Written: 7.28.12 Acquired: 2.24.06 Status: Cart only Price: $7.02
It was 20 years ago today the original World Heroes arcade game came out. July 28, 1992. My how time flies. Less than one year later, on April 28, 1993, a sequel was born. How fitting, seeing that it was just a relatively short 9 months later. This is the story of how a wacky little fighting franchise, and an amazing sequel, changed my childhood. I am the man I am today because of World Heroes. And tonight, we pay tribute to the fine heroes; yo Doc, prep the time machine! Happy 20th Anniversary, World Heroes!
WORLD HEROES: 20 YEARS OF MEMORIES
Wow, 20 years. Was it really 20 summers ago that I poured hundreds of quarters and spent countless hours Dragon Kicking and Punching? I became a fan from jump street. While I loved and respected Street Fighter II, there was something about World Heroes that clicked and resonated with me. Maybe because it was an underdog in a heavyweight world, or maybe it was the cheese and violent dark humor. Whatever it was, it had me at FIGHT! Summer of '92 was indeed a sweet one. Lines for Street Fighter II: Champion Edition ran out the door, leaving me to enjoy World Heroes without fanfare or long waits. I was 9 years old, loving life, and my bro would also buy Street Fighter II for the SNES later that same summer. Indeed, summer of '92 was one for the ages. Man, 20 years ago... it feels like it was just yesterday (or not) Two of fighting game history's coolest moves EVER
One day in May 1993 changed my life as I knew it. It started out as any other innocent night. Accompanying my dad to the local Safeway grocery store, my old man would buy the goodies as I would be off in the corner playing on the one arcade machine they carried: a Neo Geo MVS. Throughout the early '90s that spot in the corner was mine. I've played King of the Monsters, Super Baseball 2020, Sengoku and World Heroes more times than I could count. Well, on that May night I figured I would get another solid 30 minutes in with World Heroes. With several quarters in my pocket courtesy of my generous pop, I was good to go. Made my way happily over to the corner where the MVS was stationed. Passed through the different game demos to get to World Heroes
But then it happened
There was no World Heroes. My jaw dropped and my eyes bugged out. No way they could have gotten rid of my favorite game, could they?! The heathens! I was fuming, about to blow a gasket when the current game's demo played on the screen. Wait a second.... what is this.... I haven't seen this one before.... it's a new game... what is this... wait just a damn second here... it's....
OH MY FREAKING GOSH
The night my life changed...
I'll never forget World Heroes 2's intro. It was one of the best at the time, and today it still holds a special spot in my gaming heart. I didn't recognize the new guys at first (for obvious reasons), but I knew who the blue ninja was the second I laid eyes on him. No freaking way... it was a brand new World Heroes game! Didn't the first one come out like... only 9 months ago? TOTALLY BAD-ASS YO!*cue THIS IS AWESOME clap clap clap chant*
I'll never forget the dramatic camera angles of them zooming down Hanzou's face as he stared down the six new fighters. It was so sick. I stood there stunned like a five-legged dog. I had NO idea a sequel was even in the making. It completely took me by surprise which made that May night all the more epic. I remember watching the intro TWICE before finally plopping in a quarter. Oh, happy days they were. GOOD TIMES!
The way Hanzou scanned his new challengers... the dramatic camera angles and music... the ominous looking clouds in the background... fused with the fact that I had ZERO clue a World Heroes 2 was in the making... and can you say... life changing moment for a 9 year old? I remember hoping that my dad would never come back! I looked around to see if anyone else was also witnessing this moment with me... it was like Neil Armstrong walking on the moon! World Heroes 2: One Small Step For Gaming, One Giant Leap For Steve! It was seriously one of the hallmark moments of my youth. After viewing the intro twice, I dug into my pocket, fished out a quarter and embarked on the game that would change my life. Of course, the first character I selected was Mudman. I always had a thing for outcasts and weird fighters [Gee, I can't imagine why... -Ed.] Mudman was my guy. I vividly recall beating Shura first but then losing to Captain Kidd. I played until my dad called me over. He had to literally pry me away from the machine. It was like crack to a kid. I remember as I was leaving Safeway that night, I could only think about one thing: I can't wait to play more of World Heroes 2, and I can't wait for that gloriousand inevitable day when it eventually comes out for the Super Nintendo...
Flash forward a year. We're now in mid-1994. One night I was at The Wherehouse with my dad, renting a game for my brother. As my dad was checking out the game, I thumbed through the new GameFan mag they had on the rack. Imagine how blown away I was when I saw the World Heroes 2 preview! I think I shouted, haha. No, seriously. My wish from one year ago is finally coming true... soon, I'd be able to play World Heroes 2 from the comfort of my own living room ^_^ "Doo doo -- YOU MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE!"
GameFan was the ish back in the day. Their layouts were the stuff legends were made of. Their World Heroes 2 preview was heavenly. I was also thrilled to see that they had given the game such high props. It was the opening preview in the Planet SNES section. Wanna guess which game was second? Only Super Metroid! Wow, for an underdog series as World Heroes had been, this was a MAJOR victory in my book. Everything about it blew me away. 1). It was finally coming out on the SNES... 2). It beat out Super Metroid for opening preview and... 3). It was GameFan who did layouts like no one's business and made World Heroes 2 look like that much more of a star game. I studied that preview for 10 minutes and held my dad up, pleading with him that he had to buy this game later that summer. He humored me
A couple months later GameFan ran another piece on it. I also vividly recall reading through this at again The Wherehouse, and eagerly shoving the magazine preview into my dad's face. As great as summer of 1992 was, summer of '94 was a very special one in its own right. I had just finished 5th grade, one of the best years of my childhood with my best friend Nelson and my Winnie Cooper crush Jennifer, SNES was in its absolute peak and prime, my out of town gaming sleepover group was also at its zenith, and a whole summer to enjoy all these wonderful things. I remember to prep for World Heroes 2, Nelson and I spent a large chunk of our time playing the original on SNES. It was simply a great time, and something that will never be replicated. Way back before cell phones, email and Facebook
It was a grand old time to be a robust kid in suburban America!
To gear myself up for the impending arrival of the game of my dreams, I joined the Takara Masters Game Club. I kid you not. I wanted any insider news I could get on World Heroes 2, and all other future Neo Geo ports to be released on SNES. Takara was the publisher that gave kids like me a small taste of Neo Geo gaming at home on our SNES. The bottom says "The bearer of this Takara Masters seal is a unique and praiseworthy gamer. Anyone who presents this card should be shown the utmost respect and offered all the privileges due to a game player supremo." Another true story: I called Takara one day specifically to ask if they were going to include the Hanzou introduction into the SNES port. I remember waiting on the phone forever, but apparently they were "busy on the line with other supremo video game fanatics." After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, I gave up. It always saddened me when I first fired the port up and found the intro missing. My call to Takara in hindsight didn't matter anyway, as it was Saurus I should have called. I still wish the intro made its way onto the SNES port, but it's a minor gripe
Here's the back of the card. I remember getting a keychain as well. Ah, the good old days of joining game company clubs...
You know... back when it was all about SNAIL MAIL...
