Fatal Fury 2 is the third Fatal Fury game that I’ve reviewed for What About The Game. My first taste of the series was with the first game, next was Garou: Mark of the Wolves, which while not carrying the series’ name, is considered to be the fourth game in the franchise. Be sure to check out my thoughts in those two games as my reviews found them to be quite the opposite in terms of quality. Where does Fatal Fury 2 fit in to it? Well somewhere in the middle, but erring to the side of to original game, sadly.
Let’s have a talk about what’s improved from the first game. Well, there are now eight playable characters instead of three, including some SNK favourites such as Mai. Each character is very different from each other and yet they have similar button inputs for special moves so trying out new characters is usually pretty convenient.
The game looks so much nicer too. It’s amazing how much difference a year can make. Character animations are better and the scenery is fantastic, some stages are genuinely terrific looking. The music too is wonderful. The overall presentation is really a step up from the original.
The gameplay has also expanded. The two lane system is still in place, but unlike the first game you can freely switch between them by pressing the light punch and kick buttons together. So in this regard, it actually has a purpose here.
One of my major complaints with the original was that the special moves were so inconsistent, pretty unforgivable for a series that relies on them for winning. While I can say that I did notice an improvement in this sequel, it’s still nowhere near enough to be considered consistent. When you have to try and input the move three times before it actually works, you’re never going to win. This follows on to my next point.
Like the original, Fatal Fury 2 is just too bloody difficult, even when you put it on the easiest setting. Your opponents can instantly react to your inputs, spam special moves and just don’t let up, even for a second. Fatal Fury 2 is a victim of its arcade origins. It’s designed far too much to take your money and while that’s understandable in the arcade scene, it doesn’t make for a good home experience. When you can’t even make it past the second round, even on the easiest setting, it’s difficult to feel enthused enough to keep playing it as your opponents beat you to a pulp.
The only way I can see some real, true enjoyment coming from Fatal Fury 2 is when playing another human opponent, as you both struggle to get the special moves to be recognised.
Taking aside the gameplay itself, publisher HAMSTER have done their usual good job of porting it, allowing you to play either the Japanese or international release as well as the usual Caravan and Hi Score mode, which I’m not actually sure serve a purpose in a fighting game, but they are there!
After playing the difficult, but fair, Mark of the Wolves along with its wonderful accessibility, I just can’t get along with Fatal Fury 2. While it may be an improvement over the original, it’s still a long way off reaching the heights of the fourth game. In my opinion, aside from nostalgic reasons there’s no reason to choose this game when you’ve got Garou on the same system for the same price.
Overall, while Fatal Fury 2 is a much improved sequel in every regard, it’s still not a particularly good fighting game in my opinion. It’s brutally difficult and the still fairly unresponsive special moves, make it worth choosing one of the other much better SNK fighters available. It’s a shame because it’s honestly such a good looking and awesome sounding game.
Game provided by HAMSTER Corp.