Review by Guile176

Reviewed: 02/20/04

A Great Port Of A Classic Fighter

When Street Fighter 2 was released in the early 90s, it started a craze of 1 on 1 fighting games. One of its major competitors was a company called SNK with their Neo Geo arcade hardware. The Neo Geo spawned countless fighting games of various quality. One of the first of those fighters, was a game called World Heroes. Like most
fighting games of the period, World Heroes did alot more then borrow a few ideas from Street Fighter 2. In fact, World Heroes was perhaps one of the biggest rip-offs of Capcom's blockbuster ever. But does that mean that World Heroes was a bad game? Not at all, its just a rip off. Well, if your going to rip off a game, then why not rip off
the best?

For a storyline, keep in mind that this is a fighting game. In other words, don't expect much. The basic idea of it all is that some scientist has built a time machine and is bringing together the strongest fighters throughout history to compete. Interesting huh? Oh well, it give everyone an excuse to fight right?

Characters in World Heroes all seem to be ripped strait out of Street Fighter 2. Not so much in the way they look, but rather in how they play. For example, the red and blue ninja's Hanzo and Fuuma are the equivalent of Ryu and Ken from SF. Both play pretty much exactly the same and have moves that act exactly the same as the Capcom duo. Then there's the German cyborg Brocken. Brocken plays exactly like Dhalsim, extending limbs and all. Finally there's the
Hulk Hogan look-alike called Muscle Power. Muscle Power is Just like Street Fighter's Zangief. Other characters include a female knight called Janne, a Mongolian warrior called J Carn, and the famous Russian monk Rasputin. Overall, not a bad lineup. I just wish that SNK could
have shown abit more originality.

The actual gameplay itself is nothing groundbreaking but still quite fun. There's 50 hit combos, chains or super moves, just good old fashioned 1 on 1 fighting. Each character also has between 2-3 special moves. While that's pretty slim by today's standard, it was about the standard for the time.

Players can also choose between 2 match types, Normal and Fatal Match. Normal is your typical 1 on 1 fight on non interactive backgrounds, while Fatal Match's take place in an arena with level hazards. These hazards can be anything from a spiked wall to oil on the floor. Nothing really spectacular but a nice little alternative to the standard game. One interesting note is that the Fatal Match was originally called Death Match in the Arcade and Japanese
version. At the time, the name Death Match was deemed a little too violent for Nintendo's censors. Funny thing is, if you look in the instruction booklet to the game, you'll see a picture of the match type select screen and the name Death Match is shown in the picture instead of Fatal. Pretty amusing.

Graphics 7:
For the time, the graphics in World Heroes on the SNES were fairly impressive. While the animation could use a little work, the rest of the graphics really weren't that bad. There was good color use and the backgrounds themselves were very well done. While this isn't quite as impressive looking as Capcom's Street Fighter 2 translations, SunSoft did a pretty darn good job here. Especially compared to the Neo Geo original.

Sound 4:
While the original Neo Geo versions sound was nothing great, things have taken quite a hit on the SNES version. The music's pretty boring and forgettable and consist of nothing more then a few boring and repetitive tunes. Sound effects and voices are also pretty muffled sounding and lacking the crispness found in most other SNES games. I can't help but feel that SunSoft could have done abit more in this area.

Control 8:
While not quite as responsive as Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat 2 on the SNES, the control here is done pretty well. The set up is fairly simple consisting of a punch, kick and throw button. Tapping punch or kick will result in a quick but weak attack while holding it will do a slower but stronger one. Don't like the arcade set up? Well, fortunately World Heroes on the SNES allows you to change it into a more precise 4 button set up. This raises the games playability a notch over the arcades version in my book.

Overall, World Heroes on the SNES was a pretty good fighter. While nothing mind blowing, its a great fighter for those who don't take their fighting games too serious or those who are new to the fighting genre. I was really happy with the way the SNES translation turned out. It turned out to be extremely close to the Neo Geo original and a far cry better then the horrid Genesis translation.
Good job SunSoft.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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