Fighting games! A genre where characters are front and centre, and without a doubt hold the most importance. The characters that fighting games have are always some of the most distinctive and diverse in all of gaming, with each individual designed to appeal to all sorts of different kinds of players on both aesthetic and mechanical levels.
With that being said it’s time to roast some of these characters… not for their mechanical design, but for their drip. Or rather lack of drip.
I play numerous different fighting games and over the years I have made note of some of the absolute worst characters when it comes to their outfit design. Without any further delay, let’s get into roasting some of our favourite characters’ most questionable fashion choices!
Sol Badguy – Guilty Gear Strive
Oh that’s right, I’m coming straight out the gates swinging: Sol Badguy has, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the worst designs in Guilty Gear Strive.
This game boasts some of the greatest visuals I have ever seen, not only in fighting games but in the video games medium as a whole. I play the game almost every day, and I am consistently impressed with the level of beauty this game can reach.
Yet there must always be something that takes away from that beauty, and this time around it’s none other than the main character himself. I don’t hate Sol, just to put that out there, but could they really not have changed up his design even a little bit for Strive? Look at our beautiful boy Ky Kiske or Chipp Zanuff — comparing these characters’ designs in Strive to past games makes you question why they didn’t do the same for someone like Sol.
Shun’ei – The King of Fighters XV
Honestly, Shun’ei might be the biggest culprit on this list. This character’s design… all it makes me think is that the designers were trying too hard and kept saying “yes” to all of the ideas without any consideration for the end result. They say that less is more, and there is no better case study than Shun’ei as to why that saying exists — the character is an absolute mess!
To play devil’s advocate for a second here, I think I can almost see what they were going for with this character. They wanted to make a “new” main character for the series, so they wanted a design that maybe resonates with more people than the retro looks of characters like Kyo or Terry. They gave him a lot of modern accessories loved by weebs, like the bandages on his forearms, the headphones and the high-top shoes.
Maybe this look could have been alright, but why is he wearing a school uniform? It just makes everything look a bit odd. Why does he wear his school jacket over his shoulders like a cape? Why does he randomly have one trouser leg rolled up and the other not? All of these design choices stacked up just result in the mess that is Shun’ei.
B-Boy Ryu – Street Fighter 5
Putting this one on the list really hurts, but I must remain objective in the fight for good fighting game character designs! This one hurts because you could argue that Ryu’s ever-popular “Hot Ryu” costume is one of the best designs in the game — so much so that it looks as though Capcom will be making it his default design in the upcoming Street Fighter 6. However, none of that matters, as the B-Boy costume is completely inexcusable and needs to be shamed until the end of time.
I remember when this skin was announced, as it was a sponsorship with Red Bull that brought this monster into existence. I honestly didn’t think the skin was real until I actually saw it in the in-game store. There are many awkward costumes in SFV — Ken has a few, and Menat has 1 or 2 — but this B-Boy one for Ryu simply felt the most out of place, and it’s certainly the most out of character costume I’ve ever seen in a fighting game.
Angel – The King of Fighters XV
This one could be something of a hot take. It’s another appearance from KOF, this time from one of the ladies, and as much as it goes against everything I stand for as a bastion of fanservice, I can’t help but feel Angel’s design just looks a bit silly. First things first, I really like Angel as a character in the game; she is one of the most creative and crazy characters I have ever seen thanks to her unique mechanics. It’s a genuine joy to watch good Angel players do what they do.
However! When it comes to her design, I can’t help but just think that it looks stupid. KOF as a series has a lot of wonderful ladies, and for the ones that have a bit of fanservice going on, it’s usually done quite well. Mai Shiranui is a literal goddess and has one of the best designs in fighting games, period. Leone is a total badass and I like both her modern look and her classic one. Shermie’s new design is certainly pushing it, but it still manages to look good. I think I really would have loved to see something brand new for Angel — perhaps something that doesn’t make me question where the rest of her pants are.
What are your picks for the worst fighting game costumes of all time? Let us know down in the comments, via the usual social channels or on the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
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