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New SNK Heroines trailer is heavy on fan service

All-female Switch and PS4 fighting game looks like SNK’s Dead or Alive

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

SNK released a new trailer for SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy at Evo Japan 2018 this weekend, and in case there was any confusion, that trailer makes it abundantly clear that the fighting game is all about the fan service.

Ostensibly, the trailer’s purpose was to reveal a new character, Nakoruru, who first appeared in Samurai Shodown in 1993 and more recently appeared in The King of Fighters 14. “With her lightning-quick attacks and loyal bird companion, Mamahama, she is looking to bring her brand of 18th century beatdown in SNK HEROINES Tag Team Frenzy,” publisher NIS America said in a press release today.

Nakoruru’s appearance SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, and the dress-up nature of the fighting game, emphasizes just how much fan service SNK is slathering on. Here’s how Nakoruru will appear in SNK Heroines compared to her recent appearance in KOF14.

Nakoruru in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy
SNK/NIS America
Nakoruru in The King of Fighters 14

It’s not clear why Nakoruru is now dressed like a vampire or vampire hunter (or why her companion Mamahama looks like a bat, instead of a hawk) in SNK Heroines, but her official artwork makes her seem similarly perplexed about her predicament. It may have something to do with the implication that the women of SNK Heroines appear have been abducted by the creepy owner of the castle in which they’re forced to engage in two-on-two tag battles. (Extra creepy is that the resident of that castle is apparently filming their battles with security cameras.)

But Nakoruru’s appearance is inline with the fan-service nature of the rest of the trailer, which shows SNK fighters like Mai Shiranui and Athena Asamiya fighting for survival in swimwear. Granted, Mai’s been a fan-service character from her inception in Fatal Fury 2, and Athena is wearing the clothing of her ancient arcade ancestor. But why is Leona Heidern wearing a cat bikini? Because SNK has a certain audience in mind for SNK Heroines.

That audience isn’t just hardcore fighting game fans, according to NIS America, who tweeted shortly after the game was announced that it won’t alter the content SNK Heroines for its North American release.

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy will be released on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 sometime this summer.

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