Alpha Denshi was responsible for releasing some of the most influential games on the Neo-Geo system during its infancy. Magician Lord, released by Alpha Denshi in 1990, was very popular in arcades. Once fighting games took center stage, though, Alpha Denshi decided to develop their own series for the Neo-Geo.
World Heroes is not necessarily the same as the original Street Fighter II. It does borrow some elements by including Ryu and Ken doubles (Hanzo and Fuuma), and while he is not the end boss, Brocken is a mixture of M.Bison and Dahlsim.
While he doesn’t have a barrel roll attack or the ability to shock his opponents, J. Carn could easily be mistaken for a Blanka double. This is where the similarities end, though.
World Heroes takes place during different time periods. A scientist has collected eight of the strongest fighters throughout history to find out who is the strongest. Eventually, the tournament is taken over by GeeGus, a shapeshifting entity that can mimic the likeness of other fighters.
World Heroes plays at a much slower pace than other fighting games from the same era. It’s also worth mentioning that chip damage does not exist, so unless you land a blow while your opponent isn’t blocking, your battles could take a turn for the worse.
Each fight is a on-on-one excursion that requires two wins to move on to the next match. It is possible – regardless of the fighter being used – to combo and dizzy your opponent. Muscle Power, despite resembling Hulk Hogan, is a powerhouse capable of dizzying his opponents easily.
By jumping in with a kick and then crouching into a series of rapid jabs, you can send your opponent into an instant dizzy. Following this up with Muscle Power’s pile driver inflects major damage. Ironically, combos were not even considered a staple in fighters when World Heroes first launched, so this feature was considered revolutionary for its time.
The combat system is simple and uses standard half-circle joystick and button combinations to execute moves. Like previous Neo-Geo releases, a command list has been included detailing the moves for each character. It can be accessed at any time during a match by pressing the select button. Unlike some Neo-Geo fighting games (i.e. The King of Fighters), World Heroes only uses three buttons. The X button kicks, Square button punches, and the Triangle button throws.
SNK-PLAYMORE has been focusing on network play with their Neo-Geo releases and World Heroes offers the same features as previous releases. Gamers looking for an online match can search for Quick Matches. If you don’t feel like waiting for an opponent, the Match Search feature allows you to play the game while it searches for competition. There is also an option to create a match and invite a friend.
World Heroes is a solid 2D fighter that has three other sequels: World Heroes 2, World Heroes Jet, and World Heroes Perfect. Hopefully, SNK-PLAYMORE will release these in the future. While World Heroes does not play like other 2D fighting games, it is definitely worth owning.
Platform: Playstation 3 (Available on PSN)
Developer: Alpha Denshi
ESRB: T (Teen)
|The 2D graphics - while not as polished as some of the later Neo-Geo fighters - still look decent.|
|While not nearly as memorable as KOF, the music and sound effects compliment the action.|
|World Heroes is a very challenging fighter.|
|If you enjoy 2D fighters, World Heroes is worth adding to your collection.|