For some of the
things Takara did, they deserve more respect in the retro gaming community. Some of their
ports were simply incredible in their accuracy. That's the case with Fatal Fury,
which is an amazing piece of work technically, only missing two characters. The problem is
they wasted all of it on an average fighter.
There's little coincidence that Fatal Fury feels just like the original Street
Fighter. The lack of any real combo system made it outdated the moment it was
released. This is a very loose fighter, as hits seem to go through your opponent instead
of connecting. The scratchy voices and upbeat, now classic music, accompany the brawls.
Causing problems is the collision detection and the awkward dual-plane stages. It's
obvious when the sprites touch the hit should connect, but that's not the case in this
first attempt at Fatal Fury. Sometimes you'll be too far away and the hits still
don't work. It's frustrating and random, and not something that's acceptable in a fighting
game like this.
Then there are
the dual plane stages, a frustrating feature that would stick with the series simply to
make it stand out. It's haphazardly implemented here, and while it offers strategic value,
jumping to the opposite plane at an opponent is hard to time correctly. Matches end simply
because characters collide in mid-air and the programming makes the call as to who hits
Single player is bland and frustrating, offering up only three characters. Multi-player
games can have a selection from the entire roster. They'll fight in an amazing graphical
delight. Besides the obvious color drop, this game has been preserved in its entirety. The
backgrounds are complete with every crowd member, and the sprites have barely been
decreased in size. This is a great way to experience the game, and unless you own a Geo,
this is one of the best.
The needed improvements would be made in the sequel, revamping the entire engine, and
turning it into a great fighter. Fatal Fury in its original form simply doesn't
do enough to be considered special. It's an average fighter in a sea of them. If you're
looking for some technical prowess, this isn't a bad idea. If not, stick with the various
versions of Street Fighter II on the Genesis.