Fatal Fury Special Review

Fatal Fury Special Review

Apr 30, 2015

Fatal Fury Special brings nostalgic memories. Those of 16-bit graphics, cheat books, “you died, now my turn” hijinks, and lots and lots of blind adolescent rage. Fatal Fury Special on Google Play helps bring at least one of those things back, and it’s not the cheat books.

Fatal Fury Special is a direct port of an old fighting game that, as far as I remember, never went big in the western world. It doesn’t have the over-the-top violence of Mortal Combat, or over-the-top characters of Street Fighter. What it does have, however, is a solid fighting mechanic, a dozen of varied fighters with unique fighting styles, and a unique mechanic that allows the characters jump back and forth between two “layers” of the level.

There’s not a lot of content to speak about in Fatal Fury Special. There’s a bunch of locations and a bunch of different fighters. There’s a “story” mode that is actually just an arcade mode, in which the player has to defeat several enemy characters in a row, and a newly-implemented Bluetooth Mode, where two players can battle it out on their devices via bluetooth. That’s it. It’s a pretty bare-bones game, but since I got it for $.99, I don’t see any issues with that.

As for the gameplay, it’s almost identical to all of the other SNES and arcade fighting sims. Of course, it’s closest to Street Fatal Fury Special 4Fighter, to the point where some characters look quite a lot like that. There are four attack buttons, a “special” button, and a button that makes the character jump to the different layer of the level. Besides the layer-jumping, which isn’t really that game-changing, it’s exactly like the other arcade fighting games, so it’s no use describing all of its mechanics. Its fun, if you’re a fan of that sort of stuff, but it’s also incredibly difficult. The “beginner” difficulty AI had me plastered on the walls for about 10 fights, before I remembered how to button-mash. Fatal Fury Special is definitely aimed for the hardcore fans, and I’m sure those fans won’t be disappointed.

Overall, Fatal Fury Special is a straight, direct port of the original game, without any changes. Again, fans of the old fighting sims are going to be pleased, but I’m afraid more casual players will find it too punishing. Also, a couple of other things. The button layout and size can be changed in the settings, and I urge you to do that from the beginning, or the game turns into an unplayable hell, as the buttons take almost half of the screen.

The King of Fighters 98 Review

The King of Fighters 98 Review

Aug 11, 2014

The well-known King of Fighters 98 finally makes it way to Android. KOF98 Android also includes the additional content from the Slugfest version of the original game.

Screenshot_2014-08-10-17-32-15King Of Fighters 98 is a premier fighting game well-loved back in the day. It features a ton of different fighters with vastly different styles and tiers and they each have special moves such as projectiles or just different strikes and super combos, devastating combos or attack that are charged during the fight. Using a team based system the player picks three character and the order they fight in against the AI’s teams.

Bedsides KOF98’s normal single player mode Bluetooth multiplayer is included. This will be a great feature for hardcore fans, but two controllers will be required as beating someone using a controller with on-screen controls isn’t going to happen.

King Of Fighters 98 caters to hardcore fighting fans. As an arcade perfect port, the difficulty is intact and the computer will show no mercy for players without a controller. A good quality controller like a Moga Power Pro is all but required to play properly. Thankfully, there is a training mode with a command key for each character and controllable opponents to hone skills. It’s not as good as the practice mode found in Dead or Alive however, which shows each move onscreen in turn and confirms when the player does it correctly. Intimidating to new players, those who don’t know what QCF is and what Desperation Combos are will feel a bit overwhelmed.

Because this is an SNK game, the last boss in particular is very punishing and a cheap opponent. New players will have to resist throwing their phone across the room when fighting him.

Screenshot_2014-08-10-17-50-10King Of Fighters 98 is perfect in its presentation. All the graphics are original, so Mai Shiranui is just as enticingly jiggly as she always was and the game is silky smooth with very sharp sprites and clear sound with no nasty artifacts or glitches. KOF98’s porting job is very well done.

Additional new features including the Bluetooth multiplayer, a new easy to use SP button for instantly triggering super combos and additional control schemes. The game is short on the longevity side however and a more in depth single player mode or rewards to strive for would have been nice.online multiplayer could have been added as well.

King Of Fighters 98 is a superb port of a beloved game and even passing fans of the King Of Fighters series would have to be insane not to pick it up. Just factor in the cost of a quality Bluetooth controller to the game’s price.

Samurai Shodown 2 Review

Samurai Shodown 2 Review

Aug 30, 2013

Samurai Shodown 2 comes with a wee bit of sticker shock: $8.99 for a port of a decades-old fighting game?

Well, it kind of makes sense: It’s a Neo-Geo fighting game, and hey, the Neo-Geo was known for its very expensive games. But considering that the platform also had games with some of the finest 2D animation around, it was at least moderately justified. So, let’s work on the operating theory that if it’s deserving, Samurai Shodown 2 is worth $8.99, disregarding that even premium content for mobile rarely gets above $6.99.

Well, I don’t think it is. The port job is just too poor to recommend it, especially at this price point.

The game itself uses some familiar language to the Street Fighter series, with lots of quarter-circle motions, so it should be familiar, at least roughly, for fighting game veterans who may not be aware of what the series entails. The dynamic zooming view is definitely different, but definitely works. The art looks great, still – the animation is top-notch. As well, there’s aspect ratio and scanline options to make the game look exactly to players’ specifications.


The game is extremely challenging, so come in with patience. There’s decent virtual controls, but I recommend using a physical gamepad with this if possible. There’s also Bluetooth multiplayer, because fighting with friends is more fun than the computer. Support for multiple gamepads on one device would be welcome, though.

At its core, Samurai Shodown 2 seems worth it. It’s probably best for hardcore fighting fans, but that’s probably who the game, at its price point, is targeting. But what about that gamepad support? That could make or break this game. There’s a lot of support at its core, compatible with the Xperia Play (still ticking!), the built-in Android HID gamepad protocol, and MOGA controllers.

Unfortunately the functionality issues break this game. The HID support is flawed. Only sword attacks (the A & C Neo-Geo buttons) are mapped to the face buttons. I think one of the kicks is mapped to the right joystick. There’s no ability to reconfigure the button mappings. Frankly, this is inexcusable. This is an $8.99 port/emulation of a fighting game. Fighting game fans are some of the most demanding poeple when it comes to features, and to not properly support the controllers that they will want to use, especially when asking for a premium price for the game, is a mistake. This needs to be fixed.

This is especially so because the Moga controllers just aren’t up to snuff for this game. The Moga Pro remains my favorite gamepad, but this game shows the key flaw that the controller has. It’s a bit stiff and the arrows are somewhat thin. This is great for most precision platformers and for FPS-type games where commands are on the d-pad but for a fighting game with rotation motions, it’s flawed. I liked the joystick-only Moga Pocket better than the Pro to play the game!

So really, after examining every aspect of the port, I have to say: no, it’s not worth $8.99. I could see a universe in which a port could be worth it, but it would require higher standards than this.