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October 18 2017

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  Art Of Fighting - ©SNK 1992 (Review 2)





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
One on One Fighting

Size:
102 Megs
Japanese Name:

Ryuuko No Ken

Released On:

Home/MVS/CD


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
The King of Fighters series:

94 - 95 - 96 - 97 - 98 - 99 - 2k - 2k1 - 2k2 - 2k3

- Samurai Shodown
- Samurai Shodown 2
- Samurai Shodown 3
- Samurai Shodown 4
- Samurai Shodown 5
- Samurai Shodown 5 Special

- Double Dragon

More of One-Fu's Reviews may be found at SNK-Capcom.com.


Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 1 - by Kazuya_UK



Introduction

Looks like Terry Bogard isn't the only person seeking revenge in Southtown.

Set in the same place where the Fatal Fury storyline happened, Art of Fighting tells the story of Ryo Sakazaki, a man who must rescue his sister, Yuri, who was kidnapped by an evil group of criminals that are scattered throughout Southtown. Accompanied by his best friend, Robert Garcia, what will they uncover when they are busting heads and getting information of Yuri's whereabouts?


Graphics: 8/10

Now, you can look back at it and see how somewhat 'ugly' the game was. However, if you were there the year the game came out; it was undeniably one of the most visually stunning looking fighting games of that time. Art of Fighting was the first game that SNK gave a camera zoom in and out feature. It came off very impressive to see in action. So when fighting close, the video screen got close and showed how enormous the sprites were. When the two fighters want to get the hell away from each other, the camera would extend to the point it can showoff the entire stage. The backgrounds were okay for the most part. Many of the environments look pretty nice; even if one of them was a rip-off of another rival company's fighting game.


The game also incorporated a system where fatal blows to the fighter would result in their face going through several stages of bruising, swelling, and bleeding. This gave the battle a little more realism when someone was near defeat and having people not just fall flat on their back, but sometimes stagger to the floor on their knees is a cool dramatic, yet sluggish, effect. You'll be thankful that defeating King with a special attack will be something to remember.


One of the biggest flaws this fighting game had was the obvious points of animation that can be viewed as unnatural and awful. Ryo's arms doing his super fireball is a crime by itself. The character portrait and cut scenes are bearable, but still needed more work as they didn't match in different parts of the game. Watch the faces of Ryo and Robert in the picture they are in with Yuri during the intro and tell me it doesn't look nothing like the Ryo and Robert we get when we start the game?


Gameplay/Controls: 6/10

When the fighting starts, you will notice a green bar underneath your energy bar, called the "Chi" meter. Every time you perform a special attack, it decrease, changing color till it is emptied (meaning no more special move use). In order to gain some back, you can either wait as it recover slowly or hold down the A or B button for a faster refill, the latter will lead you open for some hurt if you're not careful. It's an okay gimmick, but could have been thought up better.

Originally, the game is setup in the first three buttons: A is for punching, B is for kicking, and C is for throwing. Button D can be included as it's only used for taunting, which lowers your opponent's chi meter. Pressing two buttons at once will trigger some rather unique attacks. The initial fighting is this game can be concluded as being uneven when it comes to balance. Hitting someone isn't really the problem, it just that some fighters' moves can be very hard to execute due to it questionable movement in order to do your specials. It will lead for some stressful moments as to why you can't get your move to come out, while the computer is wailing painful assaults on you. That and the directional movement of the characters with the joystick it is as natural as silicon implants.

During the one player game, you'll encounter bonus stages where you pick one of three options that you must pass to improve yourself. Each part tests your skill and if you succeed, you upgrade you character's traits in future battles, as well as learning to call out a super death blow or as we know it "super move", an idea that would later become a staple inside many fighting games we see and play today.

Finally, the computer controlled opponents seems to know how to work around the errors of the system as when to strike you and hurling you with nonstop pummeling until you submit. Nasty as it sounds, it provides a 'you against the world' type fight, to see whether or not you can make the problematic style of the game work in your favor. All of this is great, but it comes at dreadful price as you see why when you read my writings in the replay value section.


Sound/Music: 6/10

The sound effects are mediocre at best. Smacking people with attacks is probably the best sound bites in the effects and the voice speeches, when you can actually hear them, are funny in their own right when there spoken a certain way, thought you know there not suppose to be. They were nowhere near as good as the voices in the taunts, as those were good.

The music is one of the high points of the game, behind graphics. Many feed off their assign stages pretty well and go together perfectly, no matter how crappy or fine the tunes were. Todo's and Lee's theme are so damn catchy.


Replay Value : 3/10

Art of Fighting suffers the worse here for plenty of reasons.

Exhibit A: The one player mode tells the story of Ryo and Robert and that mean you can only choose one of the two. The bonus rounds, the super moves are only for them and no one else. In two players versus, the six first fighters in the story mode are selectable, but if one player loses and refuses to continue, you go back into selecting Ryo and Robert and go to where you left off in the game. The single player ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered; making you felt like the game was incomplete on purpose and with two people to finish the game entirely, there's nothing left.

Exhibit B: What's worse is the six people you play in versus are pitiful when you dissect them to the bone. Todo has only one special, some of them can't throw, and John can't even recharge by himself. SNK went focus too much on them in the main plot and didn't care much to do something more about them in two player mode. The adding boost of energy and chi to your bars is versus is the only real good part i can say.

You might want to make this one a rental if you even consider trying this game.

Overall : 6/10

I may seem harsh with the last couple of ratings I gave them, but I will give them credit where it deserves. Art of Fighting, while overloaded with crap, still had many interesting inputs to let it survive in this day and age. While it may seem really pathetic and have little replay ability, it may not be the classic for the right reason, but if you are willing to buy this to complete your collection or to reminisce, I see no harm in making that choice.

Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


N/A

Above links open in a new window.
Art Of Fighting 2
Improved sequel, but INSANELY difficult against the CPU!

Art Of Fighting 3
Vastly improved animation, different game-play and the character roster is almost completely changed. AOF3 is worth a try even if you dislike the first two Ryuuko No Ken titles.


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