|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SNK Playmore||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SNK Playmore||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Jwan Jordan
Hey kids, do you remember the NEO GEO? Well, probably not because most kids who remember that are grown and working a nine to five job hopefully. Well, yet another King of Fighters iteration has made it to the States, and for the sake of nostalgia it still holds up to its old fighting charm. This particular title serves as the 11th KOF to come from the Far East. If you have played any fighting titles back in the arcade driven era a few years back, then more than likely you have heard of the King of Fighters series. For those of us who may not have jumped on the KOF joy ride, let me inform you.
The King of Fighters is a game developed by SNK that made its debut in 1994 and became a smash hit amongst gamers. The KOF series, over time, has developed a large cast of fighting characters with distinctive personalities and traits. So distinctive in fact that it's used a way of encouraging fans to buy specific games based on which character is or isn't omitted from the yearly release titles. So if you're a fan of one specific character, you couldn't always count on them showing up in the next one as part of SNK's clever ruse.
The story, like most fighting games, is not awe-inspiring but gives you something to go on. If you have gotten attached to the characters over the years, then you may take more from the story then most. Mukai, a member of a mysterious group, stole the Orochi seal. Taking advantage of all the confusion caused by it, Ash stole the Yata Mirror from Chizuru. In the advent of the new tournament, new faces are handed invitations, while old faces, such as Eiji Kisaragi, return to the battle. Among the new KOF participants are Oswald, Duck King, Momoko, and Elisabeth. All these fighters will find themselves in a tournament full of mysteries and secrets started by motives that they'd ignored. Behind this healthy competitive tournament hides a hidden force called "People from the Past" that has a lot of mixed objectives.
The Gameplay in KOF is traditional one on one fighting; you know, the type of fighting that made these games all the rage during penny arcade days. When you first begin the game, you are taken to the initial menu screen. From the menu screen your options are arcade play, team play, single play, endless, challenge, practice mode, and gallery.
You can select from a wide roster of characters each with very unique stories and fighting styles. There are some characters that even make a special return, such as Chang Koehan, Joe Higashi, Leona Heidern, Mai Shiranui, and Robert Garcia. If that doesn't get you going then what does? You must select a total of three characters and choose the order in which they can be swapped in and out. This feature becomes very useful during gameplay and can make or break your winning streak easily. After selecting your team and order you are thrown into the fight.