Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Vol. 2 is a compilation released by SNK Playmore. It contains 3 games, Real Bout Fatal Fury, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, and Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers. This is a very bare bones compilation, offering nothing other than the games with a few tweaks. While this isn’t a bad thing considering the price, a picture gallery, history of the franchise, or something along those lines would have been appreciated.
The Real Bout games follow the standard gameplay made iconic with the Street Fighter series, but tosses in a few tweaks to set itself apart. The first game in the collection, Real Bout Fatal Fury introduces ring outs, ala Virtua Fighter, and the ability to move into the foreground and background, making the combat a little more fluid and causing the player to think a little more on their feet.
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special takes the gameplay of the first game and adds the ability to do combos similar to those found in other games like Street Fighter II Turbo. The graphics and backgrounds have also been improved from the previous game, with the characters having a definite anime style to them. This is definitely the high point in the collection for me, and I find myself going back to play this one over the other two. Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers is basically Real Bout Fatal Fury Special with more characters thrown into the mix. The graphics and gameplay are pretty much the same.
If you are a fighting game fan, this is a definite buy, if only to watch the evolution of the characters through the series. If you are looking for a cheap thrill for your aging PS2, this also deserves a look. This compilation isn’t perfect, but those looking to expand their PS2 collections, or fighting game fans, should definitely pick this up.
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