Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles I’m considering dropping the “Strange” from “Strange Anime License Friday.” This game isn’t strange. It’s just good. Probably among the best fighting games I’ve played on the SNES. So let’s just run with it. The first Yuu Yuu Hakusho game for the Super Famicom looked nothing like this, and was a more rock-paper-scissors-esque battle simulation. Certainly an interesting stylistic choice, and after watching some footage I kinda want to track down a copy, but not the kind of head-to-head 2D-fighting action that was tearing up arcades and home consoles in the early 90s. This sequel, on the other hand, is exactly the kind of head-to-head 2D fighting action that was tearing up arcades and home consoles in the early 90s. It’s just done really well. The main story mode retells the first season or so of the anime, as you progress through a series of battles, collecting allies as you go. (Which is just what happens in anime.) Fittingly enough, these allies are added to your roster of playable characters as you go along, so you’re not stuck with the same character for the entire duration of the tale. Or, if you want to give the entire plot a miss and get straight on into the action, there’s the requisite arcade-style massacre through the rest of the cast, along with 2-player head-to-head mode and a training setting so you can get a grip on the battle system. The gameplay’s much like its SNK-and-Capcom contemporaries, full of quartercircley goodness, mixups, and - if your health is critical and your energy gauge is full - a big ol’ whompin’ desperation attack. Nothing is safe, not even the stage itself, as certain attacks can potentially tear up chunks of the battlefield. This is 1994, folks, and we’ve got destructible terrain - and not just boxes that blow up and magically disappear. The mechanics feel very sound, and very inviting to fighting gamers of today since, let’s face it, this game’s a little ahead of its time. You’ve even got a stun gauge - that yellow one up there - that shows you how close you are to being incapacitated. So this isn’t really Strange Anime License Friday, so much as it is “Man, It Sucks We Didn’t Get This Game Friday.” This could’ve shaken up the entire landscape had it made landfall in the west. For a series I don’t really watch, and a game I’d not played before, this one brightened my pre-weekend. It’s worth mentioning that this game was developed by TOSE, who were also responsible for last week’s Dragon Ball Z beatings, and who have a lineage going all the way back to the NES and games like Chack’n Pop. They’ve got a history of respectably handling licenses that even WayForward has to look up to. And that’s WayForward. And that’s sayin’ something.