Art of Fighting
Last Updated: 2/27/2012 Developer(s): SNK Publisher(s): SNK Platform(s): Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, PC, Wii Virtual Console, PS2, PSN Release Date(s): September 24th, 1992 (/ Arcade)
May 11th, 2006 ( PS2 - in Art of Fighting: Anthology)
May 15th, 2007 ( PS2 - in Art of Fighting: Anthology)
October 8th, 2007 (Wii Virtual Console)
December 21st, 2010 (PSN)
Characters: Ryo, Robert, Todo, Jack, Lee, King, Mickey, John, Mr. Big, Mr. Karate
Related Games: Art of Fighting 2, Art of Fighting 3, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, King of Fighters '94, Street Fighter 2
Gameplay Engine 7.5 / 10 Story / Theme 8.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 8.5 / 10 Animation 6.5 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 7.5 / 10 Innovation 7 / 10 Art Direction 8 / 10 Intro / Presentation 9 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 6.5 / 10 Characters 7 / 10
7.7 / 10
Review based on Arcade version Final Words: Like many "arcade rats" of 1992, I was a big fan of Street Fighter 2. At the least, Art of Fighting was a great alternative to play if an arcade didn't have SF2. Many people might look back at AOF and scoff at its flaws, but for a 2D fighting game in 1992, this was top stuff. AOF debuted some of the boldest 2D sprites to ever appear in a video game, and it was actually a pretty fun game if you gave it a chance.
I actually became fairly decent at AOF in the early 90's, and enjoyed mopping up the occasional "competition" that came by. After they were all out of tokens, I could finally get back to the story mode (only to get my ass kicked by the retardedly-tough boss... Mr. Big ). lol. Even though I was just a kid back then, I still knew SF2 was a much better fighting game when it came to gameplay, but I enjoyed AOF for it's diversity and unique spin on things. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: The storyline of Art of Fighting takes place in 1978. Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia set out to find Ryo's sister, Yuri, who was kidnapped by Mr. Big. Mr. Big took Yuri to entice Takuma Sakazaki, Ryo's father and originator of Kyokugen Karate, and also because Ryo refused to work for Big. After Ryo & Robert defeat Mr. Big, they face the enigmatic Mr. Karate. Art of Fighting's story ends with a cliff-hanger; Yuri is about to disclose the true identity of Mr. Karate as their father Takuma.
REVIEW: Art of Fighting is well known to be SNK's answer to Capcom's smash hit arcade fighting game in 1991, Street Fighter 2. Art of Fighting offered a very similar gameplay style to SF2, and brought a long a unique cast of characters of its own. AOF also introduced a unique graphical "distance scrolling" effect, where characters and backgrounds became smaller as the fighters moved apart (pretty cool looking in 1992). AOF was one of the games that put SNK on the map, and introduced a few personalities that would later become "icons" in the fighting game universe.
While not nearly as popular as the headlining Street Fighter 2 series, AOF at least offered something unique in the young fighting genre. Even though SNK was, in some ways, riding the coattails of Capcom's success, they were at least trying something different by having an actual story unfold through the 1-player experience of Art of Fighting. Only the 2 main protagonists (Ryo and Robert) are selectable in the Arcade /Story Mode, which enables the story of Yuri's kidnapping and rescue to unfold. Thankfully, once your opponent inserted their coin, all characters became selectable for versus battles.
Drunk Biker = punching bag for a martial artist.
The character sprites of AOF are colorful, and notably large when compared with those from SF2. Although they're definitely "beefier" than their Street Fighter 2 counterparts, they also appear to be a bit more stiff... not only in terms of animation but in actual gameplay as well. This was probably the biggest flaw of AOF (especially in the opinion of fans of SF2), because this feeling of stiffness contrasted the silky smooth gameplay that gamers were getting over at Capcom's end of the arcade. Speaking of a stiff, a few of AOF's character designs were also lacking in the originality department... to say the least.
Sonic...... hey, waaait a minute.
The visuals of Art of Fighting were unmistakably impressive in 1992 (and many years after). Character faces actually become bruised as the fight progresses, and backgrounds are large, colorful, and moody. One of the most notable aspects of the visuals is the background scrolling effect, which soon became a trademark of SNK fighting games (later used in Samurai Shodown). This effect also gives players a wider view of the battleground, an original visual element in the fighting game realm at the time. Hit effects and fireballs were also memorable in this game, even though many of them were clearly rip-offs of SF2's effects. AOF also "one-upped" Street Fighter 2's bonus games by allowing players to choose between 3 different bonus challenges, including: Bottle Smash, Ice Smash, & Initiate Super Death Blow... all of which were cool looking, fun, and helped AOF "stand out" at arcades.
Initiate Super Death Blow!!!
Overall, AOF was an attractive arcade game, especially when considering other games out in 1992. AOF had a decent story for a video game, interesting characters, catchy music, cool super moves and bonus stages. The original arcade version was great, but unfortunately the home ports really didn't live up to the original in terms of graphics. The SNES and Genesis versions featured much smaller 2D sprites, and the characters & stages were missing details & animations. The cool scrolling effect also didn't translate very well in the home ports. Needless to say, make sure you're playing the arcade version to get the full experience!