SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy
Gameplay 7
Graphics 7
Sound 7

Don’t approach SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy expecting an indepth move list and longevity. Instead, it is a very newcomer-friendly brawler with a firm emphasis on fan service. The customization options are nice, but not as extensive as we would have liked and the story mode is unlikely to keep players hooked for very long. The game is undeniably fun, especially if you don’t have the time to practice endlessly just to become proficient with certain characters, but sadly this also means that you’ll tire of it quite soon.

Gameplay: Very newcomer-friendly, but can’t hold a candle to some of the bigger titles available.

Graphics: Characters look great and the outfits are eye-catching, but the backgrounds could have been much better.

Sound: Nothing remarkable about the music, but the Japanese voice acting is very fitting

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SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy

Developer: SNK CORPORATION, Abstraction Games | Publisher: SNK CORPORATION | Release Date: 2019 | Genre: Action / Beat ‘Em Up | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

SNK already has a host of successful fighting game franchises in their roster, with titles like King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Shodown. However, SNK Heroines as the title suggests is somewhat different from their other games. Instead of featuring the usual diverse assortment of brawlers, this one is all about the ladies. What SNK has done is take some of the most iconic women from the various franchises and brought them together thanks to one of the flimsiest excuses ever. Apparently, the villainous Kukri has trapped all the girls in some type of pocket dimension where he plans on exploiting their shame and fear for his own evil benefit. This means that all of the girls have ended up with some type of skimpy outfit and there are security cameras everywhere so that Kukri can ogle them.

There are already more than enough technical fighting games out on the market that require players to memorize an encyclopedia size move-list before they are able to play competitively, so we definitely can’t fault SNK Heroines for trying to keep things simple. Along with the wafer-thin storyline, the game also features a fighting system that is about as casual friendly as you can get. The game makes use of one button for weak attacks, one for strong attacks, one for throws, and another for blocking. Blocks are effective against everything except throws, but can also be broken if you rely on them too much. It is an extremely simple system and doesn’t even feature crouching or require any type of directional inputs for special moves. While the fighting system is very newcomer-friendly, you can also pull off more advanced moves, such as dashes, air dashes, throw breaks, evasions, and recoveries after spending some time with the game. All of these moves and more are explained in the tutorial section, which is very useful for newcomers to the genre.

Although the game features “Tag Team Frenzy” in the title, don’t expect any type of assist attacks from the partner you choose. In fact, both characters on your team share the same life gauge, so the only reason to tag in a partner is that they each have their own spirit gauges. These spirit gauges are what powers your special moves and sending a character to the sidelines allows them to recover their spirit gauge much quicker than the active character. Interestingly enough, attempting a special move when the spirit gauge is too depleted will result in a powered-down version of the move. The most important reason to keep your spirit gauge full is the special “Dream Finish” special move that can be pulled off with the tap of a button.

In addition to looking very cinematic, these moves are the only way to win a match. Instead of automatic victory when you reduce your opponent’s life bar, it instead makes them vulnerable to this special move. Connect with the move and you win the match, but if your opponent manages to block or evade it, then you have to keep trying. This means that it is possible to pull off some incredible comebacks and the final seconds of each match are usually the tensest.

One other unique feature of the SNK Heroines fighting system is the inclusion of special items that can be used during matches. These items fall into support, attack, and special categories, so using them at the right time can make things easier for yourself or harder for your opponent. You’ll be able to pull off anything from spawning a wall between you and your opponent to poisoning them, causing a landmine or spring trap to appear behind them, and even summoning a tornado. You can adjust the frequency of these items or turn them off altogether if you find them to be too much of a nuisance. Overall, the items and their wacky effects fit the goofy style of the game and can make matches more exciting and unpredictable when playing against friends.

Visually, SNK Heroines is a very bright and colorful game and it features 3D characters, although the actual fighting takes place on a strictly 2D plane. The number of characters on offer is not quite as extensive as in other fighting games, but each one of the girls looks very unique and also comes with three very different outfits that they can wear. Most of the characters are from the King of Fighters franchise, so you have Mai, Kula Diamond, Leona Heidern, Shermie, and even a gender-swapped version of Terry Bogard. The rest of the cast includes Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown, as well as Yuri Sakazaki from Art of Fighting. Virtually all of the girl’s outfits are very fanservice-oriented, so if you ever wanted to see what Mai Shiranui looks like in a cow print bikini, then your prayers have been answered.

If you want to make use of the two secondary outfits for each girl, you will need to purchase them first using the in-game currency the game rewards you with. These coins are easy enough to come by and can also be used to buy more than 150 different accessories for the girls. Don’t get too excited by these accessories, though, as they are mostly some silly items such as clown noses, butterfly wings, glasses, animal ears, and more that can be tacked on to the costumes. They appear to be designed to make the girls look as goofy as possible, which is a fit for the story we suppose. Once you have outfitted your favorite character with the most revealing or silliest outfit you can then select from a number of poses and backgrounds while taking photos of them. Some of the poses are a little sketchy, to say the least, and a few of the backgrounds on offer had us laughing out loud, so the game is definitely not lacking in novelty. One area where the visuals are a bit lacking is the stage backgrounds as there are only a few available and most of them look so similar that initially, we thought all the battles took place in the same room.

The “Story” mode is also a bit of a disappointment, as it is basically just a normal Arcade mode with a few dialog scenes scattered throughout. There is the novelty of pairing up the girls as they will have different things to say depending on who their partner is. However, these exchanges can also be purchased using the coins, so you don’t have to try out every single combination to see everything. As we mentioned earlier, the so-called plot is as flimsy as can be and while the main villain is certainly entertaining in his own perverted way, we weren’t exactly on the edge of our seats to see what happens next. Completing the final boss results in a few images that are shown while the credits play, but most of these involve the girls waking up from the pocket dimension and doing something goofy in the “real” world.

Apart from Story mode, there is the obligatory versus mode, where you can take on an offline friend, and a Survival mode where you fight a succession of CPU fighters that become more proficient the longer you last. The game also has a training mode where you can practice your moves against some CPU training dummies. Finally, there is the online mode where you can test your mettle against some real opponents, although it doesn’t look like the game has a very big online community, which made it difficult to find matches.

In terms of audio, we don’t have much to say about the music as none of the tunes are particularly memorable. The game features full Japanese voice acting for all the characters and this is honestly a better match for the absurd story than what English voice-overs would have been. You can also customize all of the characters by choosing between four different voices for each of them. The controls are very simple, especially compared to most other fighting games, but using a decent controller is still the best way to play the game.

It’s hard to be too harsh on SNK Heroines as the game never pretends to be anything more than a lighthearted, fanservice-oriented fighting game with casual gameplay. The lack of depth means that it is not something that is going to keep you coming back for more, but it is certainly fun while it lasts, provided you have some friends to join in. Thankfully, due to how newcomer-friendly the game is, it should be a little easier to convince those who are not necessarily fans of fighting games to join in, but good luck explaining the fanservice-oriented outfits to them!

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4160 @ 3.40GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 480, Intel® HD Graphics 4400, ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 series, or better. OpenGL 4.3 required.
  • Storage: 16 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Compatible with XInput and DirectInput USB devices including gamepads and arcade sticks based on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and DualShock controllers.
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: WINDOWS® 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-BIT Required)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4670 @ 3.40GHz
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 950 or better
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 16 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Compatible with XInput and DirectInput USB devices including gamepads and arcade sticks based on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and DualShock controllers.

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