A good fighting game that both newcomers to the genre and longtime fighting gamers can enjoy are hard to come by. Most fighting games are designed for the fighting genre audience, with a lot of practice needed to understand its hit boxes and correct combos. SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is surprisingly a game that is incredibly simple to learn, making it a easy start for people interested in the fighting genre. The mere look of the game might turn some people away; however, don’t ignore this game. If you’ve always wanted in on fighting games and didn’t know where to start, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy may be the best place.
SNK Heriones: Tag Team Frenzy is a unique game because of its simple gameplay. Unlike other fighting games like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, which can require learning complex combo moves to beat opponents, SNK Heroines pulls everything back. Press “Y” for a weak hit, “X” for a strong hit, “B” to throw, and “A” to do some sort of character-specific move. That’s it, simple enough. Like its title suggests, each battle is a tag team, meaning you’ll have multiple fighters available to you during each match. This makes for a very simple fighting match that allows you to jump from character to character easily.
One of the things that might turn people away immediately from SNK Heroines is the way it looks, specifically its oversexualized female characters. However, SNK Heroines makes fun of itself. The game knows it’s oversexualized, with characters in-game constantly making reference to how over the top they are. This helps make the game seem less creepy. It’s aware of how weird the game and the characters look and plays off that. Besides the girls’ actual looks, the game itself looks good. SNK wasn’t trying for a more realistic graphical look (say, like Mortal Kombat X) but rather a bright, anime-style game. I got to play the game on Nintendo Switch and can say that the game looks a lot better in docked mode than portable. That’s not to say portable mode isn’t good looking, it’s just that the blurs on details in the background or fuzziness around the characters are a bit more noticeable.
One of things I greatly appreciated about SNK Heroines was its simple approach to fighting. There are only 4 buttons that can be pressed during a match, and it doesn’t take you long to learn how each fighter works. This makes the game great for people new to the fighting genre. What makes things interesting for those who have been fighting fans for some time is how to end each match. Unlike most other fighting games where the point is to get your opponent’s health down to zero, SNK Heroines takes a different approach. After getting your opponent’s health down, you have to do a “Dream Finisher” in the fight’s Final Faze. A “Dream Finisher” is an ultimate move that knocks out your opponent. Failure to land the move results in the match continuing and the opponent gaining some health back. Plus, remember, an opponent can call in their other team member, giving you an opponent with a full health bar to start beating down again. It makes you think about the moves you make and, ultimately, when to finish the match.
That said, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has its issues. For starters, the game has a Story Mode, which in almost every fighting game isn’t great, and this trend is no different in SNK Heroines. The story is very silly and irrelevant. It brings together some of SNK’s franchises in one place and has unique character interactions/cutscenes that longtime SNK fans may like. However, the story doesn’t really add much to the game as there are few cutscenes, and it’s mainly just fight, after fight, after fight. You also can’t save your story mode progress, which was really annoying. If you start Story Mode, you have to make it to the end; otherwise, you have to start from the very beginning. There are also unlockables in this game that are supposed to be tied to the Story Mode. Complete this part of the story, get these rewards. However, this isn’t quite the case. You can easily unlock everything in the game, including Story Mode cutscenes, in the main menu with gold (you get those for each fight). This makes playing Story Mode even more irrelevant as you can get everything you want without ever having to go in that mode.
The game also offers other modes too, like a Tutorial, Customization, and Online/Local play mode. I didn’t get a chance to play online because the servers weren’t running when preparing this review; however, local play works well. The Tutorial mode teaches you the basics of the game, but because the game isn’t very hard to learn from the start, the mode is not really necessary. Customization mode simply lets you customize how the characters look in a match; again, nothing too special in this mode. That brings me to the main point about SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy: It’s a good game but one that doesn’t have a lot to keep you coming back for more. After finishing Story Mode, playing around with the various other modes, and using gold to unlock different outfits and voices in the game, I don’t really feel the need to play the game again. It’s a good fighting experience but one that I didn’t fall in love with. Maybe once online is turned on and I can play against other people around the world it will be a fun game to go back to from time to time. Otherwise, I feel like I’ve seen everything that SNK Heroines has to offer.
Publisher: NIS America
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4
Release Date: 7th September 2018