A pseudo-sequel to Galaxy Fight (and followed up by Astra Superstars), Waku Waku 7 is a very colorful fighting game from the mid-1990s. This is the only way to play this game at home short of getting yourself an MVS cab or waiting for the game to be released on the Virtual Console. It utilizes the Saturn's 1 Meg expansion cart (the 4 Meg cart wasn't out at the time, no SNK game ever used it) so the conversion is an almost perfect one to its Neo Geo counterpart (and it's a damn sight cheaper!). There are also some cool extras to be found in this version, like having Bonus Kun and Fernandeath playable in versus mode.
Everything from the Neo version is here, the character animation looks great, and the sound is spot on. The power of the RAM cart has enabled a near perfect port from the Neo Geo MVS. You get the occasional slow down on screen, for example when the view zooms in as a large player dashes towards another, but it's barely noticeable and doesn't affect gameplay. The backgrounds do seem to be more detailed and look somewhat better on the MVS version. But except for these differences both games play exactly the same.
There is a cool calendar mode on the Saturn version, you get a new portrait at the intro screen for each month (it uses your Saturn's internal date settings to do this). There's also other cool looking miscellaneous artwork that you only find in the Saturn version. There is loading in the game, but it's very short and only between matches, so you really won't notice it to much.
Waku Waku 7 has an excellent play system as well, with many combos and supers to go around. Everyone's character has nice chain combos and supers you can pull off. Your standard super moves in the game can be EX-ed by draining a little of your power meter (like in Street Fighter 3). Your two biggest supers are called Doki Doki and Hara Hara. The Doki Doki is like a super chain combo, and the Hara Hara is an unblockable super that takes off massive damage, but takes very long time to charge up (so you have a chance to get the hell out of the way). The gameplay is fast and fluid, the amount of moves in the game paired with the great game engine assures you won't be bored after a day of play.
The games graphics are very sharp and cool; the sprites are huge, especially on characters like Fernandeath. The character designs are anime style and all the characters are very likable, there are 7 characters total (plus 2 hidden ones).
Waku Waku 7 is full of inside jokes, and unless you watch a fair amount of anime you may not get them all. For example the 7 Waku Waku balls that grant a wish when they're brought together is an obvious reference to Dragon Ball Z. As for the characters, if you've ever seen the anime Dominion Tank Police you'll know the connection with Politank Z.
Bonus Kun is a punching bag with no arms or legs, and is a parody of Ryu from Street Fighter; strangely enough he's a blast to play as. He wears a red headband, does shoryukens, hadokens and hurricane kicks, it's really quite funny. Marurun is a parody of the Totaro anime (he even has a little girl with him). Tesse seems to be a throwback to the Variable Geo games and anime (she's a waitress), I'm sure there's more connections, I just haven't noticed them all yet.
As far as fighting games go this is a great game, and even today the graphics look fresh and the gameplay still stacks up when compared to newer games like King of Fighters and Last Blade. The Saturn version is somewhat rare now, but it's worth the find if you can get it. People who own this game on the Neo Geo will tell you this is one of the best fighters on the system, and it's definitely one of the best fighters on Saturn in my book. If you like fighters, anime and games with some speed then pick this one up, because you can't go wrong with Waku Waku 7.