Out of Breath
by Tibe (2012)
World Heroes 2 Jet' is the third episode of a very special saga created by ADK, born in 1992 with World Heroes, the first game. It featured eight characters like Street Fighter II, an original 'Death Match' mode and a punch/kick system using two pressure levels on the buttons. In 1993, World Heroes 2 significantly improved the game size from eighty-two to one-hundred and forty-six megabytes: the episode packed fourteen characters, an improved gameplay and a great new Death Match, even more specific. ADK is back in 1994 with this thirty-two megabits heavier version: Will the WH saga even get even? Regarding innovations, we are granted two new characters, a 1-P tournament around the world, and an improved versus mode. Nine new stages are introduced: two for the newcomers Jack and Ryofu, and seven new locations in which the tournament takes place.
Now, the player performs a serie of three battles during each day of competition. You have to win at least two on the three if you want to reach the next round, until the grand finale. It seems that ADK was somewhat inspired by The King of Fighters 94' principles, with the difference you still play one single character. The other game mode is the 'Forging of Warriors', which consists in a training against the opponents of your choice during standard two winning rounds fight. The 2-P versus now features an option that allows players to choose a fighting style: offensive, defensive, balanced or fast. The fourteen fighters' backgrounds from World Heroes 2 have been preserved and are now seen only during training or versus. The tournament takes place in arenas from various cities... and let's say that the new backgrounds are not particularly flattering. The only worth a visit is, in my opinion, Ryofu's one over the China Sea.
A majority of our fighters' sprites benefit some alterations, for example with Rasputin turning to stone when triggering his guard instead of using a light-barrier, or even some projectiles redesigned, like the hollow sharks of Captain Kidd or Erick's waves, to name a few. The animation was speeded up and the action gains some speed, but the decomposition of moves has not been reworked in consequence. Because of this, the game seems a bit less fluid than its predecessor. Another chapter, the sountrack was given a major overhaul. And indeed... we would have better kept the past one. World Heroes 2 themes have purely and simply disappeared, in favor of one and only single insipid theme used for versus and training. Melodies accompanying the tournament are mediocre, and talking about the various arrangements for presentation and intros, it's soup. The sound effects have changed much less, with only some new impact noises and voices, there's nothing special to report.
The gameplay, aside from better dynamics due to the higher speed of play, has undergone some changes we would better have skipped too. The counter-throw and counter-fireball appeared in World Heroes 2 (which were excellent innovations) have been simply removed in favor of new ones, such as the now universal dash and backdash moves, but also the simultaneous hit: when the fighters hit at the same time, they repel each other without causing damage. New combos are also featured, with a few new special moves and throws. Let's summmarize: quite insipid single player modes, unconvincing new graphics, mediocre soundtrack, "not-so-good" new characters, and above all the pure and simple deletion of the Death Match! World Heroes 2 Jet sounds a bit like a punishment... The two only good points remain the animation a bit faster and the new moves for all characters. In short, it's a bit light and reminds us that sometimes the best is the enemy of good. WH2J still stands as a good fighting game packing some fun, but turns out to be a notch below its ancestor World Heroes 2.
|Characters and backgrounds coming from WH2 stands without a doubt as what is best in this "Jet" version, with nine new stages uninteresting and some reworked details not convincing much.|
|More speedy than the previous episode... Too bad the decomposition had not been improved too.|
|Effects and musics have been changed, and frankly speaking, it's not a success. Impact and voices are just above average and themes are mediocre.|
|On the one hand there's two more characters than before (16) and a more comprehensive versus mode, but on the other hand WH2J loses the Death Match mode and features the same endings for all warriors.|
|Good ideas seen in WH2 have been replaced with mediocre ones, and many details have been fucked up. Less precise hitboxes, strange timing, unbalanced fighters... And above all, sensations and ambiance during fights are not as good as before.|
|Strong with 178 megs, World Heroes 2 Jet still doesn't stand the comparison with its predecessor. Give me back my World Heroes 2!!!|
Not too expensive, this "Jet" version of World Heroes is unfortunately not convincing: World Heroes 2 is more interesting and a bit cheaper than it. The only interest might be the two new characters.