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Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  PS4FightingNA  
  opened by paleface at 22:36:36 10/17/20  
  last modified by paleface at 19:24:59 02/17/22  
  paleface [sys=PS4; cat=Fighting; loc=NA]
           
Download added: garou_intro.jpg (68514 bytes)
  "The graphically slick second original NEOGEO intro, which you only get to here after ending a game."
 
Emulated port by Code Mystics whose otherwise slick front-end is marred by some glaring errors and mystifying UI decisions. Typos in move lists, and for instance watch out that the "Flash" and "Demo Cut" option settings are the opposite of what they are in every other edition of SNK fighting games: here, bizarrely, you turn Flash to "On" to turn the full-screen flashing VFX from super moves and the like *off*, and you turn "Demo Cut" "On" to *not* cut out win screens, cinematic preludes, and stage intros. Sheesh!
 
Pixel-perfect scaling leaves the graphics sharp, sounds seems good--no AST option, alas, but then, Code Mystics pretty much does straight emulation, for the most part. There are (clunky) pause screen move lists, and online, but the online doesn't have the rollback net code option Code Mystics has experimented with in some of their other offerings--it's still all delay based, as far as I can see from the setup and options screens.
 
Controls seem responsive; if this is like other Code Mystics emulated ports I've checked in the past, it may have just about maybe 1 additional frame of delay over the arcade version, not too bad. (But note that I haven't bothered to test this even on my very rough testing scheme, so no promises. :p)
 
  paleface 00:14:19 10/18/20
           

 
 
  paleface 19:32:18 12/02/20
           

 
I've never really felt like I grasped Rock's move set, and I particularly detest the counter move and dash-in move on his Kick buttons; differences in his Light and Heavy moves also make me detest, in general, the way Garou differentiates between the two more than necessary; for instance, why not let a H move activate your S Super (the weaker one) when you only have S-level meter, instead of restricting it to the L button only? (And, separately, why do motion command inputs seem so strict, really prohibiting any corner-cutting, for instance? Is that how Garou works--man do I need to get the interlaced PS2 version?--or is that PS4 version devs Code Mystics' doing?)
 
But anyway, necessity in this play-through eventually drove me to found that, quite unusually for a fighting game, Rock's jumping Heavy Punch can combo into standing Heavy Punch. This led me to find all sorts of sort of unusual combos from jumping Heavy Punch; for instance,
 
Rock can do
jHP,HP
or even
jHP,HP,qcbHP
but not
jHP,qcbHP
or you can
jHP,LP,HP
or
jHP,LP,LP
but not
jHP,LP,LP,HP
oh and you can combo supers off jHP too
 
So, I at least feel like I have an angle of attack on the AI (particularly Grant) with Rock, now, whereas before I was literally flailing with him: I was doing better futilely trying to execute his 360+HP throw, and accidentally hitting with all the other HP moves that were coming out instead, than I was trying to do other moves on purpose. : P Less flaily now, woo.
 
Oh and Rock's colors:
 
LP = red jacket
LK = blue jacket
HP = green jacket
HK = purple jacket, kinda weird hair
 
And, it was a chance to remind myself that I really like Garou's Survival mode. Most Survival modes feel grindingly fatalistic to me as successive battles inevitably chip away at my tiny allotment of life points until I die at about the same spot each time. By introducing random powerups, popped out of the opponent by your blows--and even power-down powerups, and the opponent can grab any of them, too--hilarious when they bump into the Life-down ones! ^_^--SNK introduced uncertainty into the mix, forcing you to adopt different tactics depending on the available resources: do I need to guard my life most zealously, for instance, or go for risky but more quickly damaging moves because I'm low on Time points? It feels gamey but sometimes in a game...that's good. : D
 
  paleface 23:47:57 04/22/21
           
Playing Survival mode in Garou: Mark of the Wolves on PS4 with various characters mostly from the right-hand side of the character select screen (since I did the left-hand side in episode 338: https://youtu.be/G1TLi4AjXEQ ), starting out on easy 1 difficulty but then switching to the default 4 difficulty because the game doesn't seem to track local high scores and says it will only let me post scores to the online leaderboards if I have the game options at the default settings; "Game Options" includes the "Flash" setting which by default is set "ON" which seems awful but I forgot that's actually Code Mystics backwards-speak for "Off," which is kind of unusual anyway since SNK's "Flash" setting almost always defaulted on being on in KOF (it looks like it may have defaulted to Off in the PS2 Garou though: https://youtu.be/j4n_KDGsga4?t=233 ); also, I'm not sure I even understand the Survival online leaderboard because the scores at the top of the list seem to have lower play times than the lower-down scores, and isn't the point to survive for the longest time? Did they get the leaderboard backwards too?
 

