in many guest appearances with the Marvel Universe. Finally, there was once a Cyber Akuma and only cool characters get cyber versions of themselves.
3) M Bison
Sagat was the main boss of the first Street Fighter game but Street Fighter hit its peak popularity during the Street Fighter II series where M Bison was the main boss. M Bison being recognized as the main villain of a video game franchise as big as Street Fighter gives him a lot of clout in the video game world. I wonder what the M stands for. It has to be something really dumb for him to go by “M”. Maybe Mario.
Guile has sweet hair and wears camouflage pants. Is there really anymore to say? Still not convinced? Guile wears dog tags, he’s an All-American and fights on a base that has jets in the background. Guile is like the All-American hero! He’s Street Fighter’s Hulk Hogan! (You know, before Hulk Hogan sucked.)
Most video game characters are flashy with vivid colors and gimmicks like claws or spears or green skin but for Ryu simplicity is the key. How often can a character just wear a plain white gi with a redhead band and be totally awesome? Ryu is proof that sometimes less is more and sometimes having a Japanese name sounds cooler than a American name. Okay, most of the time. That is why from now on I shall go by the name Li Andru.