It’s easy to drown on the NeoGeo. Fighting games are stacked on every corner, they pile up high, till you can no longer see the sky. The King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, Waku Waku 7,Sengoku, World Heroes, and this is just a surface scratch. It’s easier just to break on through the lot with a Tiger Uppercut, and head to well-worn roads with the likes of Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat, but climbing those suffocating walls often leads to new horizons. World Heroes 2 isn’t one of them, but it tries, oh, it tries.
World Heroes is perhaps the closest thing to Street Fighter II on the NeoGeo, aside from, well, Street Fighter II… of course. It takes historical stereotypes from around the world, pitting them against each other in a world tournament, each playing kind of like those trusty world warriors we know so well. It’s a chunky imitator in every way, lacking in style. Or grace. When you have an American football player fighting Joan of Arc, its novel, certainly, but tonally these pixels rarely mesh. A grab bag through history.
World Heroes 2 hits hard enough to leave a bruise however. Alongside standard 1 vs 1, a death match mode is available, containing fire hazards, slippery floors, mines oh my! It knows it’s a rip off, a clash of visual oddities, and lost amidst competition, but it embraces every hit, gives it’s all with every punch. These world heroes are warriors in their own right.