Last week’s Very British Gamer focused on how the British government is trying to vilify video games through health awareness campaigns. I like to think that it discussed an important subject with appropriate gravity and a measured opinion, and I hope readers thought so too. Yes, it was a spurious change of tone for this usually light-hearted column, but maybe that’s the direction Very British Gamer should head in, evolving into a column that’s unafraid take on the tough topics in an intelligent and dignified manner. On that hopefully venerable note, it’s time to talk about this week’s topic, which is Street Fighter IV’s Cammy and how much of a ho she is.
Before entering the contentious fray of this discussion, I should emphasise that I’m no expert on fighting games, both in terms of knowledge and skill. On the other hand, I do play a mean Chun-Li in Street Fighter IV — I have the Battle Points to prove it – and I do think the game is a triumphant return to form for both the series and the fighting genre, not just because of the way Capcom evolved its simplistic, nostalgic Street Fighter II roots into a hyper-stylized 2.5D version with the same tight gameplay from before, but because it’s plain freaking awesome in every single way. If you’re looking for a (debatably) better review of Street Fighter IV, you should check out TGR’s lengthier version here.
Now that’s all cleared up, I should also state that I’m more than aware of Cammy’s status with the Street Fighter fans. The busty blondie from Blighty did win a Capcom popularity poll preceding Street Fighter IV’s release, allegedly leading to her inclusion in the home version. Also, she does have some kickass moves that include the reliable Cannon Spike and surprisingly speedy Spiral Arrow. Then there’s the fact that she’s as hot as a chicken vindaloo in Hell. Cammy featured in GameSpy’s Top Ten Babes in Games, Spike’s Top 10 Video Game Vixens, and she won Electronic Gaming Monthly’s Hottest Game Babe of 1993 award. Indeed, GameSpy said that with her trademark ever-so-tiny thonged leotard Cammy “showed that pixelated Brit girls are sexy”. Well, that’s all well and good for pixelated Brit girls, but it doesn’t mean Cammy isn’t a ho. Actually, hotness, popularity, and pert buttocks on show pretty much confirm it, just in case the below clip from the Street Fighter cartoon doesn’t – Cammy is such a ho.
Again, let me be clear: I have nothing against Cammy being a ho, and for the record, I so would. It’s just that for Cammy to be Britain’s sole Street Fighter IV representative, for a leggy tart who you simply wouldn’t introduce to your mother to represent our stately island in the grandest of video game arenas… it’s just not cricket. Sure, Essex does exist, but we are not just a nation of teenage hos, just like Japan is more than a nation of steely karate masters and the US one of beefjack soldiers. Street Fighter IV’s American and Japanese representations are diverse, with a rotund beardy, sexy female spy, stereotypical schoolgirl, and sumo wrestler doing far better jobs of encapsulating their countries’ identity than a teenager sans feminine dignity does for the UK. Let’s not forget that in the game the Union Jack says “England” next to it rather than correctly saying “United Kingdom”, and that Cammy was played by an Aussie in the awful Street Fighter movie – and Kylie Minogue’s beautiful butt even failed to appear in the film en thong. Frankly, that’s not good enough, and the UK deserves more Street Fighter respect.
With the present Capcom rumblings indicating that more characters may come to the game through downloadable content, this is the time to reverse the glaring error. Yes, it’s time to bring back the Brit who epitomised his country with both dignity and style. I could only be talking about Street Fighter III’s dapper British boxer, the one and only Dudley. With his smart bow tie, strapping old-school braces and ever-so-classy quiff, Dudley’s the kind of upstanding fellow who should be doing battle with Johnny Foreigner for Queen and Country. “Let’s fight like gentlemen”, he’d say, before showing his grace by closing with, “Despite your manners, I like your style. Let me buy you a drink.” He was a true gent, and one of the most popular characters to be left out of Street Fighter IV. In fact, Dudley even won one of the Capcom popularity contests that were supposedly going to influence characters’ inclusion in the main game, so why was he excluded? Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono stated in an interview that he wanted to go with familiar Street Fighter II characters to help “align the starting point for everyone, so those who played II on SNES could just start playing”. Fair enough Ono, except for all the suspicion that you don’t hold much love for Street Fighter III and the rumour that Dudley was canned to make space for another boxer, namely Street Fighter II’s lunkhead Balrog. Balrog over Dudley? Please.
That’s why I’m revitalising the hope that Capcom will see sense, bring Dudley back to the fore and give Brits a Street Fighter character they can get behind (rather than one they’d like to literally get behind). Not that they’ll listen to me, of course, but I’m sure many more want to see his return. Either way, at least I can console myself knowing that the UK are represented unlike our friends, the Germans. Take that, Germany! Better to have a ho than no ho at all, that’s what I say.