I think I may have very well found the worst fighting game ever. This isn’t an exaggeration folks. Unlike other shitty fighting games such as Karate Champ (which gets a pass as it was among the first of its kind and for that awesome bullfighting bonus stage), Survival Arts (with it’s goofy character designs), Time Splitters (with its creative use of gore), and Rise of the Robots (that at least had nice graphics), there was no redeeming value for Best of Best. No, I take it back. There is some unintentional comedy in some of the poses, backgrounds, and animations. By the way, Best of Best should not be confused with Best of the Best: Championship Karate, Electro Brain’s 1992 fighting game nor should it be confused with the movie of the same name that the previously mentioned Karate Game ISN’T based upon.
Best of Best was created by SunA, who was one of Korea’s first arcade game manufacturers. The company was established in 1985, and its first release was a Breakout clone called Goindol. Like most of the country’s developers at the time, SunA’s games weren’t exactly original. This was especially evident in one of the company’s most well known titles, Super Ranger, a Rolling Thunder ripoff which you will no doubt see in a future installment of Maximum Letdown. For now, we’ll discuss their other big ripoff, Best of Best.
Unlike most of its more superior peers, Best of Best has no storyline, bosses, endings, or hidden characters. It’s just 8 guys from all over the world gathering to fight each other one-on-one to see who is Best of Best. You got your typical fighter in a tank top and jeans (Tom), your Arabian stereotype (Alli), your Hulk Hogan look alike wrestler (Hawk), the sexy scantily clad lady (Shalin), and a Rambo-like-alike who attacks by swinging his ammo belt (Scott). This game has some weird quirks. The first being that after each match players can change their character, even if they won. Everyone’s fighting style is defined as the ‘Art of Sure Killing’. Of course most of the time you simply knock people silly and if you dizzy them, they either hold their balls or try to crawl away.
The zaniness starts even before you begin a fight. There is a screen which shows your fighter in a somewhat compromising position with a girl in a green top.
Even Shalin is shown like this. I’d show a pic, but I’m already pushing it here.
If nothing else, you’ll love the goofy animations. Hawk’s background is worth a special mention. At teh beginning of each round, the statue of liberty climbs up on the side of the boat and makes facial expressions as you fight. During the battle, a bikini clad lady strolls across the screen merrily as if this is the sort of thing that happens everyday.
There are only two sounds in the whole game and they alternate every round. Since there is no boss or endings, your reward when you beat all 8 fighters is a parade declaring you the best as you ride pass several cheering bikini clad Korean women. If you took the time to suffer through this game, I’d say that’s a well deserved reward.
As surprising as it may seem, SUnA remained in business for little over a decade after this game’s 1994 release. However, towards the end of its existence, it mainly manufactured card games and gambling machines. Around the mid 200s, it joined the ranks of Strata systems, Data East, and other forgotten arcade manufacturers.