AKA: Fatal Fury 2 || 熱闘餓狼伝説２あらたなるたたかい || Takara 1994
Original Post Date: September 5, 2019
The second game chosen to receive the Nettou treatment was Garou Densetsu 2, known in the West as Fatal Fury 2. While the original Fatal Fury offered only a small selection of characters and an emphasis on the single-player mode, Fatal Fury 2 boasted a larger character roster, allowing for a more proper competitive fighting experience.
Thankfully, the character roster is retained fully in this handheld edition. There are eight primary characters to choose from, and just as in the previous Nettou title, there are also a number of secret characters who can be selected via a simple code, specifically the four boss characters.
Unfortunately, one of Fatal Fury’s trademark features was lost in the transition, that being the ability to switch planes mid-match. In the original Fatal Fury 2 (as well as most games in the series), the player could freely hop into the background, as well as back to the foreground.
There were also certain attacks that could be used to knock one’s opponent to the opposite plane. In this edition of the game, this feature has been stripped away and thus, the fights take place solely in a single-plane, 2-D format.
Otherwise, the game’s essence has been recreated faithfully, for the most part. Each character retains their desperation move, a powerful attack that can be unleashed once their health bar decreases enough that it starts to flash. Even with only two face buttons available for the Game Boy, the four-button attack scheme has been simulated by making the buttons pressure-sensitive, meaning you’ll perform a heavy attack when the button is held down longer while tapping the button will perform a light attack.
Overall, Nettou Garou Densetsu 2 is an adequate addition to the series, but unlike in the case of Samurai Shodown, it does end up feeling like a slightly watered-down version of itself. Its pacing is significantly reduced compared to its full-sized counterpart, and the lack of plane-switching means that it loses a bit of the identity it once held. Nonetheless, it is a fine handheld fighter in its own right.