Back in the day, Street Fighter II was the king. There is no denying that fact. So, as you can imagine, there were a few fighting games that came out during this time that tried to earn glory, all the while trying to capture the Street Fighter II feel. SNK’s stab at this was in the form of World Heroes.
World Heroes was released in the arcades back in 1992. There are 8 playable characters from all around the world. There’s ninja Hattori Hanzo, magician Rasputin, an American wrestler that looks just like Hulk Hogan. So you have characters from all over the world, but also from different time periods.
The game features a three button system. One button for punch, one for kick, and one for throw. Depending on what character you use, the game has special attacks much like Street Fighter. In fact, Hanzo, the main “hero” of the game, plays exactly like Ryu from Street Fighter II. So, if you know your way around a Street Fighter game, you can easily pick up World Heroes and hold your own.
There is an arcade mode that has you travelling across the globe with you favorite fighter and taking on all the world heroes one by one until the final boss. It’s very standard. There is also a mode called Death Match. Here, there are hazards on the fighting field. It adds another layer to the game allowing you to knock opponents into the hazards while trying to avoid them yourself.
Since this is part of the Neo Geo Station, all the goodies of the previous games on the Station are here. You have replays of game play, the ability to save anywhere at anytime, and the best feature of the Neo Geo Station, online multiplayer.
The multiplayer is there and it works. The only problem I had with World Heroes’ multiplayer was the fact that almost no one is playing this game online. Truth be told, I don’t think that will change.
The game plays alright at times, but you can certainly feel that the game is dated. The animations are occasionally choppy, and the game just feels slower than the fighting games of this day and age. I know it’s nitpicking, but this could very well turn off a lot of players. The character selection is sparse, and too many of the characters play too similarly, and with only 3 buttons, you’re very limited on what you can do.
For $8.99, World Heroes will be a somewhat steep price for such a minimal game. Yes, the game does work, and yes, the online is there with almost no lag at all, but unless you have a friend that will play the game with you, you’re going to have a hard time trying to find an online match. Fighting games can only go so far with arcade mode. If you’re a really big fan of the World Heroes, you’ll get what you were looking for. The casual fighting game players, on the other hand, may want to pass on this one; it’s mainly for the collectors.
Review copy provided by publisher.