So when we looked at Art of Fighting a few months ago, we found it to be a rather clunky Street Fighter 2 clone, yet had enough endearing qualities that it was actually kind of interesting and likeable.

Art of Fighting 2 manages to continue in the same style. It's still not as fluid or well-made as any of the Street Fighter games (barring the first), but it's a notch better than the action in the first Art of Fighting, and now you can use a whole range of characters in one-player mode.

Like the first game, it does the zoom-in and zoom-out thing as fighters get closer and farther from each other. You've also still got the gruesome facial swelling as charas get beat up, and the "energy bar" that depletes when you are taunted or when you use special moves.

The "energy bar" was an admirable attempt to stop people from spamming fireballs and cheesy moves over and over but it didn't quite work out right. Unfortunately the taunts take off way too much energy and it's too easy to sap your foe to death in a short period of time.

On the plus side, you can play as Mr. Big now with his mini pimp sticks.

Bitches better have his money!

The background graphics are also much nicer this time out ... lots of little animation ... oh, and the soundtrack is by the guy who would go on to score the King of Fighters games, and is suitably kickin'.

This is a game that takes practice to learn the nuances of, but once you do, there's a lot here that is rewarding ... the one really major thing that holds it back from a good rating is that the computer AI is jacked up to such insane levels that it will take a long time before you can even win more than one or two fights.

Yeah, this is a problem very common to SNK fighting games, and it really dampens your enthusiasm for the game when you can't really practice or improve as the computer is all over your ass right from the jump.

Yep, if playing in MAME you can always jack the difficulty down a bit with the DIP switches ... on the Wii ... ? Who knows. Blame yourself or God, I guess.

Videos :

Gameplay Video
* Japanese commercial
* King gets her clothes blown off (as usual)