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Old 02-14-2003, 09:26 PM   #78
Deal with it.
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,550
Wild side

Fatal Fury ~ Mark of the Wolves - Dreamcast - Rating 5
Who doesn't know Fatal Fury by now? One of SNK's most popular series, Fatal Fury has seen a tremendous amount of sequels and releases across many platforms (Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn import, Playstation, etc.). Cherished by the 2D fighting crowd, Fatal Fury Special is considered by many the finest in the series.
FF~MOTW is a worthy addition to the series in many ways. Yet it can't live up to its full potential. I'll explain why, but first I'll explain the game structure. It's yet another 2D fighter with a few new additions. There's story mode, survival, VS, practice, a gallery section with artwork and cinemas (most of which have to be unlocked), and of course options. The fighting system now includes several new additions. There's the T.O.P. Setting which you set up after selecting your character of choice. You use left and right to determine the activation timing from front, middle, and back on the life bar. Also, by pressing up and down you can choose from 3 power levels. It increases your attack power, your life gradually recovers and a special T.O.P. attack is enabled. In order to activate it your life bar has to touch it. The Power Gauge works like in Street Fighter Alphas, only you have a limit of two filled at once. It allows you to use special moves and, if filled up twice, a hidden ability may even be activated. There's the Just Defended system (there's that word yet again - 'system'...) which lets you regain some energy if you press block immediately before an opponent's attack can connect. In addition, there's guard crushing and guard breaking, as seen in other fighters.
You select from 12 characters (and both bosses, if you earn them). There's Rock (the new main character), Terry "OK!!!" Bogard, and all new faces: Hokutomaru, Kevin, Tizoc, B. Jenet, and Gato are among the new additions. The others are similar to other SNK characters -- both Dong Hwan and Jae Hoon are basically Kim Kapwan, Hotaru is Nakoruru, Butt is Takuma Sakazaki, and Freeman is Basara. The character's profile art is weak in comparison to former SNK greats like KoF 94-2000, Art of Fighting series and former Fatal Fury titles, which is a disappointment. However, the characters themselves (in-game) are well done with a lot of animation. Most of them are a bit small though (except for guys like Grant, self-proclaimed 'Martyr of Might' and mid-boss before Kain). Think King of Fighter-size and you'll understand. The backgrounds are fairly well-done but what is especially cool is before each match there is a small 'entry' cinema preceding the match. Those are cool additions, as are the cinemas that occur during the game (with nice animation). Jumping between planes during the fights is sadly absent from this installment, and the characters are not as interesting as in most other fighters. If you lose and have to continue you can handicap the opponent by selecting one of 3 options: Power Gauge MAX for your character, COM difficulty down, or 1/4 the opponent's life meter. OR, you can bypass all these by selecting 'No Service', like us real gamers do. Whenever you beat an opponent you get graded on your performance - from top to bottom: Miracle, SSS, SS, S, AAA, AA, A, B, and finally C. I mostly get the S rankings, and extremely rarely get Miracle (I'm not the best at this game but then again I don't find it to be as interesting as others).
The music does nothing for me, quite frankly. I enjoyed soundtracks like KoF 95, Art of Fighting, etc. but this one suffers from being too mundane/hollow, without any passion. The sound effects are carbon copies of the Neo Geo which means they're decent but unimpressive. Even the voices sound somewhat muffled....
So that's about all I have to say about FF~MOTW. It's an average fighting game and a let down as far as the Fatal Fury lineage is concerned. It's a shame, really, that SNK would downgrade after many great fighting games. However, in a way it's understandable. SNK was going through tough times financially and probably were scared of taking risks. May SNK live on forever....
As Rock says - "If you deny your wild side, then you deserve to die." Errr... whatever.

Last edited by Icarus4578; 03-13-2004 at 09:37 AM.
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