Review by Jxt
Reviewed: 01/21/00 | Updated: 01/21/00
Hurrah! Thanx to SFA, I've stopped playing Pokemon!
The Gameboy and fighting games. Not exactly a comination that inspires much excitement in my (Or many other gamer's) heart. Since the dawn of time the unresponsive controller, and a lack of characters and moves hindered the aspiring GB fighter. So it was with much caution that I picked up SFA in my local games emporium... But I did (*eventually*) and now I'm going to save all that effort for anyone else, by telling how it is.
GRAPHICS: The first thing that strikes you about this game are the graphics. In still screens, they have a distinctly 2-color MK4 quality about them Brrrr... although the backgrounds are of a higher quality then nigh on every handheld fighter there is (Bar, of course SNK vs Capcom, which I only played yesterday). There is a lot missing from the game, like an intro, endings (You still get the text, but I had reading lessons, like, at SCHOOL! And, due to the gameboys limitations, there are no shadows following your fighter during a Super Combo, nor are there the 'impact' effects, making the connection to gameboy MK4 even closer, and Bison seems to have forgot his cape. BUT, it's not all bad. Like the gameboy MK games, I was expecting this to be a dog. I was expecting fairly poor movement and a substantial lack of animation. But there isn't. The game delivers *excellently* in this regard, and because of this, I'd say the game graphics were great! There seems to be (For what moves have made it over) EVERY animation frame there, or at least 90%+ of it. And it moves brilliantly, and really captures the feel of SFA. The payoff is a slightly small spritesize, but moving this well, I'd say that was a minor problem. And no, they're not quite as cool as 'x' fighting game on the NeoGeo Pocket.
SOUNDS: In this regard, I *hate* the game. I found the sound to be cool. The SFX suck really badly, being just white noise played upon a move, etc. but the music is top-notch! Not all the tunes are there (I have to select my fighter in SILENCE! O, the outrage...) but the ones that are are really cool. They're not perfect (Compare the sound chips of arcade CPS-II and Gameboy Color, and think for a while why), but instead you get cool remixes and arrangements of existing tunes. Ken's is now a bizzare cross between his SFA tune and his old world warrior tune. Cool! Now I hate the game, because having the sound turned up kinda wastes the batteries...
GAMEPLAY: It IS SFA. That was the first impression. Everything moves right, everything FEELS right. The AI routines have been copied almost directly, and it's all there, SC's, counters. All of it. Bar, the mdium attacks. They had to go, but that was to be expected, because of the lack of buttons. But after a long play, it becomes apparent that it's not all good. For starters the programmers, crawfish decided that the GBC direction pad was too unresponsive, so the made the moves easier to pull off, but it detracts from the experience. Though it may AT FIRST seem to be a perfect port of SFA, but the simplified omtions really take out most of the skill, therefore a little of the fun. For example, alpha counters are now pulled of by just Blocking an attack, then pressing punch/kick. No motion. And special moves are simpler (remove the last direction command from all bar the charges) and Super Combos now have to pulled of a little too slow for what I'm used to. This really affects the charge characters, to the point that I (A chun-li player) won't even touch them here. How the Somersault Justice moves are done is beyond me, although I did it ONCE. The simplification of this game goes further. There are only weak and fierce attacks, which makes Roses Soul Reflect not as useful as before, and makes Guy slightly less effective, and cnain combos are only half there. Also the Super Combos have been affected, but it is understandable. You can only do Lv3 and Lv1 supers, Lv3 being done always when you have a full gauge, so you can't harrass an opponent with Lv1 supers anymore, with the exception (strangely) of Sagat's SC tiger shot. Lv1 only, I'm afraid. But that said, all the damage values seem correct, and any combo possible in SFA that doesn't require the medium strength can be done here (Including my fave, Chun-Li's Jump HP,LP,LK,SC100ft kick,Rising Bird Kick). And it's cool to play on the move, if you have a GBC and want a decent fighting game for it.
LIFESPAN: With no vs mode, this game is simply limited to 1p mode goings on. All the characters are there and all the moves, but at the end of the day it comes down to how you see fighting games. If they're only a 2-player experience, I'd give this a week before it is relegated to the games shelf to collect dust. If you love them in 1 player, this could last ages. And, if you are so crazy about StreetFighter that you have to play it everywhere, then get it. I did. It'll probably last forever, JUST because it's SF, and it captures the feel well enough for you not to forget that.
OVERALL: Have a GBC? Can't afford a NeoGeo Pocket Color? Get this, it's cool, but otherwise get one of the SNK fighters on NGPC, as they are superior to this, bar Fatal Fury and Samurai Spirits. Also I'd reccomend this if you are a fighting (Or SF) game freak who has to have all of them. It's a cool fighting game worth owning, but not the best.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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