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Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '95
The King of Fighters '96

Page 3:
The King of Fighters '97
The King of Fighters '98
The King of Fighters '99

Page 4:
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2001
The King of Fighters 2002

Page 5:
The King of Fighters 2003
The King of Fighters NeoWave
The King of Fighters XI

Page 6:
The King of Fighters XII
The King of Fighters XIII

Page 7:
Game Boy
Neo Geo Pocket
Game Boy Advanced
Mobile Games

Page 8:
KOF Maximum Impact
KOF Maximum Impact 2
KOF Maximum Impact Reg. A

Page 9:
Quiz King of Fighters
The King of Fighters Kyo
Battle de Paradise
King of Fighters Online
KOF Sky Stage

Page 10:
KOF Another Day (Anime)
Movie
Manga / Comics
Crossovers

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The King of Fighters '94 - Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation 2, PSP, PSN (PS3), Wii (1994)

Japanese Neo Geo Cover

European Arcade Flyer

Although the first King of Fighters had a lot of innovative ideas, it's been completely surpassed in every aspect by its successors. Most annoyingly, the game forces the player into choosing set teams of three instead of picking one's own selection. There's also very little in the way of plot, at least compared to its successors. Although most of the chast comes from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, the protagonist Kyo Kusanagi is an original character, as is the final villain Rugal. Also notable is the Sports Team, hailing from USA, which includes some of the most laughable characters in the series - one of the guys hurls basketballs to attack - and understandably has since been shoved under the rug. A power bar is built up when defending, taking damage, or charging up the character by holding three buttons simultaneously, rendering them temporarily defenseless. When the bar is filled, characters can enter MAX mode, which strengthens them temporarily and allows them to execute Super Moves (also called "Desperation Moves" or DMs.) When not used quickly enough, however, the power just will drain completely. Much like Fatal Fury 2, super moves can also be used without limitation when the health bar is low. There's also a dodge move to avoid attacks, although the evasive roll found in the later games is absent. The enemy AI is also pretty obnoxious.

The game does show off the impressive stage backgrounds the series is known for, although the character sprites still look a bit old-fashioned compared to later games. Only KoF '94 and '95 also take over a "feature" from Art of Fighting 2, where finishing Yuri or King with a special move will cause their clothes to tear off, revealing their undergarments. It has some good music, and it's still playable, but it feels pretty archaic in comparison to the later games.

In addition to the port found on the Re-Bout release (see below), The King of Fighters '94 was also included in the SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2, PSP and Wii. Unfortunately, the emulation on the PS2 and PSP is terrible, with an extremly jerky frame rate that completely ruins the game. A port can also be found on the US release of the Orochi Saga, also for the PlayStation 2, PSP and Wii - here, the PS2 port is significantly improved, but the Wii version is still probably the way to go. The King of Fighters '94 is also on the PlayStation Network's Neo Geo Station, alongside the following two entries.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK

Publisher:

SNK

Producer:

Takashi Nishiyama

Director:

Masanori Kuwasashi

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Remake Available
Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters '94

The King of Fighters '94

The King of Fighters '94


The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout - PlayStation 2 (2004)

Japanese Cover

For its tenth anniversary, SNK remade KoF '94 for the PlayStation 2, adding the subtitle Re-Bout. All of the characters have been retouched in high resolution, although they appear simply upscaled and smoothed out, similar to techniques applied to many emulators. The animations remain the same as before. It's still not remotely near Guilty Gear quality, but they look better than any earlier game in the series. SNK also added a whole slew of nice new 3D backgrounds, many of which include cameos by characters from later games. There's also a cool three minute long intro showing the various characters brawling, and while it's not as good as the King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 intro on Dreamcast, it has some nice rock music. The gameplay is pretty much the same as KoF '94, except for the addition of a Team Edit mode (thank God.) The character select screen features new artwork done by artist Hiroaki, but the rest of the portraits are taken from the original version. Since this is technically commemorating the 10th anniversary of the series, there are also two videos that explain the Orochi and NESTS storylines.

Considering KoF 94 initially never received a home port, this is a nice package for fans (and includes an emulated version of the original game, which is essentially arcade perfect), but it feels like such a major step backwards that it's hard to play. However, it does include online play. Rebout was only released in Japan, although it was originally scheduled to be ported to the Xbox for American release. Unfortunately, due to constant delays and several bugs, the game was eventually scrapped.

