Monday, June 04, 2007
Asuka 120% Burning Fest. Ltd.
Why there are so many anime-fueled fighting games on Saturn is beyond me, but here's one of the better ones. Asuka 120% Burning Festival is a long-running series on a number of consoles back to FM Towns and PC Engine, up to this Saturn incarnation and later appearances on Playstation. If you're familiar with 2D fighters like Guilty Gear, then you'll be at home with Asuka 120%.
Oh, and don't ask me what the title means. I have no bloody clue, and I suspect the Japanese couldn't explain it either. It's Japan, it's goofy, you know that.
The game is pretty simple, with two buttons for punch and one for kick, but don't be fooled into thinking the gameplay is simple. This is a surprisingly combo-heavy game, on par with the Guilty Gear series of recent years, and it's pretty easy to pull off. The designers at Fill in Cafe/Family Soft really racked their brains to come up with some good material that fits within Asuka's high school setting.
I really enjoy the graphics, which are large and detailed and packed with color. The backgrounds could have used some more animation, but that's being picky, really. Also, wouldn't ya know it, I'm spoiled by all the quality Saturn fighters from Japan. It has that bright, bold arcade look that appeals to me, more so than a lot of the other fighters. That's just me.
One of the real tricks when digging through import games is to find those real gems that lie just off the beaten path. The 2D fighting genre was pretty much overloaded on Capcom and SNK fighters, which made it a real pain for anyone else who wanted to fit in. It's nice to find a few good ones that aren't already onto the twelfth sequel.
Here's an excellent gameplay video from YouTube. Give it a spin and see what it does for you: