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This game was announced to be released on the American market under the title Ranma 1/2: Anything Goes Martial Arts. I even have an old issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly that has a full-page advertisement for it (and also a brief glimpse of the similarly ill-fated Akira game). It was going to feature the voices of the cast who did the English dubbed videos for Viz Video. Unfortunately, it's release was cancelled. Probably due to the lack of success of the first Ranma 1/2 game that came to America: Hard Battle. Rumor has it that Rumiko Takahashi, the creator of Ranma 1/2, was appalled at the English voice acting in the first game. For a while in the late '90s, the U.S. version of Super Battle was listed for sale on half.com even though it was never released. (Don't get your hopes up---it doesn't exist.) To the right is a picture of what the box was supposed to look like.
This game is an excellent improvement over Hard Battle. Graphics, sound, gameplay, animation... it's just superior to its predecessor. Especially since it has a better cast of characters to choose from: Ranma Saotome (boy), Ranma Saotome (girl), Mousse, Shampoo, Kodachi Kuno, Tatewaki Kuno, Ryoga Hibiki, Genma Saotome, Mariko Konjou, Ukkyo Kuonji, and Hinako Ninomiya. The end boss to the game is Herb, a character from one of the OVAs or movies (I forget which. . . I haven't seen it yet). He is one tough opponent to beat!
The game controls are patterned after Street Fighter II. The game certainly does not have the speed of Street Fighter, though. What I like better, however, is that there is not six different types of attacks: just a light and hard punch, and a light and hard kick. What is really great about this game is that you get to charge up your fighting spirit for a super attack. This makes the game very fun and amusing. All of the characters have their own unique attacks, and they all have their own unique way of charging up, which can be rather humorous. Be warned though: charging up like this can leave you open and vulnerable to your opponent's blows.
When you begin a new game, before you get to the player select screen, hold down L and R simultaneously until the screen comes up. Then you will be able to play as Herb.
Unlike Hard Battle, all of the characters in Super Battle are good fighters, making a much more balanced game. There aren't any worthless characters that you could care less about and who do not have any good moves at all. Even Genma has been improved. All the characters seem to have their balance of strenghts and weaknesses. The controls are a bit more complex than the other game, but it makes the game more interesting, I'd have to say.
I love the special attack option. It makes the game more interesting. The special attacks are much easier to initiate and execute than those in Street Fighter Alpha II. I love Kuno's special attack the best. He goes crazy with his sword and shouts at his opponent "Dadadadadadadada!" When Ranma-kun charges up he taunts "Nyah nyah!" and Ranma-chan sticks out her tongue and wags her rear. When Akane charges up, she burns with flaming anger and looks rather evil, in a cute way.
The graphics are so much better than Hard Battle's! My favorites are Ryoga's stage and Mousse's stage. Great attention to detail is given in this game. Even Akane's eyes blink. Plus, the artwork in the "VS." cut scenes and the after battle scenes is excellent. Some of them are taken straight out of the manga. I've always been more partial to the manga, and I don't care too much for the anime. Especially since the OVA's and the movies have different artwork that I truly do not like. It seems as though the newer shows are trying to move away from "cute" and to be more "sexy." This newer style of artwork is used in the manual of the game.
The game speed is a little bit slow because of the quality of the graphics, but this isn't annoying unless you are accustomed to the lightning fastness of a Street Fighter game. The pace is still reasonable, and a bit more realistic. (Ranma? Realistic? Ah, never mind.) Since the special moves were patterned more closely to Street Fighter moves, I had a hard time completing many of the moves at first. (I've never been very good at that... I just get too excited or something.) I wish both the boy and girl Ranmas had the same moves. They had the same moves in Hard Battle, yet they were still unique enough to have different feels to each. Instead, Ryoga and Ranma are the most similar. I miss Ryoga's headbands and his umbrella! I liked those in Hard Battle. However, his "breaking point" technique is much better in this game.
This is an entertaining and humorous game. If you love Ranma 1/2 and you love fighting games, definitely get this game. It seems to be one of the more easier to obtain anime SFC games. I'd have to say that it is my favorite of all the Street Fighter II clones I've played on the Super Nintendo.
Ranma 1/2: Super Battle FAQ
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