Fatal Fury: First Contact

Neo-Geo Pocket

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8.5

Sound: 7.5

Gameplay: 7.5

Overall: 8

If your a major fan of portable gaming, you truly have missed out on one of the most popular genre's in video games: the one-on-one fighter. This market doesn't give a lot of options to portable fans and the ones that do exist are usually pathetic rip-offs. But, this is the Neo Geo Pocket, a system made by a SNK, a company that only makes fighting games these days. You should expect nothing but the best from this consoles fighters, and thankfully, this one fits the bill.

Since so many characters pack this tiny cart, it's amazing that room was left for great gameplay. Even though the games basic engine is a direct take-off of other NGP fighters, enough has changed to make it seem more like it's console cousins (or is it brothers?). The two-buttons on the system can be frustrating, but long and short presses pull out a variety of moves. The only major gameplay gripe is the lack of speed which can throw off peoples timing, crucial in fighting games. The games sound features re-mixed tunes from the arcade and consoles, but the voices are notably absent. Not a big deal since the music provides a great backdrop to the on-screen action.

The game looks stunning on the small screen with it's great looking backdrops and easily recognizable characters. The characters have all been shrunk and been made "super-deformed," much more suited to the portable screen. All of the classic win animations taunts, and special moves have also made the translation to the potable. 

A critical flaw comes in the games lack of features. The 2-player mode may be satisfying to those who have friends with a NGP (all 3 of you) and the one-player mode does prove to be challenging. But, this is it. The endings really aren't worth seeing, making the replay dive bomb after a few hours. Still, the rock-solid gameplay may be able to hold most peoples interest for some time.

Fans of the arcade/console versions have no reason not to pick up this title. Everything about this game screams greatness and it's obvious that a lot of work went into making this game, but it's a damn shame that most people will never play it. For this with a NGP, this is definitely a worthwhile investment.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM