SNK Heroines ~Tag Team Frenzy~ is, incase you couldn’t tell from its name, a fighting game that showcases popular female characters from various SNK titles. This new entry features charming 3D and 2D graphics, customizable costumes and accessories, and special one-button finishing moves called Dream Finishes, which are required to knock out opponents. In some ways the game seems to be aimed at hardcore fighting fans due to the crossover characters and fan service, but then the control scheme is a bit streamlined, which seems to cater to casual players too. No matter what, the game remains fun to play whether you know the fighters or not.
The elephant in the room is that all of the characters are female and that the player can dress them with revealing costumes and cute accessories. This definitely won’t appeal to everyone, but I personally didn’t take any offense with the look and premise of the game. I think that it’s a bit on the playful side and each player will have to make up his (or her) mind as to whether or not the girl fighters are appealing. Some may be drawn to the cuteness factor, the variety of costumes, the way they control, but no matter what I really like the way the game looks. The graphics and overall presentation look great and little touches, like when the fighters punch, kick, and throw one another around there are a variety of playful particle effects like candies, cakes, and rubber duckies; far different from your everyday fighting game.
When fighters perform a Dream Finish, the camera jumps right in front of them, and they take up the whole screen to perform an animated flourish with their face, body, and surroundings, before bursting back into the normal view of the game. I think the story is dumb, but it’s fun, and it fits the less-serious tone of the game. The villain, without spoiling much, says things like, “You know that dying your hair over and over is bad for it right? And you’re gonna upset your stomach eating so much ice cream… ” To address the elephant, I’d say that this game is not a cheap trick for fans, but a treat. I do think, however, that if you’re not into what this game looks like or what it’s about, it’s probably not worth considering.
I think the fighting itself is good, and what stands out to me the most are the blocking, evading, and Dream Finishes. You can block, but your opponents can throw you or crush through your block to stun you, leaving you completely vulnerable (of course, you can do this to your opponents as well). While blocking, fighters can easily roll (or evade) away from or through their opponents. You tag between two fighters at a time, who share a health bar, but they have separate spirit gauges used for Dream Finishes. The supporter recovers their spirit gauge faster, so tagging them in is mostly a matter of performing a Dream Finish when it’s necessary to finish off an opponent, especially when the first attempt to finish an opponent is blocked or evaded.
I think the Dream Finishes are the best part of the gameplay, and fans especially will enjoy them. Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown is playable, and her trademark hawk companion appears as part of her Dream Finish. Yuri from Art of Fighting is also in the game, and hers includes the unmistakable sound of Mr.Karate getting knocked out in the original Art of Fighting. Terry Bogard (who makes an appearance as a female) finishes opponents with explosive punches featuring Neo Geo arcade cabinets.
There are a few issues with the game worth considering. First, at the time of this writing, the PlayStation 4 version runs at 60 FPS but the Nintendo Switch version seems to only run around 30 FPS instead. The game is also $49.99, but there’s only so many fighters, costumes, and accessories in the game. I think it’s a small game, and only time will tell how much each addition to the game will cost. There is also some sort of issue with loading times, which are longer than they should be.
I think this is a great game, mostly for its graphics and presentation, but I’m a long-time fan of SNK. There’s a story mode, a versus mode, a training mode, and online play, but the game is small. There are only 14 characters and 3 costumes for each at the time of this writing, and although there are a lot of accessories for the fighters, it doesn’t take long to unlock many of them. SNK Heroines seems distinctly aimed at fans and it’s difficult to recommend to those who aren’t familiar with the various fighters in the game. As such, I believe the game will have very limited appeal to most owners, but those that are into the SNK girl fighters will no doubt find a lot to like here.
SNK Heroines ~Tag Team Frenzy~ Review
Final Thoughts: GREAT
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is a great fighting game for long-time SNK fans. The all-female SNK roster, customize feature, and Dream Finishes make this a fun and memorable fighting game.
SNK Heroines ~Tag Team Frenzy~ was reviewed using a final retail Nintendo Switch download code provided by the publisher.
Adam “McSNES” Martinez, gaming drop-out and FuncoLand ghost, has spent his entire life training to review games for YOU, the loyal readers of Nintendo Times. Adam is permanently banned from Final Fantasy XI: Online, his favorite game.