Publisher: Takara
Developer: Takara
Size: 16 megs
No. of players: 2(simultaneously)
Got it for: $14.99, complete

It's that Neo Geo game, the one with the swords, on the Genesis! The Neo classic has made it to the Genesis by way of an outstanding conversion(even with with the absence of EarthQuake{yawn} and scaling) by the good people at Takara.

What's it all about?
It's a one on one, weapon-based fighter that plays more on exact, strategic hits rather than straight out combo-crazy action. Every hit you inflict in the game is the result of waiting for the perfect moment, or countering something that an enemy has done. As there are little-to-no combos in the game, you need to make the most out of each strike and counter as they are so hard to come by in some matches, and are of vital importance to winning. During matches an odd sorta guy will run back and forth, from time to time, throwing onto the playing field, coins(for points), food to refill your life meter and even bombs that will explode causing damage to non-blocking characters. Matches end when, of course, someone's life bar has been depleted or the time runs out...but winning with a particularly nasty slice can actually kill your opponent, either resulting in a geyser of blood shooting out of their chest or leaving them in two pieces...

Graphics - Badass!! The sprites are large and the backgrounds are adequately animated. Though a lot of the frames from the arcade are missing, for the most part, the important ones are still there.
Sound - There's not a whole lot of it; the music is pretty good(what little of it there is) and the few sound effects are clear and loud. BTW, the announcer's voice is present and sounds great! "Ippon!"
Control - Not too bad at all. It's still not great, but certainly beats the ultra-unforgiving control of the Neo Geo arcade version. The new found use of all six buttons on the Genesis pad(giving it a Street Fighter-style layout) was very cool, and beats out the Neo Geo scheme of "hit two buttons at the same time to perform a strong attack", hands down.
AI - Cheap as Hell! Try playing Hanzo when he's one of the later characters and you'll see what I mean. The closer you get to the last guy, the more energy the CPU's hits take.
Replay value - High. It's a fighting game(and a good one at that)! You'll play it on more than a few occasions, I can almost guarantee it.
Tips for better gaming experiences:
In the options for the game, set "Item" to "Max". This will make the item guy run across the screen a lot more often, therefore seriously increasing your chances at getting some meat, or having your opponent take a hit from a bomb or something.

Also, knowing what your character can do, and the typical patterns of the AI are a big factor in best advice is to check out this amazingly good FAQ by Galen Komatsu and Scott Fujimoto. Split into two pieces, the first part goes over AI patterns, gameplay tricks and character info, where as part two runs you through the moves, and how to perform them, of every character. Click here for part 1 or here for part 2 of this excellent piece of work. Note that this is for the Neo Geo version of the game, but as the Genesis conversion is very accurate, it should work fine...

My rating: 87(out of 100) - An incredible conversion from the original Neo Geo game, this game is just great! Major points were taken off for the extremely cheap AI, but I would still take this over the crap SNES port...
GamePro gave it: 4.5(graphics), 4.0(sound), 4.5(control), 4.5(funfactor) (out of 5)
EGM gave it: 8, 8, 7, 7(out of 10)

Cat's statement:
The AI is just too much for me. After losing to the same character 8 times in a row because his throw takes off a good 65% of my health is not my cup "o" noodle. Thanks, but no thanks.
If only we could put poor Kyoshiro out of his misery for good...
Dog meat!
Back woman...I can't tell.
A little ninja-chopping action.
Who's that girl?:
Fatal Fury's Mia makes a special appearance in Haomaru's ending!