Art of Fighting Online
Release year: 1992 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by SNK
Art of Fighting (Neo Geo)
Art of Fighting (AKA 龍虎の拳 Hepburn: Ryūko no Ken, lit. “Fist of Dragon and Tiger” in Japan) is a 2D fighting video game developed and published by SNK for the Neo Geo console in 1992 and later for other gaming systems like the SNES or Sony PS2. This is the second fighting game franchise developed by SNK. Also, it’s the first SNK fighting game featuring Shinkiro’s character designs. The game has single-player / history and versus modes, like its competitor Street Fighter 2, but there’s no survival or training mode.
In Art of Fighting, players face several challengers in two out of three matches. Each of the characters shows special techniques and a different fighting style. Players have two basic attacks, which are kicks and punches. There’s a utility button that players should press so they can switch between kicks, punches, and throws.
When the characters do special techniques, their spirit scale is depleted while their special attacks lose strength. Players can drain the spirit gauge of their opponents by provoking them. Likewise, this game featured graphical scaling when the characters are moving towards one another. The camera will zoom in to maximize the detail level.
Art of Fighting follows the struggles of Robert Garcia and Ryo Sakazaki. Ryo’s father was Takuma Sakazaki—the creator of the Kyokugen Karate discipline. Robert is a strong-willed man who came from a rich Italian family. Takuma was perceived as the modern Jeff Bogard. He was the adoptive father of the main heroes in Fatal Fury—Andy and Terry Bogard.
The game’s graphics is, well, sufficient. Although its characters and their zoom portraits are perfectly made, the rest aren’t that clear. The screen shrinks when the players move apart from their opponents. Although it reproduces the scaling of the Arcade mode, it can also make the images grainy. Even the minor damages don’t show on the characters’ faces anymore.
The core button commands are kept limited to kick, punch, throw, and taunt. But, the taunt button does manage to add thrill to the game. Players can use it to sap their opponents’ spirit scale, which in turn lessens the strength of their attacks.
Art of Fighting is a great game, even though it doesn’t have the best visuals. It came with several notable features which turned out crucial in the overall growth of SNK as a game developer. Without any doubt, it is one of the best fighting video games ever!
Art of Fighting game has been ported to Arcade, Neo Geo AES (this version), Neo-Geo CD, SNES, Mega Drive / Genesis, PC Engine CD, PlayStation 2, and Wii (Virtual Console).