kyosuke's King of Fighters Tv Review

King of Fighters tv Review

Story & Characters

Though a lot of fighting games don't need to have a serious story (see the cases of Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter and all those crazy crossovers), the KOF series from SNK have always had a particular characteristic of having a (more or less) centered and coherent plot. KOF is a SNK crossover, so it can be considered a weird alternative universe, where characters that should have +30 years old (practically all the AOF cast) are -25 years old (and let's not forget the fact that a lot of them remain young forever, like Athena).

From 94 to 97 the story was great. The Orochi saga is, until now, the best storyline in KOF, and also the one with the less number of argumental errors. Maybe there are two remarkable issues: Yuki (Kyo's girlfriend) is only menctioned for some seconds in KOF97, you never know who Leona's father is (only thing menctioned is his name (Gaidel) and the fact that Leona killed him and her family) and the backstory behing Kyo's and Iori's clans is as confusing as hell.

The NESTS saga (99-2k1), in the other hand, is terrible. Boring, uninsteresting and with a lot of incredible (and absurd) details:

-South Town destroyed (WTF).
-Kyo's clones.
-Krizalid being a K' clone.
-KOF 2k1's existence.
-A lot of clones.
-Pointless endings.

I won't comment a lot about the Ash saga, but until now, though it's not the greatest thing, it's better than NESTS plot. Probably KOF XI will have a better plot.

Rating: 6


In its time, KOF was a good example of how a 2D fightiing game should look:

-Good animated sprites.
-Good character design.
-Excellent in-game art.
-Great BG animation.
-Smooth animation.

Unfortunately, and due to the passing of the time, the graphics in KOF became obsolete and the fact that the KOF96 sprites have been reused until now doesn't help a lot. And now SNKP seems not to be interested in changing this, and you can notice that when you see KOF Neo Wave, a game that uses the same KOF 2k2 sprites and the engine (backgrounds look better, though their design is totally uninspired).

Only remarkable (recent) exceptions:

-KOF DM 1999 (3D BGs).
-KOF99 Evolution (again, 3D BGs, but a lot of them are brilliantly designed).

In few words: Graphically, KOF needs to evolve.

Rating: 6


The best apartment of the saga:

-Voice dubbing is top-tier. A lot of important actors (like Yuki Matsuda, Takehito Koyasu, Matsuo Iwata, Monster Maetsuka and a long etc.) use their talents to give the characters their personality.

-Music is also well-composed... or well, almost. The OSTs from 94 to 99 are undoubtly great, 2K's is toned down but still good. The 2k1 OST was terrible (a lot of trance and electrical stuff that doesn't fit with KOF, though it had some good tunes) and 2k2 was a "remix" of old SNK themes (but it doesn't sound that good, believe me). 2k3 OST sounds way better (it sounds like a SNK OST) but it's still not in the 94-99 level.

-Sound Effects are good in practically all the KOFs, except in 2k3 (they were taken from SvC Chaos, and they don't have a deep impact).

Rating: 8


-KOF94-95: 3vs3 Team battles, with a gameplay more simple than other SNK titles, with the incursion of a lot of characters from FF and AOF. Though the system felt weird in the beginning, it was fun and easy to play (though the Desperation Moves are hard to execute).

-KOF96-98: still using the Team battle system, but now with a lot of changes that made the gameplay faster and more aggressive (short jumps, rolls, Super Desperation Moves, different modes (ADV and EXTRA), etc). IMO the best "age" of the saga.

-KOF99-2k1: now you have a 4 members Team system, and the addition of the Strikers. Being 2k a big exception, this was the worst KOF "age", because of the balance issues, some bad-implemented sub-systems (Counter and Armor), etc.

-KOF2k2-Neo Wave: though 2k2 was an attempt to return to the old 3vs3 idea, it also had a lot of problems from KOF 2k1, like the balance issues, very absurd and long combos and no REAL innovation at all. And Neo Wave is the same thing, with unsignificant differences (the supposed 3 modes).

-KOF2k3: Now a Tag Team battle, it's possible to say that a lot of problems in the gameplay can be forgiven because this is the first time that KOF would receive some REALLY drastical changes. A lot of SNK fans didn't like this, a lot of other, including myself, did think this change was necessary.

