Kizuna Encounter: Super Tag Battle

REVIEWKizuna Encounter is considered the sequel to Savage Reign, even though it obviously has a completely different name. (This is probably because Savage Reign pretty much flopped during the era of rampant "me too" 90's fighting games). Kizuna Encounter brings back all of the characters from the original Savage Reign and adds 3 newcomers, inlcuding: Kim Sue Il, Rosa and Jyazu (whom is mostly a spite clone of Gozu & Mezu).


Gordon... your chest needs a haircut.


Like the first game, Kizuna Encounter plays like a variety of different SNK fighting games, such as Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, and King of Fighters. Unlike the first game, Kizuna Encounter features "tagging", allowing players to pick 2 characters and switch them on the spot. Some new defensive maneuvers have been added as well, including dodging/rolling. While the gameplay could actually hold its own, the overall experience came up very short in 1996. In my opinion, the main flaw in this game is the character roster.... There are only 12 characters, and they're clearly not the best fighting game designs around.


Where are your muscles Tung Fu Rue?


Kizuna Encounter
was one of those obscure 90's fighting games that never took off (perhaps for obvious reasons). The bizarre, and arguably uninspired character designs along with the "mix-up" of SNK graphical & gameplay elements we've seen before weren't enough to make Kizuna Encounter stand out from the crowd. No, the tag element didn't save it... because the epic X-Men VS Street Fighter was already doing it better a few months prior (and was taking all of the money of the hardcore fighting game crowd). I know I didn't have any extra change for Kizuna Encounter in 1996.



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Page Updated: February 3rd, 2020
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Platform(s): Neo Geo, PS2, PS4
Release Date(s): Sept. 20th, 1996       
Nov. 7th, 1996
June 21st, 2007         in Fu'un Super Combo - PS2
Dec. 20th, 2016         in Fu'un Super Combo - PS4
Characters Sho Hayate, Kim Sue Il, Rosa, Gordon Bowman, Chung Paifu, Gozu, Mezu, Joker, Max Eagle, Nicola Zaza, King Lion, Jyazu

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Savage Reign, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, Samurai Shodown 4, Ninja Master's, Fighters History, World Heroes, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Golden Axe: The Duel, X-Men VS Street Fighter

Gameplay Engine

 7.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 6.5 / 10

Overall Graphics

 5.0 / 10


 6.5 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 6.0 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Art Direction

 6.0 / 10


 4.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 4.0 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 5.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 5.0 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 5.5 / 10


 4.5 / 10


 6.0 / 10



Final Words:

Kizuna Encounter's tag system was halfway decent for the time, but it sure couldn't hold a candle to X-Men VS Street Fighter. Neither the gameplay or character roster could really stand on its own. On the bright side, several characters from this series eventually crossed over to future SNK titles, such as King of Fighters XI and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, where they were given brand new sprites & animations... no doubt a pretty cool fan service for old school fans who actually remember this game.  ~TFG Webmaster