May 22, 2011 8:00 AM | Matthew Hawkins
Back before gaming developed such a global consciousness, whenever game makers from one region of the world chose to depict another, most of its knowledge was basically pieced together via pop culture artifacts its came across. Or so one gets the impression.
Usually it's what Japanese game makers thought of us Americans. The most noteworthy examples often hail from the late '80s/early '90s and are basically common knowledge by this point, thanks to countless game journalists who need a topic to string together a humorous article or blog post. Still, some relatively unknown examples still exist, like the game above.
B Rap Boys was produced in 1992 and can be viewed as what some Eastern folks thought of Western hip-hop and youth culture as a whole at the time. Its best qualities are rather obvious: everyone has roller-skates on, the constant rapping in the background, and the constant reminders that we're in the United States, thanks to the abundance of American flags and related imagery throughout.
It's actually a sequel to another side-scrolling beat 'em up, called DJ Boy, which is somewhat equally obscure, though more arcade units of that one made it to American soil as compared to the sequel (plus there was a console version for the Genesis as well). Believe it or not, B Rap Boys' prequel was even more peculiar; one of the three selectable characters was made black as a response to criticisms leveled upon the original.