This review was originally published in Edge issue 6, March 1994
Neo-Geo owners guess what? A new game has arrived and it’s not at all what you’d expect. It’s a sort of platformy shooting arcade adventuring type thing, where two swishly dressed characters face one another and play catch the projectile.
Oh alright, it’s yet another beat ’em up – the third in the Fatal Fury series to be precise – and in spite of the amount of competition on this platform, this latest addition is still a rather good game.
So what’s so ‘special’ about Fatal Fury Special? For a start, there are more characters to choose from. The first Fatal Fury only had three, the sequel had eight, but here you can choose from 15 bone-crunching bruisers. All of them have their own unique fighting style and all come with an assortment of special moves. There are even hidden ‘power blows’ that when executed take off huge amounts of your opponent’s energy. Graphically, there are some new vibrantly coloured backgrounds – the bridge level is even more impressive – and all of them now go through a day to night transition.
With the exception of a few new tunes, the music and sound effects remain much the same: no bad thing this as they were excellent to begin with. Expert players among you will be delighted to hear that there’s a surprise ending in store, but only if you defeat all the opponents without losing a single round.
So there you go, what more could any self respecting Neo-Geo fan ever want in a beat ’em up? Fatal Fury Special looks good, has more characters, sounds great, plays brilliantly and has loads of hidden features.
But why, you ask yourselves, would I want to buy yet another beat ’em up for my machine? Well, given that a) you have an obscene amount of money and b) you wouldn’t have bought a Neo-Geo in the first place if you weren’t a beat ’em up fan, you’d be pretty daft to miss out on this as it’s the best game in this excellent series, and the second best beat ’em up (after Samurai Shodown) available on your system.