Back in the glorious late '80s to mid '90s, I ran with a group of folks who were my brothers and sisters. Our monthly family friend sleepovers were in a word, legendary. They were my gaming group. They were the friends who gave me countless memories. One that sticks out occurred in 1993. There were about 20 of us kids, and my older brother, myself, "Sushi-X" and his brother Z, we were assigned the mission of buying burgers for all. So we hit up a local Wendy's and I'll never forget it. The guy we affectionately called Sushi-X (for his intense love of Street Fighter which matched that of the EGM persona) ordered 30 (!) Big Bacon Classics (nowadays they call them Bacon Deluxe). Behind us was a rather lengthy line of folks. The ones immediately behind us, an elderly couple, shook their head at one another and bickered, "I told you, Hank! We should have gone to Red Lobster!" They stormed off and a couple of the other people behind them left as well. Standing off to the side of the cash register, I watched in bewilderment as Sushi-X single-handedly drove off the customers. We brought the loot back home and crowded around the Sony TV in the living room to watch Saturday Night Live and enjoy our burgers. 10 were left in the fridge for a midnight snack. Today, every time I drive by a Wendy's, I can't help but think of that Sushi-X memory and the night of our epic bacon feast. Thanks for all the memories, Game Crew and Dave Thomas :)
It was a fun group in-joke that our friend *REALLY* was Sushi-X!
Everyone in my gaming group respected Sushi-X. His word and opinions carried the weight of a king. Whatever he said was good, was. Whatever he liked, so did we. He enjoyed the first World Heroes game as an amusing diversion to his beloved Street Fighter II. He was a pretty big fan of the sequel. As a young boy who looked up to Sushi-X, it pleased me to know that he approved of my favorite game, as though his approval was the ULTIMATE mark of validation for my obsession with the sequel. Sushi-X was two years older than my brother, who was two years older than me. Growing up my bro beat me up, bossed me around and generally made life tough for me whenever he could. So I used to see Sushi-X as sort of the older brother I wanted but never had. I always felt like he respected me, based on the way he'd talk with me. I was best friends with his little bro Z. One of my other favorite memories of X came in the summer of '95 when my bro and X scared me and Z with junior high horror stories (we were about to enter junior high later that Fall). Stories of 8th graders bullying 7th grade newbies, PE classes where you had to run for the entire 50 minute period, etc. Good times. Every gaming group needs a classic character like Sushi-X... any group just wouldn't be the same without that one guy
I couldn't wait to hear his thoughts on the World Heroes 2 preview
One day in May 1994, Sushi-X and his family came down for another sleepover. The first thing we did? We showed him our latest EGM issue #59 (which my bro subscribed to in '94). Sushi-X sat down at my bro's desk, and I remember all of us crowding around him to see his reactions to the latest EGM ish. Perhaps we were even looking for a give-away hint that he actually might moonlight as THE Sushi-X. At any rate, that's kind of cat he was. He commanded our respect, and we huddled around him eagerly awaiting his commentary based on the games he would flip through in the issue. I was uber excited because World Heroes 2 was previewed in this issue, June 1994, #59. As Sushi-X turned page after page, enlightening us on which games were worth playing or not, my excitement grew as he inched closer and closer to the two-page preview of my favorite game. Once Mr. X was one page flip away, I was practically panting in anticipation. What would he say? Perhaps pause and declare this the SNES game of the summer, even over Super Street Fighter II? Or announce the proclamation that Capcom has finally met its match?
My imagination running wild, it all came crashing down when he turned to a preview of Illusion of Gaia. "This looks like it's gonna be a pretty good game," he said authoritatively. Wait, what about World Heroes 2! As it turns out, he accidentally skipped it over when he flipped two pages instead of one. I stood there pondering if I should say "Hey I think you skipped a uh, page there..." but I decided to bite my tongue. Dare to correct the Emperor, and risk sleeping with the pigs tonight? Perhaps Hamlet the Pig? Or what remains of him? [HAR HAR -Ed.]. Ahh, I guess part of growing up is learning when to let certain matters slide. I decided to go with the version in my mind that says if he'd seen the preview he would have exclaimed, "This will be awesome." Or simply smile, nod and give all of us a hearty thumbs up. Yeah, that's the version I'm going with
Believe it or not, I did challenge the king. As I said, summer of '94 was a special one. I remember it for many fond reasons. One of them being my older brother leaving to sleepover with my gaming group for a week. That entire week my best pal Nelson came over and we feasted on my bro's EGM issues. Another one was when my bro came back. He wasn't returning alone, either. The gaming crew was coming for a weekend sleepover. The hits just kept coming. It was July 1994. The Super Famicom version of World Heroes 2 had just come out, and in my old hometown we had this infamous game rental store that carried SFC imports. Game Hunter. So before my bro left, I asked him to put Sushi-X on the phone. There I lied to him that Nelson and I had just come back from Game Hunter with... SFC World Heroes 2 (US version still two months away from release). Sushi-X was suddenly excited (as I had said earlier he was a fan of the arcade). He asked if I was jerking his chain or not, and I assured him repeatedly that I was not, and how Nelson and I just engaged in a contest of Captain Kidd vs. Mudman just moments ago. I still remember to this very day Sushi-X going "Sweet, Steve! I can't wait to play against everyone. WE'RE ON OUR WAY!" It was on speaker phone and I had to restrain Nelson from cracking up. When I hung up, we both burst out laughing. "Oh man did you hear his voice crack in excitement?" Nelly exclaimed. On a side note, Nelson was my local best friend, and he got to know my out of town gaming group. Z, Sushi-X's little bro, was my best friend in the gaming group. Nelly and them shared an interesting dynamic, to say the least, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, after we had our good laugh, I remember feeling sad that we actually didn't have SFC World Heroes 2. It was rented out. Suddenly, it seemed like the joke was on me and Nelson (the world's two biggest WH2 fans). Hmm. I guess some jokes backfire and aren't as well thought out as you first planned. Again, I guess it's all part of growing up. That was my first rib on Sushi-X, as well as my last
By the way, it's a shame we didn't get the Japanese box art of World Heroes 2. Instead, we got the lame American one. And speaking of Illusion of Gaia, here's another example of a Japanese cover being superior to the American one. SFC one is so epic... US one... *sigh*
Another memory I have of Sushi-X were all the times we used to hit up book shops back in the early-mid '90s. The EGM issues would all be in their mint pristine wrappers. I would longingly stare at them, wanting desperately to read it but not enough money as a kid to buy one. Well, money or not, nothing stopped Sushi-X from reading the latest EGM issue. On many occasions, I would watch in awe and shock as he would grab the issue, tear off the cover and proceed to plant his butt down to read through the issue. Nobody ever accosted him for it, either. I figured that anyone else would be, but since Sushi-X was who he was, he was able to get away with it :P
Whatever happened to Sushi-X? Well, over the years us kids grew up and the parents got older. Our legendary family friend sleepovers eventually faded away. January 2010 I ran into Sushi-X by wild random chance at a ski resort. I hadn't seen him in YEARS. We were surprised to run into each other, and spent a good 10 minutes catching up before his group of friends came back, as well as mine. During that conversation, a cute lady came over on her skis, and I watched as Mr. X gave her some instructions and then flirted with her. It made me smile. He was just as I remembered, now all grown up. That was a great day... sure brought back some good memories of days long gone by. And today, Sushi-X is happily married, and yes, he still loves the Street Fighter games. Some things never change! ;-)
Along with Saurus... it's...
