For you gamers who look longingly at the Neo-Geo, but cringe at its steep price, take heart. Many Neo-Geo favorites are being converted to other systems. This fall, Sunsoft has World Heroes for the SNES, and it's a very close representation of the arcade classic.
ProTip: Hanzou has a field day with his opponents by hitting them low, and then trapping them into comers. Follow low kicks with a Hurricane Spin.
Vast Action Heroes
World Heroes is a one- or two-player side-scrolling fighting game that sends you travelling through time to take on the toughest heroes of the world. You pick from eight buffed bruisers to fight your way into the record books as the greatest World Hero of all-time. The fighters you don't pick come back to haunt you as opponents. You can be anything from a sword-swinging woman warrior (Janne), to a maniacal ex-wrestler (Muscle Power), a martial arts menacer (K. Dragon), or a cyborg storm trooper (Brocken), among others.
Janne can use her sword for an improved head tap. When leaping over an opponent, tap B twice and you can score two hits.
You fight a best-two-out-of- three match, and it's a no- holds-barred, bust-em-up bonanza. After beating the rest of the heroes senseless, you have to battle with Gee Gus, a mystical liquid-metal fighter who transforms himself into any of the World Heroes. In addition to regular matches, you can also play a Death Match, where you have to contend with your opponent and a ring that contains mines, electrified ropes, flaming ropes, and so on.
Each fighter has a unique set of special moves, and some of the moves are just as great to watch as they are to execute. K. Dragon calls forth the spirit of the dragon and busts out on the screen with a Dragon Kick, while Fuuma and Hanzou can execute the Ipo Korin Kazan (a sideways slashing body maneuver that creates a human whirlwind). Need more proof that everything from the arcade version is here? How about Rasputin's heavy-handed crusher, Brocken's Grenade Launcher, or Janne's Aura Flame Bird? They're all here in glorious 16-bit color.
Brocken can counter air moves with his Hurricane Arm. Go low on the 'borg and take out his legs.
Along with vicious kick- and-punch moves, you can also block, throw, and deal out some of the greatest multi-hit combos that fighting games have ever seen. You can score four- and five-hit moves like they were going out of style. You may even find that some of the moves are too easy to win with, and trapping opponents in the corner works here, just like it did in the arcade.
Only use Dragon's Dragon Kick when your opponent is already in the air and coming down. If you try to use it when your opponent is standing, you'll land defenseless, while your opponent gets ready to throw you.
The showcase graphics of the Neo-Geo have translated very well to the SNES. All the vivid backgrounds, including ancient Mongolia, a skyscraper scaffold, and a Chinese martial arts temple, are well-illustrated and intact from the Geo.
The movements of the screen-filling sprites are glitchless and smooth, and all the moves are easy to execute. The World Heroes actually seem faster in this SNES version than they did in the Neo-Geo, plus they're detailed right down to their facial expressions.
The sacrifice in this game may have been the sound. Although the SNES tries for a faithful recreation of the music and sound effects from the arcade game, it comes off tinny and muffled. The smaller effects, like Janne's laugh, are not up to par with the rest of the game. Still, you'll be amazed at the way this game looks and plays, even if you have to turn the volume down.
The game starts out on medium difficulty, but adjusts if you want to hit the hard stuff. The arcade version is probably equivalent to the Medium Setting on the SNES game.
Janne's sliding kick will pass right under most projectiles.
You'll enjoy World Heroes, even if you never played the original arcade version. Its many special moves and combos helps to further complicate the crowded field of great fighting games coming out this month. Whichever game you choose, keep the Heroes in mind. We all need someone to look up to, even when they knock us down.