Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. Something about joke tier lists just really entertains me – and in some ways, they do a lot to illustrate the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything that tier discussions are.
So, for your consideration, my carefully weighted opinion on the most dominant announcers in fighting games:
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. This guy has a lot more presence than 90% of fighting game announcers to begin with, so that’s a big advantage right out of the gate. I think this guy has a lot of lasting power beyond his smooth-ass voice. He’s got cool, laid-back delivery, one-liners that perfectly straddle that infinitesimal border between cheesy and badass, and he doesn’t suck up to you incessantly like the Alpha 3 guy does. He’s just jazzed as hell about the fight he’s introducing, whether it’s a Chunners snoozefest or a crazy back-and-forth casual match from beyond Pluto. He adds perfectly to 3S’s bouncy, energetic atmosphere. And of course, nobody can front on “AWWRIGHT, THAT’S COOL” when you get a perfect. The frame data will back me up on this.
Guilty Gear XX (all versions save Accent Core). He’s campy as hell just like all the rest of Guilty Gear, but his awesome delivery of his crazy one-liners couples perfectly with GGXX’s cheesy music and colorful anime graphics to take on a life all its own. He’s mixed to just the right level so that he doesn’t overpower the action onscreen, but it still adds a strange extra “meatiness” to your combos when he boldly declares “COUNTER!” or “ROMANTIC!” His infectious awesomeness has spread his nonsensical proclamations like “HEAVEN OR HELL” and “HERE COMES DAREDEVIL!” to all corners of the Internet. The fact that they took him out for Accent Core and replaced him with the godawful new guy will rank as one of this century’s most hideous crimes (I would say two, three ranks max below 9/11).
Capcom vs. SNK 2. CvS2 guy strikes pretty much the perfect balance, announcer-wise. He’s got lines so goofy they’re awesome, he has a decent voice with an understated delivery, good energy without beating you over the head with himself – he’s got a little something for everyone. A definite tournament contendor.
Street Fighter 2 (CPS1 versions). Old as dirt but still one of the most badass game announcers, EVER. That manly-ass voice with the CPS1 sound compression blends really well with the ridiculously meaty hit sounds in WW/CE/HF to further reinforce the manly-ass atmosphere of SF2 (except for Chun-Li, who keeps the game from being a sausage fest). He’s short on lines but big on power – reflective of the fundamentals-based style of SF2.
SvC: Chaos. Many would argue (correctly) that he’s the best part of the game he’s in. His game may be shit, but I dunno, this guy never fails to amaze me with his insane Engrish yelling. There’s just something awesome about his disproportionate volume and his VERY silly accent. Guy is on the dope, or something. They need to put him in a GOOD SNK game, let whatshername the boring lady from KOF XI/XII have a breather. Maybe I’m reading a bit much into him, but I’d rank him, like, upper mid tier at worst.
Not quite there:
- Samurai Shodown: Tenka “American” announcer (the only bad thing about this guy I can say is that he needs more lines, he is fucking HILARIOUS)
- KOF '98 (LADYYYYYYYYYYYYY GO! works well with the bouncy chiptunes in '98)
- Alpha 3 (he’s definitely like upper-mid tier, but I can’t stand what a suckup he is. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY CAN ANYBODY STOP THIS FIGHTING MACHIIIIIIIINE? I’VE NEVER SEEEEEEN SUCH A BATTLE! Goddamn, man, get a LIFE…)
- MvC2 (good, but he can never quite compete with the craziness on-screen in Marvel, despite having some cool-camp lines like “THE CHRONICLES OF THE BATTLE WILL NOW UNFOLD”)
- SF4 (too much ambivalent BS trying to masquerade as actual commentary…he should leave that stuff to the canned commentators in Virtua Fighter 5)
And like all good tier threads, this is the part where you guys come in and tell me, nicely or otherwise, how utterly wrong I am. Have fun!