Aggressors of Dark Kombat
|Aggressors of Dark Kombat|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation 2|
|Release||Neo Geo MVS (Arcade)|
26 July 1994
Neo Geo AES
26 August 1994
Neo Geo CD
Neo Geo Mini (Japanese)
|CPU||68000 (@ 12 MHz)|
|Sound||Sound CPU : Z80 (@ 4 MHz), Sound Chips : YM2610 (@ 8 MHz)|
|Display||Horizontal, Raster, 320 x 224 pixels, 4096 colors|
Aggressors of Dark Kombat, known in Japan as Tsuukai GANGAN Koushinkyoku (痛快GANGAN行進曲 lit. Thrilling Intense March) or simply GanGan (gan-gan is a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound of a large bell or a scolding voice) is a 1994 one-on-one fighting arcade game developed by Alpha Denshi Corp. (ADK) and published by SNK. The English game title uses the same initials as the developer.
The game's major innovation is the ability of fighters to move virtually continuously towards or away from the screen as well as left and right in a similar manner to some 1980s arcade fighting games like Taito's Violence Fight, SNK's Street Smart and Atari's Pit-Fighter. Because of this, unlike many other 2D fighting games, the game uses one action button to jump, and does not use the "D" button, unlike many SNK fighting games. Only two action buttons are used for attacking (punch and kick); instead, grappling and grabbing opponents is the focus of the gameplay: opponents can counter being grabbed and break free as well. Also featured is weapon play (another mechanic akin to beat 'em ups). Weapons can be picked up and thrown, or used in special and standard attacks. Weapons are thrown into the ring by spectators in the background.
The health bar has several layers of colors to indicate the health. There is also a "Crazy Meter" at the bottom of the screen. It is built up as characters attack; this gives the character a special attack that will defeat the opponent outright. It is called the "Gan Gan Attack" in Japan, and "Crazy Attack" internationally.
Battles are joined by irreverent, sometimes humorous pre-fight banter from characters. The dialogue differs from opponent to opponent, and the fight is immediately presaged by a clash of two small images of the combatants' eyes in the center of the screen. There are almost no differences between the Japanese release of this game and the international versions aside from the name, and the removal of blood when using a critical hit on an opponent.
The game features eight selectable characters. The characters are not named anywhere during gameplay, which is unusual for the genre. Seven of the characters are new to the series, but Kotaro Fūma returns from World Heroes.
- Joe Kusanagi (草薙 条 Kusanagi Jō) - Also known as the "Red Panther of Honmoku", he is the protagonist of the story. Joe is the most powerful and famous brawler of the eastern area of Japan known as Kantō. Bored from the lack of good opponents in his area, he hears rumors about strong fighters to the west, so he travels there to confront them. Apart from this game, he makes a cameo appearance in one of Kisarah's attacks in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.
- Kisarah Westfield (キサラ・ウェストフィールド) - Also known as the "Naive Tomboy". She is an English school girl who has a reputation for being a femme fatale in Japanese schools. However, Kisarah falls in love with Joe Kusanagi and chases him to coerce Joe into being her boyfriend. She is the only female fighter in this game. Kisarah appears as a selectable character in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum and as an SNK character card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS.
- Goh Kidokoro (城所 剛 Kidokoro Gō) - Also known as the "Strong Spirit from Naniwa". Goh is the most famous brawler in the western area of Japan known as Kansai, and has his own gang. Goh got the news about the arrival of the "Red Panther from Honmoku" and is awaiting a fight against this new menace in order to further his goal of nationwide conquest.
- Kotaro Fuuma (風魔 小太郎 Fūma Kotarō) - Also known as the "Angry Hurricane". His involvement in the story happens because that he got lost during one of his travels through time and landed in 1994 Japan, where the game takes place, and became involved in the ensuing fights. Like the rest of characters in the game, Fūma doesn't have powers (only his "Enryūha" signature move make the transition from World Heroes), but in exchange, he gains many combo moves.
- Leonhalt Domador (レオンハルト・ドマドール) - Also known as the "Black Bull". As a Mexican brawler who escapes his native country becoming a refugee, he goes to Japan to become the strongest fighter of all, no matter what for. Leonhalt is the tallest, slowest and most powerful fighter from the game. His rival is Sheen Genus.
- Sheen Genus (シン・ジーナス) - Also known as the "Rising Tiger". He is a Canadian amateur wrestler who wants to create his own professional wrestling league, and so is searching for strong people to join him. Sheen is the wrestler of the game and a rival to Leonhalt. He has recently appeared in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS as an Action card.
- Lee Hae Gwon (Korean: 이해권) - Also known as the "White Fang". A Korean martial artist who lives in Japan and works for a school. He seeks revenge against the brawler who has been causing disasters in his school: Leonhalt Domador. Lee is one of the fastest characters in the game, with a good arsenal of kicks and various taekwondo techniques.
- Bobby Nelson (ボビー・ネルソン) - Also known as the "Brown Bullet". He is an African-American boy who is a basketball player and wishes to be famous. To achieve his objective, Bobby traverses the world, waiting to be discovered. Bobby is the fastest and smallest character in the game, and the only one who always has a weapon (specifically, his basketball). He has recently appeared in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS as an Action card, along with Sean Matsuda from Street Fighter III, who is also a basketballer.
The game was later ported to the Neo-Geo AES console, then ported a year later to SNK's Neo Geo CD. In 2008 it was also ported along with a few other Neo-Geo titles also by ADK to the PlayStation 2 as part of the ADK Tamashii Game Collection released in Japan only. It has also been ported on the Japanese NeoGeo Mini, in 2018 as one of the 40 games. Celebrating SNK's 40th anniversary.
On release, GamePro panned the Neo Geo version of the game, saying it "combines aspects of Art of Fighting, World Heroes, and Street Fighter without coming close to the complexity or challenge of any of them." They complained of unresponsive controls and the excessively long string of commands required to execute Crazy moves, and remarked that though the sprites are large, they are nonetheless unimpressive due to the uninteresting animations and unoriginal character designs. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly acknowledged the mediocre animations and character designs, but asserted that the game is fun if given a chance, with the strong points including the ability to fight in multiple planes and the humorous Crazy moves. They gave it a unanimous score of 7 out of 10. Famicom Tsūshin scored it a 25 out of 40.
A critic for Next Generation scored the Neo Geo CD version two out of five stars. He contended that despite SNK marketing the game as a 3D fighter, it is purely 2D, and that the ability to fight in multiple planes, while a decent effort at innovation, ultimately has little impact on the gameplay. He concluded that "From graphics to moves to sound effects, almost every element in this game is more-or-less average and is not likely to stand out from the enormous 2D fighting library of Neo-Geo."
Next Generation reviewed the Neo-Geo version of the game, rating it three stars out of five, and stated that "Although moves are difficult to pull off, ADK's crisp look and powerful action make it well worth the trouble."
- "ProReview: Aggressors of Dark Kombat". GamePro. IDG (65): 168. December 1994.
- "Review Crew: Aggressors of Dark Kombat". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (63): 38. October 1994.
- NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: 痛快GANGAN行進曲. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.332. Pg.23. 28 April 1995.
- "Aggressors of Dark Kombat CD". Next Generation. Imagine Media (10): 116. October 1995.
- "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1995.
- "Finals". Next Generation. No. 1. Imagine Media. January 1995. p. 94.