"Below average mix of fighting and softcore fetish"

When it comes to adult games, Japan certainly doesn't make a big deal out of it. With the many adult oriented mahjong and hentai games that Japanese developers come up with, it's no surprise that an adult fighting game would soon pop up into existence. Furthermore, an adult fighting game that rips off a similar (and well respected) game in many aspects. Enter Strip Fighter 2 for the PC Engine; the game where all the fighters are women. Forget about Chun-Li and Ling Xiaoyu; some of the ladies in Strip Fighter 2 go head to head in lingerie, high heels, and even snake thongs. Not only is there fighting, but winning rounds result in um... your viewing pleasure. I'm getting a little light-headed here, so let's just get on with the review.

-Story-
The text is in Japanese, so I can't even rate the story. However, I'm almost sure one doesn't exist. Yeah, before you press 'start' you can see all the fighters and their age, height, weight, blood type, and of course... their measurements. Despite all this information, there seems to be no sign of a plot. Hell, the fighters don't even have any quotes after a battle. Normally, I'd give this category a one, but due to the language barrier, I leave this area with a 'not applicable'.

-Graphics & Animation-
Despite what others have said, the graphics on Strip Fighter 2 aren't that bad. Keep in mind that this IS on a 16 bit machine. First, the fighters. All six fighters are drawn pretty well in my estimation. Both facial and body shots are competently rendered (even though only four of the six women qualify as attractive). Each character comes with her own distinct identity and garments (if any). From eagle head-pieces to fur boots with cow patches, you'll find variety in every character. During the animations of the characters, you can see the many frames in which they progress. The backgrounds are fairly good too; scenes such as the desert ranch and the palace in the snow are very well constructed. All other stages are okay too, however there is a stage with an inanimate waterfall. Inanimate waterfall... paradoxical ain't it? Okay lastly, the pin-up girls. For those of you who don't know, winning the first round will get you a shot of a young model in lingerie. Winning the second round gets you the same model... without the lingerie. At the risk of being labeled a perv, I think the shots are excellent. I'm not discussing the beauty of the models (which I DO find pleasing by the way), I'm merely referring to the to picture onscreen. To be a 16 bit machine powered by an 8 bit CPU, these pictures are remarkably clear and smooth. In fact, the graphics of the models (for which many people probably bought the game) are far better than the actual game.

-Sound & Music-
Strip Fighter 2 doesn't really take advantage of the PC Engine's capable sound chip. The game features only seventeen sound effects and a soundtrack of only nine selections. The voice effects are gritty (and in Japanese) but add to the game nonetheless. The music is adequate at best with the exception of the tune played on model display screen (you WILL cringe every time). So all in all, this category is below average.

-Gameplay & Control-
Welcome to the category where you'll pull your hair out. The controls are unresponsive at times, which lets the computer beat on you relentlessly. There were times where I thought I ran out of jump kicks. Punches, throws, and blocking are simple enough to pull off but special moves are difficult to execute. The game comes with eight skill levels (one to eight stars) but at level 6 and above, the game gets cheap. The computer has no shame in constantly utilizing projectile and dash attacks against you. So, five stars is the most challenging skill level where YOU can possibly win a match. Also, the number of characters is rather limited. Six playable characters is all you can work with, but in the 2 player versus mode you can select the same character as your opponent not to mention a one player game will pits you against your own character. Regarding the model shots after each victory... the game could've done without it. The characters themselves have enough ''revealing'' animations and moves anyway.

-Replay Value-
Unless you like seeing the same six naked models and the same six fighters over again, this game can get old pretty quick. Playing with all the characters proves to be satisfying at times, and the challenge of the game (at level 5) seems to be slightly redeeming. I frequently play Strip Fighter 2 drifting from character to character, developing cheesy strategies of my own to use against the A.I..

-Rent or Buy?-
Well, why spend money? Emulating is the only thing I can recommend. That way, if you don't like it, just delete it from your files (just like millions of other people have). Even though I could emulate the game, I went and bought it anyway. It's a novelty game and I intend to keep it. Nobody bought Bubble Bath Babes and now look at its value.

So, in conclusion...

Graphics & Animation- 90/100 (A-)
The model scenes are exceptionally captured. Backgrounds and characters look fine.

Sound & Music- 63/100 (D)
Gritty voice and sound effects, soundtrack is mediocre and sometimes annoying.

Gameplay & Control- 62/100 (D)
Unresponsive controls & useless, maddening model scenes. Decent challenge and simple mechanics.

Replay Value- 61/100 (D)
Loses its edge after a short while. Discovering new strategies proves to be somewhat enjoyable.

Overall- 69/100 (D+)
Despite the shoddy controls, loose gameplay, and those ridiculous intermissions featuring nude models, this game is actually an adequate fighter. The visuals are the only parts of the game that are above average. The sound works well enough, and the game does have one or two reasons to play it again. Keep in mind though that Strip Fighter 2 is a softcore adult game. If you want an all-woman fighting game that's a straight up brawler, I strongly suggest you get Asuka 120% Burning Fest or Pretty Fighter. Through such flaws as the control, gameplay, and the model scenes, Strip Fighter 2 had the potential to be a good game. It's just a fair game at best featuring naked models and semi-naked fighters.





Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 03/29/02, Updated 03/29/02


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