Fatal Fury: First Contact (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 08.01.2021

Review for Fatal Fury: First Contact on Nintendo Switch

The Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection expands further with the addition of Fatal Fury: First Contact, which originally debuted on SNK's classic handheld back in 1999. It was one of the first fighters to appear on the system and its port to the Nintendo Switch is a faithful representation of the original in almost every way, as all the SNK ports have been thus far. The classic Fatal Fury charm is still present and still relevant, immortalised further by this neatly packaged homage to its humble beginnings.

Each fighter in the compact roster has a distinct flavour, from iconic series regular Terry to newcomers Li and Rick. They play very differently from each other and, as can be expected from the SNK fighting titles, have impressive depth in their move lists. The two-button system and single joystick mask a surprisingly robust kit for each character, which goes a fair distance in justifying this as a worthy title to pick up for fans of fighters new and old.

The gameplay is a fun blast from the past with responsive controls and an untameable personality despite the limited scope and available game modes. The action is beautifully animated, a feat that even today can be branded impressive given the limited pixels SNK had to work with when crafting it over two decades ago. The background art is detailed and visually arresting - it's easy to see why this title was deemed fit for a revival on Nintendo's beloved hybrid console.

Screenshot for Fatal Fury: First Contact on Nintendo Switch

There are some other nice touches as well, such as a complete scan of the original game manual, and the option for two players to play handheld by flipping the switch sideways and each taking control of a single Joy-Con. The virtual recreation of the Neo Geo Pocket Color, which takes up a life-size portion of the Switch's screen, further heightens the nostalgia factor but can be a little finicky when you attempt to use the virtual buttons to play. It's a neat idea but in a fighter where quick inputs and ease of use are essential, the Switch's native Joy-Con are the superior option.

The main factor that lets Fatal Fury: First Contact down is a stark lack of content and game modes. There isn't even a lore database for the characters, meaning those unfamiliar with the series have little incentive to jump in here unless they are keen on their fighting games. The sparse offering means that this sadly can't be recommended above the other SNK alternatives available, but it nevertheless proves that Fatal Fury's gameplay stands the test of time and justifies it being one of the forebears of modern fighting games.

Screenshot for Fatal Fury: First Contact on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While Fatal Fury: First Contact's nostalgia factor and smart fighting mechanics mean that its appearance is welcome on the Switch, it sadly doesn't offer enough content to justify spending ages of time with. Still, it's perfect for a quick bout and shines in its presentation, meaning that there's still something to appreciate and admire here - even if not for overly long.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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