Art of Fighting Anthology Hits PS4 Tomorrow: The Origins of an SNK Classic

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Art of Fighting Anthology Hits PS4 Tomorrow: The Origins of an SNK Classic

SNK looks back at the seminal fighting franchise in celebration of its PS4 debut.

Hi everyone. Tomorrow sees the launch of Art of Fighting Anthology on PlayStation Store. It’s a compilation that includes Art of Fighting, Art of Fighting 2 and Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior.

Not familiar with the series? Art of Fighting is an important part of fighting game history as it introduced a variety of systems that have gone on to become staples of the genre, such as Desperation Moves, the Spirit Gauge, special pre-battle intros and much more.

Art of Fighting Anthology

To mark the game’s release, we sat down with Nobuyuki Kuroki who worked on Art of Fighting 2 and Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior, and Youichiro Soeda who worked mainly on Art of Fighting 2, to get an idea of what development was like behind the scenes.

How was the Art of Fighting style born?

Soeda: From the marketing side, we wanted to show the characters as big as possible on screen. In the early development prototype, this was so extreme that characters were only visible from their knees to upper body as they got closer on the screen.

Over development we obviously scaled this down to be more manageable. However, we still accomplished our goal of having some of the biggest and most detailed sprites among the fighting games of that generation.

Art of Fighting Anthology

We also set out to make the game as innovative as possible, which ended up meaning we introduced a lot of brand-new systems that have now become staples of the fighting game genre. This includes aspects such as taunts (which worked to decrease the opponent’s spirit gauge), the inclusion of Desperation Attacks (hidden commands!), graphical scaling, and in-game battle damage. Quite a few innovative features for the first game in a series!

What kinds of changes were made from Art of Fighting to Art of Fighting 2 in terms of the gameplay?

Soeda: Art of Fighting 2 was focused most on the classic competitive aspect of fighting games. More characters were made playable that time around. Kuroki and I did not expect that even Yuri Sakazaki would appear in the game as the playable character since the story of Art of Fighting focused on a rescue mission for Yuri carried out by Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia. This was unique to us because with games like KOF the story is always based around some martial arts tournament being held. In the end, Yuri went on to become a very popular character with fans and she still is to this day.

Art of Fighting Anthology

Kuroki: Regarding young Geese as the boss in the Art of Fighting 2, the design was largely influenced by the Fatal Fury animation released around that time. I worked on the design with another designer during my second year at SNK.

What was the development situation around Art of Fighting 3?

Kuroki: For Art of Fighting 3 the plan was to use both motion capture tech and 2D animation style graphics. Some of the staff went to the US and worked on motion capture for about a month. We obviously needed to put other key parts of development on hold until we received the motion data. Most of them could not be rendered directly from the motion captured data and the designers ended up with a lot more work than they expected.

Art of Fighting Anthology

For this process, in a lot of ways it ended up taking almost 10 times as long to accomplish compared to what we estimated. Creating sprite graphics is very time intensive. In my case, I can create a dot image in a day, but on the flip side I can probably draw 10 detailed illustrations in a day. This situation was a result of us trying to create a more sophisticated system over the previous two games.

What would you like to do if you have an opportunity to do something for Art of Fighting in the future?

Kuroki: An Art of Fighting reboot would be one of my dream projects. I used to play Art of Fighting after finishing school almost every day. Art of Fighting was one of the biggest reasons why I decided to work at SNK. To a lot of us, Art of Fighting 1 was an action game at heart and I think a reboot could be a great chance to emphasise those aspects. I think Art of Fighting could branch out from being just a pure fighting game.

Art of Fighting Anthology

Who is your favourite character?

Kuroki: I love all of the characters in Art of Fighting 1. If I had to choose, it would be Ryo. I always chose him when I used to play Art of Fighting in the arcades.

Soeda: Totally agree. I also will take Ryo if I can only choose one character.

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  • One of my favorite SNK fighting game series. I love AoF 1 but have NEVER beaten it. The CPU will kick your butt as early as stage 2!

