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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fatal Fury 2


The second Fatal Fury statement is your Direct-To Rivalry Market effort to put up reinforced commercial struggles against Capcom's Street Fighter II, the dominant power in arcades that the first Fatal Fury game could not convincingly compete against. With this here second installment of the Fatal Fury series, SNK changed its strategy significantly, pretty much offering a decent SF2 clone that has keen readiness to introduce some extra pleasantries atop its rigorous dominator.

Enjoy and Read on!

As hinted, Fatal Fury 2 refuses to thread further along the path it started to solidify on via the first output, instead it goes for the SF2 appeals up to the point that there are Specials present in the game invokable as you would play with Capcom's dominant title, even results are identical. A good example is Kim Kaphwan's Flying Swallow Slice, this is the exact trick Guile from SF2 is famous of. Thus, though it would be utterly incorrect to suggest that Fatal Fury 2 would lack its own tastes and unique attributes, this doesn't keep the output from claiming radical liberty, re-introducing solutions offered- and popularized by its inspirator.

This re-introduction of certain, though focal SF2 elements is a very smart move from SNK when you start to think about it, and here is why: SNK copies portions off of Capcom games in a deliberately shameless fashion. What would be Capcom's likely reaction to this? Can they give an answer of sobriety at all? SNK assumes its adversary to follow this particular train of thought:

They Stole From US, So We Shall Start Stealing From THEM, Too!

SNK clearly, cleverly provokes the arcade giant Capcom to do so, inviting the firm to start copying elements the smaller company invented. The moment Capcom falls in for this trick and starts to re-introduce solutions- and features you have seen in previous SNK games, IS the same moment in which Capcom admits that it considers SNK a now-bitter rival and an adversary worth learning from. Something that SNK admitted of Capcom already via copying elements. Now, would you return this "favor" and admit that you are in a serious struggle, or would you move on and redefine the genre once again on-and with- your own fresh inventions?

- WHAT are you DOING here??
- I am TRULY BAD at Philosophy.

The game is set in the same fictional universe as Art of Fighting, though the aforementioned title - AoF, that is - tells of events that took place a decade prior the start-off developments of the Fatal Fury series. The game brings in the magic numbers SF2 relies on. You have eight playable characters, some of them are the original fighters from the first installment, while the others - amazingly enough - are fresh additions. The magic numbers prove to be persistent, as usual, (not to mention that there are NO numbers that are NOT magical) thus Fatal Fury 2 brings you four Boss characters to collide with once you have proved yourself against the playable protagonists.

Let us notice how a development of the future unfolds silently by this point: Capcom will indeed set a foot in front of SNK with Street Fighter II Champion Edition, a title that lets you play as any of SF2's four Bosses. Whether SNK will have a reply to this, remains a question to be answered at a later occasion.

The button layout is a little bit funky on this one when played on MAME - nothing too serious, just a mild mixture here that might claim some time to get used to. Basically, you will find a Kick where you would anticipate a punch and vica versa. The game has two kinds of strikes and two kinds of kicks, while simultaneous pressing of those AND respective directions do give a wide palette of executable Basic and Command moves to the fray. You can even perform Strong Attacks by invoking the Stronger variants of your offensive maneuvers together, this results in a third Basic attack that knocks the enemy to the different Plane than the one you kicked her/his sitorgan on. As you might have guessed already: the Plane system is presented- and offered once again.

Basic attacks and maneuvers are dependent on the Plane system, the trademark delivery this effort kept from its predecessor. The method still gives you two spatial setups to play on: as in the original Fatal Fury, you have a Front Plane and a Back Plane, thus, if your character is on a certain Plane, then certain Basic and Command moves are accessible, while others are not. This method weighs in as a decent minigame to entertain the eyes and the hands, even better, it still remains a reliable way to escape temporarily and re-plan your opposition during this period. All these features were already accessible in the first episode, yet now
the Plane method sports an increased tactical potential, giving you the green light to Charge across different Planes. You have respective "Cross-Charge" movements against your rival's respective body sections, thus Fatal Fury 2 certainly delivers fresh sensations as far as the core gameplay mechanics are concerned. And let me tell you this: those are heavily concerned once MAME Review rampantly emerges to ruthlessly scrutinize.

There are maps you won't find a second Plane on, though you will find obstacles on such backgrounds. Maneuvers that will knock your opponent to the opposite plane will drive her/him unto an obstacle on single plane maps.

Fatal Fury 2 lets you interconnect certain Basic- and even Special attack moves to form quasi-combos. These maneuvers can be interrupted any time by blocking the attack, thus, these are not exactly combos in the classic sense of the word, but they are very useful both to pressurize your rival, let alone how happy you will end up as if the quasi-combo quasi: lands, right?

The primal additions you will be shocked by considerably are the Desperation Moves. Especially when I tell you that those additions are present in the game. These Specials are only accessible once your Life reaches its Critical point, an occasion the flashing Lifebar will inform you of.
While Specials are rather straightforward to pull off, the game also makes a versatile use of the mere contexts the game might have to count with. I realize it may have sounded a little bit weird, so let us pick an example for such a context: the game inspects if- and when a character is under attack, and encourages you to do the same - you have Counter moves especially designed to punish an unsuccessful attack, while your Strong Punch will be a Taunt if you perform it while standing far away from the enemy. Taunt does not seem to have any relevant effect beyond the animations though, unfortunately.

Fatal Fury 2 is also among those rare 2D Fighters that let you crawl forward in an utterly inept ducking position, though this may prove useful against certain projectile attacks - just don't believe it will.

The output suffers but from a couple of minor flaws, even those are of presentational nature. Like - highly subjective - inconsistency in the impact certain backgrounds will likely have on you, as some of those are totally neat, while some look - surely, it is highly subjective - somewhat crude, not-particularly cared for, even rudimentary, in my opinion. My personal favorite is the Parallax Swamp on Joe's stage.

Now, if THIS is not a WTF, then TELL ME, what a WTF is.

Apart from this, or, even better: with THIS included, the game emits considerable charm and sports quite a few fresh elements to weigh in as a more successful effort than its predecessor, especially once their mutual primal agenda of rivaling the Street Fighter franchise reveals in its alarming persistence. SNK took a reliable and solid step with Fatal Fury 2 that remains an easy, safe retro recommendation to date.

- YER turn ...

- ME turn...

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related recommendation:
Fatal Fury 2 Guide

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