Throwing out everything that started with Fatal
Fury, this sequel completely re-invents the series. New gameplay, graphics,
characters, combos, mini-games, and stages are included. It's rare to see a second entry
in a series be this redefined, but this is Fatal Fury 2, a classic follow-up that
is unfortunately cheapened by the quick release of the follow up, Fatal Fury Special.
Players who spent hours honing their
skills on the original have a lot to learn here. This is a tighter fighting game, one with
a better defined combat system and a large cast of characters in an attempt to pick off
SNK's rivals at the time. The only thing kept, aside from a few characters, is the
multi-plane stages, which still feel out of place. They're even more frustrating this
time, as battles can occur behind objects, blocking the view for players.
The controls have been expanded for four button brawling, compared to the original games
two. That's a major change, and one that sets up an easy to use combo system. It doesn't
take long to pump out five hit combos, which can lead to major damage. It feels perfectly
natural, and the game's flow invites players to experiment.
After finding a comfortable move set, the player's chosen character will find his (or her
in the case of the first appearance of Mai) to Wolfgang Krauser's castle. This flawless
example of a fighting game stage features epic fighting music, and it pushes the Neo Geo
sound chip as far as it can go. This is the pinnacle of an excellent aesthetical
presentation, with large sprites, detailed backdrops, and animation to counter anything
As versus one-on-one match ups go, this sequel does the series proud. The balance is
excellent, though Kim can be abused depending on the opponent's choice. Certain special
moves can only be performed in a characters hidden stage, and oddity in otherwise standard
This is simply a lively entry overall, it just doesn't serve much purpose now years later
with the incredible Fatal Fury Special also available. The roster would undergo
massive changes and additions, leaving this to be the forgettable stepladder on SNK's way
to mastery. It's certainly not without merit, and at the time, this would have been worth
the outrageous price.