Despite the hit-and-miss onslaught of retro offerings available from the online arcades, SNK has decided to aim at its re-release of Art of Fighting at the impoverished PlayStation 2 owner - a move that's immediately endearing, as it's great to see the old Sony warhorse being put to a task it can perform with success and dignity (foot-rest doesn't count).
Included in the PS2 package are all three games from the '90s Neo Geo trilogy, and each one a perfect arcade port, which is good, because well-polished and faithful mirrors certainly bolster a compilation's good repute. The obligatory display options don't offer much other than a zoomed in version of the screen to better fill your modern telly (which I didn't use, as the game doesn't exactly feel lost in the centre of the screen anyway), and the handy positioning attributes to which we've become accustomed. It's also a pleasure to report there's no unappealing attempt to filter out the pixels from the excellent hand-drawn graphics. So, to the games.
First released in '92 on the awesome if wallet-rapingly expensive Neo Geo, Art of Fighting is a loose prequel to SNK's previous tournament outing, Fatal Fury (a game launched in the wake of the Street Fighter II revolution). Players choose to compete as either Ryo Sakazaki (an angry young man who seems to model himself after Ken from SFII) or Robert Garcia (a warrior yuppie who looks rather splendid in spats) when working through the single-player story mode. All eight characters are playable during the two-player bouts, however.