Nintendo Switch doesn’t have any official Virtual Consoles (if you don’t count the NES and SNES apps you get with your Nintendo Online memberships). But that doesn’t mean there aren’t places to get your old-school fix. The NES and SNES apps are great, but if you’re looking for stuff beyond what Nintendo cherry-picks to put in the app, there are a few places to go. Fatal Fury First Contact is definitely one of them, and it may be just the taste of Neo Geo nostalgia that some are looking for.
I was, but I know many gamers these days were not alive and gaming in the 1990s. Even if you were, most didn’t know much about the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which was in direct competition with Gameboy. It was a powerful little system, but it just couldn’t quite compete with the Gameboy Color, but if you wanted a solid arcade-style fighting game on the go in 1999, Fatal Fury was a good choice to go with.
Playing this now two-decades-old title on my Switch felt awkward at first, but I have felt that way about other retro games on the console. You’re not just seeing the gameplay, but the screen is filled with an image of the Neo Geo Pocket Color as if you were holding one in front of you. This can make the actual game screen a little small, but don’t worry. You are able to zoom in and out to your liking.
Fatal Fury is a standard 2D fighting game, with little extras compared to modern titles, Which, considering the advances in the last 22 years, is no surprise. There are eleven fighters in total, which includes a fairly recent addition to Super Smash Bros. DLC Fighter: Terry Bogard. There’s nothing really complicated about the controls, and as with many titles from yesteryear, button-mashing is a viable option here for those uncoordinated folks. But lets’ say you don’t want to just button mash, and you actually want to learn the fighters' moves. Sure, you could go and look it up online, but that’s for amateurs. Instead, each Neo Geo Pocket Color ports include the original game menu. Accessible from the menu, “flipping” through these manuals lets you access the button inputs for fighters' special moves and other information about the game.
This game is great for a quick pick-up and play, especially if you are really into retro 2D games. But that seems to be a niche market these days. Still, I am glad to see that someone is paying attention to us out there and are bringing games like Fatal Fury to market. And for some, we couldn’t be happier. It’s not without its flaws, but what game isn’t these days?