The Rumble Fish 2 is a fighting game sequel from 3goo and Dimps Corporation that exhibits some oldschool, arcade fighting with some modern ideas mixed in. This is a Japanese fighter through and through, but that is not why you are here. You may be wondering if this is a worthy addition to a fighting game catalog or not.
So is The Rumble Fish 2 a solid fighting game sequel? Or should this series have bowed down to the superior titles out there and closed shop after the first entry? Let’s find out!
For context, The Rumble Fish is a series that debuted in Japanese arcades back in 2004, and The Rumble Fish 2 released the following year. The two titles have had homebrew ports that have placed it on consoles like the SEGA Dreamcast, but this is the first time ever that The Rumble Fish 2 has made its way properly to modern day consoles.
As far as the story goes, this one is a bit convoluted. Essentially, a large-scale natural disaster has struck, and it has disrupted all areas of life. After things start to pick back up, a giant corporation called PROBE-NEXUS has redesigned and cleaned up the effected areas, but this has left a strong social division between the wealthy and nearly rebuilt Eastern area and the underdeveloped and struggled Western area.
Basically, the area has been divided and tension is brewing, and the only way to resolve these problems is with punches and kicks within a series of demanding martial arts battles! Like I said, not the deepest storyline, but it is a plot point that gets things moving and gives context to some of the characters within The Rumble Fish 2 universe. All of the characters speak Japanese, so for those who cannot understand the language, the personal quips and lines will go unnoticed, which is a shame, as they are genuinely fun and insightful at times. Sadly, the English writing is kind of… boring, to say the least.
The Rumble Fish 2 is a slightly different fighting game from others, as health is two-layered per round, and there are two different gauges, one for offense and one for defense. This definitely mixes up the gameplay, but at the same time, it kind of over-complicates things more than necessary.
As far as gameplay goes, The Rumble Fish 2 on Switch is lacking in so many ways, especially for its asking price. For starters, the online is horrendous. The options are simply too limited, you cannot see your opponents’ ping, you cannot create any lobbies, and rematching is not even an option online, as the game just boots you back to the title screen after finishing an online match. This is really unfortunate, as the game is quite enjoyable and a solid fighting game for the most part. It just currently suffers from a lack of better structure and organization.
In regards to local support, this is where The Rumble Fish 2 currently shines the brightest. You can play offline 2 players in versus, and you can also participate in Arcade, Survival, Time Attack, and Training to further improve your skills and learn more about the characters and their move sets. Even though this definitely adds more to the overall experience, the price for The Rumble Fish 2 simply does feel justified based on the lackluster presentation and extreme limitations in the online mode.
Otherwise, the port for The Rumble Fish 2 is a decent one, as the look, feel, and presentation are pretty solid. It just hurts that this is a fighting game releasing in 2022, albeit an older game re-releasing, and it does not offer its players the amenities and options of any other fighting game released in the last 5 years.
In its current state, I cannot recommend The Rumble Fish 2, especially for online-only players. This is a game that deserves better treatment in its porting, and it is a series that could have benefited tremendously from a simple overhaul and sprucing up of the menus and options. Thankfully, things still look and sound great, but it is difficult to look past how poor the online is.
Hopefully a major update will happen down the road to elevate the experience and online play, but as it stands now, The Rumble Fish 2 on the Nintendo Switch is not worth your time and money. Wait for an update, a major discount, or find another game to enjoy instead, that is unless you have been waiting to play this one since 2005.
Great characters and plenty of stages
Solid port for local play
Music, voice, and art style ported well
Online mode is beyond lacking
Price is way too high for barebones presentation
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.