By my calculations Capcom has made approximately 12 gazillion Street Fighter games (give or take a gazillion or two). Coming up with new characters for that many games can't be easy, especially when the line between "what the hell where they thinking?" and "classic character!" is so narrow in the Street Fighter universe. I mean, everyone loves Blanka, right? The green guy who gained shock-powers by wrestling electric eels in the Amazon River? In a world where Blanka is a beloved fighter, all concept of good and bad character design starts to seem pretty murky.
That said, Capcom has still managed to produce a number of characters that stand out as pretty obvious duds. Here are 10 of the worst...
Birdie first appeared in the original 1987 Street Fighter as a fairly generic street thug character. They would eventually revive him in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and turn him into...this. I'm really not sure what I'm looking at here -- he just doesn't make any visual sense. Is that a slice of Swiss cheese on his head? What's with the pointed genie boots? Why is his head the size of a tennis ball? So many questions.
Rainbow Mika is a bubbling hot mess of conflicting fetishes all rolled into one ridiculous character. I can't help but be embarrassed every time I look at her, because I get the strong sense whoever created her did so with one hand below his desk.
Unsurprisingly Mika has her "fans" who I'm sure are writing outraged comments as we speak. Sorry guys, a big ass and bouncy boob animation alone does not a good character make.
This guy may top the list as the outright worst dressed Street Fighter character of all time. Giant shoulder pads? A zipper-covered orange and white leather tracksuit that covers everything but his crotch? The fact that under his tracksuit he appears to be wearing a full-body puffy, ribbed sweater (with turtleneck)? Zebra-striped hair with giant spit curl? This guy raises dressing poorly to the level of fine art.
Gill has plenty of obvious issues -- the 80s hair, the goofy blue and red body paint, the uncomfortably flimsy looking banana hammock -- but what makes him even worse is this guy is the main villain of Street Fighter III. They thought this guy would be a suitable replacement for M. Bison. Yeesh.
Rufus is a walking boob. No seriously, Capcom is on record as saying they basically just took the boob physics of Street Fighter IV and applied them to Rufus' sphere-like body. Yeah, that's really all that needs to be said.
Hakan is easily the most egregious case of surreally off-the-mark ethnic stereotyping since the Street Fighter II golden era of surreally off-the-mark ethnic stereotyping. Hakan is Turkish, which means he's bright red, has large bolts coming out of his head and has six identical daughters that look like toads from Super Mario Bros. I mean, of course! Why not? He's also an oil wrestler and most of his moves involve him lubing himself up and groping, grinding and sliding all over his opponents.
Clearly Capcom was trying to make a "wacky" culturally insensitive character in the vein of Blanka or Dhalsim here, but frankly they overshot their target.
Guy and Cody, the stars of the classic brawler Final Fight showed up in the Street Fighter Alpha series. Guy got to keep his classic outfit, but for some reason Cody showed up in this goofy stripey-pyjamas prison number. Even if the character had been to jail, you'd think he'd quickly take the prison garb off once he got out. But no, he's still wearing it even in Street Fighter IV. At this point I'm starting to think Cody just has a thing for handcuffs.
I'm still not sure whether Skullomania is awesome or terrible. On the one hand he's a guy in a skeleton Halloween costume named Skullomania, on the other hand he's a guy in a skeleton Halloween costume named Skullomania. If there's any character that embodies the fine line between ridiculous and ridiculously awesome in the Street Fighter universe, it's this guy.
How about you folks? Which Street Fighter characters do you think are particularly goofy? Which are your favorites? Sound off in the comments.