Ok, here's the scene: It's the early 90s, and you walk into an arcade with girthy pockets crammed full of quarters. You feel like Smaug reclining on his mounds of gold as the coins chime with your every step. Mesmerized by the electronic wonderland, you stand transfixed, staring at the innumerable pixelated portals to nirvana, searching for the arcade cabinet that will help you reach transcendence.
As your eyes fall on a throng of pre-teens huddled around Street Fighter 2, you slowly realize that your chances of gaining admission into Capcom's world warrior tournament are nil. Dejectedly moping to the opposing end of the arcade, you catch your first glimpse of it. It looks like Street Fighter 2, and it even has similar characters and gameplay. You unconsciously fish a quarter from your pocket and slide it into the mysteriously alluring cabinet. Your body and mind align as you prepare to master the Art of Fighting.
SNK's Art of Fighting, a prequel to their popular Fatal Fury series, is one of the most innovative fighters in the genre's history. Aside from the mechanical additions to gameplay, Art of Fighting expanded the SNK tradition of crafting a rich story world for their characters. With King of Fighters XV, the esteemed crossover that marries the timelines of Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, snagging a main stage slot at this year's EVO, I thought it'd be cool to travel back in time and study the Art of Fighting.