Fatal Fury Special

Sega CD

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

Load times can really ruin a fighting game. If you're forced to wait 15-seconds in-between rounds, chances are you will be bored when it comes time to fight. "Fatal Fury Special" does a fine job in this regard and makes for a nice home port. It's only missing some animation and background detail.

"FFS" is a fairly standard fighter. Four attack buttons are available to torture your opponent in various ways, but the twist is the ability to move in and out of the background. It can cause the game to seem a bit out of control at times as players move between the planes, but it does help dodge various attacks while creating counter-attack opportunities. Combos are fairly limited when compared to some of the competition, but it still works well for its time. Death moves can be performed when a fighter's health is blinking, though it's tough to get them off with the standard Genesis pad.

Just about everything from the AES and MVS versions of this decent fighter is included here. The intro is almost 100% perfect, all the voice samples are present, and a hidden character in the arcade, Ryo, is here from the start. You can even select the MVS's difficulty level. The AI is far less aggressive here, especially on the lower difficulties. That's either a good or bad thing depending on your point of view. The Neo Geo version also feels just a hint faster at times (and not because of the slowdown).

The biggest loss here is, not surprisingly, the graphics. The sprites look great (though they no longer scale), but the backgrounds are butchered. Nearly every hint of detail has been removed (except for Mai's stage, it's really accurate) and the time of day no longer changes with the rounds. Duck Kings stage arguably takes the biggest hit, losing all of the lights and most of the crowd. Most of the stages also seem awfully small. There is some slowdown when the screen gets clogged with projectiles and many frames of animation have been lost. Still, the sprites are almost the same size as they were in the arcade and really look impressive on the hardware.

Nearly every piece of music has been ported here and it sounds exactly like it did in the arcades. It hasn't been upgraded nor degraded. It's somewhat disappointing, but it surely could have turned out worse. Post match music is the only thing missing. Voices are somewhat grainy, losing the clarity of the arcade.

There's a limited selection of fighting games for the Sega CD. You can enjoy yourself here, get slaughtered by insane AI in "Eternal Champions," or torture yourself with the first person FMV "Supreme Warrior." The choice is yours. But, if you have the ability to play AES or MVS carts, that's the obvious way to play.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, October 31, 2004 09:14 AM