The Neo Geo Pocket Colour was such an interesting and short-lived little console, SNK hasn’t forgotten about it and have been feverishly working with Code Mystics to produce ports of its titles. Being one of its most well-known properties, Fatal Fury is up next, ARE YOU READY?.
Fatal Fury: First Contact is based on Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers which was the last “Fatal Fury” branded title (if we choose to ignore Wild Ambition WHICH WE DO IN THIS HOUSE) (I have to sadly admit I like Wild Ambition….) before the series released a little known title called Garou: Mark of the Wolves, supposed to be quite good that one.
So following on in the vein of the ports that came before it, Fatal Fury: First Contact is a 1 vs 1 Fighting game, the control set up remains the same as ever, D-Pad and two buttons, the harder/longer you press a button determines if you get a light or heavy attack. The move inputs are that of the big version counterpart and should you have played any of the characters who appeared elsewhere, you’ll be in easy street with the moves.
The only major stand out difference between this title and the other ports available on the Switch is the way the metre builds, you have several metres now which determine what Super attack can be performed, gotta admit I really wasn’t too much of a fan of this but it wasn’t outright damaging to the product.
Roster-wise you’ve got all the favourites, Terry, Andy, Mai, Geese, Billy, Joe, and the rest of the frequent Fatal Fury cast who tend to cross into KoF as well as an unlockable character and one that is exclusive to Versus mode and hasn’t been in any other game as a playable character before or since.
Graphically the game is nice, the stages are especially nice and this has always been something SNK excels at. The character models are all in the Chibi style which you come to expect from the Neo Geo Pocket Colour though I feel they are missing a few animations on some of them I can’t say for certain though.
On the above point, the performance for me was the worst out of any of the Neo Geo Pocket Colour Selection, while the games ported fine the actual gameplay seemed a lot clunkier and slower than say KoF R-2 or GALS’ Fighters, I suspect this is because this title was an earlier one and SNK were finding their way around the system at the time, it’s still very playable just not quite as smooth as the other offerings.
Finally in terms of content, Fatal Fury: First Contact isn’t exactly bursting. It has the standard Arcade and Versus mode and that’s about your lot, bar the unlockable character that is. There are no real endings for any of the characters, no items to collect, or a Gallery to fill out, this is especially disappointing coming after The Last Blade which practically had another game to unlock as you played through it.
It is very hard to suggest picking up Fatal Fury: First Contact for anyone who isn’t either a die-hard fan of the series, SNK, or the Neo Geo Pocket Colour, this is more of a curiosity pick up or one for series completion than an essential purchase like The Last Blade or GALS’ Fighters which remain the highest points of the series. While nothing is outright bad about the game, the sluggish nature and lack of content put this at the bottom of a pile of so far quality titles.
It’s not bad, it’s just not as high up the mountain as others in the Selection. Hardcore fans only.