You’d be forgiven for not realizing how groundbreaking ADK’s World Heroes Perfect was. Released in May 1995 alongside a glut of similar-looking Neo Geo fighting games and against better marketed Capcom titles like Street Fighter Alpha, it was inevitable that WHP would get lost in the shuffle. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s, when Capcom had all but stopped developing new fighting games, that WHP was unearthed by players desperate for something new. What they discovered was a game shockingly ahead of its time: fast, with varied character designs, one-off mechanics, and an anything-goes attitude that somehow just worked.
The Neo Geo arcade system saw plenty of fighters that have either become celebrated or ignored. While some experimented with different play mechanics, Visco’s Breakers and Breakers Revenge games went for a more simple approach that made it easy to pick up and immediately have fun in the fight. I reached out to Matt “Lord BBH” Hall and Dustin “ZandKun” Cobb for information about this often-overlooked gem.
Why is V Special so highly regarded? Which characters and tactics define high level play, and how do they fit into the game’s ecosystem as a whole? What makes SSV Special so… special? I spoke to SamSho specialists Patrick “Mauve” McCarthy and Uesugi Kengou to find out.