The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK

Publisher:

SNK

Producer:

soimen

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

2D Sprites over 3D Background
Remake
Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout

The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout

The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout


The King of Fighters '95 - Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, PSN, Wii (1995)

European Arcade Flyer

Japanese Neo Geo CD Cover

Japanese PlayStation Cover

The King of Fighters '95 improves quite a bit over its predecessor, mostly because it let players choose their own team (known as Team Edit) and begins an episodic story arch revolving around the Orochi powers. There are also several more characters introduced, including Billy Kane (from Fatal Fury) and Eiji Kisaragi (from Art of Fighting), as well as the new character Iori Yagami, who was designed to be the mortal enemy of Kyo. The main enemy is once again Rugal, and Kyo's father Saisyu appears as a midboss. The speed of the fights has increased since the first game, and health bars are emptied in no time, but otherwise KoF '95 introduces no revolutionary new concepts.

The King of Fighters '95 was ported to both the PlayStation and Saturn. The PlayStation version was released in America, and although it played well, was saddled with cut animation and lots of load times. The Saturn version came with an expansion ROM cart that was necessarily to play the game. Unlike the RAM carts used in other SNK and Capcom games for the Saturn, this ROM cart contains prepacked data from KoF '95, reducing the amount of data needed from the CD-ROM and resulting in faster load times. Unfortunately, this hindrance makes it very hard to play on American Saturns, as it was only released in Japan and Europe. KoF '95 is also part of the King of Fighters Orochi Collection - the PlayStation 2-exclusive Japanese version contains arcade-perfect ports of KoF '95, '96, and '97, along with online play and arranged soundtracks, making them the definitive versions. The US release for the PlayStation 2, Wii, and PSP only has the arcade versions (but adds Kof '94 and '98 in return), with a bit of extra load times, but no arrange soundtracks.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK

Publisher:

SNK

Producer:

Takashi Nishiyama

Director:

Masanori Kuwasashi

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters '95


The King of Fighters '96 - Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, PSN, Wii (1996)

Japanese Neo Geo Cover

Neo Geo Collection Cover

Japanese PlayStation Cover

The King of Fighters '96 saw a lot of the sprites redrawn and established pretty much the look of the series for a decade to come. The most notable new character is Leona, a blue haired female member of the Ikari Warriors team, although she's brutally overpowered here and had to be toned down for later games. A fan favourite is also the Boss Team, consisting of Geese Howard (Fatal Fury), Wolfgang Krauzer (Fatal Fury 2) and Mr. Big (Art of Fighting 2.) Kasumi Todoh from AoF 3 is also introduced, as well as Chizuru, a midboss that uses illusionary powers to attack. Vice and Mature, Rugal's vicious secretaries, also make their first appearance as playable fighters. The final boss is Goenitz, whose hurricane attack makes him just as remarkably annoying as most other SNK bosses.

This is also the first game to introduce the tactical roll, which drastically changes the way the game is played - by pressing both light attack buttons together, the characters execute a roll that makes them impervious to damage. Not only that, but they can also roll past an opponent and attack from behind, or go for an easy throw. Also new are Super Special Moves, also known as Super Desperation moves or SDMs, which are extra powerful moves that can be executed when both the power bar is at max and the character has low health. The changes make The King of Fighters '96 the most dynamic and fast-paced game in the series yet.

KoF '96 also has one of the best soundtracks of the series - such as Kyo's guitar-heavy "ESAKA?", the Art of Fighting's acoustic-oriented "Kamikiri Mushi" and Kim's rock music "Seoul Road".

KoF '96 once again received PlayStation and Saturn ports. The former was once again saddled with cut animation and load times, while the latter used the 1 MB RAM cart, and while there's still plenty of loading, it's much shorter and very little animation is sacrificed. The game also appears on the King of Fighters Orochi Collection. For the Neo Geo CD there was a bonus disc available, called The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Collection, which contains an extensive database of the characters and other supplemental material. Pony Canyon now also started publishing "Drama" CDs with the characters' coriginal voice actors in Japan, to accompany the series' story, which were continued through 1999.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK

Publisher:

SNK

Producer:

Takashi Nishiyama

Director:

Masanori Kuwasashi

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters '96


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro
Characters

Page 2:
The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '95
The King of Fighters '96

Page 3:
The King of Fighters '97
The King of Fighters '98
The King of Fighters '99

Page 4:
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2001
The King of Fighters 2002

Page 5:
The King of Fighters 2003
The King of Fighters NeoWave
The King of Fighters XI

Page 6:
The King of Fighters XII
The King of Fighters XIII

Page 7:
Game Boy
Neo Geo Pocket
Game Boy Advanced
Mobile Games

Page 8:
KOF Maximum Impact
KOF Maximum Impact 2
KOF Maximum Impact Reg. A

Page 9:
Quiz King of Fighters
The King of Fighters Kyo
Battle de Paradise
King of Fighters Online
KOF Sky Stage

Page 10:
KOF Another Day (Anime)
Movie
Manga / Comics
Crossovers

Back to the Index