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Diehard GameFAN: Melty Blood: Actress Again Review (PS2)

Melty Blood: Actress Again, despite its silly name, is a no-nonsense fantastic fighting game that's sure to please casual players and hardcore fighting game fans alike, despite some small issues in presentation and balance. The storyline is solid if one has the interest in searching it out or can read Japanese, there's a good variety to the game modes, the visuals are mostly solid thanks to the artistic design and the fluid animations, and the audio of the game is top notch in all respects. The gameplay basics are simple to pick up and will feel familiar to most fighting game fans, but the advanced play mechanics are exceptionally diverse and complex, and the Moon style system is a surprisingly interesting addition that adds to the depth of the game by offering numerous fighting styles per character and changing up some special moves depending on the character and style. The characters are a little pixelated and don't compare to more modern 2D fighting games, the gameplay mechanics can seem daunting at first thanks to the immense amount of things one can do in battle to turn the tide or press the advantage, and the game suffers from SNK Boss syndrome and features a few unbalanced playable characters, which may put off some players. Overall, however, Melty Blood: Actress Again is a fighting game fans of the genre shouldn't be without if they have access to an import-ready PS2, as it's one of the best fighting games to come out in a long time in every way that matters.

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