This game is part of a big series that Culture Brain has made. While a few of the games have hit stateside, the vast majority of Hiryu no Ken games and spin-offs are Japan only. At first glance, this game didn't really mean much to me. After all, I had grown fond of other games like Battle Tycoon and Street Fighter Alpha 2. However, as time slipped by, this game eventually grew on me. The reason for this is because I had started making an FAQ for it some time ago. During the FAQ making process, I realized that this game has more depth than a number of fighters out there and the game is actually rather advanced for its time.
Okay, okay...the framerate isn't as crisp as a good deal of fighters released on SNES (At least in the U.S.), and the animation could've been better, but the graphics are acceptable (The graphics in the still images look rather neat huh?). The sound is also very average as well as the sound effects and the sound quality. The quality is questionably SNES, but the sound overall is bearable. It's not great, but I didn't slap myself in the face when I first heard it either. It works. To compensate for these things, the gameplay was significantly more vast than I realized. Actually, it has more going than most care to give it credit (myself included intially) and this is exactly why I like to play games as much as possible.
You have a decent roster of fifteen fighters who each have several special moves at their disposal. Characters also have different statistics that add variety. You are not only considering the usefulness of a character's special moves, but you should also weigh in an enemy's statistics, your own statistics, and then try to plan accordingly. On top of this, the game has an option called "Singan" which is really the "Mind's Eye". What that means is when "Singan" is turned "On", you will notice a sparkle on you or the opponent. If you watch, the sparkle tends to pop up on different parts of the body. Those spots act as "Vital Points" that if hit precisely in that area will dramatically increase the odds of an opponent getting dazed (Culture Brain utilizes this principle in other games). This in turn allows you to score extra blows while the person is helpless.
Along with this, you have "ST" and "SD" abilities (Much
more explained in the FAQ). ST's are counter attacks that happen automatically when you hold away from the opponent and press a button. An example of an ST is this:
If an opponent is performing a sweep, your character can jump over the sweep with a drop kick. It's like an "Auto-Dodge" which is also done in games like Kensei: Sacred
Fist (Playstation). An SD makes you grab an opponents' punch or kick and you have time to execute a more powerful counter. These features add an unorthodox and rather unique experience
for an SNES fighter as far as I'm concerned. The only downside that kills me is I just wish the control response was better. There tends to be lag in-between command input
which makes certain moves harder to pull off than they should. In the end, SD Hiryu no Ken is a fighter that can be easy enough to play, but hard to master.- Written by Vyse the determined -