|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SNK Playmore||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SNK Playmore||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 8, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Pete Richards
Where the first Battle Archives installment included four historic Fatal Fury games, essentially what you get with Battle Archives Volume 2 is three games in one. For those with a broken-down Neo Geo, this is your chance to go back in time and revisit the classic Fatal Fury series that started the franchise. Or if you were simply too young to have ever owned one, you have the opportunity to relive what fighting games used to be like as Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 2 includes 1995's Real Bout Fatal Fury, 1997's Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, and 1998's Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers.
The collection in itself is the sequel to Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1, as the trilogy contained within this disc ends the seven-game series. The story continues with brothers Terry and Andy Bogard, who are joined by their friend Joe Higashi on a fighting adventure to take down a series of criminals and mob bosses led by the criminal mastermind of Geese Howard. Howard is up to his old shenanigans as he tries to gain control of SouthTown by claiming the mysterious Jin scrolls, though not without facing the Bogard brothers, Higashi, and an entire cast of other skilled warriors.
The main menu allows you to choose which game you want to play. This Playstation 2 version also features a practice mode to hone up on your fighting skills, which is a cool thing to play around with - especially when trying to learn a player's hidden abilities - though it seems kind of like a tacked-on feature considering there isn't really anything new to the game. After choosing which Real Bout title you want to play, you then choose the level of difficulty and your character. Real Bout Fatal Fury re-introduces all of the popular characters from Fatal Fury 3 including Bob Wilson, Franco Bash, Hon Fu, Sokaku Mochizuki, and of course Blue Mary. Duck King, Billy Kane, and Kim Kaphwan also make a return to the list of fighters. As you play along in a series of fights, a second player can join in at any time - true arcade style. The second player can either help you along in your journey to stop the evil Geese or choose to face against you.
As the story goes on and you complete the game, Geese is killed at the end, and a new enemy by the name of Wolfgang Krauser becomes the head honcho in Real Bout Fatal Fury Special. The second installment features a total of 19 different fighters to choose from, including all of the characters from Real Bout Fatal Fury and new fighters Tung Fu Rue, Cheng Sinzan, and Laurence Blood. The game does not exclude the notorious Geese, however, as he makes a return from the dead as an unlockable character in Nightmare Match wearing a halo around his head.