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Friday, June 27, 2008

Fatal Fury


Though commercially failed short after made it's debut in 1991, Fatal Fury actually exhibits such a degree of charm and semi-clumsiness to itself that it is virtually impossible to not approach it with high-end retro awe and contemporary bliss.

As SNK's first major attempt and major failure to compete against Street Fighter II, the game takes you to the same fictional universe as it's later, more successful sibling, Art of Fighting does. Fatal Fury is certainly notorious of some of the latter things, as well: 1. this is the first game to introduce famous SNK character Terry Bogard, 2. this is the first game in which your character might select her/his outfit on a per-gender basis, thereby propagating peace, love and understanding towards transsexuality. Either way, this 1991 effort definitely has the Blood Sport heritage incorporated into it, handling the skirmish-oriented culturemix to you via a gameplay which puts intensity to the table and demands both quickness and relentlessness in return.

Enjoy and Read on!

Fatal Fury starts off by exhibiting an early SNK trend which will get even more strait in Art of Fighting. In case you had a guess, then you probably guessed correctly: in Story mode, Fatal Fury lets you select only between three fighters of it's character roster, while the Two Player mode delivers a 2 on 1 experience in which two human players emerge to defeat a more precise and aggressive solo CPU. This is not too fruity, but at least gives you desperation.

My personal opinion is that SNK strived to derive from the era's Capcom traditions by any ways conceivable, thus, delivering a more strict, dare we say: one dimensional narrative with two or three selectable characters certainly suggested that the Japanese firm has The Balls to ignore the classic solution Capcom invented. It is though a definite case when you try to sell out your special deficit as a special appeal you are able and ready to sport. As Capcom's tradition is superb and should not be tinkered with on the "let's take away from it!" path. The tradition itself is this: each and every character SHALL and thus, WILL have her/his Unique Ending. To be honest with you, I tend to think that SNK simply did not want to put the effort/time/money or either, or all of these to deliver unique endings for each character, thus making the majority of Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting characters semi-faceless screen-fillers. Giving pretty much identical End Sequences for selectable warriors, to me, is more of a bigger letdown than an excuse.

Sounds harsh enough? Then let me ask you this: who, why and how would develop a major, steep-enough liking for characters if and when they can not win against the CPU with the warrior in question? Never forget that such End Sequences and/or quotes tend to imbue a massive character to the - sorry about that - character, something SNK will be a Master of later. Just check the Samurai Shodown quotes, those are instant classics and tell precisely, thoroughly of the protagonists. I think SNK itself felt bad about the lack of playability of the early characters in Story mode later on, as, as we will see, the firm certainly changes a whole lot about these unfortunate early practices in the future to come. More precisely: in the future that had cometh. Nice is the world of retrospection.

Enough of the good old ranting which gives you cancers on places a decent woman never ever heard of though, let us observe what Fatal Fury brings to the table, instead. Interestingly enough, the game sports highly original basic solutions to operate, though you can not exactly call this classic title the most gauge-and-meter filled 2D Fighter you ever had chance to play with. To be more specific: there is a Life gauge, and that is about it. OK, I lied: there is TWO Life gauges, as your rival has one, as well. Behold below, and keep your eyes on it!

Now I certainly do hope that you have a rug or something to clean the slime of your eyes off of your monitor. The game boils down to the utilization of the proper Specials in the proper Moment, thus seldom are the times when the output's sophisticated Base structure could dramatically influence the outcome of a round. These structures basically give you a distance dependent attack system which is sensitive to- and aware of- of the following conditions: naturally, the distance you are from the enemy, in addition: the Attack State you are in are both of focal importance. Let us observe what all these actually mean.

Fatal Fury knows a Close-Up, a One Step Away and a Far distance, measured from your rival. Characters have a unique attack mode to each distance, let it be Punches or Kicks. But this is not all yet, as here is where what I call Attack States do come in. Once you attack, you make a Normal attack. Now, if you manage to land two Normal attacks - landing means they can not be blocked, mind you - then your character switches to his (no her option in Fatal Fury) Alternate attack form. If he manages to connect with that as well, then a cycle of one Normal - one Alternate WOULD begin until your attacks are either blocked or do miss. The reason for the aforementioned "would" is this: what we have witnessed so far is but the basic theory, yet the game seems to be rather unpredictable about when, and where give the Alternate attack form in.

