Format reviewed: Neo Geo
Developer: Alpha Denshi
Submitted by: Richard Moore
The storming popularity of Street Fighter II in the early nineties opened the floodgates for numerous copycats and knock-offs, each hoping to replicate the success of Capcom’s stellar sequel. As such, World Heroes was considered to be a poor clone upon it's 1992 release.
World Heroes did attempt to create a separate identity for itself however by introducing a quirky cast of warriors from various time zones in Earth's history. With spins on Ghenghis Khan, Joanne of Arc and erm…Hulk Hogan, Alpha Denshi's game was at least intriguing. There also an interesting 'Death Match' mode in which hazards such as electric fences and mines were thrown into the arena, making for a welcome diversion from the standard arcade mode.
Sadly, it would still be touted as an SF II wannabe by the masses, an image that World Heroes helped create for itself with vaguely familiar character movesets, startlingly similar bonus stages to those of SF II and an overall lack of innovation. The stages were bland, the music forgettable and the presentation incredibly scrappy, none of which helped matters.
In closing, World Heroes isn't necessarily the worst clone of Street Fighter II out there. It's admittedly a pretty clunky game these days but still very playable as long as you don’t approach the game with your expectations set too high.
Format reviewed: SNES
Developer: ADK / SNK
Submitted by: Rm 88
I used to play mostly fighters back in the SNES era, and while I was a huge Street Fighter fan, I also enjoyed most of its clones. For some reason, I found World Heroes especially charming and fun. I was never an arcade gamer, so the first time I played this was in my SNES, when I borrowed it from a friend a couple of years after the release date.
Chun Li was my best character in Street Fighter, so I used to choose the girls in every new fighting game. That's how Janne helped me to get into this game. Later, Bruce Lee look alike Kim Dragon would join my "party", with Rasputin being the least effective of my 3 main World Heroes.
The characters are somewhat cheesy, but I think that's part of its charm. Most of the characters are based upon real "historic" characters – like Janne (Joan of Arc), Muscle Power (Hulk Hogan), J. Carn (Genghis Khan), and the less subtle Rasputin. I personally loved the cast, everyone was fun to use/play against.
I hated the "tap for weak attack, hold for strong attack" mechanic. Thankfully, you could customize the controller settings in the SNES version. The game played a lot like Street Fighter, and that's always a good thing.
Aside from the normal tournament mode, you could choose Death Mode, which was a pretty cool and unique option. Stages were filled with different traps that could change the course of a fight.
Graphically, the game looked pretty good. It was a nice SNES conversion, with large sprites and good looking stages. In the Japanese version, you could select an alternate color for your character by pressing start, I don't know why this feature didn't make it into the American version. The character portraits were pretty basic, especially compared with their later WH2 counterparts, but not enough to be considered ugly.
Fighters didn't need great storylines back then, and WH was no exception. Dr. Brown, a scientist who created a time machine, organized a tournament for 8 different fighters throughout all of history to fight each other. Once you fight everyone, you face Geegus, the boss, who morphed into every character in the game like Mortal Kombat's Shang Tsung.
Overall, I think World Heroes is a pretty good SNES brawler, and I'd totally recommend it to anyone who enjoys 2D fighters.