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Characters

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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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KOF Maximum Impact / KOF Maximum Impact Maniacs - PlayStation 2 / Xbox (2004)

Japanese PlayStation 2 Cover

Alternative PlayStation 2 Cover

Japanese Xbox Cover

American Xbox Cover

In years prior, SNK didn't exactly have the greatest of luck with 3D games. The Hyper Neo Geo 64 tanked, and the two PlayStation ports from the system - Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition and Samurai Shodown: Warriors Rage - weren't exactly what one would call good. But SNK gave 3D another shot with KOF: Maximum Impact for the PlayStation 2, and it actually turned out pretty well.

Calling this game King of Fighters is a slight misnomer, and it's not without reason SNKP always keeps it shortened to KOF in the official titles, at least in Japan. The single player game focuses on choosing only one character, and the gameplay is a bit closer to a 3D version of Real Bout Fatal Fury. Even the plotline - two brothers fight against an evil syndicate in South Town - is basically a retelling of the original Fatal Fury with new characters. Of course, in addition to the six new characters (aforementioned brothers Alba and Soiree Meira, sexy assassin Lien, bubbly magical girl Mignon, tae-kwon-do student Chae Lim and nefarious crimelord Duke), there's a healthy number of returning faces from the main series, including Terry, Mai, Ryo, Yuri, Leona, the Ikari Warriors, and a few others - in other words, the most popular characters. This also marks the first time Rock Howard has officially appeared in a "King of Fighters" game. There are twenty characters total, which is a little low for the series but pretty decent for a start-up 3D fighting game.

Although the graphics are 3D, the gameplay is all 2D, except even faster. It's perhaps a little too fast, especially when characters execute jumping uppercuts far quicker than they normally would. Power bars replenish quickly, allowing you to use special moves with great abandon, combos are easy to pull off, and the whole game feels much tighter than any other 3D fighter ever made. The tradeoff is that it might be a bit too simple and cheesy for those who take their fighting games seriously.

While reinventing the series for 3D, artist Falcoon drafted an alternate costume for each of the characters. More than simply new outfits, these are entire redesigns of known and loved fighters, and more than a few of them are a bit weird. Still, you needn't bother with them if you don't like them, and the regular characters' costumes and animations are replicated almost perfectly. The music is composed by Toshikazu Tanaka, also known for Rage of the Dragons, Matrimelee and Metal Slug 5. The furious pace of the soundtrack fits the game brilliantly, even if it relies too much on goofy English (and occasionally Korean) rapping.

King of Fighters Maximum Impact for the PlayStation 2 was released in a double disc package with a bonus DVD featuring interviews with the developers. Unfortunately, the American version only features English voice acting for all of the characters. While some of the voices are pretty good, most aren't, and it's a bit strange to hear fighters yell out the names of their attacks in English. The European release adds dual language tracks. SNKP also released King of Fighters Maximum Impact Maniax for the Xbox, which features both language tracks, as well as a picture-taking mode and online play. Unfortunately, it's missing the bonus DVD.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Producer:

Masahiro Maeda

Director:

Keiko Ijū

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


KOF Maximum Impact

KOF Maximum Impact


KOF Maximum Impact 2 / The King of Fighters 2006 - PlayStation 2 (2006)

Japanese Cover

American Cover

KOF Maximum Impact 2 (known as The King of Fighters 2006 in the US due to bizarre marketing reasons) remains pretty faithful the original game, but adds a lot of cool extra stuff. You can now sidestep and super cancel certain moves, but otherwise, it's pretty much business as usual. Five entirely new characters are introduced - Nagase, an oddly dressed ninja girl; Luise Meyrink, a silver-haired witch, Mignon Beart's evil sister Ninon, Billy Kane's sister Lilly and Jivatma, the final boss. There are also a few other characters that make their first 3D KoF appearance, like Kula, Kim Kaphwan and Billy Kane. A few visitors from other series can also be unlocked: Fio originated in Metal Slug and brings a couple of her guns, ninja Hanzo Hattori comes straight out of the feudal Japan of Samurai Shodown, and Fatal Fury veteran Richard Meyer shows off his capoeira moves. The graphics are roughly on the same level as the original, although some of the modeling has been improved, which results in some much better looking faces. The music is much the same style, and while it removes most of the rapping, overall it's not quite as good.

But the best aspect of MI2 is the extraordinary amount of cool unlockable bonuses. A good portion of the cast has to be unlocked, and every character has a huge number of costumes, many based on other characters. Geese cosplays as famous SNK bosses (like Goenitz and Krauser), while Ralf can dress up like Marco from Metal Slug, and Chae Lim puts on May Lee's cute blue frog shirt. There's tons and tons of SNK love, including a rendition of the long-closed Neo Geo Land arcade, which features music directly from all kinds of classic Neo Geo games. Maximum Impact 2 is the first game directed by Falcoon, and it's obvious that he knows what the fans want.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Producer:

Falcoon

Director:

Masahiro Maeda

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


KOF Maximum Impact 2

KOF Maximum Impact 2


Cosplay


KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A - Arcade / PlayStation 2 (2007)

Arcade Flyer

PlayStation 2 Cover

The Maximum Impact series was designed for the console audience, but SNK realized that most fighting game fans don't play seriously unless they show up in the arcades, fueling the competitive atmosphere. To answer this, SNK developed Regulation A, an arcade version of Maximum Impact 2 released in 2007 with some minor modifications. Although initially developed for the Taito Type-X2 Arcade board, it was then ported back for home release on the PlayStation 2, although this was only released in Japan. The balance was tuned a bit to feel less cheap, although very few outside of the expert players will notice. Most of the arenas are taken from Maximum Impact 2, with only one new addition. The soundtrack is a mixture of both previous games with a handful of new songs.

The Story and Challenge modes are gone, leaving just the single player Time Attack and Versus. Default matches are 3-on-3, channeling the spirit of the 2D fighters, although each battle ends with some annoying wait times as the new character data is loaded. All characters are unlocked from the beginning, which is nice.

Unfortunately, nearly all of the extra content for Maximum Impact 2 has been cut, including a good majority of the crazy costumes. Armor Ralf is completely gone, mostly because he was totally broken, but there are now four new additions to the roster. Ash Crimson and Blue Mary make their 3D debuts, although their movesets has seen some changes, just like all of the other characters. Ash's fruity alternate costume is what you'd expect, but Mary looks like a Brazilian stripper. The other two characters are Xiao Lon, the sister of Duo Lon from KoF 2003; and Makoto Mizoguchi, a Japanese fighter who originated in the old Data East game Fighters History. There's also a brand new announcer, who ranks up as one of the worst in fighting game history.

The new characters are welcome, and the core game is still fairly solid, but the removal of all of the bonus content - with nothing to replace it - makes this entry appear rather thin. Furthermore, attempting to balance Maximum Impact to appeal to the hardcore crowd may have been a bad idea to begin with, because it would necessitate a total overhaul of the mechanics, whereas this just contains minor tweaks. As such, it's a needless cash-in and is recommended only for completionists.

Quick Info:

Developer:

SNK Playmore

Publisher:

SNK Playmore

Producer:

Falcoon

Director:

Keiko Ijū
Masahiro Maeda

Genre:

Fighting

Themes:

Sidekicks
Urban Fantasy


KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A

KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A

KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A


<<< 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