SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy Game Poster Image
Fighting game that's more flash (and flesh) than substance.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Characters have all been taken captive, are being forced to fight one another to escape. Argument could be made that teamwork is essential, but story circumstances make it more a matter of necessity.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Roster includes multiple characters with variety of personality types, motivations, etc., but not much overall character development. They're all basically pawns being used for some mystery character's (as well as the players') amusement.

Ease of Play

Features a very streamlined set of controls, made even simpler with the option to allow multiple combos to be triggered with single buttons.

Violence

It's a fighting game, so violence is front and center, as the characters' goal is to beat the opposing team into submission. That said, the violence has a lot of silly fantasy elements tossed in, including using food and teddy bears as weapons. No blood or gore is shown.

Sex

While there's no nudity, some of the characters' outfits and poses walk right up to the line. Add voyeuristic virtual photo shoots and constant innuendo, and the game's sexuality is almost "busting" out from every nonexistent seam.

Language

"Damn," "hell," and a lot of innuendo is used in the dialogue. Parents should also be aware that online play could possibly open up younger players to offensive conversation in party chats.

Consumerism

Players unlock lots of cosmetic content with in-game currency earned by playing the game or "betting" on online matches while spectating. The game also includes plans for additional downloadable content, including new playable characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the game's endings show characters drinking alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is an arcade-style, 2D fighting game available for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The game's all-female roster of fighters is made up of characters from a variety of SNK games, particularly its King of Fighters franchise. The fighting has been simplified to make it more accessible to new players. The game is loaded with provocative poses and costumes, sexual innuendo, and even virtual photo shoots meant to emphasize the characters' sexuality to players. "Damn" and "hell" can be heard in the game's main story mode, but parents will likely need to pay more attention to its online play, where players can interact with each other and bet in-game currency on matches.

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What's it about?

SNK HEROINES: TAG TEAM FRENZY is a fast-paced, over-the-top arcade fighter where the only thing missing is a Y chromosome. Just a few days after the events of The King of Fighters XIV, many female fighters suddenly and mysteriously fall unconscious. Waking up far from everything they know and trapped in a strange dream dimension, these lovely ladies are forced by their demented captor to duke it out in over-the-top tag team brawls as a part of some warped reality-altering scheme. Players choose from 14 different femmes fatales, fighting in fast-paced matches complete with quick combos and crazy items. Players can compete solo in Story mode, against friends or foes in offline or online versus matches, or just spectate and earn extra in-game currency wagering on the action of others. In your downtime, you can also hit the shop and pick up some new costumes and accessories for your fighters before sitting them in from of the camera for a virtual photo shoot.

Is it any good?

While there's a decent fighting game here, it's overshadowed by the hypersexualized content. SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is a spin-off fighter of the long-running The King of Fighters franchise. While the main series has been a staple of the fight game scene for years, that doesn't mean SNK isn't willing to test new waters from time to time. Heroines features some easy to pick up and play controls, a cute sort of action style, and an initial impression that it's been designed to appeal to and fill a void for female fighting game fans. But scratch just below the surface, and you can't help but see that the game's reaching out for a completely different demographic.

Make no mistake about it, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is a highly sexualized game with very little interest in presenting any of its characters as anything more than eye candy. The little bit of plot and dialogue in the story mode focuses more on innuendo while zeroing in on the characters' skimpy outfits through voyeuristic camera angles. Players are encouraged to spend credits earned in-game to play dress-up with the characters, outfitting them in a variety of costumes and accessories. Then they pick out poses and expressions in a risqué virtual photo shoot. That's not to say there's not a genuinely decent fighting game to be had here. The problem is that it's simply overshadowed by the blatant sexuality catering more to male hormonal fantasies than to girls looking for a positive representation in the genre.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sex, gender, and body image in games. What are some of the positive and negative ways that females are portrayed in video games like SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy? Do stronger female role models suffer when presented in a sexualized manner? If so, how?

  • Is the impact of violence in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy affected by the animated, fantasy-styled combat? Would it be intensified if it was more realistic or more graphic?

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