Welcome to another exciting episode of This Week in Defunct Games! Every Tuesday join Cyril as he reviews the best (and worst) retro releases for the week.
This week we're taking a look at Sengoku 2, the oft-forgotten 2D brawler for the Neo Geo. Even though SNK decided not to upload the 1991 original to the Virtual Console, we're still ready to mount an argument why this 40 minutes beat-em-up is worth your time. Find out why when you read the 208th episode of This Week in Defunct Games!
What Is It?
When it comes to old school 2D brawlers, nine times out of ten you'll get a boring Double Dragon clone full of street thugs and food in garbage cans. Sengoku 2 is not your typical old school 2D brawler. Right from the get-go you'll be bombarded by giant dragons and walking fish heads. And if that isn't enough for you, the game takes a wild turn by introducing a time traveling gimmick. Needless to say, this is one brawler you shouldn't immediately write-off.
This is the sequel to Sengoku, the 1991 brawler that has yet to make it to the North American Virtual Console. You play a generic samurai action hero as he fights traditional Japanese bad guys through time and space. You'll start out in Feudal times, but before long the game will have you fighting on top of airplanes in World War II and through the streets of modern day cities. Along the way they'll transform between three characters (a dog, ninja and Tengu), beat up enormous bosses and experience the wonders of time travel.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The time hopping narrative may feel new and fresh, but the gameplay is largely generic brawler. You have a couple of attack buttons and can transform into other characters, but the action is rote and there isn't a lot of variety. It's also short, which shouldn't surprise anybody familiar with the genre. On the other hand, the action is so crazy that you'll want to go through it a few times just to make sure you weren't imagining anything.
Is It Worth The Money?
Sengoku 2 may not convince you that 2D brawlers are anything more than a guilty pleasure, but that shouldn't keep you away from experiencing this truly twisted time traveling beat-em-up. I was riveted to my screen wanting to know what happens next. The graphics are crisp and I wanted to go through it more than once; what more do you want out of a 2D brawler?