Aug 29, 2007
This is one of those games that we love to see. It appeals to a very specific subset of gamers, no question – if you don’t remember Fatal Fury games fondly, there’s nothing for you here – but it’s a nice collection for those of us who like a good, 2D fighting throwdown now and then.
Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol 1 collects the first four Fatal Fury games: Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special (basically a tweaked 2), and Fatal Fury 3 Road to the Final Victory – which, for the record, was nowhere near final because there are at least six more games in the series. The first is actually equal parts 2D fighter and beat ‘em-up, complete with a two player co-op mode, but the remaining three are all standard, arcade-style, 2D, one-on-one fighting games.
The big hook, besides having a nearly un-killable bad guy named Geese and a main character who looked like Street Fighter’s Ken with a ponytail and trucker hat, is that there are multiple planes: a foreground, a background, and in FF3 a middle, and the fighters can move between them at will. Beyond that, you’ll see a lot of fighting game history – provided you can handle the occasionally punishing difficulty. Remember, these things were meant to eat quarters.
It’s a nice package overall, though we can’t help but wish there had been more: additional games, development art, pics of the arcade cabinets, movies of great players or the anime, cheesecake drawings of the bouncy Mai Shiranui – anything. But the price is right (at press-time, it was $15 US), so we can’t complain too much. Hopefully, the second package will have more to it at a similar cost.