What happens when a crew of the strong female fighters from the SNK universe wake up in a strange mansion? Naturally they queue up for a 2v2 tournament designed to fight their way home. The result is SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, and it’s out now.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Publisher: NIS America
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
An interesting choice of wardrobe
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy features an all-female cast of fighters. The game’s story campaign finds the cast exiled in a mysterious mansion. Only by participating in a fighting tournament can they uncover the truth behind their abduction and attempt to return home.
One convenient catch of course is that the girls have been dressed in less than modest apparel. In this way, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy unapologetically embraces the voyeuristic nature of its appeal. The fact that the women are scantily clad by design is written directly into the narrative.
Suffice it to say that SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has a theme and delivers on it. No judgments here, but whether or not this brand of hyper-sexuality is your cup of tea is definitely up to the player. In preparation for this review, I played the game on the go with my Nintendo Switch, and I fully admit to checking my surroundings every once in a while to see if anybody over my shoulder was witnessing just what was on my screen.
A brief encounter
Speaking of SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy‘s story mode, it is nothing if not short. As I already noted, it does little but serve as an explanation for why the cast is dressing down and gathering for a fight. Beyond that the dialogue is brief and borderline laughable if not embarrassing at times.
You can expect to see the credits roll in less than an hour, even if you drop a match here and there. As with most fighting games you can repeat the story with different characters for some fresh dialogue, but I’m not sure that it’s worth the effort based on the quality of writing. The obvious motivation to repeatedly grind the story lies in unlocking further aesthetics such as new outfits and colour palette swaps.
Nothing out of the ordinary
Outside of story mode, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy offers the most standard of fare expected from a fighting game, but little else. Staple modes such as versus play, online battles, and a survival mode round out the menu screen. Training and practice modes are available as well.
Unfortunately this leaves SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy feeling like a bit of a bare experience. Again it seems like the focus of the game is weighted more in favour of its aesthetic offerings than in gameplay-based content. If you enjoy playing more for its combat mechanics or visual style, there may be enough to keep you coming back, but don’t expect anything more than a basic fighting game experience as far as variety of modes go.
Fun combat that welcomes beginners
While the lackluster story and simple game modes may leave something to be desired, the combat in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is actually quite enjoyable.
Battles take place between two combatants per team. One is your primary fighter, while the other fills a support role. You can switch between fighters on the fly at any time during the match.
The controls for combat are intentionally designed to be easy and welcoming to players. Even if you are not expertly adept at the often complex controls inherent to fighting games, you will still likely find success. The most blistering ultimate special moves require a single button press, so anybody can execute a spectacular finisher with ease.
With the simplified control scheme it’s easy to feel string together powerful combos in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. On top of this there are also useful items scattered across the arena. These offer a variety of helpful assists that give the game a bit more whimsy, much like in the Smash Brothers fighting series.
Better for beginners?
The caveat for any fighting game with easier controls is that the game may be less engaging for advanced players. In this case I would argue that the simplified controls are yet another decision made to make the game more welcoming to players who are interested less in a deep fighting game, and more in the “aesthetic theme” of SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy.
Personally I think both beginners and seasoned players of the fighter genre can enjoy the combat mechanics here. Even though the controls are a bit watered down, the tag team component along with the sheer variety of items create a spontaneous and fun fight nearly every time.
Since the combat itself does offer a relatively fun experience, it’s ultimately a shame that SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is so blatantly and deeply entrenched in its voyeuristic aesthetic. So many decisions made by the development team seem to cater to its mature art style as opposed to the actual gameplay. There’s so much potential here that is intentionally overshadowed by a wardrobe that looks like it came from the “adult’s only” section of a seasonal Halloween costume shop.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has potential but lacks focus
At its core SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has the potential to be a great fighting game. Its combat mechanics are welcoming to all players and matches are often frantic and fun. Unfortunately neither its short, cringe-worthy story mode or its skeletal complement of additional modes succeed in elevating it to the next level.
I wish the game had focused more on these areas, because it’s built on a solid foundation. Unfortunately SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is more content to rely on its racy outfits for appeal. Of course, if that’s all you’re really looking for, then there’s more than enough game for you here. Nevertheless, it’s an ok fighter that could have been a great one if more care and attention had been put into making the whole package a bit more robust.
+ Fun combat system with easy controls
+ A variety of items to spice up combat
– Cringe-worthy premise
– Lack of depth in game modes
– Focus on flimsy outfits over potential gameplay
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3/5