Art of Fighting 2 Image Album

artfightingimage Album Title:
Art of Fighting 2 Image Album
Record Label:
Pony Canyon
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
July 21, 1994
Buy Used Copy


The Art of Fighting 2 Image Album features studio-performed arrangements of all the character themes from the fighting game. Under the lead of Yasumasa Yamada, the game’s composers returned to offer a range of ambitious arrangements. They yield an album that should entertain any SNK music lover…


Finally liberated from technological restrictions, SNK offer more elaborate portrayals of the characters from Art of Fighting 2 here. The original version of Robert Garcia’s “Swing the Horse” aspired to a lounge jazz sound, but was hampered by its humble sound chips and, indeed, programmed nature. By contrast, the arrangement features an assortment of instrumental performances — notably a saxophonist and pianist — that breathe life into the melodies and emphasise Robert’s free-spirited nature during the improvisations. As with many of SNK’s arrangements, it stays true to the original, while improving it in all respects.

SNK continued to play to their strengths on the themes for Ryo Sakazaki and Eiji Kisaragi, mixing traditional and contemporary stylings. “The Horse & I” is especially remarkable for those that enjoy more moody themes: the hybridised soundscapes are delicious and the development takes listeners on quite a journey. Though a slow-builder, Takuma Sakazaki’s theme by Yasumasa Yamada is also a potential highlight with its rumbling taiko drums and wailing flutes. It’s unfortunate that these tracks are occasionally interrupted by voiceovers and sound effects, but they don’t distract too much from the music.

Beyond such mature arrangements, there are also rock-influenced tracks that sport a retro vibe. These include Brother-Hige’s boxing-styled anthems for Micky Rogers and John Crawley, both so hyper-melodic and synth-heavy that would do Vince DiCola proud. While such tracks have a unique charm, others are so cheesy that it’s hard not to cringe. Just about everything in Jack Turner’s “Yakara”, for instance, sounds unbearable two decades on: the wrestler-style guitar riffs, the sleazy funk licks, and, of course, the prominent saxophone solos. Even worse is Yuri Sakazaki’s “Diet” with its excessive orch hits and annoying voiceovers.


The Art of Fighting 2 Image Album brings vibrancy to the originals with bold arrangements and instrumental performances. However, the tracks vary so much in their stylings and maturity that the experience will prove inconsistent to most listeners. For the most part, it is still an enjoyable take on the original characters and their memorable themes.

Art of Fighting 2 Image Album Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on January 22, 2016.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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