Our Score – 8/10
The Rumble Fish 2, created by Dimps in 2005, is a classic in the world of arcade gaming. Because of the high level of strategy enabled by its 2-gauge system and the silky smooth visuals produced by S.M.A, this fighting game quickly rose to prominence. Newer generational features make it even less complicated to get into the game.
Ready to Rumble
A fantastic little fighter with a diverse cast of characters, solid combat, and gorgeous 2D visuals and animation, The Rumble Fish 2 is a real treat. It’s an improvement over its forerunner in every aspect imaginable, and it also features a large number of new characters.
Any good fighting game needs a ridiculous story to justify the violence between your characters. And this one is no exception. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that the name of the fighting competition that acts as the motivation for your chosen combatant is so ridiculous that only a stone heart could possibly refrain from laughing out loud. The game is a lot of fun, and the battle is more deliberate. And takes place at a slower pace than in some other, more adrenaline-pumping options. With its excellent chain combo system and straightforward four-button control scheme (plus block), the game is surprisingly accessible. Keep your eyes peeled; there are lots of gauges to peruse. The HUD has a health bar and a Guard gauge. The Guard gauge indicates how many more hits can be blocked until the guard is broken.
It’s a lovely touch that the width of this bar fluctuates based on the protagonist’s personality. Two of the characters even have their own one-of-a-kind measuring devices. This was the first time I could remember seeing such tailored mechanics for individual characters. And it blew my mind at the time. Whereas Boyd’s coolly named Scorpion bar is filled by nailing certain distinctive moves and, at maxed out, enabling him to launch crushingly powerful Offensive Arts, Lud can build up stocks that allow him to perform super-powered versions of his specialties.
Both the Offensive Arts and Defensive Arts have their own three-segment bars, allowing for a wide variety of devastating super moves and counterattacks. It is not often that a player will have their Offense and Defense bars at full, but when they do, they will be able to unleash a Critical Art, an absurdly strong attack that is also the coolest method to kill an opponent. The Boost Dive indication is situated beneath the Guard bar. Once this is at maximum, you will enter a condition where you are somewhat immune to damage and have access to enhanced attacks.
Visually, the game has great pixel sprites and the audio is still quite punchy and awesome.
The Rumble Fish 2 is a great arcade fighter that is now available for everyone to enjoy. Many may have not had the opportunity when it was originally released, so it’s great to see the game now available on modern platforms. Plus, the pixel sprites still hold up fantastically well.