SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy feels like it is a game people are not meant to take seriously. I mean, look at the character outfits, the length of the campaign (it can be beaten in under 20 minutes), and the fact that a match can be ended in an instant with a press of a button when a Finish Chance appears and conditions are right. However, when the game is not trying to be creepy, some of the elements can use its over-the-top nature to do some goofy things. There are even times when it pays tribute to SNK Gals’ Fighters in a pleasant way.
First, let’s go over the story. In the build up to release, it was made to seem very mysterious and spooky, but the twist is revealed almost immediately. All of the heroines in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy have been kidnapped and put in a dark, unsettling mansion filled with cameras. They have been placed in ridiculous outfits, most of them extremely revealing, without their consent. (I felt bad for Nakoruru, who seems incredibly distressed about and uncomfortable in her vampire outfit in her before-match picture.) Fortunately, within the first minute, one of the two characters in your chosen tag team will work out who is responsible. The duo will then decide they are going to make the pervert offender pay. For the silliest reactions in this segment, I recommend picking Sylvie Paula Paula as one of your first party members. Her inclusion leads to some goofy banter with the boss.
During the actual fights, the special effects coming off of some of SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy’s attacks can be really great. Terry Bogard has arcade-themed assaults, with one having her drop an actual arcade machine on her opponents. Others seem to involve the sorts of stuffed animals you would see in UFO catchers. Teen idol Athena has musical notes accompanying her hits. Nakoruru’s wolf, Shikuru, is cuter than he has ever been before. I hope you like Sylvie’s eyes, because there will be so many eyes when she gets combos and special attacks going. One of Kula’s finishers involves cups of what appears to be sorbet. It is very goofy, and I found myself experimenting with characters I did not normally use to see what kinds of effects would be tied to their attacks.
It is SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy’s endings that are my favorite part. Yes, I did say endings. There is one generic ending that plays whenever a campaign is over. You get some resolution after defeating the final boss. I do not want to spoil it, but part of it involves a very brief dance segment that I enjoyed more than Yuna’s “Real Emotion” choreography in Final Fantasy X-2. It plays with some cinematic techniques used throughout the campaign, and it is goofy to see them turned around on the villain.
However, it is the individual character endings in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy that can take the cake. Part of it is because each one is absolutely ridiculous. Every heroine has this animated segment that plays over the credits and can be bought separately in the game. Spoilers aside, each one is a gag ending. I feel like it is a callback to SNK Gals’ Fighters on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. For those who are unfamiliar with that 2D fighter that also stars a number of SNK heroines, each woman is competing to have a wish granted. Everyone’s wish is something frivolous. As an example, SNK Gals’ Fighters’ Shermie ending has her using the talisman to get a bigger hamster cage, since her hamster just had babies. Mai’s ending especially has similar themes in both games.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is over the top and can be cute, weird, fanservice-filled, and maybe even discomforting, but the one thing it does try to do well is offer up absolutely ridiculous attacks, endings, and dialogue. When it is being silly, it can play with the lore and reference the series’ history in unexpected ways.
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy will make its Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 debut on September 7, 2018.