Art of (Not) Fighting.
These three games slipped my radar completely, I had never heard of them. Partly because in the early and mid-90’s I didn’t know what video games were, and secondly, I really don’t care much for really bad games.
So why on earth have SNK release such monstrosity as a collection, on the PS2?
I shall now go through the three games and review them individually, but I much point out at this stage; the main menu screen, the worst, cheap, five minute job I have ever come across? but the instruction manual is in colour! (smiles)
Now. Art of fighting style released in 1992, a 2D versus fighting, full bore, button mashing, beat em’ up. Only, you do none of these things. The controls are so bad, button mashing doesn’t work, and when you try to do a move with either the d-pad or joystick, your opponent simply kicks you in the face. Also, winning a match is down to luck, frankly. The player’s character moves so slow, its not even funny; more chance of winning the lottery I think.
It has a plot; Ryo’s sister gets stolen, beats up everyone till he finds her. Comical, yet boring I think.
But the worst thing about this game is the difficulty, simply because of the controls.
Normal is too hard, on easy, I still died, and the easy easy, thats too easy. And once you have died because you will, the controls are that bad, the continue screen is useless, I hit every button and each sent back to the main menu.
They should have called it Art of Not Fighting.
So? Your thinking; thats 1992, game design for you, the series continued so it must have been a hit, surely they rectified mistakes in the second one.
Art of (Not) fighting 2, released in 1994. Just as bad as the first one. Plot; even more boring!
Ryo, finds out that some big organization are the overall bad guys, or something.
They did speed up the characters in this one, just a little too fast. My attacks would miss then my opponent would kill me. I just wanted something in between.
Although it has to be said the graphics are an improvement and the controls, only a slight improvement. Too bad the difficulty went backwards.
And now I would like to move swiftly to the third and final dismal game, Art of (Not) Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior. This one is vastly different.
The Story focuses on Robert Garcia, the co-star of the previous two titles, I failed to mention him before, because; well, I couldn’t have cared less about him, really.
This doesn’t make the story interesting by the way, just, confusing.
As far as gameplay goes.
Not bad, if I’m honest, the difficulty is in shape, the controls aren’t too shabby. Also the graphics for a 1997 game are, quite nice. Too bad about the soundtrack; its like being on a Jamaican beach, with all the musicians out of tune, because their high. And yet apparently this game went a little unnoticed when it was released. Probably because the previous two were so bad; I’m guessing.
So third time lucky then, the designers cracked it. Err… No.
By 1997, Tekken was on the scene, Mortal Kombat was already a hit, had been for many years. You also had games like Street fighter, where Capcom had cracked it first time round, and Virtua-fighter was out, (correct me if I’m wrong).
Needless to say there were many other, far better fighting games on the scene. So I ask again, why have SNK released an anthology? Take in to account that they didn’t make another Art of Fighting game after the third one.
Well for a start, it must have made money in the 1990’s for them too want more money, but looking back, an anthology to show just how bad they were? An anthology to show why we played the other side scrolling fighting games perhaps?
The thing that really drives me insane about this collection, is that the arcades, are dying, they have been dying ever since games like these appeared in the home. And I wouldn’t mind all that much if the arcade lost to decent games, these though just aren’t.
I really hope it doesn’t come out on the WII, if it hasn’t already, because I’d imagine the controls would just be diabolical if used with the WII-mote.
The Bad: Its not a sweet deal, 2/3 of the games are terrible.;