Indeed, 1994 was a banner year, with hits like this
Going from the arcade's two buttons to SNES' four is awesome
COOL TIP: If you make it seesaw in the normal matches and play the 2 player mode, it acts as sort of a Practice Mode
New to World Heroes 2 is the ability to send an opponent's projectile right back at them by pulling back at the last second. The other player can send their own projectile back at the other. This can go on for about 8 times until the projectile disappears into thin air. With a human player, you can get into some intense wars
Honestly, I never really liked this feature, as it prevents you from advancing after a slow fireball. On the bright side, it gave fighters without a fireball more of a fighting chance, making guys like Muscle Power and J. Carn even more balanced
COLOR ME BAD
Know what's sick: each fighter has six different colors to choose from. This is exclusive to the SNES. Some of the new colors are badass, while others are a bit more... ahem, bizarre. Read on
Not only do outfit colors change, but here's the super cool thing: some special moves match the color of your fighter! For example, take a look at Hanzou and Fuuma's Dragon Uppercuts below
Major props to Saurus. They really put their entire hearts into this home port. For reasons like this, I love the SNES version almost more than the arcade...
What I tell ya? Check 'em all out for yourself!
You might say he's a little green with envy...
MEET THE HEROES
At the time, most fighting game sequels had two or four new fighters. Not so here. You get SIX. All in all, 14 fighters. It was pretty damn big for '93; just another reason why I love World Heroes 2 ^_^
Age: 26 Height: 5'7" Weight: 152 Era: 1581
The head of the Iga Ninja, the most fearsome of all Japan's Ninja clans. His body an unstoppable fighting machine, he is preparing himself to once again meet his arch rival, Fuuma, in battle
The Soul of the Ninja Blazes with the Fury of Battle!
His stage is one of my all-time favorites. Battling deep in a bamboo forest, with a crescent moon overlooking the battle, few backdrops are as atmospheric as this one. Brown leaves cascade periodically as Hanzou does battle with his latest opponent. A couple gravestones fill out this stage in the far right corner, making one wonder if they're the rest sites for his parents
One of my favorite things about World Heroes 2 is how projectiles come in different sizes. The jab produces a small ninja star while the strong punch gives you a bigger shuriken. Back in the day I thought it was so cool. It's the little things that make a game memorable
A double Hadoken motion creates even more ninja stars
Hanzou turns his body into a spinning weapon of destruction
Hanzou's new trick is a leaping leg lariat. It has different flight patterns based on whether you press weak or strong
Age: 26 Height: 5'7" Weight: 154 lb. Era: 1581
The head of the Fuuma Ninja and sworn enemy of the Iga Ninja. He knows only one passion -- to avenge his earlier defeat at the hands of Hanzou
The Red Dragon Rages!
Fuuma proudly fights in front of his friends. It's a nice stage but I miss the FUNKY MONKEYS as seen in his original stage in the first game
Fuuma shows off his shuriken skills. Just like Hanzou, they come in a variety pack
To increase the difference between Hanzou and Fuuma, and to show off more of his reckless fighting ability, his Hurricane Kick now spins up and down!
Not only that but you can also control it to go higher or lower. Nice. It can go so high that when J. Carn ducks, you're hitting air completely. And it can go so low that Fuuma's belly nearly dances with the floor (!) He must be tough to beat at limbo, eh?
Not to be outdone by his rival, Fuuma has his own majestic, soaring Dragon Uppercut. Fuuma can also pull this move off in mid-air
Age: 27 Height: 5'4" Weight: 110 lb. Era: 1967
Disenchanted with the soft living and self-indulgence of the movie world, Kim returns to his beloved homeland, Korea, after years spent pursuing his movie career. He has joined the WORLD HEROES to recapture the thrills of real Kempo combat
Bow before the Hundred Blows of Righteousness!
Dragon's new stage isn't as sweet as his Shaolin Temple-esque backdrop in the original game. Here you have a couple lady friends (I think they're female anyhow...) cheering you on, and a fine lass chillin' by the bus. Yeah, give me the temple stage with its brawling warriors and scouting monks in the background over this one any day of the week
Dragon's got some of the fastest hands this side of eternity. He puts them to good use too, being able to accumulate a ton of damage in short time. Don't be sucker(-punched) [HAR HAR.... YOU SO FUN-NAY... -Ed.]
His prized move is one that has taken out hundreds of names over the years and centuries. Conjuring up the power of the Mighty Dragon of the Middle Kingdom, an unspeakably deadly spirit surges through his body, exploding in a mega kick
His new trick is a quick lunging kick that will knock the wind outta ya
Handy thing, this. Confuse your opposition greatly by bouncing off the walls and then striking with ferocity
Age: 36 Height: 5'6" Weight: 265 lb. Era: 1198
For some people, being a conqueror of a continent just isn't enough. The unstoppable Carn is plunging back into battle to see whether he can pull his same tricks twice... this time... against the greatest warriors in history
The Ferocious Leader of the Mongolian Hordes
While I prefer Dragon's original stage over the sequel's, in this case I like Carn's better here than in the first game. This little backdrop does a great job at invoking memories of a grand Asian martial arts cinematic film. I'm almost expecting to see Jet Li or Donnie Yen come flying in any second now...
Using his mighty fist, Carn is able to produce a gigantic fiery blast. Works particularly well as an anti-air move. Though, it'd always been a head scratcher why this move never engulfed the opponent's body in flames... not until the final game in the series anyhow, World Heroes Perfect. The Mongolian Dynamite is Carn's great equalizer
Don't let his portly build fool you. Carn shows off great agility and speed as he strikes quick and fast out of nowhere with his Mongolian Tiger Crush. What? E. Honda? I have no clue what you're talkin' about
Carn, sadly, is the only fighter in this seqeul to NOT receive at least one additional special move. However, to make up for this injustice, they did give Carn a new throw move, and not just any throw, but THE DAMN COOLEST LOOKING THROW EVER. Can you say ouch!
Age: 19 Height: 5'5" Weight: 117 lb. Era: 1431
Joan of Arc got all the limelight, but Janne's the one to reckon with in battle. Never one for hanging around the castle killing time at the tapestry frame, Janne likes nothing more than to take on the meanest foes around in hand-to-sword combat
The Craziest Sword-Swinger of the Middle Ages
Another dope stage in which I prefer over the original game's. In part one Janne inexplicably competes in a traveling circus of sorts. I always felt it was out of place. This stage on the other hand is right up her alley
Another cool example of different looking projectiles, based on weak or strong
Not just projectile, but the cool thing about World Heroes 2 is how weak or strong also affects lunging type attacks. Here is the strong button variation of Janne's Sword of Justice. For this attack she doesn't jump high, but jumps far. Good for using against jump-happy opponents far away. I love how this game does more than simply make a special move "slower" with the weaker button attack; rather, which strength you use changes trajectory!
