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Fatal Fury: City Of The Wolves' Latest Characters Offer Two Uniquely Fun Ways To Fight

Marco and Vox each bring a certain flair to the Fatal Fury roster.


Back in March, SNK finally pulled back the curtain on Fatal Fury: City Of The Wolves, the latest installment in the storied fighting game franchise. The return 24 years in the making impressed with its American comic-style art, hard-hitting action, and unique fighting mechanics like the S.P.G. system. We had a chance to take another round of hands-on time with Fatal Fury at Summer Game Fest, and it continues to be a knockout.

This new demo removed two characters from the previous hands-on--sorry, Hotaru and Tizoc fans. However, replacing them in this demo's roster were two characters who have been confirmed since that first preview session: Marco Rodrigues, who was announced in April, and Vox Reaper, one of two new characters confirmed during Summer Game Fest Live. The other, B. Jenet, was not present in our demo.

Vox Reaper
Vox Reaper

Even before we took the controller, we continued to be impressed with Fatal Fury's art style; the "American comic" approach to color and shading really makes each character pop off the screen. In an interview with GameSpot after the hands-on session concluded, Fatal Fury art director Nobuyuki Kuroki said that this visual style, rather than taking a more realistic approach, was always the intention.

"If you look at what other game companies are doing, you can already see games at the pinnacle of realistic graphics and even anime graphics," Kuroki said. "We were trying to find a niche that nobody else has used, and then tried to perfect it and make it our own." When asked which character revealed so far is the best example of what the team has achieved, he quickly responded with "all of them," before eventually choosing Tizoc as the most visually impressive so far.

During our hands-on, we focused on using Marco and Vox Reaper. We tried out Vox first, who is evocative of the sub-boss Grant from Garou: Mark Of The Wolves. Vox thrives in the neutral game; his powerful one-off strikes pay dividends as a match progresses. His game is more of a patient one, where we'd be biding time and waiting for an opening to strike before moving in.

His command throw is a major part of his arsenal, as he can immediately follow it up with his uppercut special move or another big move as soon as the animation ends. He also takes a few special moves straight out of Grant's Garou kit, which will give longtime Grant players an edge from the jump. Of the two new characters in this build, Vox is the one we wish we had more time to figure out.

Marco Rodrigues
Marco Rodrigues

After a few turns with Vox, we moved on to Marco, and from the word "fight," we immediately clicked. Marco practices Kyokugenryu Karate, which in the deep lore of SNK, is a style also used by the Sakazaki family--most notably Ryo and his father, Takuma. As such, Marco plays very much like those two martial artists, and his take on the style packs a powerful yet familiar punch.

Marco's kit includes both the Kouken fireball and the Kohou uppercut, as well as the Hien Shippuu Kyaku jumping-kick combo. His powerful Haoh Sho Kouken fireball super move fills the screen with fire, as well, providing one of the martial artist's flashiest moves. Where Vox requires some more time on the sticks after this demo, we feel we could hold our own against anyone right now.

This new hands-on wasn't the only SNK update of the weekend, however: One of the more groundbreaking announcements of Summer Game Fest was the addition of Terry Bogard and Mai Shiranui to Street Fighter 6. The inclusion makes Terry and Mai the first-ever guest characters in the core Street Fighter franchise, despite Capcom and SNK partnering up in the past.

Fatal Fury producer Yasuyuki Oda says that those discussions began back in 2022, when Evo returned to Las Vegas for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. "At Evo in 2022, we had SNK- and Capcom-themed posters that we collaborated on," Oda said, and those kicked off further talks during the same event.

"There were a couple of dinners during that time, and that's basically when the talks began," Oda said, adding that the two teams "are on very great terms nowadays; I know [Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki] Nakayama is a huge SNK fan, and we're all big Street Fighter fans as well."

Fatal Fury: City Of The Wolves is not only a reinvention of the classic fighting franchise; it's a sign of SNK's renaissance as a whole. With more games and partnerships coming down the pipeline, the company may find itself in a new age of glory before long, and based on how City Of The Wolves has played in two preview sessions, we're looking forward to what's next.

Fatal Fury: City Of The Wolves will launch in early 2025 for Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC.

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