Publisher: Nintendo (1991)
Our high score: 15000
Save mechanism: Battery
Publisher: Takara (1992)
Fatal Fury 2
Publisher: Takara (1994)
The first Fatal Fury for the SNES was an atrocity. Not only did it fail to capture the spirit of the classic Neo Geo fighter, it was practically unplayable
. With Fatal Fury 2 things have improved considerably. It's like night and day really. You now have eight characters to select from, from karate master Jubei Yamada to sexy Mai Shiranui to the hulking Big Bear. Many stages take place on moving platforms like a train or gondola. I really don't like the restaurant stage because it looks like the city in the background is on fire. Fatal Fury 2's gameplay is pretty solid. The controls feel tight and you can pull off special moves with no problem. The fighters periodically switch between the foreground and background. That can be confusing but it differentiates Fatal Fury from so many other "me too" fighters. One thing I truly despise are those big blinking circles between each fighter. Are they supposed to be shadows?
They are so distracting! The sound effects seem very distant as well. Still, Fatal Fury 2 is faithful enough to the original and you could argue it controls better. But with so many other fighters landing on the SNES, a second-hand port like this one gets lost in the noise. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Capcom (1991)
Publisher: Capcom (1993)
You would expect Final Fight 2 to be an improvement over the original, but it's actually less
fun. There are three characters to choose from, including Haggar (from the last game), Carlos (replacing Cody), and a shapely blonde named Maki. New features include a much-needed two-player mode, an option menu, and Haggar's new suplex move. Otherwise it's the same side-scrolling action you've seen before, with most of the thugs shamelessly recycled from the last game. They aren't any smarter this time around, although they do perform cheap "chest butt" running attacks. Never in my life have I seen such a boring, uninspired collection of stages. Each takes place in a different area of the world, so you'd expect them to see some exotic scenery, right? But no, you find yourself in an airport in Hong Kong, a construction site in France, a sewer
in Germany, and a train depot in England! Ugh! And then there's the difficulty level, which is absolutely pathetic
. The first Final Fight was easy enough, but this one is a complete cakewalk, constantly awarding you with new lives and piling on six continues! Far too easy and repetitive, you'll probably switch off Final Fight 2 long before you've gone exhausted your lives. © Copyright 2004 The Video Game Critic.
Publisher: Capcom (1994)
Publisher: Sunsoft (1992)
This overlooked vertical shooter lets you play as a tank or helicopter, or team up with a friend to unleash some major destruction! First impressions are important, and Firepower 2000 does not disappoint with a nice intro featuring some outstanding thumping music! Quality audio and crisp, vibrant graphics makes it clear that this is not
a Genesis shooter. And Firepower 2000 plays as good as it looks. Each vehicle has its own abilities and advantages. The tank can shoot in all directions, but the helicopter is more mobile and not affected by surface terrain. The shoulder buttons toggle your weapons, each of which has three levels of power. The explosions are quite satisfying. Firepower 2000 is a blast, especially with two players. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: SJ 120070
1 or 2 players
Publisher: Hasbro (1998)
The Genesis version of Frogger
(Genesis, 1998) mirrored the arcade game, nicely conveying the whimsical charm of the 1982 hit. This SNES version however is a totally different animal. The first thing I noticed was a complete lack of music, which is kind of a big deal!
Happy-go-lucky harmonized tunes were a trademark of Frogger and a major part of its appeal. With no music and sparse sound, the tone of the game feels almost somber!
The graphics have been given an overhaul with mixed results. The convertible cars, trucks, and school buses on the road look shiny and detailed. Moss-covered logs float in the sparkling water, and the lady frog has a big red bow in her hair. The frog you control however is a bit indistinct, and when he lands in one of the coves on the riverbank he turns into a green checkmark. The audio is basically limited to the boing
of your jumps and crocodile "growls" that sound a lot like my stomach at lunchtime. Despite its flaws the controls feel very tight and the challenge is high. Even on the opening screen turtles will submerge at a moment's notice, so you need to stay alert. And when you're facing a caravan of construction equipment moving down the highway, it's hard to find daylight. I didn't know what to make of this "reimagined" Frogger, but I imagine some gamers might appreciate its unique look and feel. © Copyright 2019 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 15370
1 or 2 players
Full Throttle: All-American Racing
Publisher: Cybersoft (1994)
Publisher: JVC (1994)
Publisher: Konami (1991)
In the arcade, Gradius III was one of the most insanely difficult games you could ever encounter. The SNES version of this side-scrolling space shooter is much easier, which is probably a good thing. The key to the game is collecting pods to cash in for weapons and power-ups. There's quite a bit of strategy involved in selecting the proper power-up for the situation. The graphics here are nearly identical to the arcade, although slow-down rears its ugly head all too often and threatens to ruin the fun. When there are too many objects on the screen, the action slows to a crawl, only to speed up again when things clear out. Not only is this annoying, but it adversly affects the flow of the game. That's too bad, because otherwise this is a solid all-around shooter. © Copyright 2002 The Video Game Critic.
Our high score: 51100
1 or 2 players