Waku Waku 7 is a Neogeo fighting game that's actually good and isn't just overrated. It features a cartoony art style - very lighthearted, colorful, absolutely no blood. What makes it special is the obscene amounts of animation put into the game. Short of Garou and Street Fighter 3, it's possibly the smoothest animation in any 2d fighter, and with quite huge sprites at that. A monster like this needs a 4mb cart for the Saturn, obviously.
There's not much to say about the game. You have a set of anime characters to pick from, ranging from bunny girl to tank police. With a set of 2 punches and kicks, you need to beat the crap out of all the other fighters, plus a bonus match, a mirror match, and a final boss. You can use upgraded versions of your special moves by unleashing them pressing both punches or kicks (Darkstalkers style). Pressing all 4 attacks together will put you in a limited "super" mode with increased power (it also knocks out the opponent when activated).
You Super special "dokidoki" moves are complete with flashing backgrounds if you use them as finishing moves. Or you can also use an ultimate, "harahara" move, which is a bit different - it is activated with the same motion by all characters, takes a lot of time to charge up and warns the opponent in advance, but its also incredibly powerful and unblockable.
The visuals are very (perhaps overly) colorful but they flash around a lot, on the long run this may make your eyes hurt. The sound is decent, the characters shout their attack names and scream a lot at each other. The music is of course CD Audio, not just Neogeo recordings but arranged, full cd quality tracks. Noteworthy is the hidden midboss, Bonus Kun, basically a punching bag with a mean face and a headband, using Ryus moves from Streetfighter. Complete with all his attacks and specials (but no throws).
Compared to the Neogeo you have a lot of new features, including numerous options, hotkeys for button combinations, new game modes, and a ton of artwork. The artwork is mostly used in loading screens, out of which you have tons. Yup, the game stops for loading between almost every scene. The loading times are not too long, but they are incredibly numerous, which can be quite annoying. You can watch the pretty pictures in the meantime, and there's also a hidden calendar which uses your Saturn internal clock.
And even with the 4mb cart, the game is a bit simplified. The animation is all there, but the backgrounds are much, much worse. They were downgraded to very low detail, pixelated atrocities. They only look decent when the two fighters move away to the sides of the screen, so the game zooms out as much as possible. This can be negated somewhat by a "Wide BG" setting under the Options, where you can choose the have the game zoomed out as much as possible, constantly (but then the sprites are too small).
Probably the biggest problem is the playability of the game. The pace and speed is rather masher friendly and it's not always easy to get the attack motions right, leading to a lot of frustration. Furthermore, the AI is severly broken. Basically, every NORMAL opponent suffers in the SNK boss syndrome. Remember those times when you are one punch away from winning, and then your enemy does a special move which you can't block, and takes down almost your full bar? Those happen quite often here, sometimes the whole match starts by you losing. The last boss (a godzilla sized demon pokemon of some kind) pretty much does this with his normal moves too, while his specials will suck out your life while his own is charging up.
Waku Waku 7 is a colorful and fun fighter with some beautiful animation, but also with a few faults. It's still worth a try if you want a lighthearted, non-serious game.