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• Reduces a once-cool franchise to a joyless celebri-wank.
• Edges out original characters in favor of lame parodies.
• Has controls horrible enough to make Wii Sports boxing look like a god-damned masterpiece.
• Is basically the videogame equivalent of Meet the Spartans or Disaster Movie.
• Kills souls, eats puppies and murders grandmothers.
There are celebrity parodies, and then there are sad, crass caricatures that are vaguely depressing to everyone who looks at them. David Hasselhoff parody Dewie Streudel falls into the latter category, and what makes him even sadder is that Hasselhoff agreed to voice the fat bastard.
Above: Oh god, it’s like he doesn’t even realize how bad he’s got it
Look, Mr. Hasselhoff: it’s great to be a good sport and have a sense of humor about yourself and the fact that you’ve only achieved mass popularity in Germany, but at least be a little picky about the ways in which you play along. Think of it as the difference between being a kid who cracks jokes at his own expense, or being a kid who’ll eat bugs for a nickel. What you’ve done here falls squarely into the latter camp.
Above: Does this even qualify as humor? We don’t know, we’re asking
Aside from the cartoonishly flailing action in the ring, the only place that R2RR manages to shoehorn in some personality is in Michael Buffer’s intro of each boxer – which, remarkably, are almost completely devoid of personality. What’s that, you say? David Beckham parody Mosh Deck’Em is fresh off the injured list? Why, that’s hilarious, sir. Simply hilarious.
Keep your eyes out in the video above for Dragon Chew’s intro, which features the worst Bruce Lee caricature in recent memory.
Suffer through the degradation that is Ready 2 Rumble Revolution’s arcade mode, and you’ll be rewarded with the following:
Oh yeah? Well, eff you too, asshole game. Eff you too.
Above: SHAUN WHITE WILL HAUNT YOUR NIGHTMARES
Ready 2 Rumble Revolution is pure, vile anti-comedy. It’s a depressing black pit into which comedy crawls to die. So in a game so bereft of genuine humor, we’re forced to declare things “funny” that we would ordinarily never even consider clever. Like, say, the Rumble KOs, which you’ll quickly discover are the only smart way to end fights in this ridiculously stiff, unbalanced game.
Activate your fighter’s “rumble” power and use its special combos to run down your opponent’s health to zero, and instead of knocking them down, you’ll blast them straight out of the ring, ending the fight. This is mildly fun for the first five minutes, which incidentally is about the amount of time before the computer will start systematically using it against you.
The final boss seems to be based on Suge Knight
That’s kind of funny, we guess? At least it’s unexpected.
Comparing announcer Michael Buffer to the other in-game characters
Above: THESE MEN INHABIT THE SAME WORLD
• Plays like a relic from 1991.
• Thinks it’s way funnier than it actually is.
• Has a tired action-movie-parody plot.
• Features “investigation” scenes that amount to talking to everyone onscreen once before moving to the next level.
The supporting cast
The problem with having a humorous standout character like Lewis Cannon (see below) is that his absence makes his friends’ attempts at comedy look even worse. Honestly, they’re groan-inducing enough even when he’s around:
Take Lewis out of the scene, however, and the game practically creaks with effort as it tries to make them say something funny:
And then there’s the Chief, constantly giving you “hilarious” tips whenever you enter his office.
The cloyingly cute pedestrians
Not only are the investigation bits the worst part of the game, but this forced and brainless bit of gameplay subjects you to the labored gags of faceless nobodies, which you actually have to read. Here’s a small sampling:
“Oh my, aren’t their names funny? Oh, and the things they say, delightful. I can’t wait to finish talking to this one so I can talk to the 14 other idiots standing between me and the next level.” That’s what your mom said about that part.
Lewis “too much of a good thing” Cannon
We know we're in love with Lewis a few paragraphs below, but when he’s the sole thing keeping the game going, he wears out his welcome. What was once funny soon becomes grating, and having to set aside the actual game to read his chatter gets old fast.
Over the longer than expected duration of Tokyo Beat Down even the one shining star in this comedy misfire ends up pushing your buttons. That’s Tokyo Beat Down’s problem all over: a comical premise stretched over an increasingly tiresome game.
On the plus side, it’s filled with some of the best laughs the game has, mostly in how well it parodies cop show openings. The scene of the Chief drinking coffee gets us every time.
Lewis Cannon’s definition of justice
Despite the intro cinema’s lies of a well-rounded cast, the only one that matters is Lewis Cannon. Now, that name alone nearly throws him in the unfunny section, but we enjoyed his company from the very first level on, and it’s fun to watch him define right and wrong in violent black and white, the way a powerful child would.
As the game goes on, he comes off as an adrenaline junkie, constantly screaming “JUSTICE!” at thugs before and after shooting them. His innocent and uncomplicated version of good and evil is at the heart of his fist-centric war on crime.
Lewis Cannon is insane
Lewis also made us laugh by crossing the line between simply itching to fight felons and pure, unbridled lunacy. Sort of like he does when he and a superior approach a terrorist situation:
Apr 8, 2009
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Oh... that's it?
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