Fatal Fury is a classic Neo Geo title - one of those crazy arcade games you could take home with you. I remember seeing stuff about Neo Geo as a kid and thinking it was the best thing in the known universe - being able to play a game at the arcade and then having the same experience at home! Without sticky floors or greasy joysticks! Though, being a poor kid I missed out on this obviously mind-blowing experience. I also didn't go to the arcade too often. Fighting games have never really been my thing, and while I casually enjoyed Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, my expertise never really escaped the realm of button mashing. Fatal Fury almost completely relies on memorization of special move sequences which is the kind of thing that made me want to put my fist through a wall as a kid. There was always that one punk who committed every single special move to memory and would just wipe the floor with you. Now with Fatal Fury Special, you can meet every single one of those jerk kids online and either experience heart-wrenching defeat or join the collective. Isn't Xbox Live grand?
Hit the jump for the full review.
Shininess: Fatal Fury Special doesn't feature any updated graphics like multiple other Xbox Live Arcade remakes - but that's ok. It's a classic fighting game with giant sprites that looked great back in the Neo Geo days and still look just fine now. The music remains the same as well, and the grunts and punch sounds of the fighting and the whatnot. It's the same. It's classic, whether you dig that or not.
Funness: This is a classic fighting game, meaning I suck miserably at it. I never quite understood the appeal of the completely un-intuitive method of sequence memorization. It always seemed to me to be a way for nerds to exert control over at least one portion of their lives, while being able to dominate over other, less intrepid nerds. Button-mashing only gets you so far, and it's generally unforgiving for beginners. In order to master the game you really have to put a lot of effort forth in memorizing character moves, which feels incredibly outdated to me. I vastly prefer the fighting system in Smash Brothers, for example. Every move feels natural and intuitive and you don't have to remember that up up down left quarter circle back heavy punch heavy kick is the sequence to punch a little bit harder.
Worthiness: Fighting games really aren't my thing, so take this review as you will. There aren't many enhancements to the game to make it truly "special", and I can't see anyone but fans of the original downloading it from the Live Arcade. If you want to peer back into the glory days of arcade fighters and Neo Geo, be my guest. Just don't be surprised when you find something completely dated and not very entertaining.
Score: 1/5 Skip it!