Here is the weak button variation of Janne's Sword of Justice. It hits high and doesn't send Janne screaming across the screen. Ideal for when the other player decides to jump in close
Janne has two anti-air special moves. Here is her old standby: the Flash Sword returns and is still as effective as ever. On a side note, you gotta love the blazing sun seen over the horizon there. Lovely!
[Umm.... yeah. Let us move on, then... -Ed.]
Age: 39 Height: 6'6" Weight: 298 lb. Era: 1984
The wrestling madman who rules the Pro circuit. He seeks to erase the 7 double decisions he received in the last WORLD HEROES battles, and come out on top as the greatest warrior of all time
The Giant Super Wrestler from the States!
In the original, Muscle conducted his battles in a ring suspended high above a city. Here, he opts to battle on a construction site, complete with hard hat workers taking a break to scope out the action
This bum rushing attack is called Muscle Bomber. Oddly enough, that is the name for Capcom's Japanese version of Saturday Night Slam Masters. He's a lumbering brute, so this move is invaluable for keeping opponents on their toes
Hulk Hogan never had a dropkick! But in this sequel, Muscle proves you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks. This leaping dropkick acts as a serviceable anti-air attack
The good ole Tornado Smash is back and still as devastating as ever. Muscle grabs his victim, spins 'em high in the air and comes crashing down with a crippling backbreaker
Just for fun, they gave Muscle this sweet special move, the Super Swing! Swinging them mercilessly by their heels, it is a classic old school wrestling move done right
Indeed, the memories I have of this move. I vividly recall one night in mid '94 my old best friend Nelson and I were playing World Heroes to gear ourselves up for the upcoming SNES port. I remember Nelson getting the best of me that night, and how as I was walking back home, I kept thinking, "Wait 'til part 2 comes home, Nelly boy. I'm gonna crush you with Muscle and his Giant Swing special. You're lucky he doesn't have this move in the first game... oh just you wait, my fine-feathered friend..."
Wrapped in a shroud of mystery, this enigmatic confidant of the Russian Czarina seeks to spread his message of love and peace throughout the world, but isn't too choosy about the way he goes about it. A pacifist with an iron punch
The Mysterious Russian Sorcerer
Brrrrr! Dress warm as you battle Rasputin on this snow-covered stretch of Russian road. Brrrr...
Rasputin doesn't stretch in the Dhalsim vain, but he can enlarge certain body parts [Nah, too easy -Ed.] This comes in incredibly handy, pardon the pun. His standing strong punch produces an anti-air attack
Raspy's classic fireball. Can also be done in mid-air
His Thunder Blast takes off quite a chunk of energy, and electrocutes the enemy
BTW, I love his blocking animation. He pulls up a force field!
Who knew a spinning robe could be so dangerous?
Like his fireball, this too can be performed in mid-air
One of my favorite fighting game 'throws' of all time: Rasputin's giant yellow hand crush
Here's another new trick the old man has learned. It's a bit unrefined though as it flails over the place a little bit. In later games he manages this anti-air move much better. If you're thinking anti-air with Rasputin, it's best to stick to his standing strong attack. Seriously, it makes jumping on Rasputin useless, as any Rasputin user can press a button at a moment's notice
Age: 31 Height: 6'1" Weight: 441 lb. Era: 1922
The fearsome cyborg warrior whose body bristles with various armaments. His computer-enhanced brain has mind-reading capabilities, letting him know in advance what move his opponent is going to make
The Merciless Cyborg Warrior
About 15 seconds into Brocken's stage, this tank comes plowing through the wall. Nice, huh. Also, bonus points for the cool red sky backdrop
Brocken's definitely benefitted by some new wrinkles in this sequel. F'rinstance, now he can choose between two different leg attacks in mid-air. Regular sees him attacking low, and if you press down-diagonal and attack, Brock raises his leg upward. It's nice to have that option to keep opponents honest!
Not sure why they gave him low missiles in addition to his normal missile attack, but hey, he is a super cyborg warrior. It's also sweet how depending on what color you pick, that is the color of his missiles
Love his Thunder Spark. Brock unleashes a 10,000 volt shock from the tip of his fingers. In the next sequel, World Heroes 2 Jet, Brocken has an outstretched version of this. I love using this move. If you don't manage to shock your enemy, at least you'll nab some ticks off their health as this move can connect several times
When I was a kid, this has always been one of my favorite anti-air moves of all time. Why? Everything about it was dope: from the look to the little beeping sound he makes, to even the mini runner's lunge Brock goes into. It's just always been one of my favorite moves to use and particularly end a match with. This way the game slows down and I can see every swirling frame of animation in slow motion. One of the all-time classics in my book
True story: I couldn't figure out how to do Brocken's flight move back in '94. Tried as us kids did, we couldn't for the life of us. Remember, back then there was no internet that we knew of. Two years later, in '96, my cousin David and I were messing around with this game. David did the move on accident and I about screamed my head off. Son of a gun. David taught me how to do it and I was forever grateful. M. Bison meets Dhalsim, anyone? Thanks David. You rock, and I love ya, cuz
Controlling his flight was 75% of the fun!
20 years ago... damn. Thanks for the memories you silly heroes...
Age: 28 Height: 6'2" Weight: 172 lb. Era: 1572
The swashbuckling scourge of the High Seas, the infamous Captain Kidd now joins the World Heroes to prove his mettle in battle and protect his treasure trove of pieces of eight
The Rowdiest Rebel of the High Seas
Heads will roll if you try and nab any of his gold. No, literally. The zombie skeleton loses his head each round. The gold glitters and entices greedy warriors, leaving them right where Kidd wants them...
Captain Kidd was the first fighting game character to have two different projectiles! I was blown away as a kid. One is done Hadoken style, the other Sonic Boom. The crazy thing about the Pirate Ship Blast is that it nullifies other projectiles BOTH low and medium. The Shark Knuckle is a lot slower, allowing you to creep up and attack. Nice. No wonder so many gamers agreed back in 1993 that Captain Kidd = total 100% badass
And not just for cosmetic reasons; each one serves a different purpose!
Guess they couldn't decide on ship or shark, and gave him both!
For antsy jumpers, Kidd has his trusty and almighty Shark Uppercut. The great thing about this move is that it leaves Kidd completely protected. Whereas Ryu's Dragon Punch for example can cause damage to himself from time to time, if your opponent is jumping or does an anti-air special himself, Kidd's Shark Uppercut gets the upper hand, pardon the pun, each time
When I first saw Kidd in action, I thought of Guile. Kidd just fits the bill of being not the main guy, but that "cool" rebel type. Sure enough, he has a Flash Kick-esque special
His Whirlpool Kick connects up to two times. Not as cool as Guile's Flash Kick, but not bad... not bad at all
By pressing punch and kick at the same time, Kidd launches himself at his opponent with a big pirate boot. Good for a quick surprising strike. Note however though that if blocked, it does not take damage off the opponent. I suppose you could say or argue that this isn't a special move, but it's definitely a valuable offensive tool in Kidd's vast repertoire
You can get into some crazy projectile wars in this game
It's a perfect example on how to do a sequel right!
