Weapons are overrated. Sure, Final Fantasy‘s Sephiroth has a cool-looking big-ass sword. Yes, Soul Calibur‘s Astaroth uses an intimidating greataxe. When it comes down to it, nothing is more satisfying than fisticuffs. After all, cavemen made fists before they made clubs. So when it comes to gaming, a character is only as tough as his knuckle sandwich. These are the ten best sandwiches…er, punches.
10. Punching Prostitutes (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)
Human Revolution‘s Adam Jensen was thrown into a conspiracy of global politics, terrorist attacks, and human modification. With so much on his plate, it makes sense that he would want to relax once in a while. By “relax,” we of course mean knock the holy hell out of some ladies of the night. Hey, sometimes you have to just blow off some steam. And yes, we know that thumbnail does not picture a whore.
9. Punching Khalisa al-Jilani (Mass Effect Series)
Most of you will read that name and try to picture just who this al-Jilani is. If we called her “the reporter,” you would know instantly. You would also find yourself getting inexplicably angry. See, Ms. Jilani interviews Commander Shepard with nice questions, but she gradually shows her bias against the Alliance and her personal disdain for the commander. When her prejudice hits a climax, players get the opportunity to teach her a listen in the form of a fist.
8. Wolf Fang Fist (Dragon Ball Series)
The Dragon Ball series is known for its Kamehamehas and Super Saiyans, but the Wolf Fang Fist attack belongs to a fighter incapable of either of those powers. When Yamcha uses his ultimate technique, his hands resemble the jaws of a wolf, causing the attack to appear to his opponents as a biting wolf. Beyond the intimidation factor, this attack was the first ki-based move seen in the DB series. Original and powerful, the Wolf Fang Fist is a force to be reckoned with.
7. Gum Gum Storm (One Piece: Grand Adventure)
From another manga-based game, One Piece‘s Luffy has the power to stretch and contort his body – a Japanese Mr. Fantastic, if you will. When he uses this attack against series villain Crocodile, he literally brings down the house with power. Luffy hits with a force so powerful, it sends his opponent from the basement arena up through layers of the earth.
6. Using the Nemean Cestus (God of War III)
Second only to the Blade of Olympus in terms of power, God of War III‘s Nemean Cestus is one of gaming’s most brutal weapons. When equipped, Kratos uses the gauntlets to smash onyx armor and walls, crush the skulls of opponents, and simply tear sh*t up. He uses it outside the GoW universe for his Mortal Kombat X-Ray attack, but the most brutal demonstration of what the weapon does can be seen during the Hercules boss fight in the third game.
5. Mach Punch (Pokemon Series)
Remember like five paragraphs ago when I said nothing is more satisfying than a punch? The same goes for the Pokemon universe. See, all those trainers are commanding their Pikachus to shoot lightning and their Squirtles to shoot water, but a true Pokemon appreciates the ballsy nature of a pure fist. And the beauty of Mach Punch? It always strikes first.
4. Fists of Flame (Mortal Kombat 9)
None of these attacks so far have gored any characters; even Krato’s cestus simply pounds enemies into pulp. That all changes with Liu Kang’s fatality, Fists of Flame. After going all Human Torch on his forearms, the martial arts master punches his opponents…through the chest. That’s right – a flaming fist through flesh, bone, and muscle. Brutal and bloody, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Mortal Kombat legend. Oh, did we mention he’s been using this move since he was a kid?
3. Shinryuken (Street Fighter Series)
Few things are as iconic as Ryu’s Hadoken, but Ken’s Shinryuken is the perfect rival (pun totally intended) to Ryu’s energy attack. It’s a parallel to Liu Kang’s Fist of Flames as well, as it’s an uppercut lined with spiraling flame. Frankly, it’s the legend of Street Fighter that makes this move so iconic. It’s been with Ken since 95′s Street Fighter Alpha.
2. Instant KO Uppercut (Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!)
87′s Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! was a challenge, to say the least. Memorizing was patterns was nothing if you couldn’t throw your own punches into the mix; finishing the game was an accomplishment. Imagine working your way through the likes of Glass Joe and Mr. Sandman, only to find yourself repeatedly flattened by Kid Dynamite (that’d be Tyson, for those of you not savvy to the world of sports nicknames). Worse, he could knock you out with a single punch. When he started glowing and readying for that uppercut, you’d better get to dodging. Fail to move, and you’ll fail to win.
1. Falcon Punch (Super Smash Bros. Series)
“Falcown pawunch!” The declaration of every attack may make the Captain a little campy, but the power of his attacks will shut the naysayers right up. More impressive than the power of the attack – or even the falcon-shaped energy pulse that comes with it – is the creative nature of the attack. Coming from F-Zero, a racing series, the Captain’s moveset was completely left to the imagination of developer HAL Laboratory. Thus, the impressive range of moves created for the Captain only further the beauty of his moves. Speaking of which…”show me ya moves!”
Oh, and it started a meme. Yep…