(Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury Special (Neo Geo)

Game Review

Fatal Fury Special Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Is it really all that special?

There's no question that Fatal Fury 2 was quite a step up in quality from the original, but it seems SNK still wasn't completely satisfied with the game and decided to release an upgrade in the form of Fatal Fury Special. Rather than start from scratch, they basically took Fatal Fury 2, added in the ability to play as the four boss characters, increased the game's playing speed a bit, and introduced an all-new combo system and turned an already-playable arcade fighter into a much more in-depth and finely-tuned one-on-one fighting experience. Of course now the question is, will this upgrade be enough incentive for Fatal Fury 2 owners to get excited about and put out their hard-earned Wii Points to purchase.

Not much has changed with the basic gameplay of Fatal Fury Special and upon first glance, you'd swear you were still playing Fatal Fury 2. The characters are all the same, as are most of the backdrops you'll spend your time doing battle in, but once you start executing your characters normal move set at a much quicker and more streamlined pace, you'll begin to see the advantages of the new combo system. Now instead of going after your opponents one move at a time, you can string together combos that will be extremely difficult for your opponent to defend against, especially if you continue to mix them up. Of course your special moves are all still at your disposal as well for those times when you need to lay out a heavier beat down.

The added ability to play as the four boss characters from Fatal Fury 2 is almost enough incentive alone to purchase this upgrade, but toss in the combo system and the added playing speed and you have a fairly impressive step up in overall quality, especially considering that this isn't a brand new title. The play control is still as smooth as ever, maybe even more so with the added ability to string combos together. The end result is basically a game that was already a solid fighter now transformed into one of the better Neo Geo fighting titles and a game that fans of the series will most likely find worth the price of admission.

SNK was obviously happy with Fatal Fury 2 from a visual standpoint, so much so that very little was changed in this updated release. All of the brightly-colored backdrops return and look as amazing as ever. There are a few bland areas here and there, but for the most part the game's visual quality shines and offers some nice eye candy to take in while you're pummeling your many opponents.

Much like the visuals, SNK didn't do much to the audio in the game and in all honesty, there wasn't much need to anyway. The musical score of Fatal Fury 2 was already rock solid and a great compliment to the game's impressive graphical presentation. The announcer in the game is fairly clear, especially from this time period where many were so muffled that it was often difficult to even understand what they were saying. It would seem that SNK decided to focus on the areas of the game that needed work and leave well enough alone with those that didn't and it really paid off in the finished product.


It's always a tough sell when a company releases the equivalent of an upgrade but chooses to release it in the form of an all-new title. Having said that, the upgrades offered in Fatal Fury Special are more than enough to warrant having to purchase a new game on the Virtual Console service and will definitely be worth it for long-time fans of the series who are looking for a slightly more modern gameplay edge to their one-on-one fighting experience. No matter the case, Fatal Fury Special is hands-down one of the best releases in the series and a title that no fighting game fan should miss out on.

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User Comments (26)



LinktotheFuture said:

I am hoping they will come out with SNK Arcade Classics Volume II, so I am going to wait on buying any more Neo Geo games on the VC.



Adamant said:

You forgot to mention the FF1 characters they tossed in.

And yeah, this game was the first REAL contender for Street Fighter II. They're both equally good in my opinion, and that makes this a must-download for all SF2 fans.

@LinktotheFuture: If they DO come out with a vol 2 (which seems annoyingly unlikely), they'll most likely put Fatal Fury 2, not Fatal Fury Special, on it. This one should be a safe download



Corbs said:

I gotta leave something for people to see for themselves.



Ravage said:

Nice review, made me want it despite not really being into fighters. lol



JamieO said:

I have just been playing Takara's SNES conversion of this just a minute ago, funnily enough. Obviously it is not a patch on the Neo Geo original, but it is still fun.
I have Neo Geo Fatal Fury Special on PS2 through Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 and I really love it. Those backgrounds are amazing, particularly as the coloured skyline changes and the ones which keep on scrolling along. There is so much character in the raft on the rapids, the train journey past Mount Rushmore and Andy Bogard's stage taking a trip through Venice. The sprites are large, well designed and animated and the shift between the background and foreground planes differentiates its gameplay from Street Fighter II.
Great review Corbie.



LinktotheFuture said:

@Adamant I know, it doesn't seem to matter when a company calls something Vol 1, it seems like Vol 2 never happens, which is too bad. SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 is great. Hopefully it sold well so we can see Vol 2.



WolfRamHeart said:

Good review Corbie. I actually don't own any Neo Geo games on the VC yet and I was considering making this one my first. It sounds like a pretty good introduction to the series. I might give this a download when I get some more points.



CanisWolfred said:

This is definitely my favorite pre-Real Bout Fatal Fury games. Lotta fun, good characters, incredibly deep gameplay. Nothing bad to say about it, except the moves were a bit too complicated for their own good.



Wardy said:

I own this on the SNES and was wondering if the Neo Geo version has better controls. I like the game a lot but it's extremely difficult to pull off even basic moves. Forget about pulling off a special move.



Bass_X0 said:

So Fatal Fury Special is one point better than King of Fighters '94? No. I've got to disagree there. I've played the demo of Fatal Fury Special on the XBOX 360 and really disliked it. Whereas KoF94 has always been and still is an enjoyable game to play.



Adamant said:

Fatal Fury Special's single player mode is far more enjoyable than the army of walking brick walls KoF94 tosses at you, at least.

In multiplayer... well, they're different, at least. FFS is much closer to the Street Fighter games, and giving it the same score as SF2T, SF2CE and SSF2 feels very correct. I'd say Street Fighter still wins out, but FFS comes VERY close.



motang said:

Fatal Fury only game better than it by Neo Geo is King of Fighters series and the 2D ones not the crappy 3D ones.



brooks83 said:

I just downloaded this game. If you like the old street fighter games you will definately like this one



Bass_X0 said:

I think its fair to say that the best fighter from the NeoGeo on VC is Samurai Shodown 2.



Luigi-la-bouncy said:

I love Samurai Shodown 2 on the VC but I'm gonna get this as well. I imagine they're qutie different games.



gojiguy said:

Corbie you forgot to mention a big glaring error in your review- the button layout is silly for CC and IMPOSSIBLE for GCN. I even e-mailed nintendolife about it and Nintendo has acknowledged the issue.

Please mention this in your review.



Corbs said:

I must be missing what you're trying to say. I used my Super Famicom Classic Controller with the game and it seemed great. Just as good as playing the game on my Neo Geo arcade cabinet (without the joystick of course). As for the Gamecube controller, that's a pain with many VC games and is often even given a warning during the instructions as to how it can be difficult to use with many games due to the button configurations. That's a "use at your own risk" controller as far as I'm concerned anyway.



brooks83 said:

@Bass - What did you dislike about this game, and how much of the game was unlocked in the demo version?



Travenous said:

I played this lots in the arcade - I shall pick this one up... can't wait to try it on my Fight Stick!



KOF '94 is better, but this is still pretty fun.



SNK said:

i remember paying £150 for this back in 1994 for the Neo Geo,i think its a very good fighting game,plus its a lot cheaper on the VC that what i paid for it.



gojiguy said:


There is no warning for this game. And the default control scheme is retarded to begin with. You didn't mention how the default control mapping is really awkward.



kartus said:

If you own FF2, you pretty much have to get FFS. If you own neither, just get FFS.

Hard to say KOF94 is better. FFS is more refined and more interesting, easily; compare it to KOF95 instead.

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