Age: 45 Height: 6'7" Weight: 379 lb. Era: 998
Prince of the Vikings and successor to the throne, Erik waits impatiently for his 95-year-old father to relinquish his crown. In the meantime, he has joined the WORLD HEROES 2 battle to get rid of some of his pent-up frustration
The Raging Warrior of the North
Erik's stage has always held a fond spot in my gaming heart. I love how that one viking bloke toils away while his mates leisurely watch on. There's a lovely Norwegian tune that blares throughout this stage. But my real fave memory involves seeing this stage upon walking into an arcade zone with my old best friend Nelson. At the time World Heroes 2 and Super Street Fighter II were duking it out for arcade supremacy, and it's just a memory I've always carried with me
Erik sends forth a lethal tidal wave blast. It's so strong that it's one of the few projectiles that sends you flying back
All that pent-up frustration can't be a good thing. That's why, to help alleviate his tension, Erik unleashes his Hammer of Thor for a, ahem, shocking blow
If electrocuting your opponent doesn't satisfy the bloodthirsty sadist in ya, perhaps this will. Erik's bad breath puts a freeze on the competition. Erik is the only fighter in the game capable of creating this animation. Pretty cool looking eh? Brrrr....
Yet another bulky fighter with a striking type attack. Erik flings himself across the screen, impaling his victim with two razor sharp horns. Unlike most attacks of this nature though, this one, even with the strong button, doesn't go all the way across the screen. Hey, cut him some slack, he's almost 50!
Age: 16 Height: 5'3" Weight: 106 lb. Era: 1992
Defeated by one of the Iga Ninja in battle, Ryoko has joined the WORLD HEROES 2 lineup to test her ability. She combines unstoppable competitive drive with judo skills honed over years of hard training
Japan's Star Hope
Ryoko's stage features beautiful cherry blossoms. Don't get caught admiring them though... because Ryoko will be all over you before you can say Bonsai
She doesn't have a projectile, but she does have this, the Bosatsu-Sho, or Hands of Energy. Super-charged psychic energy courses through her hands for a couple seconds. Good enough to nullify any projectile. Though to be honest, you're better off taking advantage of the new repelling system than pulling off this move specifically for nullifying purposes
Being ultra quick and such a small target, she induces headaches
Here's yet another brilliant example of how a special move changes trajectory based on whether you press weak or strong. Strong sends her flying more than halfway across the field, while weak makes her leap high and only in her immediate vicinity
Just because she's puny, doesn't mean she can't throw ya to the moon. And that's exactly what she does here. Takes off a huge chunk of energy. Not your average 16 year old girl!
Age: 20 Height: 5'5" Weight: 110 lb. Era: 1762
Famous for his lethal Flying Knee Kick, this Muay Thai master has triumphed over countless opponents. He has joined the WORLD HEROES 2 lineup to follow in the footsteps of his murdered brother
The Master of Muay Thai Roars in Revenge!
A very peculiar stage that perfectly epitomizes how World Heroes, as a whole franchise, has never ever taken itself TOO seriously. That's what I like about it so much. Here you have monks racing across and leaping for no reason other than to make you scratch your head and go "Ha OK"
Shura has two striking blows depending on whether you press punch or kick. Neither go very far across the screen though. The one on the left can connect up to two times
His infamous Flying Knee Kick sends him soaring into the air, and then some. Shura gets some major hang time, as he flies high above the playing screen for several seconds. Why, I have no idea, but it leaves him completely vulnerable, so if you're going to use this move, definitely use the weak button variation. Even then, he's up in the air for a couple seconds before he comes crashing down. Ah, it must be the ignorance of youth. To be 20 again, eh?
On the bright side, it's a nod to Thundercat fans everywhere, he gets major points for style, and few special moves look as cool
Knowing that his "Tiger Kick" was a bit of a double edged sword, they gave Shura a second and much more conventional anti-air special -- the Airborne Twirl Kick. Just a shame that the ATK only connects once, when it looks like it could twice (that would have been too sweet). Nevertheless, it's pretty sick for ONE fighter to own TWO of the coolest looking anti-air special moves in fighting game history
By pressing punch and kick together (a favorite command of ADK), Shura delivers a dashing blow. Unfortunately, it's quite useless as Shura has a delay before delivering the punch. In general, for a supposedly wicked Muay Thai fighter, I've always found the damn Shura character to be extremely lacking in speed. Hmmm. Weird if ya ask me!
Age: 28 Height: 7'1" Weight: 236 lb. Era: 1989
Diversifying's the name of the game these days, and Maximum doesn't want to be left behind the times. So now this late '80s star is putting his merciless competitive instincts to work in WORLD HEROES 2, to see if he can become the number one warrior of all time as well as a star quarterback The Football Hero No Ref Has Ever Dared Penalize
It's only fitting that for the rugged quarterback his stage be as seedy and grimy as this one is. Saurus sneaks in a sign to remind you just who developed the SNES port. For years I assumed it was Takara but it's actually Saurus
I love J. Max's "ghost pigskin shots" as I called them nearly 20 years ago. Nothing like seeing a 7 foot tall quarterback kicking ghost footballs at ninjas, pirates and robots. Wait a second, did I really just write that sentence? And that, my friends, is why World Heroes 2 rocks ;)
Of course, you can't be a Hall of Fame quarterback without a hell of an arm. Johnny Maximum shows off his arm strength as he heaves pigskin after pigskin
Max is definitely the most unusual "Shoto" fighter in gaming history. (A Shoto fighter is considered a fighter who has a fireball and an anti-air special). He uses his broad shoulder to good use, knocking the wind out of his opponents. Max flies across damn near the whole screen. For a big guy J. Max sure gets around. It's as painful as it is effective
I love this move. Tap forward twice and hit punch. J. Max goes screaming across for a major tackle. If blocked, he'll take a couple ticks off your health. A perfect maneuver to use when your opponent is just about to get up and only has a sliver of health remaining
When he was little Johnny playing in the Pee Wee League back in the early '70s, his coach always emphasized using your head at all times. Keep your head in the game, Coach would scream. The point was well taken by little Johnny, who now smashes everything in sight. Big Johnny uses every part of his body to brutalize his victim. He has no regard for his own body
Hmmmm.... I'll leave it up to you to ponder...