My experience is that Fatal Fury keenly, and massively tends to interchange only between the two Base attacks, thus, as I noticed, you need to adjust the distance after the two Normals in a very precise fashion to go for the Alternate. When the enemy is moving away from you, this becomes almost impossible of course. If he comes too slow and too fast: then it is close to impossible, as well. When you do have the Alternate, though: those attacks usually knock the enemy down which leaves little chance for Combo-like attacks and thus takes away our "would" quite completely, as well.

The Most Emotional and Best Written Ending in Video Game History

- OR - is it an Ending at All??

As such and as hinted, times are scarce when this promising, though not too steadily predictable structure claims a huge chunk of the game for itself. It is more likely that the enemy will block your forwarding assaults or simply will counter with a shot before you could connect with your follow-up Normal, which leads us to the conclusion that your best bet probably is to more profoundly rely on Specials and airborne attacks, let those direct forwarding attacks be a quick method to greet an air-to ground enemy, reaching Mother Earth beside you. Deliver some old fashioned Enlightenment to him!

The game relies on a rather unorthodox supportive concept as far as it's basic flow goes. Fatal Fury divides some of the game environments to Upper plane and Lower plane. Not all backgrounds use this method, though: when planes are absent, then obstacles you shall face with, sometimes: quite, quite literally. Granted they are delivered and utilized, you can move through the two planes simply by jumping to the Upper from the Lower, or rolling down to the Lower is an option - in case you happen to be on the Upper. Cool, yes? In reality, not too bad, but does not exactly reinvent the steel, either. Gives some chase-around quality to the output as characters on different planes must engage each other on the same plane, while you should be aware that there are certain moves, even attacks that are accessible and inaccessible depending on what plane you are on. For example, jumping and ducking are movements you must live without when you are on the Upper plane.

Fatal Fury's selectable characters are nicely/bluntly - take your pick - balanced, to the point from which on it is OK to say that Joe Higashi has a very slight reach advantage, and maybe Terry Bogard is a tad bit swifter than the other two protagonists are. Apart from that, general usability and behavior of the player characters are heavily reminiscent, even Special moves are easily interchangeable. Under such circumstances nevertheless, it is nice to see how SNK did not intend to sell out essentially identical moves as different maneuvers, thus the majority of the trademark Fatal Fury Specials are invoked by the same commands. Let us make no mistake, though: animations are different of course, and one must admit, they look quite cool, I especially dig the superswift charging kick attacks, though I remain not too fond of the hurricane punches. This is something I could always sleep well without. But now we can never be sure of this, anymore.

The most notable aspect of the game remains it's nicely diverse enemy roster. Every rivals have their tiny weak spot(s) to them, surely, finding and exploiting these are of essential importance. Check out this here concluding Fatal Fury screenshot below which will wrap this here review up, and heed my words: this screenshot is a result of me smashing Boss character Geese Howard's hideous ass to the ground in a rapid fashion, jump beside him, grab him, smash him. While he recovers: jump beside him, grab him, smash him. While he recovers: jump beside him, grab him, smash - mmmm, something tells me that either of us do start to get the idea, which should be enough to start experimentations off.

All in all, Fatal Fury actually weights in as a quite integral effort regardless how it could not rival Street Fighter II when this first major SNK 2D Fighter Bomb essentially failed to detonate in US arcades back in 1991. You must admit that the animation is very coarse and semi-inept: notice how
some of the characters do more of a hovering (!) than stepping. And still, amazingly enough: this deficit gives evident charm to the output. Such an abstract circumstance is a rare commodity to greet, mind you I. To wrap this up, let us conclude by pointing out that Fatal Fury might have failed to gain instant success and recognition in the US, yet in it's home country Japan, it enjoyed rampant popularity right away which remains intact to this day. Not to mention how the title reigns in worldwide cultdome since then. As the delivery that had chance both to see and to define the ancient times of the genre, and as the title to cautiously project the coming of SNK's King of Fighter series - notice Fatal Fury's subtitle at the Main Screen - this classic output surely defines and surely deserves a significant place in 2D Fighter History.

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related recommendation:
Fatal Fury Guide

1 comment:

article writing services said...

nice game fatal fury i played it before and win it......

click on video to access in HD

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