Fatal Fury: First Contact is the latest Neogeo Pocket Color (NGPC) fighting game to be ported to the Nintendo Switch eShop. Like The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny, Gals’ Fighters, King of Fighters R-2, and Samurai Shodown! 2, Fatal Fury is a quality fighter and the same nifty housekeeping features found in the other releases return.
Out of all the Neogeo Pocket Color fighting game ports now found on Switch, Fatal Fury: First Contact packs the smallest punch. Lacking any extra features, only having a couple of unlockables (which are difficult to earn), and having limited options, the staying power is restricted. For example, the player can only adjust matches to be completed with two or three wins, not one win like in the other games. Backgrounds contain no animations and the soundtrack is a bit lacking in comparison to the other NGPC titles. There is a meter at the bottom of the screen that grows when offensive and defensive maneuvers are performed but there are no screen clearing super moves, only power moves get a little stronger. In fact, this power meter system isn’t clearly explained in the instruction manual so players might be left scratching their heads. The control system of button taps for quick punches/kicks while holding it down for strong attacks still works well and is one of the big reasons these SNK handheld fighting games are as good as they are.
The only unique feature, besides the character roster, is having the option to select a restarting perk upon defeat. When a match is lost, the player can choose to start the next match with a full power meter, change the number of rounds, or have the opponent start with less health. It is a welcomed feature, especially for newbies of the series, but veterans could view it as cheating. This, in combination of the built-in rewind feature, should make it easier to cheese your way through each match, if desired.
The same quality of life features are present here with two player VS mode available on a single system being a highlight. There are also numerous border options, a screen zooming feature, the rewind option, and a high res scan of the original instruction manual, typos and all, is viewable at any time.
Fatal Fury: First Contact plays well and am super happy it has made its way onto Switch but the lack of any significant extras and smaller character roster makes this the most limited of the Neogeo Pocket Color Switch ports. Fatal Fury fans should appreciate this handheld spinoff, or Smash Bros Ultimate DLC buyers might want to check out Terry’s other appearance, but curious NGPC fans are probably better off checking out one of the other SNK ports instead. That, or waiting for the elusive SNK Vs Capcom: The Match of the Millennium to join the roster of Switch releases.
Not As Good As: Most other SNK fighters on the NGPC
Better Than: Many other handheld fighting games
Also Try: playing 2-player from one cart when playing Street Fighter II on Super Gameboy