The gameplay of KOF, though fun (and fresh) when it debuted in arcades, now feels outdated, like the graphics, maybe because the basics haven't received a lot of changes, and in some episodes, it feels like you only get different changes in the roster and minimal gameplay changes (sometimes for good, sometimes for bad). KOF 2k3 was a good attempt to change this, and KOF XI may probably have a change to redeem the saga.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.33 (average)

Reviewed by kyosuke, May 18, 2005


  1. NagiSouichiro Banned Member May 21, 2005

    Let us remember Playmore took over around 2001 because of SNK being bankrupted, so kof stories 2001-neowave are pretty much omitted to the true kof fans and 2000 is the last piece of work from the true snk. I thought the n.e.s.t.s story was great, definately no were as good as the Orochi Saga. It made Kyo relize alot and stop being his immature stupid self instead of just winging life. As Snk/Playmore goes on, they seem to always turn to a more anti-heroish main character: K',Alba, and Ash. I think SNK would have stayed with Kyo and K' being the main characters if they still had the company to this day. 2001 may be horrible in music (horrible midi's compared to '99 and '00 to where they had bands play their music), background graphics (needed much work), but the gameplay was exellent, were to 2003 the controls arent as responsive and you have to wait till frame animation is done to do your next desired move. I think the best Kof game is 97 along with 2000, SNK's true work. Lets just hope our hero's Kyo and Terry never die out and are always on top in the end when playmore has switched many times with the main characters.

  2. NagiSouichiro Banned Member May 21, 2005

    Oh yeah, i was glad to see this rating/review comment thing, Kof AND snk need more recognition :)

  3. Narutofan06 Jul 13, 2005

    Good job man. wow u know alot and yes KOF needs more recognition good review

  4. kyosuke Jul 17, 2005

    More recognition? I think KOF needs to be LESS overrated.

  5. alekubrick Aug 21, 2005

    KOF its a good game, but has always get the influence of SF. Its not a masterpiece but its incredible enjoying. Thanks for the review!

  6. DaftPunk Aug 25, 2005

    Sorry if i offended someone with this........ KOF is way better than all the fighting games i ever played and thats not only my point of view there are more KOF players than all Street Fighter and DBZ Fighting games put all togheter and everybody has his point of view so i can't judge kyosuke like i wanted to .......... Sorry if i offended someone with this.

  7. kyosuke Aug 28, 2005

    No offense taken, bro.

    But... that "there are more KOF players than [...]" comment is not accurate enough. Now it's only played seriously in Latinamerica and Japan (the rest of the world doesn't give a damn about the game, and I wouldn't blame them).

  8. DaftPunk Aug 29, 2005

    R U sure!? Glad to see that somebody know some about KOF's history :P

  9. GForce9x Sep 02, 2005

    I agree. I don't see very many KOF machines except in Japanese-style arcades. Most casual arcades in the U.S. that I've been to will usually have CvS2, 3rd Strike, and Tekken 4 or 5 as their fighters (and sometimes MvC2).

    I used to see KOF a lot more during the mid to mid-late 90's when it was in its prime, but it's so rare these days.

    I suppose CvS2 can partially count as credit for KOF ~_~

  10. cisnehyoga Nov 02, 2005

    like always I don't read u.s reviews of kof because they are all the same. I will tell you that kof is the best fighter and you will tell me no, is street fighter. Kof is popular in all asia,latinamerica and parts of europe like France . All these countries know how to play kof and know how to play street fighter as well,so why u.s can't play kof then?

  11. kyosuke Dec 06, 2005

    Por tu nick, supongo que hablas español, cisnehyoga.

    Soy de México... y no, "manada" no es sinónimo de calidad. Que una máquina sea popular, no significa que sea buena (un ejemplo claro es MvC2).

    Y vuelve a leer mi review. Yo siempre he dicho que KOF en sus inicios todavía es buena... pero a partir de KOF99 la saga comenzó a hacerse mierda.

  12. Lopa Jan 16, 2006

    KOF siempre sera bueno,nunca es una mierda...tu insulto no tiene fundamento.(el 2003 si es una mierda)

  13. OnimenoKyo01 Mar 18, 2006

    it is never other things on KOF.... KOF 98, 2002 FOREVER

  14. cisnehyoga Apr 06, 2006

    para kyosuke

    vaya, es la primera vez que oigo aun mexicano hablar mal de kof. Cual es tu favorito entonces?.

    la verdad yo no puedo pensar en otro mas

    estoy de acuerdo con MvC2 pero de que kof enpezo hacer una mierda a partir de la 99 no estoy de acuerdo. Empezo a fallar si, pero para mi empezo a hacer una mierda desde la 2001. La 2002 es la mejor junto con la 98 eso que ni que pero cuando vi esas graficas de la 2002 y 2003 o ese arte de la 2001 ,dije no mamen que es esto!. y hasta ahora SNK PLAYMORE no ha superado esa calidad de gaficas que tenia la vieja SNK ,pero bueno todo indica que esto va a cambiar con el nuevo kof. THE KING OF FIGHTERS XI.

  15. kyosuke Apr 08, 2006

    KOF es una mierda, simplemente porque se niega a cambiar.

    Usar el mismo engine desde 1996.... uy, qué innovación. Con razón SNK quebró.

  16. cisnehyoga Sep 11, 2006

    SNK no quebro por los juegos

    se ve que no saves nada

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