Real Bout Fatal Fury was the first entry to SNK’s “Real Bout” series, and is an awesome game that deserves recognition. It’s a great game in that with one or two exceptions, every character has so much abusable BS that it all kind of evens out, creating a surprisingly balanced game. The balance comes at no sacrifice of fun, though: this game is fast and furious. The Ring Out system means that you have to be on your toes the whole match, and is executed surprisingly well. To spark some discussion and get the ball rolling for newcomers, I made a brief tier list:
Disclaimer: The terms middle/low/high etc. are very relative. You could take any of the middle tiers in this game and put them in another game and they’d rocket to top tier in a heartbeat.
Sokaku: He?s a MONSTER. THREE fireballs, two of which have full-screen range and hit low, and one of which covers the entire vertical area of the screen. A teleport move that hits overhead, can cross up, and is pretty safe. His shadow moves do tons of chip and give you a free mix-up. His demon punch has huge range, quick startup, and awesome recovery. His pursuit attack can hit from anywhere, and he has a command throw, just for kicks. No matter where you are on the screen, Sokaku can hit you without a lick of risk.
Mary: Zero recovery, insane throwing range, and has a counter for every situation. She?s probably one of the most technical characters in the game.
Terry: Power Geyser is great: quick, huge, high damage, nice chip damage, and completely safe. His Crack Shoot is at its best, and both Burn Knuckles are safe on block from just about any distance. His Power Dunk is surprisingly safe and has fantastic invincibility.
Kim: Crouch :snka: has great range, almost no pushback, and chains into his combos. High damage with or without meter, great supers, and his Hien Zan is the best it?s ever been: safe, huge range vertically and horizontally, tons of invincibility, and sends the opponent floating really slowly, almost like they?re underwater, leading to a Hien Zan x N semi-infinite.
Hon-Fu: Sky of Fire is safe, damaging, and high-priority. Good pokes, and an even better p-power: almost no startup, covers a lot of ground, and huuuge damage.
Franco: Second only to Sokaku in ring-out ability. Meteo Tackle is instant, covers huge range, and has silly frame advantage, meaning you can combo after it. Power Bicycle is a great anti-air, and his one-two is one of the fastest overheads in the game. Huge limbs means long range on his pokes.
Chonrei: Longest-range crouch :snka: in the game, Crouch :snka: x 5 into combos is too good. In combos ending with a line shift, you can cancel it into a roll and get a wicked mix-up. Solid move list, small hitbox, decent supers, and bitchin? theme music.
Billy: huge-ass range with that pole, fantastic supers: flame wheel chips and has high priority, and jumping flame wheel is an anti-air with great range, and is just one big hit, meaning that the opponent can?t fall out in the middle of it.
Geese: Nice pokes, gdlk Reppuken (though it whiffs at close range), his raisin storm is pretty quick, and his Deadly Rave is really easy to do. Great defensive character.
Joe: tornado has incredible recovery and range, he can combo a far/dash :snkc: after a tornado hit from just about anywhere. Tiger Kick is the best anti-air in the game, it even beats out the Sky of Fire (TK is hella unsafe, though.) Slush kick is good for countering pokes, and his :qcb: + :snkb: is good for closing distance.
Chonshu: Chonrei?s crouching :snka: , solid movelist, and teleports. His supers are SHIT, though.
Duck King: Great anti-air, good high-low mixup, and with an s-power he can add throws to his mixup. Hard to use effectively.
Mai: Standing :snka: is an overhead 0.0 . Flame elbow does lots and lots of chip, clone flame super has good priority and a long active time, and she has good priority all around. Doesn?t do as much damage as the rest of the cast on average, though.
Andy: Chou Reppa Dan x N infinite. Lots of moves cover tons of ground and are safe (Kuu Ha Dan, Zanei Ken), two great anti-airs, and an air-to-ground grab. Basically RBS Andy and RBS EX Andy put together.
Yamazaki: Snake Tamer is slow and only has one arc, Daggers are hard to combo into, and his guillotine can?t be comboed into. Lots of his pokes can be crouched, and he?s one of the biggest characters in the game. Now for the good: His rising attack is godly: awesome range and priority, and stops crossups cold. His guillotine has 2/3 screen range and makes a great whiff punisher. It can also ring out from almost anywhere on the screen. Plus, he?s still got his good ol? counter and p-power throw.
Bob: lol, poor Bob. His supers are the worst they’ve ever been, and his specials are nothing to write home about.