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Ryūko no Ken
龍虎の拳

 
 
Known as 'Art of Fighting' outside of Japan, Ryūko no Ken (Fist of Dragon and Tiger) appeared alongside Garou Densetsu 2 in 1992, marking SNK's no-holds-barred assault on the 2D fighting game scene so vividly ignited by Street Fighter II (1991).
Turns out that SNK had plenty to contribute to the formula: from the last-ditch 'finish move' to the chargeable 'spirit bar', the original Ryūko no Ken was full of great innovations - and it always did it in a style all of its own.
The game's two heroes - Ryo Sakazaki (left) and Robert Garcia (right) became immediate cult heroes, starting a fighting game series that had everything going for it before being almost completely absorbed by the King of Fighters series in 1994, after one sequel only.
Various manga, a TV Anime Special and a third game bearing the name did appear but were only met with limited success, probably because the KOF series was at the peak of its popularity at the time - and since Ryo, Robert and others were always featured, their own series faded away. A shame since the third instalment has a lot to offer.
Beside the evident complaint that the series didn't last, all three chapters are great games in their own right, with a play style distinct enough to be called their own.
 

 
1992
 
1994
 
1996
 


 
Battle Spirits Ryūko no Ken
バトルスピリッツ 龍虎の拳

DVD
DETAILS
Format DVD
Released 26 Sep 2003
Publisher Marvelous
Product ID MJBD-70144
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 1.5
Weight (kg) 0.17
PRICE
STATUS
Initially shown in December 1993, the 46-minute Ryūko no Ken TV special didn't win many plaudits.
Here it is anyways, one of three SNK anime DVDs released on the same day by Marvelous. The other two are:
- Samurai Spirits Haten Gōma no Shō
- Garou Densetsu The Motion Picture
As always, the high price comes from the fact that DVDs are inexplicably pricey in Japan - brand new this retails at 7700yen!

DVD case, NTSC DVD disc, colour booklet.

Ryūko no Ken ~Ten Chi Jin~
龍虎の拳 ~天・地・人~

NEO GEO ONLINE COLLECTION VOL.4
DETAILS
Format PlayStation 2
Released 11 May 2006
Publisher SNK
Product ID SLPS-25610
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 1.5
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
#4 of the Neo Geo Online Collection brings together all 3 chapters of the Ryūko no Ken series:
- Ryūko no Ken (1992)
- Ryūko no Ken 2 (1994)
- Ryūko no Ken Gaiden (1996)
Each game is perfectly replicated along with menus, sound tests, practice rooms and more.

PS2 case, PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM disc, colour booklet.

Ryūko no Ken ~Ten Chi Jin~ [Best]
龍虎の拳 ~天・地・人~ [ベスト]

NEO GEO ONLINE COLLECTION THE BEST
DETAILS
Format PlayStation 2
Released 21 June 2007
Publisher SNK
Product ID SLPS-25790
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 1.5
Weight (kg) 0.18
PRICE
STATUS
'The Best' re-issue of the PS2 Ryūko no Ken collection:
- Ryūko no Ken (1992)
- Ryūko no Ken 2 (1994)
- Ryūko no Ken Gaiden (1996)

PS2 case, PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM disc, colour booklet.

 



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