This review is taken from a series of reviews I did a couple of years ago concerning the fighters available for the N64.
I am not sure why there are two game modes, unless the creators could not make up their mind? There is a "super deformed mode" and what is called a "virtual mode." The virtual mode has more serious looking characters and is more of a Virtua Fighter type gameplay. The various modes of play and options are plenty. It is like two games in one.
The name of the game is Hiryū no Ken Twin or Twin Fists of the Flying Dragon as it is known in Japan. A casual gamer would probably just dismiss this and throw it aside. One who digs a little deeper would find their diligence graciously rewarded. Hidden beneath the surface are some concepts that will make you wonder, “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” And I am referring to the single player SD mode. Certain RPG elements have been added to the story mode to build your fighter’s skills and strength, increasing in levels. You get “treasures” that you are able to equip to your fighter. This is only available in the super deformed mode. There is motivation in trying to collect all the different treasures, which can be used with your fighter. You can use these to build your own fighter. And this becomes the focus of your gaming. There are a lot of gamers that would be put off by super deformed mode and opt for the virtual mode, and they would be missing something very special. You continue to work your way through tournaments, which to some, would seem repetitious. But that is some of the side effects in the elements concerning RPGs, the grinding. It is in the fighting where you win the treasure items and level up. You level up the items so they become more powerful in their use. In the store you can purchase and sell items involving credits you receive from fighting. You can even trade items with other players in a multi player game.
In the virtual mode you have a more serious looking fighter with the choice of a 2D or 3D gameplay. Your choice affects your gameplay. And it is a very solid fighter. It is in character design and gameplay reminiscent of the other fighter’s of that time period, mainly Tekken and Virtua Fighter. One fighter even reminds me of a Street Fighter character, hmmmm, how did they do that? You fight to advance in ranking which is determined by how long it takes you to defeat the gauntlet of fighters until you take on the end boss and win. If you bail before the end boss you will obviously get low ranking. You will need to visit the practice mode and learn to control your fighter before getting anywhere in this mode. Or it will be handed to you what your opponent kicked around the screen for how many seconds it took him. A novice will not get anywhere fast. I find this game very challenging and fun.
Graphically the game is simple and cartoony in the SD mode, yet there is detail in the fighters. SD means super deformed and it does remind you a little of anime in that respect. The virtual mode has more detail in the fighter’s and the backgrounds. And they compare well with Tekken and Virtua Fighter of that time period. Both games, because they are two different type games, have a host of options, practice, multi player, tournament, circuit mode. Circuit mode is recommend.
I honestly don’t understand the ratings that this game received from reputable game magazines at the time it was released to market. Some gave it a 3 out of 10. Maybe it was the Japanese flavor of the game, which it has, and I like. Seemingly this one slipped in under the radar, or many believed the magazines and opted to avoid this title. The sales were low. I would say that this cart is loaded with fun, two games with different objectives, a very neat package. There is a lot here for the single player to dig into and fun for two players. I would recommend this to a novice advising them to stick with it and you will be very rewarded. If you are a gamer who loves the genre, you owe yourself at least a try, if you own an N64. I give this game a very big thumbs up and rate it “Awesome Game.”