FATAL FURY WILD AMBITION
Written by and screenshots courtesy of SUPERNAUT
Wild Ambition is a port taken from SNK's ill received Hyper 64 board, and it's first 3D fighter to grace Sony's gray box. So what new does the 3rd dimension offer? The answer, very little. Fatal Fury has always had a pseudo 3D feel, being the first 2D fighter to offer more than one plane to kickass on, and WA continues the tradition with the ability to "side-roll" around your opponent (similar to Fighter Megamix on SS), and in the end feels just like it's 2D counterpart. The whole game has a greater affinity to Real Bout series, game controls are Real Bout style, light punch and kick, a heavy attack and 3D move.
For the most part, combos from the previous game remain the same, floating chain combos play a greater role however and the P.Power has been exchanged for Overdrive power. Overdrive power attacks are performed when your Heat Meter reaches full, but will completely clear it leaving characters vulnerable to dizziness if hit while it's empty. This move cannot be performed when your life bar is almost depleted like P.Power. Super power attacks can be perform in that event, but only a limited number of times.
At only 12 playable characters (plus 2 extra unlockable for the PSX), you may find some of your favorites didn't make the team. New features over the arcade version are team battle and data modes, Xiangfei is selectable from the beginning and 2 extra characters are unlockable, Duck King and Mr.Karate.
As with any port from a superior (Hyper 64) to inferior (PSX) hardware, certain compromises have been made. There's a small resolution drop, less animation frames and clipping around joints in the characters themselves. Sound has also taken a fall, giving a dull output to it's sharper arcade cousin. However the biggest kick in the pants is taken by the backgrounds. The Hyper version featured smooth animated pixels and a wide 3D plane to fight on, were as the PSX has dropped all animation, replaced it with a pixilated image and the 3D plane is greatly reduced. On the whole it looks untidy and quite bland to other PSX 3D fighters.
This isn't to say it's a bad game, far from it, Wild Ambition rates as my 3rd favorite FF game (MOTW being the 1st, RBFF2 the 2nd). What we have is an average port of an excellent game, get past the bland visuals and your in for a treat. I would urge those with the means to purchase the arcade version, as is always the case, it's the only way to play.
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