Age: 17 Height: 5'4" Weight: 106 lb. Era: 450
Blessed with the power of prophecy, Mudman forsaw the environmental pollution of the years to come and pledged himself to fight for the future of the Earth and its people. He now rages forth to spread his message of conservation and prove that greenies can fight along with the best of them
Mighty Friend and Ally of the Earth
Mudman's stage is easily one of my all time top faves. I mean, just look at it. The huts, fire, dancing natives, skyline and stars make it one to remember. It's a haunting backdrop, and the music suits it to a tee. This stage and Hanzou's marks perhaps my top two fave of all time
Mudman's Spirit Buddies aid him in battle. I always loved them. They look great and add a lot of personality to the Mudman character
The Spirit Buddies come out in full force here, in what has got to be one of the coolest looking grab and hold moves in fighting game history. They merrily dance around and spreads who knows what kind of virus as the victim twitches in agony
Based on which strength you choose, Mudman sends out a Spirit Buddy to do his dirty work. Weak sends out a baby buddy, who braces himself for the impact. Strong however shoots out a grown-up gung-ho fearless buddy. Very cool stuff
The Mud Cutter is a bit slow, but can be a valuable move even when blocking, as it connects up to several times. Them some sharp knees
Gotta love that skyline
Leaping high into the air, his mask spinning and cutting, Mudman's Mud Gyro makes opponents think twice before taking it to the air. Sick move. Loved it back in the day. World Heroes 2 puts the "special" in special move
The memories I have of this game sure run long and deep :)
I love how he takes off his mask to block. It allows players to get a decent glimpse at his mug. You can see he won't be winning any beauty contests anytime soon. "Grotesque" comes to mind. Look at his jagged teeth [Hey buddy, you ain't no looker yourself... -Ed.]
Neo Geegus fought the winner of the first WORLD HEROES battle but was defeated. Geegus has since greatly increased his power and strength, and has challenged the strongest fighters to take him on in combat. He can shapeshift into any form by simply looking at it
The Morphing Man of Metal Who Burns For Revenge!
Geegus likes to battle in front of a crowd. Some of the natives have erected a massive Geegus statue in reverence, and hopes that Geegus will spare them their lives. It's a cloudy day with a chance of conquest for the mad morphing man
Geegus blows himself up. Anyone caught in its blast will suffer the burning consequences. Note that this move does leave G extremely vulnerable, as it takes him some time to recompose. Use wisely!
His calling card though is his ability to morph into any of the other heroes. He stays in their form for about 15-20 seconds or until he's knocked off his feet. The morphs are done by pressing punch and kick together, and is completely random. It makes him a really fun character to control, as you constantly adapt and switch strategies based on who you morph into
It is rumored that this mysterious super fighter is an alien who wants to wipe out all other competitors, in order to become the unchallenged number one fighter of the universe. His body a lethal weapon, Dio fights until he has destroyed everything he can lay his hands on
The Mysterious "Ultimate Super Fighter!"
Dio arrives in a blaze of glory, literally. Wiping out the entire crowd, and changing the atmosphere from cloudy to dreary, wherever Dio goes, destruction follows
His Sonic Uppercut slices up fighters quicker than you can say "Zeus"
Equally as dangerous, Dio turns his arm into a sharp blade and attacks with his Sonic Hook. The velocity at which he picks up with no momentum is alarming
Collects his energy into a ball and acts as sort of a booby trap. Although oddly, it does almost no damage. Almost like a joke move. Still, I wouldn't laugh if I were you. Mr. Dio is definitely a serious threat, although in the SNES port he's been way toned down. In the arcade, Dio's infamous for being unfairly difficult
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the air, Dio busts out his deadly Rolling Smash. Spinning into the air with his razor blade tail, this move is as devastating as it is demoralizing. Fortunately it goes straight up in the air. Thank goodness for small favors
Will you be able to defeat Dio and claim the crown of the best in the world? Can you outlast, outfight and outwit the 15 other combatants? Good luck!
FIGHT TO THE DEATH!
Indeed, Death Matches help made World Heroes stand out
The sequel saw the return of the ingenious Death Match. Sadly, it was the last game in the series to have this playing option. Also, while they still have the flame-inducing Death Matches, they don't look anywhere near as sweet as the original's burning ropes. Just a minor gripe though. Overall, I'm very glad the Death Matches returned for this sequel. World Heroes just wouldn't be World Heroes without the Death Match, much like how Mortal Kombat wouldn't be Mortal Kombat without Fatalities. Just a shame though that ADK's infamous "aftershock affect" is no longer present with us. That's part of what made the original's Death Matches so compelling... the ability to finish off an opponent and then see him or her being burned or electrocuted in slow motion as an aftershock affect. Few things in gaming match the sheer pleasure of watching a guy get roasted in slow motion even after you've dealt the final blow. While I much prefer the first game's Death Matches, just to have them as an option in the sequel is terrific and increases the game's longevity, charm and fun ten-fold. Let's take a closer look at the 8 different types below
BARBED WIRE BOMB
The fight is contested in a special boxing ring enclosed by barbed wire instead of rope. There are bombs hanging from the barbed wire. If you touch a bomb you will be severely singed. Once a bomb has exploded it will disappear from the screen, and then reappear a short time later. I prefer the burning ropes version in the original because it looks cooler and it's a constant threat, whereas here there are lulls in the action...
I love just mucking about in the Death Matches. And perhaps there's nothing more humorous than using Brocken's jet attack! Take a look at the results...
Gotta love the black humor of the game!
["HE'S ON FIRE!" -NBA Jam announcer]
Ole Raspy sure ain't laughing here. Hanzou gives him a devastating 1-2... only to be followed by an ill-timed regeneration (for the Russian, anyhow) of exploding bombs
Unfortunately, when the bombs regenerate during the post-match, even if someone's touching the ropes, there's no affect. A wasted opportunity if you ask me! Oh well... one can't have it all I suppose
The walls on both sides of the stage are impregnated with spikes. Keep your distance from the walls or use them as a weapon to damage enemies
Lightning bolts come blazing out at regular intervals from a machine at the top of the screen. Entice your opponent under the machine at the right time to inflict major electro damage!
Oil slicks run over the ground in this stage. This makes it easy to slip and skid, but you can also take advantage of the oil to do repeat attacks easily
The oil is super slippery; a lot moreso than seen in the first game
At first, you might be scratching your head wondering where the danger lies in this one. The screen doesn't scroll, meaning you won't be able to run away whatsoever
As a neat bonus, there are 3 different versions of this stage: one in the morning, one in the day time, and one at night
Characters who are weak in normal stages are at an advantage in this stage
Here's the mid-day version of the Metal Mesh stage
Last but not least, you have the lovely night time version. This one is my favorite. And just like Mudman's stage you can see sparkly stars, adding significant mood to this atmospheric stage
Whenever I see this stage I think of Laura Branigan's songSelf-Control <--- click on me!
Oh, the night is my world City light painted girl In the day nothing matters
It's the night time that flatters In the night, no control Through the wall something's breaking Wearing white as you're walkin' Down the street of my soul
You take my self, you take my self control You got me livin' only for the night Before the morning comes, the story's told You take my self, you take my self control
Another night, another day goes by I never stop myself to wonder why You help me to forget to play my role You take my self, you take my self control
I, I live among the creatures of the night I haven't got the will to try and fight Against a new tomorrow, so I guess I'll just believe it That tomorrow never comes
A safe night, I'm living in the forest of my dream I know the night is not as it would seem I must believe in something, so I'll make myself believe it That this night will never go
OH OH OH... OH OH OH... OH OH OH!
Electric circular saws come slicing through the floor at irregular intervals. Make sure you dodge them or use them to damage your opponent. The blade can juggle someone up to three ruthless times!
