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The evolution of the Art of Fighting series is such a one to have each title in the trilogy be worthwhile on its own without making earlier chapters obsolete, which is a good place to be if you’re going to release all three games on one disk. There’s a lot to like and because SNK decided not to send their series out in the last chapter with a complete rehash of the established cast and concept, means that you’re not going to play through all three titles with a sense of déjà vu. Anthology isn’t an easy title to learn nor master, but that’s what arcade ports offer you, a challenge you’re not likely to find elsewhere, and if you’re already a big fan of fighters that reigned supreme back in the days of 2D, then there’s no excuse for not owning this game already. It’s even on a budget price tag, for Christ’s sake! Price is probably the only reason you didn’t own this game back when the Neo Geo cost the same as a mortgage on a small European country, and you no longer have that excuse.
And now I arrive back at the questions I posed at the start â€“ just how do I judge this Anthology? The first two games are fun for a short while, with the third game being a very enjoyable fighter. It's not up there with Street Fighter, and it's been surpassed by so many of the modern day fighting games, but for old school violence it's a very enjoyable romp. Add in a friend for some beat downs and you'll no doubt have a lot of fun with the game. And considering that the cost of the game is so low, it's hard not to recommend this to people just for nostalgia's sake. Just remember how old the games are when you start playing them, and you'll have a blast.
The Video Game Critic
This Anthology is a good deal, but it's fairly bare bones. I wish SNK had included some historical information, or an easy way to view the high scores. Even so, those with fond memories of the days when 2D fighting was king will want to pick this up without a second thought. Note: Those who enjoy this package should also check out Fatal Fury Battle Archives.
Though this game offers the old-school aspect, this game didn’t even do so well throughout the years it was released so the appeal may get you to try the game but in the end it is, truly a let down. These three games even when released struggled to compete with the other fighting games of their time such as “Street Fighter” and the like. These games noticeably improve from the original to the third but the overall gameplay just falls short of impressing even to the die-hard SNK fans.
Sin duda, se convierte para el fan de la lucha 2D en el punto álgido de la recopilación. SNK dispone de series más completas y proclives, como Fatal Fury y The King of Fighters, con algunas entregas absolutamente irrepetibles, pero en cualquier caso el fiel seguidor del género tiene una cita ineludible con este juego, que posee un precio realmente atractivo.
Solid retro fun. As a complete anthology, this is not your best collection. But individually the third game prevails, earning the title of “must-play” for any diehard fighting fan.
This is a simple, straight-forward collection for a low price. Two of the three titles included are absurdly difficult and they show their age. The third title, while greatly entertaining, still pales in comparison to today’s fighters. However, these points should not discourage you from trying Anthology out. It’s a fantastic experience to visit the veritable roots of the fighting game genre, and Art of Fighting 3 is surprisingly refined for such old software. Art of Fighting enthusiasts should not miss this one, especially if they haven’t been able to play the games elsewhere.
For non fans £12.99 might be a bit steep for what is a mostly poor gathering of 2D fighters, especially when there are other much better anthologies available for the PS2. I can't really recommend the game at full price, but if you can find it a few quid cheaper and you're a fan of 2D fighters it's definitely worth a punt, but only for Art of Fighting 3. Yes, Ryo is a complete Ken rip off. And yes, 66 per cent of the game is rubbish. But there is fun to be found in Art of Fighting Anthology, if you know where to look. Don't take those goggles off just yet. Some things change, but some things stay the same.
With all that said Art of Fighting, although a very good fighting game, is the weakest of its kind compared to some of the bigger series like Street Fighter and Guilty Gear due to how these games have evolved and the AoF series hasn't. For example, the way in that the sprites have just got nicer looking, which this game cannot compare to. In my opinion, this is only suitable for collectors or hardcore fans of the series. It is just a novelty for fans of fighters or even just SNK in general. The RRP is £12.99 but with Amazon and other stores already selling it for £9.99 it represents fairly good value for money.
