Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fatal Fury

I just found this site, which is a cool find for fans of old-school 2-D Japanese fighting games. It's an essay (or series of them, actually) on the Fatal Fury series. Fatal Fury really tried to be SNK's answer to the wildly successful Street Fighter series by rival Capcom, and although it struggled with some localization issues (it was always way too Japanese to really take off in North America, for instance) it did a good job of it in a lot of ways.

Today, the entire series is kinda obscure unless you're really into the genre (and even then it's mostly overshadowed by Street Fighter and King of Fighters titles) but it had some real gems. Fatal Fury Special was a credible substitute for some of the early Street Fighter 2 iterations. The last two Real Bout Fatal Fury titles were credible substitutes for Street Fighter Alpha titles. And the swan song, Mark of the Wolves, was even a credible competitor against Street Fighter 3. Despite the ancient hardware on which it ran.

Today, it's not too difficult to get most of the titles on the two compilation discs for the Playstation 2, Fatal Fury Battle Archives and Fatal Fury Battle Archives 2. However, that still doesn't give you Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves, which is (arguably; I think Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 does this credibly as well) the best game in the series and one of the best games the genre itself has ever spit out. For that, you still need to seek out the obscure and expensive Dreamcast version. Which I have, by the way. And which I played for a while last night.

Anyway, in celebration of Fatal Fury, I've attached in in-game profile pic of Terry from Real Bout 2. Are you OK? Buster wolf!

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