Players:1 - 2
Website:Art of Fighting Anthlogy
I’ve always favored the Art of Fighting games; they always had the art of fighting first and foremost before anything else. I also thought the series was unique in that it never made the main character, Ryo, game-kill on his rival Robert (unlike Capcom’s Ryu and Ken). It's too bad the series stopped after the third iteration. It would have been really interesting to see where the designers would have taken AoF (had it not turned into KoF). But pushing the arcade nostalgia aside, how well does this game fare? Are the three available titles on this all-in-one package worth the budget-price? You know the drill, keep reading to find out.
The Art of Fighting Anthology is a one-disc package of three classic games. Now some of you new-age gamers might not know the legacy behind the Art of Fighting, but it was this very series that helped fuel the original King of Fighters. Of course, KoF’s rise came out of both Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury, but we all know Ryo and the gang played a big part (especially Mr. Karate) in creating one of gaming’s most revered fighting franchises.
While the Art of Fighting series sadly went away after the remarkably animated AoF 3 in 1996 (because KoF kicked it into super high-gear in 1997, bringing about the Orochi trio), it still left a lasting flavor of appeal throughout the years. But what about the other two? What about Art of Fighting 1 and 2? Is this trio of games one good apple amongst two crummy seeds? Or is it possibly a good two out of three worth owning? Maybe three’s the charm and they all nail the lid on the coffin? Well...sadly it’s not the latter two.
Art of Fighting
The original AoF is still the same as its arcade rendition, save that you get unlimited continues and the music is arranged much better. But the AI is as redundantly ridiculous as ever. I remember playing the original AoF on the Sega Genesis and having to do a jump, hop, kick rotation to defeat Todo on the first stage. Well guess what? That same tactic still worked after recently playing the game on the AoF Anthology. The same duck, block, low-punch counter also still works for Jack Turner and pummeling Mickey into a pulp is just as easy as ever. So that’s a good thing, right? Wrong. It’s the exact same game from ages ago and sadly, the original wasn’t very fun. It's funny because around that very time the original Mortal Kombat was all the rave and deservedly so. Via comparison even now the original MK is still better than AoF...that says a lot. The clock-work gameplay of the original Art of Fighting takes away from simply enjoying the game and that hasn’t changed with its debut on the PS2.
Art of Fighting 2
Moving on...it’s time to discuss Art of Fighting 2, my second favorite in this trilogy of games. While the second AoF isn’t heavy laden with the same kind of fun-factors for the mini-games that the first AoF had – such as breaking wood or beating up a practicing dummy – Art of Fighting 2 focused more on refined gameplay. There were more characters to play and more moves to perform. The only downside is that the computer still fights like a maniac. They block nearly every attack – staying true to the arcade counterpart – and they avoid nearly every special attack thrown their way. At least, though, certain characters could be mastered and played in a variety of ways. The fighting was a lot less linear than the original AoF, and the sound and voices at least came off with crystal clear clarity. The jazz-pop soundtrack wasn’t bad either.
Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior