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The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '95
The King of Fighters '96

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The King of Fighters '97
The King of Fighters '98
The King of Fighters '99

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The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2001
The King of Fighters 2002

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The King of Fighters 2003
The King of Fighters NeoWave
The King of Fighters XI

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The King of Fighters XII
The King of Fighters XIII

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Game Boy
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Game Boy Advanced
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KOF Maximum Impact
KOF Maximum Impact 2
KOF Maximum Impact Reg. A

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

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KOF Another Day (Anime)
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The King of Fighters 2003 - Neo Geo, PlayStation 2, Xbox (2003)

American Neo Geo Cover

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

European PlayStation 2 Cover

With the resurrection of SNK as SNK Playmore, the entire series was reinvented anew. Inspired by the Capcom Versus series, The King of Fighters 2003 finally features proper tag battles, allowing to switch back and forth between any of the three characters during battle. The action has been sped up quite a bit too, making for a faster game overall. One character in each team of three is is designated as the "Leader", which grants an extra special attack, the Leader Desperation Move. You can also perform combos between characters, calling one out immediately into the fray, which costs a power stock.

The new hero of the series is the girly-haired Ash Crimson, who can wield the power of green flames. He's joined by newcomers Shen Woo and Duo Lon, who star as the heroes of the new "Sacred Treasures" saga. SNK also began melding King of Fighters together with Garou: Mark of the Wolves - Terry appears in his leather jacket uniform, and Gato and Tizoc appear in a KoF game for the first time. Chizuru also returns, alongside her identical twin sister Maki. The new main boss first appears to be Adelheid Bernstein, the son of Rugal, although the true boss is a demon named Mukai.

The music is much better than the previous two entries, and while it lacks the variety of the older games, it's still damn good. The official artwork is all done by Falcoon, and is some of the best looking designs the series has seen. Mai jiggling is once again gone in the American arcade release, but implemented in the home ports.

King of Fighters 2003 was ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Both feature arranged music and plenty of new 3D backgrounds, although the Xbox version also has online play. While many more serious fans prefer '98 and 2002, KoF 2003 is probably the most newbie-friendly entry in the series, and is still incredibly fun.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Producer:

Kazuya Hirata

Director:

Sayuri

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

2D Sprites over 3D Background (PS2)
Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters 2003


The King of Fighters NeoWave - Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox (2004)

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

European Arcade Flyer

The King of Fighters NeoWave marked SNKP's departure from the Neo Geo after more than a decade. The team needed a bit of adjustment in moving to the Atomiswave platform. Rather than simply letting the members get familiar with the new hardware internally, King of Fighters: Neowave was created. For all intents and purposes, it's another Dream Match title, closest to 2002, but some of the characters have been dropped (May Lee, Angel, K9999) and replaced with others (Jhun Hoon). None of the new characters from 2003 are here. SNK also brought back young Geese Howard, who was the hidden final boss in Art of Fighting 2.

NeoWave feels more like a step back than a step forward. The tag mechanics of 2003 were removed in favor of the traditional fighting scheme, and there aren't really any new characters. The move to the new platform doesn't make much of a difference either - sure, the new high-res backgrounds look pretty nice, but the character sprites are exactly the same, except for a bit of filtering. Not even a makeover like in Re-Bout. The new high-res artwork, done by Tomokazu Nakano, is pretty nice (and bears a distinct resemblance towards Range Murata artwork), but there aren't any win quotes, or any real plot line, making this seem more slapdash than usual. Even the music, while technically superior to the Neo Geo synth, is bland and forgettable.

There are only minor modifications to the gameplay. At character selection, you pick among three options, which enable either Super Cancels, Guard Breaks, or MAX2/HSDM attacks. Additionally, the fifth button activates "Heat" mode, which temporarily powers up a character in exchange for a bit of health. While it's still a solid game, the biggest problem is that Neowave just feels redundant. The game got a PS2 release in Japan and Europe, and an Xbox release in America, along with the usual Live support on the latter. Both feature 3D backgrounds, although the quick load times in between character changes leads to the music constantly restarting, which hasn't been a problem since the Dreamcast version of '98. Ugh! There are several additional characters added to the home versions, including Seth, Kim, Ramon and Vanessa, although May Lee and Angel only appear on the PS2.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters NeoWave (PlayStation 2)

The King of Fighters NeoWave (PlayStation 2)

The King of Fighters NeoWave (PlayStation 2)


The King of Fighters XI - Arcade, PlayStation 2 (2005)

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

American PlayStation 2 Cover

After messing around with the Atomiswave for NeoWave, SNK finally got back on track with King of Fighters XI, which drops the yearly subtitle in favor of a roman numeral. The tag system from 2003 has returned, with some minor changes to the tagging attack and Super Cancel system. Now there is a separate "Skill" stock for these manuevers, so some of them no longer consume the regular power stocks. You can also immediately switch a character out of the match by using both Skill stocks, which is useful if they're being pumelled by a powerful combo.

The high-res 2D backgrounds are pretty decent, and the fancy artwork by Hiroaki shows off some of the best character portraits of the series. All of the music was composed by SHA-V, who is known for guitar-heavy songs like "Goodbye Esaka". The soundtrack is a mixture of that same rocking attitude, mixed with the hard electronica of KoF 2003. Also, there's now a gauge beneath the timer that determines who is "winning" the match, based on performance - if the timer runs out, this gauge will decide the winner, as opposed to basing it on remaining health. Also new are Dream Cancels, which is like a regular Super Cancel, except for Leader Desperation Moves.

The King of Fighters XI (PlayStation 2)

The new combatants this time are little girl dancer Momoko, card-wielding badass Oswald, and the classy dominatrix-style Elisabeth, along with Duck King from the Fatal Fury series, and B. Jenet from Mark of the Wolves. The new sub-boss is Shion, an androgynous spear-wielding fighter, and the final boss is Magaki, who's pretty close to Onslaught from the Marvel vs Capcom series. Needless to say, he's remarkably cheesy. There are also several hidden subbosses from other SNK titles - Gai Tendo and Silber from Buriki One (a Hyper Neo Geo 64 game) shows up, as well as Hayate and Jazu from Kizuna Encounter. Some of them seem a bit out of place (especially Jazu), but it's cool to see SNK grabbing from their lesser known series. The problem is, a lot of old favorites have been removed from the roster - Andy is still missing, and Joe, Leona, and Mai are gone as well, at least in the arcade version.

Thankfully, the PlayStation 2 port adds a bunch of exclusive characters: Mai, Robert Garcia, Geese Howard, Mr. Big, Hotaru Futaba, and Tung Fu Rue. They are the same versions as found in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum. All of them are unlocked through the Mission Mode, which offers over forty challenges, most of which are pretty difficult. There are plenty of additional endings, several new 3D backgrounds, and a few remixed character-specific songs ("Diet" from Art of Fighting 2, "Big Shot" from Fatal Fury 3 for Terry, "Bad Girl" from Mark of the Wolves for B. Jenet and "Still Green" from KoF 97 for Shingo.) Surprisingly, the load times are even shorter than in the arcade version. It also features the original "Arcade" as well as an "Arrange" mode, which changes some of the character balancing. KoF XI is undoubtedly one of the best, most refined entries in of the series, both in gameplay and presentation, and shows that SNKP still knows what they're doing after all these years. The PAL release, however, contains a number of glitches. The North American version published later fixes all of them, but neither version has the progressive scan option that's available to Japanese players.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Producer:

Woo

Director:

Godzio

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


The King of Fighters XI (PlayStation 2)

The King of Fighters XI (PlayStation 2)

The King of Fighters XI (PlayStation 2)

The King of Fighters XI (PlayStation 2)


<<< 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