Retro : VC Weekly #141

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

If you're a fan of fighting games and are in need of a fix then look no further than here as there is a rather popular entry in a classic series has made its way to the VC. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Fatal Fury 3 : Road to the Final Victory

Points: 900
Publisher: SNK
Developer: SNK
Released: 1995
System: Neo Geo

As a series Fatal Fury has been going strong across many incarnations, each installment seems to be progressively better than the last and Fatal Fury 3 is certainly no exception to that golden rule. The gameplay had already been impressively refined in the previously released Fatal Fury Special yet here SNK somehow managed to make the game even more beholden to fans while at the same time being enticing to potential newcomers who perhaps otherwise wouldn't have dabbled in the series.

The same basic fighting engine remains thankfully intact but with some worthwhile additions including the ability to control the height of your characters jumps depending on how long you hold down the d-pad in any given direction; this adds a whole other dimension to the gameplay and changes the way you'll fight for the better. Making a return is the 'sway system' which has been improved tenfold by adding just a single layer as now you can jump into the foreground in addition to the background which adds a lot and encourages you to adapt your fighting tactics for the better.

Five new characters have been added, further expanding the roster and bringing even greater variety to the table; thankfully they are all rather well balanced when compared to the classic characters but as always there are a few characters that seem to have a slight all-round advantage but it isn't anything particularly game-breaking thankfully.

Everything moves at an undeniably fluid pace which is impressive considering how much is going on, this is all backed-up with some truly slick animation accompanied by a host of delightfully detailed sprites along with many beautiful backdrops which are a delight to fight against. Of course the audio is on top-form as always and you will find many tracks of the Rock variety that manage to remain upbeat and enjoyable, holding up nicely throughout many a bout.

During the course of this fantastic fighting series SNK have gone from strength to strength by continually striving to better themselves and each time they somehow defy expectations and what we have here is the end result culminated from years of experience in crafting games within this genre. This is without a doubt the finest game in the series and is worth getting regardless of whether you're a die-hard fan or a potential newcomer as there is something special here that will satisfy many players for a long time just as its been doing for over fifteen years already.

Verdict : The most fantastical, fresh and fluid Fatal Fury to date.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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