Earlier this month we brought you the first two vlogs in The Fighters Generation webmaster’s countdown of his top 10 fighting games (in no particular order), covering Samurai Shodown II and Street Fighter Alpha 3. Now Frank Yagami is back to provide us with the #8 entry on his list: the SNK classic, Garou: Mark of the Wolves!
After speaking a bit about some of his favorite RPGs–as the intro to Persona 5 plays in the background–Yagami moves on to discussing Garou‘s limited release, as it was a very rare game following its initial release in Japanese arcades in 1999. From then on, it would only receive a port to the NEO GEO in North America and Japan in February 2000, before getting ported to the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 in Japan, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. It also received a few mobile and online ports, but with its recent PlayStation 4 and Vita re-release last December, a whole new generation of fans can experience what Frank notes, “immediately became one of the new measuring sticks of 2D fighters upon its arrival. Right along with Capcom’s 1996 Street Fighter III, which of course had some popular sequels.”
Stating that he first heard about the game right here at Shoryuken’s own forums–where he’s been a proud member since around 2001–when he laid eyes on a forum member’s avatar: a .gif of Rock Howard’s Garou victory pose, during which he immediately wondered where the character originated, as his animations “were way to good for him to be from King of Fighters!”
Next, Yagami points out a staggering amount of similarities between Garou and SFIII, from both the near-complete roster overhaul (Terry Bogard is the only returning character from Fatal Fury, just like Ryu and Ken were the only vets in SFIII:NG), to the innovative and technical gameplay mechanics.
After mourning the character sprites of the Garou sequel that never was (at least for now), Yagami closes the video by praising the title’s presentation, to some of its unique mechanics, such as Just Defend (that later became part of Capcom vs. SNK 2’s K-Groove), feint moves, break moves, guard crush, and the game’s signature Tactical Offense Position (T.O.P.) system, which provided new moves and power-ups to each character at varying life totals. You can catch the full video below.
Yagami also notes that he will be making other vlogs before finishing his countdown, but will also continue it to the very end. Do you have any fond memories of Garou? Or is it something you’ve never heard of, but may try for the first time? Feel free to tell us in the comments section!
Source: The Fighter’s Generation