World Heroes 2

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


So bad it could almost be taken as camp, the first World Heroes was a broken fighting game. The ease of wailing away on one punch button to continually dizzy an opponent defeated the entire purpose of playing the game. World Heroes 2 fixes that, and while this isn't the game the series would become, it's another tolerable fighter in the Geo's line-up.

worldheroes21.gif (20913 bytes)The two-button control scheme, for as aggravating as it is, is still present. Hard shots are landed by holding the button down for an extra second. The third button on the controller is used for taunting, the fourth for absolutely nothing. Six new characters line the roster, and many have been redrawn entirely. Detail and shading is incredible.

Mercifully (and wisely), the combo system is completely reworked. Players now move backwards when they punch, rejecting any chance for repeating a cheap dizzy combo. Now it's more open. You can still throw multiple hits, but they do so in a beat-em-up style fashion. Hanzou for example punches twice, hits with an elbow, then kicks, all by ramming on one button.

That's likely still too easy for veterans, but it makes it easier for new fighting game fans. It's also workable, and each combo can be tweaked as needed. Your character will look like he (or she) is pulling off some amazing, difficult combos. They're not hard at all, and that's going to irk some seasoned professionals.

Balance is fair, with Mudman being the overly powerful newcomer (C. Kidd is no easy fight either). His range, not just with special moves, but with standard attacks as well, is annoyingly easy to abuse. The AI knows this in single player contests too. Certain projectiles can now be reflected if blocked properly, a nice attempt to make up for the other problems.

Popular in the first game, the death match has returned, in modified form at least. Instead of the fight playing as usual with the hazards in place, the life bars are now combined for a sort of "tug of war" fight. You'll need to reverse an entire life bar and then some as it moves back and forth as hits connect.

That's one of the many gimmicks in this enjoyable, somewhat slow brawler. That would all be fixed in the next entry, World Heroes Jet, where the series would once again be completely changed. This remains the middle child, easily forgotten and not quite loved enough. World Heroes 2 is a great fighting game for new players; as the engine used is easy to wean someone on to get a feel for combo creation. That's whom this edition will appeal the most.


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Last updated: Saturday, September 10, 2005 01:17 AM