Oh, we were on a good streak there for a while, weren’t we? Alas, Nintendo of America completely dropped the ball this week with a mere two downloadable titles, neither of which are Virtual Console related. *sigh* Back on the wagon!
103. Garou: Mark of the Wolves (NeoGeo, SNK Playmore, also known as Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves)
Brief Synopsis – The final Fatal Fury fighter, both in release and chronologically, reunites us with Terry Bogard, who continues to bring his unique “wubba wubba” into the arena. Mark of the Wolves otherwise has an entirely new cast and is set ten years after Real Bout. It’s packed with excellent gameplay and some of the greatest spritework SNK pulled off with the NeoGeo hardware. It’s considered one of the greatest fighting games of all time.
Why is it Missing? – New NeoGeo titles roll onto Japan’s Virtual Console every month, but Mark of the Wolves has not joined that massive roster quite yet. One could argue that it’s probably a fairly large title in terms of data considering how recent it is in the NeoGeo timeline. However, Nester disproves that theory below:
At this point, size is no issue for Neo Geo games on the Virtual Console. Garou is 688 megabits, which is one of the larger Neo Geo games, but not as large as Metal Slug 3′s 708 Mb, which is already on the VC. The largest official Neo Geo game is King of Fighter 2003 at 716 Mb. (Unofficially, I think NG:Dev’s unlicensed Neo Geo games, like the recent Gun Lord, have surpassed that size, but obviously they’re not candidates for the VC.)
I suspect the real reason is that SNK has been releasing games in order for the Garou/Fatal Fury series, and Mark of the Wolves’ time is soon approaching.
Other (Legal) Options – The only home port of the game in America for a long time was the Dreamcast port Agetec brought over, but luckily it is now on Xbox Live (why no PSN release?!?). There’s always the NeoGeo original, too, but I imagine it’s expensive given the resale value of NeoGeo hardware AND it being one of the more popular games made for it.