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Aggressors of Dark Kombat [痛快GANGAN行進曲] Game Sample ...

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  • 3 years ago
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"Aggressors of Dark Kombat" (or "ADK" for short... clever... it's known as "Tsukai GANGAN Koshinkyoku" in Japan) is another game from the cool folks at Alpha Denshi that was an attempt at a new series and somewhat original fighting game hot off the heels of "World Heroes 2 Jet". Originally released in Arcades 1994 using that good ol' Neo Geo tech, it got ported to numerous platforms including the Neo Geo, NGCD, PS2 (under the Japanese PS2 " ADK Tamashii" collection), PS4, XB1, Nintendo Switch, and the Japanese Neo Geo Mini. You'd think with all these ports, ADK would be a bonafide classic, but you know what? Aggressors of Dark Kombat got mediocre reviews back in the day and a lot of flack in general from many within the gaming community, and I can understand some of the criticism; for a game released in 1994, it was quite lacking within the over-saturated fighting game market at the time.

The main points of contention were brutal difficulty, visuals that were par the course, audio that lacked the fidelity of many of its competitors, a basic roster of uninspired characters, and fiddly controls with unresponsive or hard to execute moves. Having played the game back in the day, there were exploits one could use to have a fighting chance and I always thought the pre/post fight banter was kinda funny (the game is almost a parody of the genre and doesn't take itself too seriously). I also enjoyed the grappling system with its multitude of throws, escapes and reversals, and the "3D" beat-em-up features, while tacked on, added a smidgen of depth if utilized properly. While I wouldn't call it an essential game by any means, it's mildly entertaining once you get the hang of it. What I actually don't like is why the NGCD game doesn't get more love?

As far as ports go, its load times were less offensive than some titles (though we still sped them up), it had nice upgraded arrangements of the Arcade themes, and other than the low-budget character select screen (which was changed to help reduce load times), the game looks as great as the other ports. I don't understand why the ports on the much more powerful platforms couldn't give us the best of both (the Arcade release with the CD soundtrack or the option to choose), but I digress.

The game features your standard fighting game mechanics with hybrid beat-em-up features (like pressing down and punch to pick up items found or thrown in by NPCs or executing special attacks like, for example, Streets of Rage / Bare Knuckle 3), multiple ways to stun your opponent (if they're stunned on the ground, you can execute various downed-only attacks) and special "Crazy Attacks" (GANGAN in Japan) that will end the match instantly if they connect. The neat thing is that matches are only one round and fighters have multiple health bars that must be depleted; Crazy Attacks can only be executed if your opponent is down to their last bar of health. Chip damage from attacks is also present and players heal a little bit of health with every successful attack they land. There's a bit of blood in the Japanese version when critical hits are landed that was removed in the International version.

This is a video of the game in action. We use Kisarah Westfield, the token female of the roster, as she goes up against World Heroes' Fuuma Kotaro, Lee Hae Gwon and Leonhalt Domador. For those curious, ADK/TGGK isn't the last time any of these characters would appear -- Kisarah also appears in "Neo Geo Battle Coliseum" (Joe Kusanagi makes a cameo appearance), "SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash DS", "The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match" (as a cameo along with Joe Kusanagi and Katsuo), "ADK World" and "Days of Memories 2 / Koi wa Good Job!" Fuuma has also made numerous appearances including many of the same as Kisarah but also titles like "SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy" (as a cameo). Enjoy.

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