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!


7. Fighter's History

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.

6. Great Giana Sisters

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."

5. Ruff Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy

This isn't the bastard child of Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter. This is Satan impregnating Furaffinity.net, ripping out the unborn fetus and molesting your PlayStation 2 with the resulting gore. How does this even happen? How does a developer steal from two of the greatest series of all time, pioneers and flag-carriers for the PS2 platformer movement, and produce something so gut-wrenchingly awful? Ruff Trigger (the dog), is a gun-toting furry out to rescue these disgustingly cute marshmallow pigdogs. And that's about the only thing even halfway comprehendable in this game.

What else is there, you ask? Well there's tons of tits and pussy in the form of Cecily, a busty feline (hence the pussy joke — get it? I'm so clever) Carmelita to Ruff's Sly Cooper. So I guess there's that. Otherwise, feel free to destroy any copies you may find of this game. No one will blame you.

4. Sonic Shuffle

The hardest video game I have ever played isn't one many would think of. It's not Super Meat Boy, it's not Ms. Splosion Man, or Contra. No, that honor goes to Sonic Shuffle, a shitty card-based rip off of Mario Party. Like Mario Party, you scooted around the board, playing mini-games and competing against friends. Just replace coins with rings and stars with precioustones, and you've got Sonic Shuffle. Oh, and replace fun with brain aneurysms.

In Sonic Shuffle, you're given a hand of cards. You can either use your own or steal from other players, though you don't get to see which card you're picking from them. But if you're a cheating computer sunnuvabitch, you always steal the card most advantageous to you. This made the game practically impossible to beat alone, as the vicious AI would constantly pull some serious blue shell-level bullshit at the last minute to screw you out of the precioustones needed to progress. And then you got to start all over. Fuck. You. Game.