Review by GrphixEn_300

Reviewed: 01/04/16

Fatal Fury 2 Forever

There are very few 2D fighting game series that continually astound every bit as much as the Street Fighter 2 and 3 line: Mortal Kombat is one such series, and on the Neo Geo Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters are excellent examples. Fatal Fury ranks up there in that category. FF2 is the sequel to the SNK’s premier arcade introduction. To write about this game will always be an understatement. Fatal Fury Special is singularly the most competitive brawler of the 1990s. Fatal Fury 3 through to Real Bout 2 makes a text book study on evolving and improving two dimensional game play and visuals in game franchise’s evolution. While Mark of the Wolves proves the timelessness of the second gen fighting game aesthetic. Fatal Fury 2 is infinitely ground breaking for its popular or mainstream appeal. Not only is it an almost perfect game in its own right, it made for some of the most amazing 16 bit translations. It was also famously successful, and was THE definitive title of the AES’ commercial hey day.

Fatal Fury 2 includes an eight character roster and four boss encounters. The game is every bit as well rounded as any of the non-Super Street Fighter 2s. The integrated line sway system that was popular in pre-1991 platformer beat-em-ups like Battle Toads and Pit Fighter is unparalleled in execution in this series (sans Mark of the Wolves); and it was with Fatal Fury 2 that SNK introduced and owned this play mechanic to full effect. Yes, the original FF held this feature nicely. But it’s with FF2’s masterpiece of four button game construction that this incorporation within the contemporary fighting game parameter actually creates an experience that would not be accomplished until Battle Arena Toshinden, a wonderful 3D brawler that was the first of 32 bit polygonal artistry.

The line sway system can become a petty annoyance. However, with time and practice jumping into and from the second plane becomes more and more of a viable combative approach. It also becomes even more apparent of FF2’s intricate game play qualities by the fact that this system isn’t necessary to experiencing the full effect of the game’s character balance, strategic special move executions and the always under appreciated, in any 2D fighting game, solid two-in-one combos hidden under layer upon layer of the control scheme. You can always handicap line-swaying in two player cooperative battling by rule of actual human competition. Unfortunately, there is no official option within this game making the single player experience unworthy of its potential. Why SNK never incorporated such an option in the genre defining FFSpecial is any one's guess. Maybe because of all the early fighting games on the system like Art of Fighting and World Heroes, FF maybe had somewhat of an identity issue in comparison to Street Fighter 2; making line-swaying its definitive element? And with the fact that FFSpecial makes FF2 forever incomplete, what in essence makes this game work is the fact it is an AAA fighter without the hook of being a must-consider when placed against every other fighting game in the Neo Geo’s library, unlike its predecessor Fatal Fury.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Fatal Fury 2 (US, 03/05/93)

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