Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers


STORYThe Newcomers... Those who only want to ultimate power. It's never ending fight for all martial artists. New challengers are added and the gathering of wolves is held once again! The iron-fisted yet rude Li Xiangfei and Rick Strowd, the man who calls the wind. Will the abilities of these two people really be like no other fighter? And will Terry, Andy, Geese and the other regulars get their fighting in? Only the last one standing will truly earn their title as the best...


Real Bout 2 character selection screen.

REVIEWReal Bout 2: The Newcomers is the seventh game in the Fatal Fury series and the third (and final) installment in the Real Bout sub-series. Along with most of the returning default characters and boss characters from the prequels, two brand new characters join Real Bout's roster: Rick Stroud and Li Xiangfei. The "newcomers" offer new fighting styles (and play styles) which help round out the roster... Rick's boxing and Xiangfei's Chinese martial arts definitely offer something unique to the series. Strangely, the main villain of Real Bout Special: Dominated Mind, White, didn't make the cut to this installment... a bit disappointing if you ask me.


Rick Stroud is a badass boxer!


Real Bout 2
revamps the two-plane battle system from the prequel, Real Bout Special. Instead of fighting in either two planes, the player is now forced to fight in a main plane, while the second is a "sway line" used to avoid attacks (similar to the original Real Bout). The single-plane trap stages last seen in Fatal Fury Special also make their return. The damage from priority attacks are toned down in this installment, rendering strong attacks and special moves more powerful than before.


Cheng might be an early inspiration for Tekken 6's Bob.


Visually, Real Bout 2 was the best Fatal Fury game at the time of its release. While obviously not a complete overhaul, the colorful character sprites, hand-drawn backgrounds, and solid animation never looked better. The game's intro and presentation is also one of the best from the series. The new characters added to the game's colorful roster, but overall, the roster and gameplay still didn't seem "up to par" when considering other fighting games of the era.

If you ask me, Real Bout 2's gameplay engine felt noticeably "aged" in 1998... and as far as "traditional" 2D fighters go, there were superior options available in the time period. Whether it was the fast paced action of Marvel Vs. Capcom, the fluidity of Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, or the artistic action of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Real Bout 2 definitely had tough competition.

Also worth mentioning, the "3D" fighting game genre was also going strong in 1998-1999, with groundbreaking titles such as: SoulCalibur, TEKKEN Tag Tournament, Mortal Kombat 4, and Bushido Blade 2 offering compelling innovations to the genre and gaining much popularity at the time. While a bit "behind the curve"... at least Fatal Fury was still proudly offering its unique style of fighting and character designs for 2D purists.









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Page Updated: March 12th, 2024
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Platform(s): Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation 2, PS4
Release Date(s): March 20th, 1998
Characters Rick Strowd, Li Xiangfei, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Franco Bash, Mai Shiranui, Bob Wilson, Billy Kane, Hon Fu, Ryuji Yamazaki, Sokaku Mochizuki, Blue Mary, Kim Kaphwan, Jin Chonshu, Jin Chonrei, Duck King, Cheng Sinzan, Laurence Blood, Tung Fu Rue, Wolfgang Krauser, Geese Howard, Alfred Airhawk

Featured Video:

Related Games: Real Bout Fatal Fury, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Real Bout Special: Dominated Mind, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury 3, Fatal Fury Special, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, Fatal Fury: 1st Contact, Garou: Mark of The Wolves, King of Fighters '98, Last Blade 2, Guilty Gear, Darkstalkers 3, Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter EX2, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur, Marvel VS Capcom, Mortal Kombat 4, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Gameplay Engine  7.0 / 10
Story / Theme  7.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.0 / 10
Innovation  7.0 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Customization  5.5 / 10
Options / Extras  5.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.5 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10

 7.5 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words: Although Real Bout 2 was a solid update to this sub-series, I could never get into it. The 3D "sway" mechanics in a 2D fighting game just didn't appeal to me in the long run, and neither did the majority of the characters in this particular series.

On the bright side, Rick Stroud and Xiangfei (among others) were definitely interesting and least made this installment distinguishable... but in my opinion, there were many other 2D (and 3D) fighting games out in 1998 that greatly outshined Real Bout 2.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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