Fighting games are a singularly unique form of entertainment. They're flashy and hokey, and yet at the same time deeply complex and technical. Series like Street Fighter and Smash Bros. have dedicated fanbases who spend literal DECADES mastering their systems. But what about the games that DON'T set the world on fire, the fighting tournaments so bizarre and obscure that they've been lost to the winds of internet time? We decided to take a look at the jankiest, the ugliest, and the most downright f*cked up takes on the genre. Here's 10 of the weirdest fighting games... ever.
1. BCV: Battle Construction Vehicles (PS2)
Speed, power, precision, these are the skills necessary to be a deadly fighter... or a union construction worker. Combining hackneyed anime tropes and blue-collar jobs, the world of BCV has hotheaded heavy machinery operators battle for building contracts, money, and notoriety. The vehicles themselves have special moves, combos, and hypers like any other fighting game, but with the mobility of... construction equipment. Released for the PS2 only in Japan and Europe, the Americas were deprived of such bewildering sights like this cutscene:
With this sort of unique style and humor, the only thing stopping this game from being a cult classic would be clunky frustrating gameplay. Which is exactly what happened.
2. Arm Joe (PC)
? Do you hear the people play? ?
? Playing this weird-ass fighting game. ?
? It's based off of Les Miserables and man it looks insane. ?
This is 100% real, you can download it right now from Japanese indie developer Takase's website, and yes it's based on Victor Hugo's novel-turned-musical-turned-Russel Crowe-movie Les Miserables. Play as famous literary characters like Jean Valjean, Javert, Eponine, and MECHA-VALJEAN as you pull off rushdowns, mix-ups, and build up your super meter on the soiled streets of revolutionary France. If you're confused by the name, it's because "Arm Joe" sounds phonetically the same as Ah, Mujou (Ah, Cruelty) the book's Japanese title. Check out this video below to see it in action:
3. Dong Dong Never Die (PC)
One of the most inexplicable/beloved fan-made fighting games ever made, Dong Dong Never Die is a bizarre hodgepodge of pop-culture references and in-jokes that betray the solid fighting mechanics underneath. It's the kind of thing where you boot it up as a "goof", only find yourself completely engrossed in the gameplay (sort of like when you click on an ironically bad porn but then get a sincerely good erection). The Chinese developers supposedly used 10,000 frames of photos and sprites to make the game's impressive roster which includes:
- An obese hammer-wielding construction worker
- A gothic lolita who commands Optimus Prime to attack for her
- Chinese teenager who is actually a T-800 Terminator
- Graffiti artist who is actually the monkey god Son Goku
- A pair of nurses who move in synchronicity
- Literally Super Mario
If you are STILL struggling to imagine this game in motion, here's a sample clip:
You can download the game here.