The King of Fighters is one of the more popular fighting game series, and has seen several incarnations over the various video game generations. The latest iteration of the series, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, continues on the series, albeit in a much simpler fashion. While not exactly expansive in terms of mechanics, it certainly is bursting with a unique charm and is an extremely welcoming game for newcomers to the series and fighting game fans in general. As the game has simplified mechanics, does it have enough complexity to entice genre veterans as well? Read on for more.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: SNK Corporation
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4
Release Date: September 7th, 2018
Players: 1-2 Players
Before I begin this review, I will be completely honest with you here dear reader: I’m not exactly a professional-level fighting game player. Lucky for me, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy doesn’t have complicated combos, instead it adopts somewhat simpler mechanics. So I will not focus on those aspects for this review.
Now, when I say that SNK:H doesn’t have special moves or combos or finishers, I’m being a tad bit facetious. SNK:H does in fact have specials and all of that stuff. The kicker here is that every special move is performed with a simple press of a button.
There is no down-forward punch or multi-direction combos, or anything like that. Instead, every special attack is performed by pressing some combination of up, down, left and right plus A (on the Switch). Each character has at least 2 unique finishers and they are performed by just pressing R and up/down/left/right + R.
Yes, there is a combo system in the game. You just won’t generally see combo hits of above 8 or 10 depending on the character chosen. Weak Attacks are used with Y, fierce/strong attacks are X and you can throw your foe with B. ZR will call out your partner which has the same health bar that you do, but they have their own special meter that they will use.
This is all. When SNK:H is touted as a “simple” fighting game, this is the honest truth. SNK:H focuses more on the fan service than delivering a well rounded and robust fighting game with all the mechanics that appear to be the norm in contemporary games.
That is not to say that SNK:H isn’t “robust” in other areas, but as a contemporary fighting game, even I can tell that it is lacking in areas that will draw a larger crowd and put it out there as a really worthy fighting game.
Honestly though, I’m okay with this. As much as I want to like fighting games, my overall lack of ability is generally enough to turn me away from most fighters after just a few hours and I’m generally afraid of ever stepping foot online and humiliating myself in front of others.
But since SNK:H is just such a toned down fighter, even a relative newbie like myself with no major skills can jump in and have a bit of fun.
The real draw with SNK:H is quite honestly the fan service that the game provides. Each of the fighters has their main costume and 2 unlockable extra costumes that can be bought with currency earned in game for victories in matches.
There is a great variety of extras that can be used so that each character can be truly unique. My Terry Bogard will probably look very different than yours for instance.
I will say that it is a terrible shame that each of the ladies didn’t have more “across the board” costumes, as this is the perfect game to unleash some Bunny Girl antics or Battle Maids, but we can’t have everything we want.
Graphically the game isn’t really anything to write home about. Believe it or not, I have played a lot of the more mainstream fighting games and several of them do have much better graphics than SNK:H. However, graphics aren’t everything.
The characters in SNK:H bounce off the screen with a charm all their own. Each of the girls is relatively unique and each of their attacks have have an unique glimmer or trail associated with attack and impact.
The stages and characters aren’t muddy and don’t bleed together. Each and every accessory stands out on each model. So while it won’t be touted as best of the best graphically, most players shouldn’t have an issue with the presentation here.
All through the game, SNK had one driving ideology with SNK:H — simplicity. And unfortunately, that includes all the way through to the story. If you follow me on Twitter, or have read any of my other reviews, you will know that I am very much a fan of stories in games. Rarely can I enjoy a game without some semblance of a good story to go along with the gameplay.
Simply put, a perverted unknown character that has a resemblance to someone introduced in one of the more recent King of Fighters games, has drawn all the ladies to an alternate dimension. Here, he uses fear and perversion to increase his own powers.
Once you defeat him, it is assumed that his pocket dimension fades away and the ladies are free to return home. There is no explanation for why Terry is drawn in and given an involuntary sex change, but for the sake of a canon gender-bent Terry Bogard, we’ll let this little faux pas slide, right?
Most major fighting game fans will find the lack of mechanics a fairly shallow offering and will probably become bored with SNK:H after just a little bit. However, with the simplistic mechanics and over the top fan service, I can see SNK:H being one of those games that people hold onto.
It’s the kind of fighting game you can pull out when friends who might not be masters at the genre come over. The game is pretty good however, at teaching new players a lot of the basics of the fighting game genre and is extremely easy to pick up and have fun with.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a review copy provided by NIS America. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 7.5
- Simplified combat and controls is a great introduction for people unfamiliar with current fighting games
- Interesting characters from a range of SNK games with unique costumes and movesets
- Customizable characters add a flair to the average match
- The simplified combat and controls will turn off more hard core fighting fans and quickly leave SNK as a party game
- Limited roster and lack of arenas make matches quickly become mirrors of one another
- Extremely simplistic story even for a fighting game