What Is It?
Don't ask me why, but for some odd reason there are a lot of people who really enjoy the Fatal Fury series. To be fair to those sorry, mixed up gamers, the Fatal Fury series has improved over the years (Mark of the Wolves is actually a really solid game). But the original Fatal Fury is just about the worst fighting game on the Neo Geo. I would call it the worst, but Art of Fighting reminded me how much worse a fighter can be. Fatal Fury allows you to choose one of three characters, including Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi. The three of them take on a whole mess of bizarre fighters with increasingly stupid names, such as Michael Max, Tung Fu Rue and Duck King. And just in case you can't get enough of characters named after birds, the final boss is the extremely cheap Geese Howard. How threatening of a name is Geese Howard? In this world of people changing their relatively normal names to something with more glamour, you would think that a gang leader like Geese would change his name to something that puts more fear in your heart. I'm just spit balling here, but what about Crazy Eddie or The Thunder. How cool would it be to have a name like The Thunder? I'm just saying. But I digress, the fact that talking about better character names is more fun than actually playing the game is not a good sign. The game does have a few things going for it (the fact that you can jump in and out of the screen is very interesting), but those tend to get lost in the mix thanks to the horrible gameplay, lack of special moves and limited character selection.
Does It Still Hold Up?
At this point it may sound like I'm just picking on the Neo Geo, but I assure you that I'm not. There is nobody on this planet that wants to play good Neo Geo games on the Wii more than me, yet all I'm getting are the three worst fighting games SNK has to offer. If ever there was a time for SNK to give us Last Blade or Samurai Shodown II, now is that time. The fact that we're given three fighters that are all basically the same is frustrating beyond belief. Like the other two Neo Geo games released this week, Fatal Fury does not hold up.
Is It Worth The Money?
You would be better off saving your money for one of the better Fatal Fury games, such as Fatal Fury 3, Real Bout Fatal Fury or Fatal Fury: First Contact. What's more, the $9 seems a bit steep considering that the Fatal Fury collection was recently released at a budget $15 asking price. It's almost as if Nintendo (and SNK) are trying to sour people's opinions of the Neo Geo right from the start. I think it's a bad strategy; the companies would have been better served by giving us one of these three fighting games along with Magician Lord and Cyber Lip. At this point you might as well save your money for one of those games.