Monday 12 September 2016


BEST OF FIGHTERS: ELITE, the expansion and semi-sequel to Japanese combat simulator BEST OF FIGHTERS, was a source of much controversy among the game's small but devoted fanbase. Almost everyone appreciated its massive expansion of the roster, but its rebalancing of several key characters drove a rift through the community, with a small but vocal minority demanding that Finnegan the leprechaun (broadly considered too powerful, and popularly nicknamed "Win-again") be restored to his former glory. The merits of the story mode, with its bewildering array of subplots and mandatory dating-sim sections, were hotly debated. Accusations of racial insensitivity abounded and the removal of certain elements from the American edition - two costumes, three stages, one piece of background music and one entire character - occasioned howls of derision from all the usual suspects. It remains to be seen if the holdouts will be won over and ELITE will gain as much respect as its beloved predecessor.
  1. VIVI. Classmate of Haruto's. Punk rocker. Fights with spiked chains wrapped around her fists. Secretly from a wealthy family and terrified people will find out. In love with Mako.
  2. ICHIRO. Classmate of Haruto's. Baseball player who fights with bat in hand. Ultimate move involves pitching a fastball that breaks the sound barrier. In love with Vivi.
  3. SAGA. Classmate of Haruto's. Master of calligraphy. Fights with a paintbrush as long as an oar. Can paint temporary walls in the air. Likes to draw moustaches on defeated foes. In love with Ichiro.
  4. KONCHU. Classmate of Haruto's. President of the science club. Accidentally fused with a praying mantis in an experiment gone wrong. Left arm replaced by lethal claw. In love with Saga.
  5. SHAOSHI. Master of Shaolin who is masquerading as an English teacher in order to keep an eye on the previous four characters. Does not speak English.
  6. YIJIN. Former disciple of Shaoshi's, expelled from the monastery for studying the Eleven Forbidden Techniques that if practiced wrongly could unhinge nature itself. Posing as the school janitor for reasons yet unknown.
  7. ARRIBA. A matador who plants bright-coloured barbs in the flesh of her opponents, dancing out of the way as they slowly bleed out before stepping in for the killing blow. Got bored of bulls and decided to graduate to a more dangerous prey.
  8. YASHVI. A wealthy Indian princess who wields a pair of antique punch daggers once used by her great-grandfather to disembowel a British general. Hunts tigers with them on her private game reserve, accompanied only by her faithful butler.
  9. MARCEL. An international assassin with a day job as a Parisian street mime. A master of savate, he dispenses his lethal flying kicks in total silence. Can compel people to accept his performance as reality, bouncing off his invisible walls and becoming entangled in his invisible ropes.
  10. FALSETTO. Holographic idol singer who is programmed to know every kind of martial art. Beloved by millions. Unclear how she actually hits people.
  11. BLANC. Cartoon rabbit who escaped from the world of animation into our reality. Can turn into a spring, pull enormous hammers from nowhere, etc. In love with Falsetto.
  12. HOTEI. A sumo wrestler in a Santa hat and red loincloth. Hits people with an enormous sack of toys. Big booming belly laugh. Loved by children everywhere.
  13. GUAN. A stork carrying a human baby. The baby seems happy and comfortable, even when it is being used as a blunt weapon. Nobody knows who taught the stork kung fu.
  14. CAPET. A clockwork automaton built for Louis XVI by an anonymous Oriental craftsman, who secretly imbued it with lost Shaolin knowledge. Lost during the revolution, it was abandoned in a warehouse for two hundred years before a curious peasant girl discovered it and thought to turn the huge key protruding from its back. Now on the run from both the British Museum, who want to collect it, and the Shaolin Elders, who view its existence as an abomination, it seeks refuge in the world's most elite martial arts tournament. Incredibly fast but has to stop every so often to wind itself up.
  15. POD. A carnivorous plant. Can't move around the battlefield, as it must stay rooted in its pot, though it can belch acid and lash out with thorn-tipped vines. A difficult character to learn, but rewarding for those who have mastered it.
  16. PICANTE. A South American dictator. Unsatisfied with his status as Supreme Ruler and Generalissimo over the tiny landlocked country of El Caliente, he sees no reason why he should not also triumph in the world's most elite martial arts tournament. Can control fire, for some inadequately explained reason.
  17. SARMOTI. A white tiger. Trained by the Las Vegas showmen Sven and Ricardo, it savagely turned on them halfway through a performance, ripping out Sven's throat before carving a bloody trail across the Sunset Strip. How it got invited to participate in the world's most elite martial arts tournament is unknown.
  18. MEKONG. Abandoned as a child in the swamps of Southeast Asia, this Muay Thai fighter was raised until the age of thirteen by Siamese fighting fish, and still retains many of their lethal instincts. She also dresses like one.
  19. TRUTH MAN. A patriotic American newspaper mogul who dons a striped mask and blue three-piece suit to become an anonymous crimefighter and defender of the innocent. Solves mysteries with the help of his faithful valet. Currently solving the mystery of who is the world's greatest martial artist.
  20. SCIPIO. Truth Man's faithful valet. Dresses all in black, with a chauffeur's cap. An expert in something that looks suspiciously like Wing Chun.
  21. BEDLAM. A madman confined to a straightjacket. Fights using only his legs and teeth.
  22. HACHI. A swarm of bees. Can shape itself into axes, whips, revolvers, etc. Ultimate attack involves taking the form of a nuclear bomb. Initially planned to be the character who copies other fighters, but the animation proved too difficult for the budget.
  23. MOLA. A princess from the lost city of Atlantis. Wants to return the seven Tide Jewels to their rightful place at the bottom of the sea, where no man can access their power. Wields a shark as a club.
  24. ZWAX. African-American rap legend who faked his own death in order to assume his rightful place as leader of the Illuminati. Wears gilded brass knuckles and a huge golden necklace shaped like the Eye of Providence. Wants the seven Tide Jewels for himself, to cement his place as secret ruler of the globe.
  25. BRUTUS. Legbreaker for the Italian Mafia, sent to collect the seven Tide Jewels before the Illuminati can get their hands on them. Dresses as a gladiator. Fights with a trident and a weighted net.
  26. IGNATZ. Jesuit monster hunter, dispatched by the Catholic Church to gain control of the seven Tide Jewels. Fights with a huge spiked silver thurible he swings like a mace.
  27. O-53. British superspy, impeccably dressed in bespoke suit and laser wristwatch. Real name unknown. Supplements kung fu with range of interesting gadgets developed for him by MI6 boffins. Wants the Tide Jewels in order to restore Britannia's mastery of the waves.
  28. SHALOM. Kung-fu rabbi and Mossad agent. Also after the Tide Jewels. Possesses a black belt in Krav Maga and a seemingly infinite supply of six-pointed throwing stars. Constantly chasing after Fatima.
  29. FATIMA. This character's absence from the American edition elicited complaints of censorship from thousands of aggrieved fans. A so-called "sexy suicide bomber", she sashays onto the battlefield in a full-body burqa, which is torn off at half health to reveal an explosive-belt bikini. She seeks the Tide Jewels for Al-Quaeda, and is in possession of a surprisingly complex and tragic backstory.


  1. I could totally see a Japanese videogame company making a sexy suicide bomber