Fox's Animated Families Get Ready to Rumble

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Fox "American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu"
It's a clash of hysterical proportions, as the casts of Fox Home Entertainment's cult-hit animated series Family Guy and American Dad kick the crap out of each other in the American Dad vs. Family Guy Kung Fu online game. Created by interactive agency and advergame developer Fuel Industries, the Street Fighter-style game was uncaged last Friday to promote the release of the American Dad Volume One DVD on April 25. "We were throwing ideas around, and the idea that really resonated was a fighting game," says Mike Burns, CEO and chief creative officer of Fuel. "There's so much humorous reference to violence in the shows, and it's such a classic video game genre, that the idea just took on a life of its own."

Players can do battle with their choice of 12 characters (six from each show), including fan favorites Stewie Griffin (the diabolical toddler rides a deadly mechanical fighting rig) and Roger (the alcoholic alien sports a fashionable Wonder Woman outfit). Each boasts their own arsenal of special combos, smack-talkin' taunts and hilariously twisted finishing moves—like Peter's ipecac-induced vomiting, or Stan stabbing his vanquished foes with the American flag. "We tried to retain the feeling of watching the show while playing," says Burns. "The music, backgrounds, animation quality and taunts were all key to delivering the experience. Not only is the fan base for these shows huge, but they're all brand evangelists and part of an extremely plugged-in culture. They have blogs, and we're giving them something that they want to talk about."

Best of all, Fuel partnered with video game publisher Capcom to license Street Fighter icon Ryu as the final boss standing between you and ultimate victory at game's end. "Bringing Ryu into the game only made sense—a fighting game is his turf, after all," says Burns. "We weren't sure what Capcom's reaction was going to be, but it took all of two seconds to get a 'hell yeah' from them. They just got the idea and loved it. And Ryu vs. Stewie just has an epic ring to it."

Fuel and Fox plan to expand the game to include more characters, special moves and Easter eggs, starting with two mystery characters that will be unveiled this week—one of which is none other than Family Guy's other favorite son, Chris! "People are going to be delighted," laughs Burns. "Just like in the show, Chris is an absolute moron in the game. He's useless in the fight and mainly freaks out when you try to attack the other characters."
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