Five new titles arrive in this week's Nintendo Download!
eShop Exclusives Hitori by Nikoli (3D Digital Download - Hamster Corporation, $4.99) Quarth (3DS Virtual Console - Konami, $2.99) The DENPA Men: They Came By Wave (3D Digital Download - Genius Sonority, $9.99)
Wii Shop Channel Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers (Wii Virtual Console - D4 Enterprises, 900 points)
DSiWare (also available in the eShop) Kart Krashers (Big John Games, 500 points/$4.99)
Nikoli (にこり, nikori) Co., Ltd. is a Japanese publisher that specializes in games and, especially, logic puzzles. Nikoli is also the nickname of a quarterly magazine (whose full name is Puzzle Communication Nikoli) issued by the company. Nikoli became prominent worldwide with the popularity of Sudoku
Steph actually owns this game on cartridge and she likes it quite a lot. I find it a bit repetitive, but diverting enough. You could do worse with an impulse purchase, but I wouldn't get the hopes up too high.
I've made fun of the never ending supply of Neo Geo fighting games, but it actually is kind of interesting. I can't imagine many people are buying these games, yet they keep pumping them out. This leads me to believe it can't be very expensive to release them or they wouldn't bother, so it makes it even more puzzling that there are still games from popular franchises like Mega Man and Castlevania that still haven't been released.
I think one of the major hurdles for putting games up on the VC is paying to get the games rated by the ESRB. But the fees went down for small downloadable games a year or two into the VC's life, I believe. That, SNK probably only has to have the game rated once to put their games up on the VC and the PSP and the PS3 (and the Vita via PSP).
Well, with each new release there are tweaks to the fighting system, a new character or two or a different ability added. The latest one, Real Bout: Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers, introduces three new characters and even allows Geese Howard to be selectable as a playable character right from the get-go. There's also a secret boss that can be accessed through special means.
I actually prefer this game to earlier iterations, because it does away with the "second line" of fighting - characters remain on the same line and fight each other without hopping back and forth between the two. There is a dodge move that can be used though, and I prefer that over past games. Though honestly, the earlier games have a good fighting system as well, and some fans prefer having that second line. I'm just not as big of a fan of it because it takes away from the one-on-one fighting. Sometimes matches can just go on for much longer than necessary because the two players are just hopping back and forth between the lines (in a "can't catch me" scenario) that's just ridiculous. Either that, or one player will jump to the other line, but the other character won't follow, and just wait for them to return. Which is boring, IMO. 2D fighters should remain on the same line. Being able to move into the background is for 3D fighters, and I think several of those games do well to avoid the characters getting too far away from each other to stall a fight.
But that's not the case for this VC release, which keeps the fights tight and more or less streamlined. IIRC, a couple of the alternate versions of the characters were cut from this version - Andy and Billy in particular. So we're "stuck" with the normal versions of these characters. Again, something I prefer because it keeps the fights from getting too out-of-hand. I also seem to recall that in this game the moves were a little easier to pull off than in previous versions. Though that could have just been my experience in the arcades back in the day.
I'd also point out that the graphics in this game were pretty awesome back then, too. The animations and colors really popped - though they are not really as impressive today. Still, nostalgia keeps this game in high regard for me.
Anyway, this is one of the better games to come out lately. I'm not as big of a fan of SNK's World Heroes games (though I did really dig the first one - the "danger zones" were something unique to 2D fighters when that game debuted). The Samurai Shodown games are always excellent though. The best is of course, Samurai Shodown II. The fighting system in that game is just so smooth, and the range of characters and their attacks are very well balanced. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that within the fighting game crowd, this is seen as one of SNK's finest works. It was a huge improvement over the original, lots of new characters, super flashy (at the time) graphics, and a balance that never had a character too over powered and was seen as "cheating" when another player selected him. (a lesson Capcom still needs to properly learn)
I'd probably say that out of all the SNK fighters available on Virtual Console, you'd be best off with Samurai Shodown II. I'd also say that for pure fisticuffs (no weapons) and to see a true rival to Capcom's Street Fighter series, check out The King of Fighters '97. It's not the best KoF game, (my personal favorite is '98) however it's certainly no slouch. But make no mistake, Real Bout: Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers is another excellent addition to the service and well worth looking into for both fighting game fans and SNK/Neo Geo fans. Such good stuff!