Fatal Fury: First Contact
Top Critic Average
Fatal Fury First Contact is a solid little fighting game, but it has little to offer beyond that. Unless you are specifically a huge fan of the Neo Geo Pocket or all things Fatal Fury, there are definitely better fighting games you can spend your money on.
On Switch, Fatal Fury: First Contact is forced to fend off worthy alternatives on two fronts as anyone interested in this title has probably already bought one of the more fully-featured Neo Geo Pocket fighters available on the eShop, and Hamster has provided a painstakingly accurate portable version of the game its based on as part of its Arcade Archives series, but that still leaves us with a fast-paced and fluid scuffle-'em-up that's easy to enjoy in short, commitment-free bursts, making it perfect for a quick round of lunch break gaming.
In 1999, a portable arcade fighting game probably blew a few minds. Like many games of the era, time hasn't been too kind to Fatal Fury First Contact. You can't deny the charm, though, and its simplicity allows for a quick fighting game fix during breaks or right before bed. Serious fighting game fans may want to look elsewhere, but it's not altogether terrible.
Fatal Fury: First Contact is still a joy to play and - I really can't say this enough - it remains impressive that the developers were able to create such pristine fighting games on such modest hardware. With that being said, the five games Neo Geo Pocket Color games that have now been released really should have been compiled together into one collection, and I would really like to see some of the other, non-fighting games that appeared on the console given the same emulation and restoration process now. I don't begrudge SNK going to the effort with the five fighting game classics that it has, but enough's enough with this genre. It's time for something different, please.
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.
There still isn't an on-screen moves list, although even a passing familiarity with the usual SNK fighter directional combos will serve you well here. Otherwise, there's a big beautiful scan of the game's manual for you to consult (just write everything down somewhere). While I remain tickled that these NGPC ports even exist, though, I am beginning to long for different things, especially since these fighters all look more or less like the same game.
It may not be the best Neo Geo Pocket Color fighter on Switch but Fatal Fury: First Contact is certainly a charming and fun game.
This game is great for a quick pick-up and play, especially if you are really into retro 2D games. But that seems to be a niche market these days.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a basic but fun fighter for your Nintendo Switch, you can’t really go wrong with Fatal Fury First Contact at the mere $7.99 price tag. The fighting is very smooth and the great roster will have you wanting to play around with them for many hours on end. It may not have a ton of modes, but it has it where it counts, and Mai makes a super cute chibi as well!
Fatal Fury First Contact is no stranger to the fighting arena as a Neo Geo release. However, in modern times, age does begin to show behind the veil of nostalgia.