"Mr. Karate, the undefeated martial artist, was revealed as Ryo's missing
father, Takuma Sakazaki. 10 years ago, he knew that Ronnet's death was
intentionally planned by someone. Fearing that the rest of his family would be
targeted if he stayed, he disappeared. However, 10 years after Ronnet's
accident, he learned that an organization had targeted his daughter Yuri.
Learning that Mr. Big was behind this, Takuma was forced to work with him.
However, Mr. Big's ambitions were foiled by Ryo, Robert, and King's revolution,
the latter being one of his former subordinates. Yuri and Takuma safely returned
A year after Yuri's kidnapping, while Ryo was
training in the mountains, he received a letter. The letter was an invitation
for a new tournament in Southtown. Fighters from every corner of the town were
gathering there. It was a test to decide who was the "strongest"... a
tournament for the chosen and for the real fighters. The strongest of the
strong, each aspect applies to the dragon and the tiger. Southtown would be
split in twain by their instincts.
However, this event was only the beginning for a
certain man filled with ambition. "King
of Fighters"... the birth of a man's legend and the prologue for an even
greater story." Art of Fighting 2's
story is set a year after the original. Geese Howard, a rising star in
Southtown's criminal underworld, calls fighters to the city for a new
tournament, "The King of Fighters".
Finally, tackle story mode
with ALL characters!
REVIEW: By 1994,
SNK was gaining popularity in the arcade business. They were also trying its best to keep up with Capcom's
ever evolving Street Fighter 2 series, now with Champion Edition, Turbo,
and Super editions dominating the arcades. Interestingly enough, SNK elected not to join the trend and
simply "rehash" the original Art
of Fighting recipe.
Instead, SNK actually created a true Art of Fighting sequel from the ground up, presenting all
new backgrounds, redrawn character sprites, brand all new stages... pretty much
the opposite of what Capcom was doing. It was a bold move to start practically
from scratch, and hardcore fans definitely appreciated the effort. AOF2
introduced the "Rage Gauge" which works similarly to the Spirit Gauge
of the original game.
Don't mess up the
car! (That's a different game.)
As a fan of the first Art of Fighting, I was pleased with
most of AOF2's gameplay updates and the game's new features. Thankfully,
this time, all characters are selectable in
the regular Arcade / Story Mode. Furthermore, each character now has their own unique storyline
and specific interactions with other characters. Having such unique character-specific
dialogue in a fighting game was definitely innovative for 1994, and in most
cases, enabled some of the characters to become more fleshed out. On the other
hand, there were some laughably bad translations, as well.
All of the fighters from the first AOF made their
return with the exception of Todo. New
characters Eiji & Temjin attempt to balance out the roster, and for the most
part they succeed at doing so. Takuma is also playable for the first time (which
was pretty epic if you were familiar with the storyline of the first game).
Worth mentioning, the computer AI of AOF2 is actually very difficult.
While the game now caters to 2-player battles, enjoying the single player story
mode can actually be frustrating sometimes.
Brother VS sister.
While most returning characters are easily
many of them have acquired brand new appearances in AOF2. For example, Mickey & John got
haircuts, and Lee Pai Long now fights in a pretty generic Kung-Fu robe (and
looks fat). These design updates worked in a few cases, but unfortunately not in others.
If you ask me, a few returning characters
in AOF2 don't quite look as "cool" as they did in the original
game. I get the same feeling when it comes to stage designs and BGMs (besides
Yuri's awesome theme). In some ways, the "heart" of the original AOF
isn't quite there... or it at least, the mood and feel of the game changed more
than I expected it too. In any
case, the new hand-drawn backgrounds are pretty solid for the time, graphically
(check them out below).
presented some of the same unique elements found in the first game, but still
didn't quite match up to Capcom's SF2 series in terms of gameplay,
character roster, and popularity. Sad to say, even though AOF2
offered more actual "new" content than the newer iterations of Street Fighter 2, SF2
still dominated in the gameplay and "fun" department, and was far
The widespread hit that was Super
Street Fighter 2 came out in the same year as AOF2, so one could say
that a lot of AOF2's
potential was snuffed out by the latest incarnation of SF2...
especially if your arcade had that "tournament style" 4-8 cabinets
next to each other. (Quite an impressive sight, back then).
Furthermore, I'm sure most arcade managers would've rather spent their cash on
an "instant moneymaker" like SSF2 over the lesser known AOF2
any day... so seeing AOF2 in arcades was actually kinda rare. In the end, I
definitely give respect to SNK for sticking to their guns, and offering a lot
of "new" content with their sequel to AOF. ~TFG