AKA: Real Bout Fatal Fury || リアルバウト餓狼伝説 II SNK 1997
Original Post Date: October 22, 2019
Initially hitting arcades in 1995, Real Bout is technically the fifth game in the legendary Fatal Fury series (or fourth, if Fatal Fury Special isn’t to be counted as its own game).
It boasts a number of new gameplay features, as well as an expanded character roster which saw the return of three fan favorites – Duck King, Kim Kaphwan, and Billy Kane, making for a total of 16 playable characters.
Its engine remains similar to that of its immediate predecessor, albeit with some technical refinements – a greater emphasis has been placed on combos, as attacks will link together with ease.
The control scheme has been changed a bit, with only three real attack buttons, and the fourth being used as a dedicated plane-switching button. One attack button is used for punch, one is for kick, while the third serves as your general “heavy” attack, which can be either a punch or a kick depending on your character, and how it is utilized.
Another fascinating addition to Real Bout’s engine is the inclusion of rings outs – in all but one of the game’s fighting arenas, that being Geese Howard’s boss stage, there are walls that will be damaged if a player is knocked against them.
When a wall is fully destroyed, a player can be sent flying out of the ring, resulting in an immediate end to the round.
This can lead to some fast rounds for a player with strong corner pressure, finely complimenting the aggressive nature of the game alongside its combo system.
Brief load times aside, the Playstation conversion of Real Bout thankfully lives up to the high standard set by its arcade counterpart, after a series of hit-or-miss SNK ports early on in the Playstation’s life cycle.
It is a worthy edition of one of the greatest fighting games of all time, and easily among the best found for its system.