  • Is this a sign of Art of Fighting 4? Weird to see such a detailed blog for this game alone, very strange ;). Give us SNK vs. Capcom Chaos and KOF 2003 please :). I would buy those day one as PS2 classics. Sucks you guys decide to release this too, just bought ACA Art of Fighting 2, refuse to double dip but have bought all the other PS2 SNK classics day one.

  • Those SNK classics are one of the BEST! Besides Capcom vs SNK Pro Millennium Fight 2001, I have not bought some of the SNK titles before, but those games, are a must have to all gamers’ collections. I would DEFINITELY buy those games in a heartbeat! If you are an SNK fan, that games is, and will become a must have! Also, Capcom vs SNK should get a sequel, and also, the remasters on PSN as PlayStation Classics. Plus, SNK, and Capcom, should collaborate once more to do the Capcom vs SNK sequels, and get all of the Capcom vs SNK crossovers to PSN as PlayStation Classics. Trust me. All of the games are amazing! Capcom, and SNK, need to make those dreams a reality. I cannot wait to play the classic fighting games again.

  • 1. It comes out tomorrow, Wed 8/30 not Tues 9/29

    2. I am not complaining but I am confused on why we have ACA Neo Art of Fighting 1 and 2 and this PS2 game?

    3. Please give us SNK vs Capcom

    4. I wish Capcom would re-release Street Fighter games like you

    • 1. Well, from what I looked up, PAL regions already got this available, while we have to wait later, lol.

      2. Yeah, I’m not sure why they’re releasing their anthology games when there’s also the ACA NEO-GEO games also available.

      3. Unless Capcom decides to collaborate again. (I doubt it.)

      4. Would be nice, but that’s why we don’t have CVS2 and/or SVC: Chaos on current gen yet. Still needs Capcom’s permission for those.

  • Awesome series but I still don’t understand the censorship on AOF 3. Would definitely buy it if it weren’t for that and the fact that I just bought AOF 2 arcade archives a couple of weeks ago to go along with the first :(

    • Still love the series and may snag it just to support these classics:)

    • What censorship? Other than the blood color in AOF 3, that’s mostly it, and unless this release of AOF Anthology is going to be the same as its English PS2 counterpart, probably expect the JP voice dialog in AOF 1 during cut-scenes to be absent, the JP text on the bonus games on both games to be also absent, and JP win quote dialogue on versus fights in AOF 3 to also be absent.

      The JP anthology and/or the original versions of all the AOF games will still have the absent stuff intact.

    • Yeah the blood color is my main gripe. Idk why it’s such a big deal to me but it is lol. I just want the games uncensored the way they were meant to be seen and played;)

  • Art of Fighting is awesome. I reminisce on being elated to go to the laundromat, and begging my parent for quarters, just to play this game. The graphics and sounds were way ahead at the time. I always wanted to own it at home, but the Neo-Geo was $500 with games costing upwards of $80. Ironically now, that pricing is par for the course.

    • Yeah, I know how I feel on the arcade days, and yeah, getting these now are cheaper than ever, than owning the system and carts that are infamously expensive for, lol.

  • Well I just finished Art of fighting 3 yesterday on the Arcade machine. The first and the third are possible to beat, but the second….. Even on easy the game is impossible. I had to put immortal to beat that game. I don’t known what they were thinking when they made the difficult setting on that.

  • Here’s what I like to see SNK bring to PS4

    KOF 94 Re-Bout
    KOF 98 UM Final Edition (Steam port)
    KOF 99 (Dreamcast port)
    KOF 02 UM (Steam port)
    KOF 13 (Steam port)
    Metal Slug XX (360 port)
    Baseball Stars 2 (Neo Geo port)

    SNK going strong with these rereleases.

  • Yesterday i played the Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 demo. It’s the same exact thing it has been for more than a decade. Where i’m getting with this? well, i would LOVE for SNK to shake the current state of football games (again) with a new Super Sidekicks as over the top as the first one.

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