Powerful land mines are set up at regular intervals throughout the stage. If you step on a land mine it will explode, but if you dodge the blast you won't be damaged
Remember folks, "close" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
There's just no defense for this. Straight up evil and outright unfair...
Priceless. Giving the guy with no fireball the land mine stage. Such wicked fun. I always loved the sense of dark humor that these games have. For pure fun and wackiness, I think I actually enjoy playing these games over the Street Fighter ones...
One of the funniest sights in the first game was seeing the fighters bald. When you lose this match, that's not all you lose! This alone in my book puts World Heroes in a special class all its own
Boy, are these guys having a bad hair day or what? All part of the fun and charm ;)
HAPPY (OR NOT) ENDINGS
World Heroes 2, not surprisingly, is filled with quirky endings and a heap of old / broken English. It all adds to the overall package. Hanzou's ending is the typical boring main guy ending, so we'll skip his. But you can see the endings include whatever color selection you made, which is absolutely dope
Perhaps Fuuma ain't quite the ladies' man as one might initially think... take a look!
He's like Damone from Fast Times At Ridgemont High...
[Oh yeah? You should meet my mother-in-law... -Ed.]
Janne: Too tough for a man to handle, or something
Gotta love their unique word choice...
Look and see for yourself, eh
[HEY NOW! I see what you did there, good sir. Well played -Ed.]
Look at that robotic chap... evading the vile clutches of Dio with the greatest of ease. Major bonus points for style as well. Very nice, Mr. Roboto [Domo Arigato! -Brocken]
Kindly insert *DRUM ROLL* here please
That settles it, then. Never, EVER, trust a Doc Brown... NEVER
You belong to me. I belong to you... COME! To the end of the road...
WHEN MUSCLEMANIA RUNS WILD -- ON YOOOOOOOOOOOOH!
There's simply no way this could end well... no siree
What I tell ya? And Kidd, don't be stealing Capcom's material
As seen in the classic Final Fight game. "OH! My car"... was an epic line. Give that man an Oscar, somebody!
Damn... and I thought my boss' car was beat up! [HEY NOW -Ed.]
- "Hey WTF!"
Jack first appeared in World Heroes 2 Jet... or did he.... HMMMM.....
HOME SWEET HOME ALA -- ER... NORWAY!
[It's a question I find myself asking everyday I wake up... -Ed.]
It's every athlete's dream to gracefully walk off into the sunset
So much for walking gracefully off into the sunset, eh? See ya next season!
AN AGE OLD RIVALRY... RENEWED
These two rival ninjas have been duking it out for ages, and throughout the ages. They have always been two of my favorites, and while they are blatant Ryu and Ken clones, I actually prefer them [Go figure -Ed.]. There's just something cool about these ninjas. From their multiple shuriken strikes to their soaring majestic Dragon Punches, how can you hate on these guys? I'd love to see them fight Ryu and Ken one day...
Let's catch up now and see who has the upper hand
Their epic rivalry rages on!
They have specific trash talkin' words for each other, further playing up their rivalry
Still waiting for STREET FIGHTER VS. WORLD HEROES
Although fierce rivals, there's an underlying current of respect for one another. Before each battle they pay their respects to the fight. May the best ninja win!
In the first game they were basically mirror images of one another. In part two, they begin to evolve into their own characters. Their Dragon Punches operate differently as do their Hurricane Kicks. Hanzou also developed a leaping leg lariat. As the series progressed, more differences entered the fold. I like how they went from clones to being quite different fighters by the end
But wait! Another travel in time reveals a slightly different story..
According to the time machine, we've gone back to July 28, 1581. Here we see Fuuma gearing up for a kick at the same time that Hanzou executes his new leaping leg lariat
Hanzou didn't do this move with the purpose of hitting Fuuma with it. He did it to set himself up for the next series of strikes. Hanzou, the thinking man's fighter!
Before Fuuma can properly react, Hanzou hits him with a huge left uppercut
Followed by his epic Dragon Punch! Fuuma is embarrassed but relieved his clansmen aren't there to witness it!
Somewhere in the world, Hanzou and Fuuma are still going at it
CRACK THE CODE: USE BOSSES AND FIGHT ALL 16 HEROES
The 2-player mode allows you to use the bosses giving you a total of 16 whopping fighters to select from. But, you can also use the bosses in the 1-player mode. How? Look!
Geegus never a boring choice, as you never know who you'll be
All in all, I really like the roster of this sequel. The six new fighters added a lot and for 1993, it was pretty unheard of. Dio was an intimidating new final boss as well. New guys like Captain Kidd added "coolness" to the game, while cats like Mudman only added to the wacky nature of the series. One of the greatest fighting game sequels ever made
Deep in the bamboo forest, Brocken gives Hanzou the shocker of his life. By the way this is my favorite color of Brocken
The Iga Ninja however gets his revenge when he sends not one, but two shurikens forward
The spirits of the dragon and tiger clash in this mega convergence. Look at them literally melting into each other... sweet
Me thinks Hanzou will win this one
Kidd sends forth a slow shark while Hanzou preps a shuriken. Kidd advances
... and lunges in to kick Hanzou's head off. Nice
This seems like a candidate for a terribly cheesy SyFy network flick... you know, like Sharktopus or Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Hmmm... Super Shark vs. Dangerous Dragon?
Talk about morbid...
Somewhere, John Bobbitt is cringing
This is not funny. I do not find this amusing at all. Let's move on
Check out Face/Off if you haven't yet. Pretty good little movie
Hmmm... and just when I thought it couldn't get any weirder...