 
0:00 - start
1:03 - Tizoc Survival run 1 (Diff. 1)
5:39 - Tizoc Survival run 2 (Diff. 1)
12:39 - Tizoc Survival run 3 (Diff. 1)
18:49 - Ranking -- low Survival times on top??
20:15 - Tizoc Survival run 4 (Diff. 1)
27:35 - Options confusion (Flash "On" = off???)
33:10 - B.Jenet Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
41:56 - Flash "On" Jenet Story test
47:45 - Flash "Off" - FLASHY!!! x_x Jenet Story test
49:24 - Okay, default Game Options (Diff. 4, Flash "On")
50:02 - B.Jenet Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
53:42 - Gato Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
58:38 - Gato Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
1:08:41 - Terry Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
1:14:47 - Terry Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
1:18:13 - Terry Survival run 3 (Diff. 4)
1:25:51 - Kim Jae Hoon Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
1:29:04 - Kim Jae Hoon Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
1:34:43 - Kim Jae Hoon Survival run 3 (Diff. 4)
1:42:48 - Kim Dong Hwan Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
1:45:45 - Kim Dong Hwan Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
1:51:15 - Kim Dong Hwan Survival run 3 (Diff. 4)
1:55:33 - Grant Survival run 1 (Diff. 4)
2:01:16 - Grant Survival run 2 (Diff. 4)
2:04:06 - Grant Survival run 3 (Diff. 4)
2:11:05 - wrap-up & what's next!
 
Flash (set bizarrely to "Off") gives a white screen flash on each hit during a super. There's always a 50%(?) black screen flash on Counter Hit and T.O.P. In, no matter what Flash is set to.
 
Garou seems unnecessarily technical in some ways--have to hit the light attack buttons to do a light super even if you don't have the meter to do a heavy super, for instance; and some character moves just seem weirdly difficult for no particular reason; also inputs, at least in this version, are a little more strict than they are for, say, KOF 2000 on my NEOGEO MVS--and that tends to scare me off a bit, but once again I find myself kind of getting into it anyway eventually, and two hours+ shoots by before I know it. : o I suppose I find the random powerups in Survival always give me hope of squeaking out of the most dire situations; will that win out against the feeling that it's all down to luck of the draw, like getting a single Time powerup that completely refills the timer just as it was about to run out? And the frustration of the game not appearing to track my Survival high scores in any meaningful way?
 
Oh and the big technical no-no SNK did in not letting you even get a chance to fight the final boss and get the story ending for your character unless you average an AAA rating for all your matches. ; PPP I mean, they put so much into the story scenes and they're some of the best in fighting games, but you don't even get a chance to see them unless you rate quite highly. Ugh well I suppose that makes some sense for an arcade game to keep its mystique... For home versions though it means the game is just telling you to set it to lowest difficulty and cheese your way through if you want the goods.
 
  paleface 03:33:23 04/24/21
           
Game sound level should be less overwhelming this time. : )
 
Playing the Survival mode of Garou: Mark of the Wolves on PS4, default Game Options (difficulty 4 of 8), with various characters:
 

 
0:00 - start, confusion about scores*
1:40 - Kain R. Heinlein
17:02 - Rock Howard
32:59 - Kevin Rian
35:26 - Hokutomaru
38:59 - Khushnood Butt
48:49 - Kim Dong Hwan
1:06:10 - wrap-up & what's next!
 
*I asked the company who made the port, Code Mystics, about high scores and they tweeted back! : ) https://twitter.com/CodeMystics/status/1385673849610461184 "Survival mode time is how much time it takes to complete all matches. The lower times are better, but the time will not be reported unless you win the final match." Ohh! So apparently you have to beat the whole cast; the internet tells me it's 14 matches.
 
I got to stage 10 with Butt! : D I like his light green and mauve color (select him with Heavy Kick)--and of course Dong Hwan's pink gi with frosted hair (also Heavy Kick) is the bestest! He's such a happy character. ^_^
 
I liked Kain more than I thought I would, too! Didn't expect him to just have three charge moves as his specials; I don't like charge moves so that lets me focus on his normal moves--and his kick super, that fun bouncing energy ball. : D
 
  paleface 19:24:59 02/17/22
           
Garou's (1999) second intro--shown in the thumbnail of the topmost embedded video on this page--looks to be fairly obviously inspired by Cowboy Bebop's (1998) intro sequence--which itself was a retro throwback to movie intro sequences going at least as far back as the James Bond stuff.
    
 
references:
· Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves (DC)
· Garou Densetsu Battle Archives 1 (NeoGeo Online Collection v.5) (PS2)
· Garou Densetsu Battle Archives 2 (NeoGeo Online Collection v.6) (PS2)
· Garou: Mark of the Wolves (DC)
· The King of Fighters '97 Global Match (PS4)
· The Last Blade 2 (PS4)
· Real Bout Fatal Fury (PS1)
· Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special - Dominated Mind (PS1)

 
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