Reviewing a classic fighting is a challenging task. I write my articles, my experiences, with those who have never heard of the title discussed in mind. Things change a little with this trek through Smash Bros. iconic roster, but what happens when I have nothing to say?
Fatal Fury Special is nothing more than an average 90’s fighting game. In the second adventure of Mr. Bogard, Wikis I’ve read have told me that the story follows the Bogard brothers Terry and Andy hunting down the resurrected Geese Howard as revenge for their father’s death. You can choose from, and challenge, fifteen combatants. There’s a secret boss but nothing more. You can either fight A.I. or fight another player.
Fatal Fury has focused on different lanes to spice things up. In the earliest entries, this feels like nothing more than a gimmick to shift how big sprites are. Fatal Fury Special has your normal punches and kicks of different strengths, jabs, and special moves. The A.I. can, and will, react with frame-perfect attacks and shields to make sure that you have absolutely no fun after your third fight. Frankly, I was unmotivated to beat Geese and certainly wouldn’t have if not for save states. Fatal Fury Special is about as solid as any other fighter from the era, but it’s received none of the modernization that has kept Street Fighter II brilliant. Personally, I believe there’s no reason to go back to this one. There’s too many great King of Fighters and Fatal Fury entries for me to recommend this one at all.
Fatal Fury Special is an anomaly in my retrospective. There are a few characters who only appear in one game, but it’s not often Sakurai puts his personal recommendations out there. Terry and Ryu have always shared similarities, but Ryu’s rigid adherence to his shoto playstyle and command inputs kept him unique in Smash. Terry follows the same basic design principles as Ryu and Ken, even swiping their auto-turnaround mechanic, but gets exclusive access to a dodge attack, back-special, and two super moves. In Smash, Terry’s fun and a perfect translation of his iconic flare into a platform fighter. Now why Sakurai would recommend Special in particular is a mystery to me. The Terry in Smash has moves that aren’t even in it. Regardless, Terry’s fine, I guess.