But while that may be a short paragraph full of negatives there are more than a few potential explanations behind these things – bringing the total character roster up from 2’s twelve to Special’s sixteen may have simply increased the cart’s ROM size beyond Takara’s budget at the time, and while variations of the dual-line system were definitely Garou’s “thing” all the way up to Real Bout 2 it was always more of an interesting sideline rather than an essential reinvention of the wheel. So while this port doesn’t feel as complete as Nettou Samurai Spirits did at the end of the day there’s no real harm done either.
Then there’s the locations, which through something that can only be described as voodoo magic either retain their classic scrolling backgrounds (Terry and Andy’s stages for example) or have a neat parallax effect that adds a bit of depth where you would have expected there to be none. It’s not much but it’s enough to really breathe some life into the game and coupled with the wonderful character animation makes things seem more exciting than they would have been otherwise. The same can be said for the speech bubbles that accompany win poses and certain special moves – they aren’t especially clever or fancy, but they’re a nice little touch that help the GB version keep some of the spectacle of it’s visually stunning arcade parent without getting in the way of the action
So while Garou Densetsu 2 isn’t as outwardly flashy as its Samurai Spirits stablemate it’s clear that the effort’s all been concentrated where it matters, and the result is a tight and responsive game that’s representative of the arcade original but never makes the mistake of simply trying to copy it for copying’s sake. Polish it off with Super Game Boy borders and two player battling either via GB link up or two SNES controllers and Nettou Garou Densetsu 2 becomes a solid and entertaining little fighter that’s more than worth the next-to-nothing it currently goes for.