Fatal Fury Special
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|Fatal Fury Special|
|Developer(s)||SNK (Neo Geo)
Takara (SNES,Game Gear)
Aspect Co. (Game Gear, sound),
JVC Musical Industries/Funcom (Mega-CD),
Hudson Soft (TurboGrafx-CD)
|Publisher(s)||SNK (Neo Geo),
JVC Musical Industries (Mega-CD),
Hudson Soft (TurboGrafx-CD)
Magical Company (Sharp X68000)
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players|
|Arcade system||Neo Geo|
Fatal Fury Special (餓狼伝説SPECIAL Garō Densetsu Special?, "Legend of the Hungry Wolf Special") is a 1993 head-to-head fighting game produced by SNK originally released for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms. It is an updated version of Fatal Fury 2, introducing several changes to the gameplay system while expanding the available character roster.
Fatal Fury Special is an updated version of Fatal Fury 2 and features many of the same graphics and gameplay, although some slight changes were made to the system, including faster game speed and an all new combo system.
The character roster of Fatal Fury 2 returns. The four computer-only characters from the previous game (Billy Kane, Axel Hawk, Laurence Blood, and Wolfgang Krauser) can now be controlled by the player, and three characters from the original Fatal Fury (Tung Fu Rue, Duck King, and Geese Howard) return, increasing the number of playable characters to fifteen. Ryo Sakazaki, the protagonist of Art of Fighting, appears as a hidden opponent at the end of the Single Player Mode and is playable in the home versions.
Unlike the previous Fatal Fury games, Special allows the player to combine or "combo" their attacks. When an attack lands, the player will have a brief moment of invincibility. The number of Line Move Attacks have also increased. This time pressing the light punch or light kick button while the opponent is on an opposite line will perform a Low Line Jump Attack.
The Single Player Mode has the player fighting all of the fifteen playable characters, beginning with the eight regular characters from the previous game, as well as Tung and Duck, with the player given a choice in their first opponent. After the first ten opponents, the player will fight against Billy, Axel, Laurence, Geese, and Krauser, in that order. If the player wins every match in two rounds, then the player will be challenged by Ryo Sakazaki in a special "Dream Match".
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In addition to the home versions for the Neo Geo and Neo Geo CD, ports of Fatal Fury Special were produced for the SNES, Sega CD and Game Gear, as well as the PC Engine game console (in Arcade CD-ROM² format) and the X68000 and FM Towns computer platforms in Japan. The game is included in Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2.
It was later released on the Virtual Console in Japan on November 4, 2009, North America on March 1, 2010 and in the PAL region on March 26, 2010. An emulation of the Neo Geo arcade game was also released for the Xbox Live Arcade.
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Reviewing the Neo Geo version, GamePro praised the variety of characters, the addition of new moves for the older characters, the combos, the detailed graphics, and the humorous touches to the backgrounds, though they felt the ability to jump between the foreground and background tended to be an annoyance. All four reviewers for Electronic Gaming Monthly referred to it as "one of the best tournament fighting games out there" (with insignificant changes in wording between each reviewer). They praised the new characters, the improved backgrounds and animations, and the music, and gave it a score of 8.5 out of 10.
GamePro gave the Game Gear version a rave review, stating that though it has fewer characters and vastly inferior graphics and sounds compared to the Neo Geo version, it "is arguably the best handheld fighting game ever released" due to the responsive action and the inclusion of "extra elements you never thought you'd see in a handheld fighter". They particularly applauded the presence of a combo system and the numerous special moves.
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Mega-CD version of the game a 21 out of 40. GamePro declared it "yet another Neo Geo arcade game that's been poorly converted for a home system." Though they complimented the inclusion of all the characters, moves, and music of the arcade version, they felt that the removal of key animation frames and distinctive background elements would make the conversion a major disappointment to anyone used to the arcade game. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly instead judged it to be an overall solid conversion, remarking that the sound effects are weak and garbled, but the music, play controls, and graphics all replicate the original with reasonable accuracy. They gave it an average of 7.375 out of 10. In 2007, Retro Gamer gave it an overall score of 82%.
All four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly complained of the severe echo effect in the audio of the SNES version, and two of them said that some of the moves are hard to pull off. However, they commented that the graphics, while a step down from the Neo Geo version, are still relatively sharp, and judged it an overall good conversion. They gave it an average of 7.375 out of 10. GamePro was less pleased with the conversion, and remarked that the graphics and controls are vastly inferior to those of the Neo Geo version. They also criticized the special moves which are activated when a character is near death as a "cheesy way of evening things out between players of varying skill levels."
Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot gave the X-box Live Arcade release a 6.5 out of 10. He remarked that the game is emulated well, and approved of the fact that it emulates the Neo Geo home version rather than the arcade version. He stated that the game itself is good compared to other Neo Geo fighters of its time, but would probably not appeal to modern players who are not already familiar with the Fatal Fury franchise.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury Special". GamePro (65) (IDG). February 1994. pp. 128–129.
- "Review Crew: Fatal Fury Special". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (54): 48. January 1994.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury Special". GamePro (IDG) (76): 142. January 1995.
- NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: 餓狼伝説 SPECIAL. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.329. Pg.32. 7 April 1995.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury Special". GamePro (IDG) (70): 52. May 1995.
- "Review Crew: Fatal Fury: Special". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (69): 36. April 1995.
- Retro Gamer 43, page 94.
- "Review Crew: Fatal Fury: Special". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (70): 33. May 1995.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury Special". GamePro (IDG) (81): 70. June 1995.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (October 15, 2007). "Fatal Fury Special Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 28 February 2015.