Is it worth putting down twenty bucks to get this trilogy? If you enjoyed any of the AoFs before, chances are you picked this up without a second thought. It also might be worth a purchase simply based on the fact that the original NEO-GEO AoF went for as much as $450 when it was first released. SNK has done a fine job emulating these games to work on your PS2 even if you are getting the same unimpressive audio, stiffening controls, and overly challenging AI that you were hoping to forget. This is certainly not the best anthology ever released, but the game can hold its own when standing next to some of the other very mediocre compilations out there.
If there's one other issue with this anthology is it's pretty sparse. The history of the series is regulated to a small paragraph in the instruction manual. There's no gallery, no scans of arcade flyers, no practice mode, no AoF-related bonuses...really no extras outside of the arranged soundtrack and sprite color editing. Saddest loss is the removal of online play from the Japanese version, though unavoidable since the service it uses doesn't exist here in the States. If you have a friend into this sort of 2D mayhem, these games are a blast, involving whole new strategies from the mold of other fighters, but if you're stuck playing alone, don't expect to get more than your $15 out of it.
Overall, Art of Fighting Anthology certainly did not stand the test of time, and the titles definitely don't have anything on current 2D fighters. Additionally, for retro fans, this collection offers nothing of nostalgic value, aside from the actual games. Unless you have some friends to play this with, the single-player experience will not keep you coming back for more. However, at a budget price of $15, this may be worth it for huge SNK fans, assuming you realize that these three still pale in comparison when compared to the likes of Street Fighter III and Capcom vs SNK 2.
It is nice to see some of the forgotten games from SNK's past making their way onto systems where everyone can enjoy them, but there are so many better titles that we wish they would dig out. We can only hope some of the better and rarer games (such as Last Blade or Mark of the Wolves) will be getting a release soon. For now, even at a budget price, this particular art is best left in a museum.
See, as we said in the intro, these games weren't all that amazing to begin with. Art of Fighting 3 was pretty innovative for the time, and yes, we are aware of all those loyal followers out there, but it's not like this is a Street Fighter or Tekken or Mortal Kombat or Virtua Fighter anthology. Those are collections that would stand up on their own, without any frills or extras. The Art of Fighting Anthology cannot. Therefore, we can only recommend this for hardcore fans of the franchise, but then again, we assume those people might still have the Neo-Geo with these games. And if you do, don't bother with this anthology: we repeat, it's nothing you haven't seen and experienced before.
Unfortunately, this minimalist collection features only the three games emulated directly from original NeoGeo versions, and barely anything in the way of extras. It does let you switch between the original arcade soundtrack and the arrange soundtrack as mentioned, and it has a throwaway option that lets you edit color palettes for your characters in Art of Fighting 2. That's it. There are no additional play modes for any of the games, such as a survivor mode or training mode, and no extras--SNK Playmore could've included the hilariously campy Japanese TV commercials for each game, for instance--so this collection just offers the bare minimum of content for a series that really could've used some window dressing. As it stands, Art of Fighting Anthology is really only for fighting game historians or loyal SNK fans looking to add to their collection. Despite the game's budget price tag, there are other, better choices for fighting game enthusiasts.
Pour avoir autrefois dépensé l'essentiel de mon argent de poche dans la salle d'arcade en face de mon lycée, je peux dire que j'ai bien connu l'âge d'or de la baston 2D. Pourtant, cette compilation m'a laissé de marbre. Art of Fighting a mal vieilli et sa difficulté excessive le destine uniquement aux fanatiques des vieux titres d'arcade. Même à petit prix, cette anthologie poussiéreuse aura du mal à trouver preneur.
Playing The Art of Fighting Anthology is a little bit like rediscovering your 6th grade journal. It’s entertaining to relive those days and marvel at how far you’ve come, and certainly it has too much sentimental value to get rid of, but ultimately it’s too painful to look at for long, and really belongs in a box somewhere where you can forget about it for another fifteen years.