King of Fighters Series

a.k.a. Garou Densetsu (JPN)
"King of Fighters"
Summary Characters Story Movelists Dialogue Arenas Gallery

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 Neo Geo Version
(7 / 10) Holds up Well, on its own Merits
by ExMortis on 3/16/2010 12:00:00 AM

While Fatal Fury has practically nil value as a competitive fighting game, it does have solid mechanics, great production values, and even some innovation.

Few, if any, other fighters capture the same kind of Bloodsport-esque cinematic feel you get from FF. Colorful characters (most sporting unique tricks and gimmicks) are fought against their own evocative backdrops set to some really fantastic music. The "town map" and frequent cinema scenes pull everything together into a cohesive narrative, not to mention build some tension about this Geese person.

The game itself is surprisingly functional for being the first fighter on the Neo. Controls, while basic at one punch, one kick, and throw, handle well. Special moves for the most part seem exceptionally strong, I assume because SNK wanted to reward mastery of this relatively new gaming concept. While the multiple plane mechanic found in most Fatal Furies was introduced here, it's a bit odd that you have no real control over it and can only respond to the AI's movement in and out of the background.

Although versus mode is available, with only three playable characters there's not much point. In the Genesis port many of the bosses are available, but the truth is they're not really fleshed out enough for human play. The superior two-player feature is the ability to battle any opponent 2 on 1, predating Street Fighter Alpha's "dramatic battle" by several years.

Fatal Fury isn't a game you can spend hundreds of hours mastering, but it's easy to pick up in short sessions. As pure entertainment, SNK gave it their 1991 all and knocked it out of the park.

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