The King of Fighters has always been a favorite of mine when it comes to the more well-known fighting game franchises, and I played the crap out of XIV when it released a few years back. When SNK announced the next game they would be working on was SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, I’ll admit that I wasn’t as hyped as I would have been had it been KoF XV, but after spending quite a bit of time playing the newest entry from the team, I can safely say fans of their work will find it plays just as beautifully as their other fighters. It’s just a shame the game is insanely shallow when it comes to offerings and keeping gamers invested. Hey, at least we have Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury fully realized as a female. Confused? Don’t worry, the game explains why.
Title: SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
Publisher: NIS America
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Reviewed On: PlayStation 4 Pro
Release Date: September 7, 2018
Game Provided By NIS America for the Purpose of This Review
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is exactly what it sounds like. A 2 v 2 fighting game featuring the heroines of SNK’s library of games. In the simplest terms, it’s best viewed as a basic arcade fighter where the sole purpose is to deplete your opponent’s health bar and then perform a finishing move to win the match. The controls are easy to learn, with special moves, abilities, and item usage requiring one button press and a corresponding directional button. There aren’t intricate button patterns or memorization needed here to pull off the more insane stuff you see in other fighting game franchises. Even the finishers are done with one button only.
The story mode introduces players to a crazed madman, who has captured all of the heroines and trapped them in a sinister mansion for his own pleasure. He feeds off of their fear, and makes them compete in 2 v 2 matches so that can become more powerful. The girls find themselves dressed in strange and revealing outfits purposely picked by the evil man, and only by defeating one another will they learn exactly what is going on. Yes, the story is insane and wacky. But it doesn’t last long. One playthrough of the story mode is over almost as soon as it begins, lasting no more than thirty minutes or so. You pick two of the fighters to begin the mode with, and then after going through six matches with the other available females, the mode ends in a boss encounter. There’s a small amount of replayability as each fighter has their own unique story content and endings, but once you’ve played through will all 14 characters, there’s little to no reason to return again.
Instead, the bulk of the game will be spent in standard arcade mode style battling locally or online against friends or random opponents. Thankfully SNK Heroines is fun to just pick up and play in small sessions, as there isn’t a lot to offer here in terms of keeping fans invested in the long run. It actually makes what Street Fighter V had initially look promising, and that’s saying a lot. There are items which can be used in the matches, and these are obtained by hitting the yellow orbs that randomly spawn throughout the match. Once you have an item, flicking the right joystick will use the item, which can stun your opponent, knock them back, or do a small amount of other effects to them.
That was my biggest complaint. While there is a survival mode which is fun for a little while, different modes and options really would have made this stand on its own legs and been a solid entry in the fighting genre. Instead, it almost feels like a cheap version of an entry in the King of Fighters franchise. And I say that with the best intentions, as SNK Heroines is truly fun to play. It’s just hard to overlook a lack of content simply because the controls are fluid and the arcade style fighting mechanics are fun when actually in a match.
Thankfully, there is a customization option to keep gamers entertained for a little while. Costumes and accessories can be unlocked using the in-game currency earned from competing in matches, going through the story mode, or by completing the tutorials. You can equip various items on the fighters and completely customize them, and then take them into matches and see your visions of them come to life. With a ton of items to unlock, completionists will definitely need to spend some time grinding out the currency to obtain them all.
The choices made by SNK to really focus on the visuals of the females and the customization options ultimately ended up hurting the overall game itself. SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is fun for a short amount of time, but once the story mode is complete for all the characters, there really isn’t much left except to keep jumping into online lobbies. It’s a shame, because at the end of the day, SNK Heroines just isn’t worth the time and money.
5.0 / 10