Video Game: Ready 2 Rumble Boxing

Ready 2 Rumble is a series of cartoony arcade boxing games released in 1999, starting with Ready 2 Rumble Boxing in 1999. Developed by the now defunct Point of View Inc. (except for Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution, which was developed by AKI Corporation USA) and published by Midway, the game was incredibly popular for the Sega Dreamcast console, even though it wasn't an exclusive.

The game was notorious for its "Rumble Meter" system, which, when taunting your opponent or landing a heavy hit, gave you letters to let you initiate a Super Mode for the boxer of your choosing. It also featured famous ring announcer Michael Buffer to introduce the characters and say his well-known phrase "Let's get ready to rumble!" Finally, it had an in-depth Championship Mode in which you trained your boxer, competed in prize fights, and eventually earned your title.

A sequel, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2, was released in 2000. It was then followed years later with a series reboot named Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution released in 2009, which removed all of the original characters and replacing them with celebrity parodies.

Now with a Character Sheet under construction.

This game provides examples of...

  • Action Girl: Selene Strike, Lulu Valentine, and "The First Lady" (Hillary Clinton).
  • Afro Boxer: Afro Thunder.
  • All There in the Manual: All of the boxers have backstories that you wouldn't know about unless you read the instruction manual.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Michael Jackson, having been a fan of the original game.
  • Badass Baritone: Several characters in the series apply (especially Damien Black), but special mention goes to Michael Jackson. Turns out his voice can go quite deep.
  • Big Bad: Damien Black.
  • Big "NO!": The cornermen might yell one of these out if a character is getting dominated or beaten up.
  • Blood Knight: Jimmy Blood, Rocket Samchay and Angel Rivera.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Both Michael Jackson and Shaquille O'Neal are aware they're in a video game. However, several of Shaq's post-match quips have him completely shattering the fourth wall like he does backboards, while Jackson only had just one throwaway line:
    Jackson: Hey, I got into this game for a real match!
  • The Cameo: Round 2 features several celebrity boxers, including Bill and Hillary Clinton (referred to in-game as Mr. President and the First Lady, respectively) as well as Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jackson.
    • Afro Thunder later appeared as a secret character in TNA Impact, which was also developed by Midway before the company closed its doors for good.
  • Combos: Each character have their own unique combos, highlighted by their swings changing color.
  • Dance Battler: Afro Thunder, G.C. Thunder, and Michael Jackson all fall under type 2.
  • Expy: In no particular order:
    • Butcher Brown's looks and personality has a lot of similarities to Mike Tyson's.
    • Tank Thrasher is an unflattering version of David "Tank" Abbott, right down to dominating an unrespected, backwards sport (Abbott - street fighting, Thrasher - gator wrestling) and switching to a somewhat less unrespected sport (Abbott - MMA, Thrasher - boxing).
    • Likewise, G.C. Thunder is an overly flamboyant version of Prince (the actual Prince was supposedly offered to be included in the game as a rival to Michael Jackson, but he declined).
    • Afro Thunder sounds nearly identical to comedian Chris Rock, and also has a passing resemblance of him as well.
      • In an In-Universe example, Big Wallop in Revolution is an expy of Afro Thunder, though his Soul Brotha traits are toned down.
    • J.R. Flurry's personality as well as his love for "urban" styled clothing and Totally Radical slang, is a near dead ringer for Vanilla Ice during his prime.
    • Robox Rese-4 is pretty much a boxing version of The Terminator.
    • Bruce Lee Clone: Jet "Iron" Chin, natch.
    • Rumbleman is an obvious parody of The Hulk.
    • Nat Daddy was a Captain Ersatz version of Shaquille O'Neal (Nat Daddy = Shaq Daddy). When the real Shaq was slated to appear in Round 2, Nat's model was redesigned to properly match Shaq's body, and his move set was given to Shaq.
  • Fragile Speedster / Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Lulu Valentine was actually the weakest and shortest character in the first game, but she had the highest speed stats, essentially making her a massive Game Breaker if the player knew how to use her move-set properly (or simply spammed the attack buttons). She became more balanced in Round 2, as her speed was slightly nerfed, and the developers made it impossible to button mash several punches at once.
  • Husky Russkie: Boris "The Bear" Knokimov, although he's Croatian.
  • I Shall Taunt You: An important part of gameplay.
  • Magical Native American: Kemo Claw is implied to be one.
  • Mirror Match: The first game always used it's full roster in the arcade and championship modes, so this would always happen at some point. With the exception of the GBA version, Round 2 has a bigger roster, and it's very rare to encounter the same character you're playing as.
  • Motion Capture: Notable for having Michael Jackson motion capture all of his own fighting moves, as well as his taunts.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The third game in a nutshell. While the first two had many expies, as shown above, they weren't as overtly blatant (save for Rumbleman).
  • Older Than They Look: "Big" Willy Johnson looks roughly middle-aged, but is actually 108 years old.
    • This was retconned in Round 2, as his age is billed as 41 in that game. His age in the first game was probably a joke on the fact that his boxing style is that from early 20th century.
  • One-Hit Kill: In Round 2, getting your Rumble Meter to Level 3 lets you knock your opponent out of the arena and win instantly.
  • Race Lift: Lulu Valentine was African American in the first game. In Round 2, she was changed to be Caucasian.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: Naturally.
  • Screaming Warrior: Jimmy Blood (a Maori New Zealander) from the original has a taunt and Victory Pose consisting of him screaming really loudly.
  • Shows Damage: As the fight goes on, the contenders' faces get covered with bruises.
  • Soul Brotha: Both Thunder cousins fall under this.
  • Super Mode: When you activate your Rumble Meter, which makes your attacks faster and doesn't let you tire out when you attack.
  • Surfer Dude: Freedom Brock from Round 2.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Michael Jackson, in-universe. He can deal a lot of damage, and he's one of the quickest fighters on the Round 2 roster, as well as on of the strongest.
  • Use Your Head: Butcher Brown has a headbutt move.
  • Victory Pose: Whenever a character wins (obviously).
  • Vocal Dissonance: Michael Jackson, surprisingly. Many think Midway used a soundalike, but according to the head director of the game, that's his actual voice you're hearing when he speaks. Due to contractual issues, however, he's not credited as a voice actor.
  • The Voiceless: Kemo Claw from the original. He grunts, but never speaks.
  • World of Ham: That's just putting it mildly.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Round 2 takes place three years after the original game, yet some of the returning characters are either aged up double that, or, as mentioned above, their original ages were retconned. Michael Jackson was a strange example, as the Nintendo 64 version of the game bills him at 25 years old (he was actually 42 at the time), while the other ports did not bill his age at all.