Tuesday, March 13, 2012

If the Neo-Geo Pocket Color is to succeed, or at least gain a real foothold in its uphill battle against the Game Boy, it requires a library that is both large and varied. Getting large is something that will simply take time. But variation isn't something that SNK is exactly known for, and Gals Fighters definitely proves that.

Gals Fighters is an all-girl fighting tournament to determine the queen of fighters once and for all, and it mostly contains characters from other SNK titles. The character roster includes Mai, Shermie, Whip, Shiki, and Iori. Yeah, we know, Iori's a guy, but he's in disguise as Miss X, the game's boss. A good portion of these fighters have appeared in other games on the NGP, and for the most part, sprites and animation have been reused. Much like other fighters on the system, Gals Fighters has a collection of earnable items that open up as you play through the game. Here, the items do things like max out your power meter, give you an automatic win, or create other various effects.

The fighting is - you guessed it - about the same as in most of the other fighting games on the system - you can perform counters, reversals, and super combos. There is one new graphical effect that makes the game stand out a bit from the rest of the fighting games: When you finish off your opponent with a super combo, a few full-screen pictures flash, usually depicting various King of Fighters characters in different poses. Very odd, but very cool-looking too. The sound is good, and the music is about what you'd expect from a handheld SNK fighting game.

Gals Fighters isn't a bad game. Unfortunately, it also isn't an original game either, and as such, it's a little hard to recommend it to anyone but the most die-hard fan of SNK's female lineup - or anyone who has been waiting patiently to see Iori in drag. If you only own one fighting game for the system, that game should be SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium, which outmuscles Gals Fighters in every way imaginable, from character selection to game options.

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