WORLD HEROES 2 / ADK / Arcade
The first World Heroes was a fairly incompetent fighting game that ripped off nearly all of its elements from some other source. As it came out hot on the heels of Street Fighter 2 and the market wasn't overly saturated with fighting games yet, however, it still managed to attract something of a following. The sequel was released fairly quickly afterwards in 1993, but it was still launching into a market already pretty crowded to the brim. Could it offer anything to set itself apart?
Well, unless you like totally bizarre and random characters, the answer to that latter question is "no." It does actually have a somewhat tuned-up engine as compared to the first game, though, making it at least halfway playable now.
Second verse, same as the first, except this time six new combatants join the mix - a pirate, a fat viking, a demonic football player, some kind of shaman/wizard, a judo girl, and a Muay Thai dude. The judo girl is a pretty clear rip of SNK's own Yuri Sakazaki and the Muay Thai guy is a composite rip of Joe Higashi and some others. I'll give credit to the other new additions for being original, but they do that by also being just totally off-the-wall. A pirate that throws sharks? A demon football player? Srsly?
The gameplay isn't really any different, although it does seem a bit smoother. You still choose between Normal or Death Match Mode, and I love the mumbly, Engrishy announcer who makes it sound like he's saying "mo mo mo" when you pick Normal Mode. There's a few more types of Death Matches in this installment, like an open field where a laser comes down and zaps you if you stand still for too long, and something called Skinhead Match that I still haven't totally figured out yet.
The backbreaker for the game is that, no matter how much the oddball new characters, new deathmatches or fine-tuning might add to it, you still have to face down the absolutely brutal and cheap (and fairly typical for SNK) computer AI difficulty right from the first match, which makes learning the game nearly impossible without a human partner. There just isn't enough here to make it worth the effort.
* Gameplay Video