Asuka 120% Excellent: Burning Festival (Import) Review

All-girl fighting games haven't seen the light of day in the US.

Though they're quite the rage in Japan, all-girl fighting games haven't seen the light of day in the US. And when you consider games like Asuka 120% Excellent, you won't have any doubts about why. While Asuka is a cool game in some ways, it's way too out there to achieve any kind of American mainstream success.

The game takes place in a high school, and each girl fighter champions a different club. There's representatives from chemistry, volleyball, biology (she fights alongside her frog), tennis, baseball, gymnastics, and more. The backgrounds also reflect this club motif, and they range from a lab to a volleyball court. Each character has a collection of special moves, several of which appear to be directly lifted from the Street Fighter series (in fact, most characters have a dragon punch of some kind). The special moves are very easy to do: hit down to forward, down to back, or down twice, followed by a button. But the game's fighting mechanics are where things start to get a little strange: It's like the custom combos and alpha counters from Street Fighter Alpha 2 are always on. The action is very fast, and hits can block other hits - making it possible, for instance, to punch fireballs out of the air. So if both characters unleash a multi-hit attack at the same time, the hits will bounce off each other until one of them finally gets through.

The graphics in Asuka scream 16-bit. If it wasn't for the game's generous use of speech and music, this could easily be mistaken for a Genesis game. The backgrounds look dull, and on the whole the game looks very washed out. The sound effects are a mixture of slaps, bumps, and yelps; the music is acceptable, though some of the tracks are a tad too peppy.

In the final analysis, this game presents an interesting diversion for American hard-core fighting game fans. But those with only a passing interest in the genre won't understand why anyone would even think about playing a game that looks this pathetic. Asuka 120% Excellent will hold your attention for a few days, but it will get old very quickly. Unless you can find an outlet that rents import games, you'd be well advised to stay out of this schoolyard scrap.

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Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

Asuka 120% Excellent: Burning Fest. Excellent More Info

  • First Released
    • PlayStation
    All-girl fighting games haven't seen the light of day in the US.
    Average Rating16 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Asuka 120% Excellent: Burning Fest. Excellent
    Developed by:
    Fill-In Cafe
    Published by:
    SCEI, Family Soft
    2D, Fighting, Action