Review by Macintosh User

Reviewed: 06/29/04

Fatal Fury Special Reigns as Fatal Fury King

Fatal Fury Special is the first game I remember playing in the arcades for the Neo-Geo and consequently became my first AES cartridge. To break it down for you, I was in the local arcade at an ice skating rink and this game was on the MVS Cabinet in the corner. It was 1993, and SNK was pulling fighting games out like a true champ... all of them were high-quality and fun to play. Fatal Fury Special follows up Fatal Fury 2, which is an outstanding game, but not quite as good as this version. Fatal Fury Special weighs in at 150 megs, and is truly a work of art. Featuring the boss characters as playable fighters, Fatal Fury Special is Fatal Fury 2 with extras. After playing this game for the Neo-Geo, no other version will cut it. The SNES version is so watered-down that it isn't even close in terms of quality. Fatal Fury Special for the Neo-Geo is a serious contender for Street Fighter II's throne, and definately rules the Fatal Fury series.

(gameplay - 9)
The gameplay in this game is great. The controls are very tight and the special moves are pulled off with ease. This game is hard, but not so difficult that you can't beat it. Billy Kane is truly a demonized warrior, he is so difficult to beat it will definately take some time. This game plays well, with two punch and two kick buttons, and no silly 50-hit combos, just straight up special moves and hard punches, light punches, hard kicks, and light kicks. The game plays so well and the character responds to even the slightest of movements with the joystick. This type of game features awesome gameplay, the kind that never gets old. It controls perfectly and the moves are so fluid and fast. If only every game controlled this well.

(story - 10)
Wolfgang Krauser and his henchman lurk in the dark waiting for the victor of the tournament. Featuring several characters to choose from Fatal Fury Special runs along the lines of, revenge. Each fighters has their own personal vendetta with Krauser, and Geese Howard. Choose your fighter and work your way through the rounds to have a chance in the final showdown with Krauser, an awesome boss by the way.

(graphics - 9, sound - 9)
The graphics are so well done here, the characters are huge and detailed, highly animated and colorful. The backgrounds are astounding, just wait until you reach Krauser's castle. That final stage is breathtaking. The scrolling water and clouds in the background are awesome and the attention to detail in each stage is amazing. This is truly a masterpiece. The characters themselves are old-school SNK style, large and detailed, and they are so well animated. Like I said the backgrounds are something very special indeed. The waterfall in Mai's stage is cool, and Wolfgang Krauser simply has the baddest stage in fighting game history. He has a full orchestra playing behind him in the final stage and the lightning effects in the windows are so nice to look at. Awesome job SNK. The music is excellent too. From Krauser's orchestra in the background to Duck King's disco-esque atmosphere, the sound on this game rocks. The music is addicting and catchy, and the sound effects are well done too. Taking full advantage of the Neo sound capabilities, Fatal Fury Special delivers in the sound department with some great tracks and awesome effects.

(replayability - 10)
This game is huge and has tons of fighters to choose from that each have their own unique style to them. It is very fun to play, easy on the eyes, melodic to the ears, and a joy to operate. Who wouldn't want to come back to this fighter again and again? The replay value is through the roof due to the beautiful artwork, awesome music, great controls, variety of fighters, and challenging difficulty. Need I say more?

Buy this game for your Neo-Geo system, whichever system that may be. This game is so outstanding and really shines as one of SNK's best fighters. The graphics rock, the music rocks, the gameplay is tight and responsive, the story is good and deep, everything about this game screams quality and the effort put into creating this game must have been huge. Seriously Fatal Fury Special is one of the best fighting games in the history of video games, and is definately one of the top Neo games out there. It has been ported to lesser systems, but if you own a Neo, then by all means buy the real thing. You won't be disappointed.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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