Playing SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has brought up so many issues for me, and all for one particular reason. A reason that has resulted in sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and stress. An issue so important that I felt it necessary to address it at the beginning of the review. That issue?
Oh lorth, just thinking about it brings agony. Agony because the waifu choices are all sooo… gooood. This wouldn’t be such a problem if I wasn’t a man of strict adherence to the rules.
And as the rules state: There must only be one waifu per media, and all other waifu candidates in said media shall be proclaimed to be inferior to her.
~the good book; chapter 3, verse 9
In keeping with the rules, I’ve chosen for the ‘BEST GIRL’, Mian.
The game has 13 other playable characters and one non-playable boss character. Each of the 14 female characters has her own unique look, and style of that fits perfectly with this type of game. The developer took numerous SNK characters and loosely re-imagined them for the game. There is no in game ways to learn much about the girls, though you can find character descriptions for each of them on the game’s website.
This rooster may seem small, but it makes for a solid amount of characters, and each has multiple ways of being customized. Each character has 3 possible outfits which each act as a base skin. They can then be further customized via the use of even more customization items and colour swaps. Oh and guess what? None of this is DLC. All unlockable by earning in game currency from playing the game. Currency which you receive in reasonable quantities throughout.
Remember how I went ham on Blazblue cross tag battle in its review for its DLC practices? Well this is a fine example of how to do DLC. The game does have announced DLC pre-release, but its not a bloody color swap or character that’s already in the game. The DLC character is an additional character from an obscure Square Enix mobile title. She’s the definition of DLC. She’s not necessary for the title, not a character from either the developer or publisher, so you know they’re paying to licence her, and she cute too… (Whisper waifu)
The main plot is a shallow one with only 7 stages which include the boss battle. This is a forgettable plot serving no real purpose other than as a means to get more credit for purchasing new outfits. The plot is the same no matter which combination of characters you use, only differing with the intro and closing cut scenes slightly. Playing with certain character combinations get you special end cards picture gallery, but nothing more. This game is a multiplayer title more than anything else, with its single player additions like the campaign, and survival padding out the experience. It’s almost like they had check boxes to tick and nothing more. I would have liked more unique storylines per character with differing end bossing, and maybe a bit more single player content, but should also be noted that I am not the target audience for this game.
The game is played using two characters at a time while being able to swap between them on the fly via the use of the RZ or L2 trigger. The rest of the controls are quite simple with light and heavy attacks, a dedicated block button and special attack buttons. As previously mentioned it’s all quite simple, yet no two characters seem the same. Though they may all use mostly the same button input, they are played differently enough to seem unique. Sherme for example is a grapple type character who mixes quick strikes and grabs to devastating effect. Her moveset allows for her to dominate the battle as a lot of her moves can be executed as counters to her opponent. Mui Mui on the other hand is very direct, and her relentless attacks can keep almost any opponent in the corner if she’s used properly.
The game does have combos, but it doesn’t play like a traditional fighter at all. It’s more akin to the likes of smash bros and brawlout with individual simplistic moves which rely on how they are chained together for their complexity. It’s also got that smash styled unpredictability thanks to random items found in floating orbs during each match. Items are used via the second joystick, and can affect both players depending on the item and how it is used. Tilting the stick in different directions will dictate where the effect of the summoned item will appear. This feature can be also switched off for those who want a more pure brawl experience.
The game lacks much in the way of modes, having only online quick matches, dedicated rooms, story, versus, survival, training, tutorial and local room matches. Local multiplayer is possible with a single switch and just two joycons, however you lose the ability to use items due to the lack of input options.
This unapologetic fan-service heavy title runs wonderfully on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. Back in February I had the opportunity to sit down and play the game with the developers on the PS4. It ran at a beautiful 60fps, but at the time they didn’t have the Switch version ready, so I assumed that they may have been having issues with getting the game to run as well on the platform. Well I worried for nothing as the the game runs perfectly at 60fps in both docked and handheld modes. It also manages to keep those gorgeous visuals while maintaining this framerate. In some situations if you look closely enough you will notice the jagged edges, but in the middle of a match you won’t have time to do that.
The only shortcoming I have with the visual is the lack of variety and flair in the backgrounds, along with some underwhelming finishing move effects. Call me hard to please, but games like injustice spoiled me with regards to finishers.
The musical score for the game is brilliant music. Simply put it’s a nice mix of Japanese pop and epic beats. This is definitely one you’re gonna want to get the OST for. The menu music is all customizable, and so are the character voices. Each character has about 4 different voice packs, again all unlockable using in game currency. These voice packs range from standard Japanese, to Engrish. There are no actual English voice packs or dialogue throughout the game.
Bravo, bravo… Finally a fighting game developer who doesn’t milk its customer for every dime they’ve got. A fighting game that is an actually full package, no matter how lackluster some of it may be. A fighting game worth its asking price and DLC worthy of consideration. NIS America, and SNK have made a package that I can easily recommend, and I’ve not even factored in the great gameplay, and adorable cast of characters into the equation. SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy may have a tad bit repetitive single player aspects, and be lacking in modes, but I’d still rate it higher than most other fighting games currently on the market.
The copy of SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy used for this review was provided to us by it’s publisher, NIS America.
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