Whoa whoa WHOA! OK it just got weirder. Let's move on
WORLD HEROES LEGACY
In 1994, World Heroes 2 Jet was released. It added two new fighters, Jack (based off Jack the Ripper) and Ryofu. Gone were both Neo Geegus and Dio, and in their place was Zeus. Jet eliminated the fan favorite Death Match for unknown reasons. As the name suggests, it added speed. It was a good game, although missing a lot of the first two games' charm. 1995 saw the final game in the franchise: World Heroes Perfect. Perfect added new stages, Desperation and Super Desperation moves, and so forth. It wasn't quite perfect (still lacking the Death Match) but it was a fine way for the series to go out. For years I awaited a World Heroes 3. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be. Today, I still love the franchise. I think Perfect is the best one, but part 2 is the one I'd play most often. It's not for everyone; that's fine by me
Many people hate on this franchise but for me they'll always be #1
It's one of those things where I feel you had to be there to "get it"
So whatever ended up happening with me and SNES World Heroes 2? Did I ever buy it? So, we waited for the US version to come out September '94. I rented it and had a blast with it. But I actually never bought it, not until roughly 2 years later when in late '96 my dad took me to Funcoland and I saw the cart for just $12. I remember my bro and I had a PlayStation by then and it was all the rage, but I was still hanging onto my SNES love. I played that World Heroes 2 cart to death. My family moved in early '96, renting out our old house to some family friends. That family had a son who was about four years younger than I was. My dad used to take me to our old house. He'd hang out with the dad and I'd play the SNES with the kid, who sort of looked up to me. Looking back, I guess I liked the attention and admiration. I was 13 at the time, he was 9-ish. Everytime I would lug my World Heroes 2 cart over and we'd battle in his room -- my OLD room, my CHILDHOOD room. It brought back fond memories of days gone by. I was adjusting to my new town, being a teenager, my Super Nintendo friend dying; it was nice to have something as comfortable as playing my favorite system in my old childhood room with a cool kid who looked up to me. It was worth making the trip every single time ^_^
BETA VERSION DIFFERENCES
A couple years ago I discovered that the Beta version of this game differs from the released version!! I was blown away because the Beta actually plays more like the arcade. Sure there are some bugs in the Beta and the game isn't 100% completed (more like 95%), I think I actually like it more than the final version. The biggest thing is that in the Beta version, combos are more possible to do. For whatever reason, whether their limbs are too short or hitting someone pushes them too far back, it was damn near impossible to perform combos on the final version. While it isn't Street Fighter-easy on the Beta version either, I find combos are a lot more possible and there are some chains you can do in the Beta version that you cannot do in the final. If you're a fan, be sure to check it out! Especially to those with a PowerPak... RIDE THE WAVE, BABY! SURF NINJAS anyone? OK maybe not
Hanzou and Fuuma have different Dragon Punches. In fact, they much more accurately represent their arcade forms, whereas the final version they own the same DP, and the animation on it looks fairly bad. In the Beta, the animation on the DP looks much better
Game speed also mirrors arcade more. Even on speed 3. In the final version, 2 feels kind of fast (faster than Beta speed 3) and final speed 3 is SUPER FAST. I actually prefer the Beta speed 3... it more accurately represents the arcade speed, though a smidgen faster
Possible to chain several jabs together. Try doing that in the final version. You can't. Also, try Hanzou's leaping leg lariat followed by a Dragon Punch. In the Beta you can pull off this sweet 2-in-1 with the greatest of ease, but in the final you cannot do it no matter how hard you try. The ability to chain more hits together really benefits a guy like Dragon. For quickest proof, try Brocken's crouching jab in Beta and final version
Unfortunately, Mudman's Mud Cutter in the Beta version in an unfinished move. It works, but only the first frame. Also, Geegus' exploding attack is missing. Beta is 95% working
Endings in Beta have slightly different text
There is an option to listen to the sound effects and music tracks in the Beta version
Overall, I slightly prefer Beta. If you desire speed, obviously go with the final released version. But if you want a more authentic arcade port on your SNES, Beta's the winner, albeit unfinished and has some glitches. If you're using the ninjas or Dragon, Beta FTW!
WHY SO SERIOUS?
This quirky franchise is somewhat of an infamous one, you could say. It was one of the earlier Street Fighter clones and opinion on it varies wildly. Some love the cheese and get the game's charm, while others blast it vehemently for being a broken Street Fighter wannabe. I do feel this is one of those cases where you kind of just had to be there. I've always loved this franchise because it never took itself too seriously. The Death Match was a brilliant feature, and lended the first two games a subtle yet satisfying sense of black humor. Controlling wacky fighters like Brocken, Rasputin, a Hulk Hogan knock-off and Mudman is a riot. I love how this franchise never takes itself TOO seriously. It's got a sense of humor that not many fighting games at the time had. I like that it's a bit quirky!
Having said all that, it's also really cool how the game DOES take itself seriously, too, with fighters like Kim Dragon and Hanzou. I think the game found a good balance between having outlandish characters, and more serious badass / kickass ones. That sense of balance, and the Death Matches, have always been what has drawn me to World Heroes time after time, and still does to this very day World Heroes franchise had a good mix of goofy and serious
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID
World Heroes 2 came out on the Super NES at not exactly the best time. It pretty much went head to head with Super Street Fighter II. You can guess which game sold more units. Nonetheless, the heroes held their own and fared rather well with the critics. EGM crew gave it scores of 8, 8, 8, 7 and 6. GameFan awarded the game with ratings of 84, 80 and 80. Super Play Magazine gave it a rock solid 80%. Most people will agree that this was a great port, taking a mega 146 meg arcade game and squeezing it faithfully onto a 24 meg cartridge. Sure, it's missing the killer intro, some animations, bonus stages, referees and such, but by 16-bit standards, it really was a fantastic port. While Super Street Fighter II got the spotlight that summer, you could say World Heroes 2 was an unsung hero, pardon the pun... [You're just a clever one, aren't cha? -Ed.] Tough to go up against Super Street Fighter II, but it held its own
Solid, respectable scores did World Heroes 2 earn from the critics
I agree with EGM. It's a very faithful translation. Bravo Saurus
What can I say... I loved this game then, and I still love it now. It's one of those games that I can pick up and play anytime. All the cool SNES extras, like speed, six colors and sixteen characters to play as... make this game a winner in my book. This franchise has given me so many rich / fond gaming memories over the years, whether it was duking it out with my old best friend on the original SNES port, seeing part 2 for the first time at Safeway, or simply drooling at all the enticing magazine previews, I will never forget these heroes. The SNES port is one of the finest arcade to SNES translations I have seen around, right up there with any other great port you could name. Saurus did a bang-up job; one that I appreciate even more and more as the years go by. Can't beat the arcade feel and cool SNES exclusives Majestic... stunning... gorgeous. HAPPY 20TH B-DAY, HEROES!
At 16 fighters (!) and 24 MEGS, World Heroes 2 was one of the BIGGEST fighting games during the time. Summer '94 was a precious season indeed. Super NES gamers were graced with so many high quality titles. You want to talk about a "Summer of SNES" -- 1994 was it. Yet World Heroes 2 sadly and largely flew under the ole radar, but perhaps that is only fitting, as it was never king or ever highly touted. Maybe that's part of why I like it so much. It's just quietly a very entertaining fighting game, with black humor, wackiness up the wazoo, yet with ENOUGH seriousness to not be a light-hearted parody like ClayFighter. World Heroes has just the RIGHT balance. Where else can you send Hulk Hogan into a spiked wall one moment, and the next be swapping projectiles with Joe Montana? It was cool how each fighter was based off a historical figure. Although it's a pretty blatant Street FighterII clone, it also did its fair share of sweet and unique things, such as the Death Match, air fireballs (Rasputin was the first fighter to have one), the infamous 'ADK Aftershock Affect,' throw counters, projectile repelling, and so on. For all the wrong people say this franchise did, I say it definitely did some things right. I've always stood by that, and forever will. Fans of World Heroes 2 and the SNES can smile proudly -- this is one hell of a port. One I still play now and again to this day, and probably still will for the next 20 years :)
Graphics: 8.5 Sound: 8 Gameplay: 9 Longevity: 10
Double Gold Award
These wacky heroes shall live on forever in my heart. Much love!
7.28.92 -- World Heroes arcade game first came out 7.28.07 -- World Heroes SNES review... 15 years later 7.28.12 -- World Heroes 2 SNES review... 20 years later
Great times... still hoping for World Heroes 3... 20 years... whew. Thanks for the memories! Note: Yes, I did write that fan piece above... way back 10 years ago in 2002. Still holding out! :P