The very concept of fair fights becomes impossible when half the characters come from a world which only continues to exist because they keep forgetting how easily they could blow it up. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 pits two teams of three against each other, drawn from a total roster of 56 -- that's two match-ups per person in the entire United States, yet cheapologists still found the ultimate combination almost instantly.

Capcom didn't even try to balance: Cable shoots a gun instead of punching, we don't remember the comic where Magneto was a lightning-fast rotating blade of punches (though that does explain where Quicksilver got it from), and Iron Man can fill his half of the screen with a gun and the enemy's half with what comes out of it. Add Cable's ability to cancel out of super moves (for those who don't play fighters, that's like studying for an MBA and halfway through the final exam you can switch across and qualify as doctor and pass the bar as well) and you've got a non-stop flow of projectile beams which make the finale of "Star Wars" look like cavemen arguing.




Complaining about broken fighters in Mortal Kombat is like lamenting how checkers pieces can't pilot jetfighters. Unless it's "Dude A ripping out Dude A-in-a-different-hat's organs," neither Midway nor its fans give half a ripped-out kidney. Noob Saibot proved that whatever malnourished monkey the company employed for quality control died in 1996, and no one noticed or cared.


Noob Saibot has the "Disabler." It's a fireball. A fireball which stuns you, which is as broken as it's possible for a fighting move to get without becoming allergic to electricity. He runs over and punches you for a while, and then fires another Disabler. Assuming by some bizarre fluke that you're an MK player with actual "reactions" and "the ability to play real games" (on par with finding a Scientologist who can cure cancer through sensual massage) you can escape the trap -- unless you let him ever hit you with another. Which he can launch at any time. The only real counter is to do a quarter circle + "Eject cartridge" button.




Ken vs. Ryu were the eternally balanced rivals of Street Fighter II, where "eternally" meant "until Turbo" when Ken permanently won the hell out of it and ascended to minor godhood. The game was only renamed Turbo at the last minute, replacing the previous title of "Street Fighter II: Ken Wins Edition." Dragon-punchers have always been top-tier, but when Capcom started milking SF2 like a farmer with Parkinson's the fierce shoryuken became the solution to all mankind's ills. (It remains the military's primary contingency plan for alien attack.)

If Ken had been faced with a sick mother and spiraling credit card debt he'd have dipped his shoulder, dropped his fist to his knee, set it on fire and jumped into the air while spinning. And it would have worked. It went through air moves. It went through grabs. If someone had coded an M1 tank into the game the burning uppercut would hit for three and set it up for a deep heavy kick/throw/corner-trap. By Street Fighter III it got to the point where choosing anyone else meant "I'm just doing this for fun!" and tying one arm behind your back.




If someone selects Eddy you can shoot him in the hand and he's still the cheating scumbag. Eddy Gordo is the worst thing to happen to fighting gamers since repetitive strain injury. Armed with the mythical art of "Movie Capoeira" he's an unstoppable whirlwind of chained attacks as long as the user remembers to press kick two tries out of three. As opposed to real Capoeira, which has a habit of getting punched in the face for instant knockout (check YouTube), or real real Capoiera, where the whole point was to distract your opponent for a second or two before permanently messing them up and not looking like you were fighting to begin with.

Even in Tekken 3, a game where annoying novelty characters almost outnumber the real ones (and it doesn't count as murder if your victim chooses Gon more than once), Eddy's the worst. He makes Doc B look like Guile. Eddy is Jar-Jar Binks, a floppy-limbed aberration staining a beloved classic. Keep hitting buttons and his invincible whirligig of ass-kicking could defeat General Grievous in a combine harvester. But if you do you'll lose the true struggle of the warrior: to find your true self and hope it's not a loser.



Luke McKinney writes for Cracked, Bitmob, Beer Magazine and lukemckinney.org. He's also scientifically shown Seth to be the worst boss ever by testicular extrapolation.