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Fu'un Super Combo (NeoGeo Online Collection v.8)
  opened by paleface at 19:26:20 12/18/07  
  last modified by paleface at 20:19:24 12/18/07  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN]
Like the other volumes in the NeoGeo Online Collection series, Fu'un Super Combo is a compilation of perfect Neo*Geo arcade ports, with an optional remixed sound track, sprite edits, training mode, in-game move lists, and online support (in Japan). Fu'un has just two games, but they're some of the best and least ported in the Online Collection series so far: Fu'un Mokushiroku (aka Savage Reign), and Fu'un Super Tag Battle (aka Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle).
Although they're both fighting games, and share some of the same characters, and most of the same controls, the two are actually quite different. Mokushiroku has a multi-level platform system, where the D button lets you jump up or drop down to different levels of the stage. You can attack across these levels either with D, or by throwing your hand-to-hand weapon. You also have the usual assortment of hand-to-hand attacks, but with the multiple levels thrown in, strategy is very different than the usual fighting game.
Super Tag Battle plays more like a traditional fighting game; the multiple level stages are gone, replaced by a "tag zone," whereby pressing D while standing in a certain colored square on your half of the screen will swap you to a second character. The match ends when any of the four characters is killed, so if the character you're using is running low on health, you have to get back to your square and tag out (assuming your other character has more health) if you want to have a chance of surviving. This isn't particularly difficult; there's no real way to "defend" the enemy's tag square. Super Tag Battle doesn't let you throw your weapon, either, but there are button combinations for dodging.
Mokushiroku's system feels fresher and more fun to me; with Super Tag Battle they went with a more traditional, and darker feel. Where Mokushiroku's poster girl was a blond ballerina with a pink bouncing ball as her weapon, Super Tag Battle's is a dark punk chick with a katana and baggy jeans. Still, STB kept most of the original cast, who aside from the main character, Hayate, are mostly goofy in their own ways; I'm particularly fond of the big pot-bellied policeman.
These games came along relatively late in the Neo*Geo's mainstream life, and benefit from large, richly colored sprites, busy, multi-layer backgrounds, fairly smooth character animation, and quality artwork throughout. Mokushiroku has a brighter, more rounded, cartoonish look, while STB got bigger, darker, and more rugged. Both have very responsive control and decent difficulty curves, and are fun to play, even against the CPU.
· Bakumatsu Roman: Gekka no Kenshi 1-2 (NeoGeo Online Collection v.2) (PS2)
· Garou Densetsu Battle Archives 1 (NeoGeo Online Collection v.5) (PS2)
· Garou Densetsu Battle Archives 2 (NeoGeo Online Collection v.6) (PS2)
· The King of Fighters Orochi Comp. (NeoGeo Online Collection v.3) (PS2)
· Ryuuko no Ken: Ten-Chi-Jin (NeoGeo Online Collection v.4) (PS2)
· Samurai Shodown Anthology (PS2)
· Sunsoft Collection (NeoGeo Online Collection v.11) (PS2)
· World Heroes Gorgeous (NeoGeo Online Collection v.9) (PS2)

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