Eight warriors and a mad scientist
by Tibe (2011)
Eight incredible warriors and a scientist gone mad, this is - for real -the explosive cocktail chosen by Alpha Denshi for their very first VS fighting game: World Heroes! The title was released in 1992 in the arcades, a few months next to Street Fighter II, entering directly in competition with it... For sure, this production is inspired by Capcom's one, yes, but some new ideas and a typical gameplay are featured! The game packs an original and varied roster, allowing to escape from the already overseen things in this domain. World Heroes is, in my humble opinion, a quite misunderstood and underestimated title. Characters are often criticized for their lack of charisma, and the gameplay for its plainness . However, this game is full of qualities and deserves attention. If it had been released before Capcom's hit, the picture would have been very different. But World Heroes arrived in 1992, and the competition was already fierce.
A roster packing no less than eight characters, this is the same number as in Street Fighter II! Not bad, but in 1992 this number became the standard among any other fighting game, copying SFII standards. Beyond that, the game proposes a fun and comprehensive gameplay, and some innovative ideas. World Heroes features a few combos for each warrior, simple to perform, but varied enough. Special moves are a source of satisfaction too, with two or three per character, while the basic controls remain simple: A button is used for punches, B for the kicks, and C for the throws. Depending on the pressure you exert on the buttons, the blows will be rapid or powerful (two power levels for each). World Heroes includes a normal fighting mode, with two-rounds over three for a win as usual, but also a "Death Match" mode, much more original. It contains the same ingredients, but the fight takes place in a ring or an arena with traps. The stages can be used as weapons! Sharp peaks, flaming ring, electrified ropes, and there's even the 'skinhead deathmatch'...
Nice variation to the traditional world tour, the Death Match has its very unique charm and provides some variety to the events. So, let's summarize: various characters (eight selectable, nine total), combos and special moves, two different battle modes... Nice, now we have to see what WH has more to offer! The game's realization was quite a blow back in the 16-bit era. The graphics are still nice and have some beautiful and varied backgrounds, with characters well drawn and big-sized. The animation, it's just making par. If the attacks and combos are fast enough, characters moves are a bit slow, and seeing them jumping makes you feel they're fighting on the moon! But let's not stop to this, as many other games from this era had such bizzare gravity, for the game has other great qualities. For example, the ground is animated in "3D", as seen before in Street Fighter II for example: great work! Other detail, elements of the stages like barrels, drums, jugs, can be broken. Two bonus games also punctuacte the eight fights, and that's pretty cool!
This said, we have to say that yes, we are accustomed to faster gameplays, and Fatal Fury 2 or Street Fighter II' released the same year in the arcades were way more dynamic. On the musics and sound effects side, we can't deny the style is simplistic, but still efficient. World Heroes had a realization that was part of the best arcade games in its time, but still far from fully exploiting the Neo Geo capacities. Ok, the sprites are smaller than in Art of Fighting, the characters less charismatic and nervous than in Fatal Fury... World Heroes is certainly not the best, but above than average in every domain! Finally, when playing it nowadays, we can see that the game had its own personality, a competitive realization back in 92, and such a fun gameplay with its death matches and combos. Attacks are performed easily, and players quickly have fun with our heroes. The soft lacks a little depth, eight characters and a boss, it's not the biggest roster we've ever seen, for sure. Without being grandiose, World Heroes is still one of the great fighting games of its generation.
|Good looking and varied, WH graphics are successful; stages are alive and characters well drawn and big.|
|Without standing as a benchmark, the game's animation is still making par. Moves are a little slow, but action is decently decomposed and 3-D scrollings for the ground is nice.|
|Original sountrack, good impact sensations, but melodies that are not particularly catchy and few vocals for a Neo Geo game.|
|Eight selectable characters, it's in 1992's standards. There's one only Boss to beat, but warriors have many moves and combos to discover. And let's not forget the legendary death matches!|
|Combos, special moves... Quite basic, the gameplay is not innovating much but controls are responding perfectly.|
|Standing as one of the VS fighting pioneers on the Neo Geo, World Heroes is not THE benchmark back in 92', but still a nice game full of qualities and fun.|
VALUE FOR MONEY (2011)
Alpha Denshi's pioneer versus fighting game on the Neo is generally sold between thirty and forty euros. It's a pretty good deal, however for the same price, players should better go for World Heroes 2, which is better than this one.