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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

SNK Playmore

 

Developer

SNK Playmore / ADK

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

March 11, 2008

 

 

- Great bang for the buck for old school fans of the series (the genre as a whole)

 

 

- Having all four games in one place is only half the package; there are no "historical" documentaries or supplemental information

 

 

Review: NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (PS2)

Review: Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol. 2 (PS2)

Review: King of Fighters: Maximum Impact (PS2)

 

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World Heroes Anthology

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

SNK Playmore is really targeting the niche market with World Heroes Anthology.  It contains all four World Heroes fighting games: World Heroes, World Heroes 2, World Heroes Jet, and World Heroes Perfect.  (The series wraps up after Perfect - how do you improve upon perfection?)

 

world heroes anthology          world heroes anthology

 

World Heroes first appeared in 1992 for the Neo-Geo home console as well as its arcade counterpart.  And between its first appearance to the time developer ADK went out of business in 1995 there were four World Heroes titles; all of them played against the six-button Street Fighter II (one version or another).  World Heroes sticks with a three-button scheme that I find easier to manipulate and track

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than six-buttons, but I'm no pro player either so that may account for the preference.

 

I made a note of this with my review of Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 2 but it bears repeating: this is a compilation disc that should have been packed with loads of extras.  Character sketches, wallpapers, developer profiles, a "Making Of" featurette, concept art of the stages and characters

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- these are the kinds of things fans will want.  It's already a niche audience for a title like this but it hardly seems worth it when there's so little incentive, especially since the original Neo-Geo World Heroes has been released on Virtual Console for Wii.  It's only a matter of time before the other titles are released in a similar fashion.  I've always felt that any "classic" game compilation should be treated like an historical archive.  Get this together before it's lost to history!  As it is, Anthology comes with a character "editor" which allows you to change the colors of the characters.

 

The four full games play with less intensity than even the Fatal Fury titles showcased in Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 2.  That's not to say that fights lack the ebb and flow of what you'd expect from a fighting game - blocking and striking at opportune moments - but the action is a lot less taxing than other fighters of that era (and especially games of the current era).

 

world heroes anthology          world heroes anthology

 

An aspect of World Heroes that I've always had a bit of goofy appreciation for are the character designs.  Robotic Brocken, Bruce Lee-inspired Kim Dragon, Rasputin, Hulk Hogan look-a-like M. Power, football player Johnny Maximum, 16-year old judo master Ryoko Izumo, and Hanzo Hattori, these are the kinds of characters that are obvious rip-offs of other, more popular characters.  Anthology recaptures the look of those giant sprites and solid backgrounds.

 

Besides my complaint about not having enough extras, Anthology also suffers a little from not having an online component.  Reportedly, the Japanese version of Anthology - World Heroes Gorgeous - had multiplayer included so it's a little odd that it's not present with the North American release.  These kinds of games are better when you play elbow to elbow with your opponent but because of the limited appeal of World Heroes it would have made sense to include online play so the niche players can find each other.

 

- Omni

(July 29, 2008)

 

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