Overall - 40%
SNK HEROINES: Tag Team Frenzy's quirky design choices ultimately take away from the game. It simply does not have the depth that put The King of Fighters on the map, and the reliance on Dream Finishers and items makes for an experience that feels disjointed and random.
After making the rounds in The King of Fighters series, SNK’s ladies are back in the appropriately titled SNK HEROINES: Tag Team Frenzy. Based on previous entries, you would think this two-on-two fighter would be deep and packed with pugilists, but unfortunately it fails to live up to its pedigree.
SNK HEROINES: Tag Team Frenzy Review
After playing some of SNK’s other fighters, one might know what to expect here. It certainly seems deep at first glance – there are dash attacks, air throws, guard cancel evasions, ukemi recovery moves, and other mechanics that can give players an edge.
However, some questionable design choices have been made that greatly take away from the game. The complex controls that packed nuance and strategy have been thrown out the window for simplified inputs – players need only press a direction and a button to dish out moves that would normally require a lot more dexterity. However, though Blade Strangers went with a similar direction in its mechanics, the execution found here is greatly hindered by tying each move to players’ Spirit Gauge. Both special moves and super “Dream Finishers” share this meter, which drains it far too quickly. Though it recharges over time, it is a poor design choice that will have players sticking with more basic attacks to conserve energy.
This is made that much worse when it comes to another odd choice the development have made. Most fighting games on the market expect players to deplete the enemies’ stamina bar, but not SNK HEROINES. Rather, players must put the opponent into a weakened state and connect with a Dream Finisher to end the round. This simply does not work as it should, because oftentimes the meter is empty or these moves might not have the range you are looking for. Switching out for a different character somewhat remedies this, but the health meter is shared between both characters, so the health conservation found in the Marvel vs. Capcom or Tekken Tag Tournament series does not apply here. It’s practically unseen in the genre, sure, but it does not work.
To add salt to the wound, a number of different items can be used during battle. There’s no telling what item you can get – one might turn the screen into a pixelated mess, while another will throw a banana peel or spring on the ground. The direction these things are sent out can be tweaked by the angle of the right analog stick, but it’s an added nuisance that come across as cheap.
The typical suite of options can be found here – those traveling solo can jump into a Versus Mode against the CPU, a Survival Mode, a Training Mode, and a Tutorial Mode. A Story Mode is also present, but it feels somewhat phoned in. It’s your typical “characters thrown together into a dream realm and forced to fight one another,” but there is a healthy dose of fanservice thrown in for good measure. The seven rounds of fights are pretty bog standard, and most of the cinematics are the same between characters, with only the dialog caught on security cameras changing. Unless you want to hear what Terry Bogard thinks of “her” new body, players will likely have their fill after a single go-around.
Those looking to customize their fighter can certainly do so here. Though it is purely aesthetic, there are hundreds of tweaks players can make to the head, face, back, hips, hands, and legs. It will appease those to like to play dress up, but most changes must be bought with gold earned from playing the game.
An Online Mode is also available, though nobody was online as of this review. There is the ability to wager gold, but the suite of options is a bit limited compared to those found in titles like Street Fighter V.
SNK HEROINES: Tag Team Frenzy’s quirky design choices ultimately take away from the game. It simply does not have the depth that put The King of Fighters on the map, and the reliance on Dream Finishers and items makes for an experience that feels disjointed and random.
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