The publishers at SNK have been on a roll with their fighting games, between classic entries in their Neo-Geo series and the latest entry in The KIng of Fighters for PlayStation 4 and PC. But it never hurts to try something new, especially if it still manages to appeal to the fans that grew up with your games in the first place.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy does just that, managing to keep the fighting tactics that fans have grown to love in the likes of King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown over the years, while at the same taking an all-new -- and, for that matter, all-female -- direction. We recently had a chance to go hands-on with the game during PAX East, and found the fighting tactics to be very impressive.
Although only a handful of characters were available with the demo (more will be announced over the course of the next few months before the game's release), we found some particular favorites that we could return to, including the voluptuous (and deadly) Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury, and Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown. You essentially choose two different characters and swap between the two, maintaining a strong fighting rhythm as you chip away at the energy of your opponents.
Fighting To Your Advantage
But what makes SNK Heroines stand out from the rest of the pack is how it caters to all tastes. Not only will the game be welcome with open arms by the die-hard fighting community, but beginners will find something to embrace as well -- and, no, we don't just mean the female combatants.
The game utilizes a simple fighting system, with three buttons in all -- light, heavy and special attack. Light and heavy work as expected, with strikes that vary depending on what you use. Special attack, though, lets you execute special moves with the push of a button, like Mai's spinning flame attack or dashing elbow.
Ah, but don't overuse it. With this special attack, you've got a meter attached, and once it depletes, you won't be able to so easily rely on these. So you need to balance them out with other techniques.
Fortunately, these techniques also include the Dream Finisher. You can execute one of these once you reach the point of a knock-out in the match, executing a nice super (provided you have the space in your special bar) if you can hit it. However, if you can't , your opponent has the chance to fight back. Again, it's all about timing here.prevnext
Single Player Content Galore
But the fighting tactics are very easy to grasp, and make each match fun to play, even if you start out on the losing end. SNK has things balanced out pretty nicely with each combatant, so that one isn't necessarily overpowered over the other. For instance, while Mai is a fan favorite, that doesn't keep you from experimenting with other brawlers to see what they have to offer.
As for other functions, you can block, as well as swap out characters with the push of a button (if you're not being attacked, that is) and also calling upon items that your partner can use to temporarily throw off an opponent so you can either strike or tag. But be careful -- when an object is thrown, if the trajectory is wrong, you could hit yourself as well. Oops.
SNK Heroines also gives you a goal to work towards, as you can unlock a number of costumes to dress the girls up in. There are hundreds available, and some of them require a little work to unlock. That said, they do add some impressive replay value, more than you might expect from a fighting game. It certainly extends the life of single player.prevnext
Bring Some Friends and Fight!
The co-op support is cool, too. You can challenge other opponents, but you can also put four players in a match. Even when combatants aren't on the stage duking it out, they can actually do something on the sidelines, such as those item tosses or acting as a virtual cheerleader. That level of interaction hasn't been seen much in SNK games, so, yeah, it's totally welcome here.
On top of that, SNK Heroines has a much more unique presentation than most SNK games. It utilizes 3D visuals, similar to King of Fighters XIV, but has a much more devoted look, especially when it comes to animations and spirited backdrops for the ladies to fight in. It certainly strikes a different chord, and in a great way. The frame rate is slightly choppy in the version we played, but it's still being worked on until the game comes out in a few months, so don't sweat that.0comments
Although SNK Heroines may not feel like the equivalent of King of Fighters XIV for Nintendo Switch, it strikes its own chord with its entertaining gameplay and charming visuals. And, yes, there's a lot of stuff to dig into here if you're a fan of the ladies, as we know a lot of you are. Fingers crossed, though, that Blue Mary and King get added to the roster down the line.
We'll see how SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy shakes things up when it arrives on September 7 for Nintendo Switch, as well as PlayStation 4.prev