Fatal Fury 2

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


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.

fatalfury21.png (24649 bytes)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 from Capcom.

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 fighter.

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.


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Last updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 01:44 PM