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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

SNK

 

Developer

SNK

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q1 2005

 

- Good character designs

- Solid gameplay

- Two games for $40

- Thereís enough of a difference between the 2 games

- Good voiceovers

 

 

- Graphics are getting old

- Weak music

- Itís no Guilty Gear X2 (but itís still fun)

 

 

Review: Guilty Gear X2 (PS2)

Review: Soul Calibur II (PS2)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution (PS2)

 

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King Fighters 2002/2003

Score: 7.8 / 10

 

Again, Iím reviewing a game that makes me feel really old. It seems like just the other day I was a rabid fan boy playing King of Fighters í94 and now Iím a rabid fan boy playing KOF 2002 and 2003, which are both included in one case! Hardcore fans of the series will really love the two disc value here.

 

king of fighters 2002 / 2003 review          king of fighters 2002 / 2003 review

 

I guess it would only make sense to start the review off with KOF 2002.

 

For those familiar with the series, they will feel right at home with the gameplay. Like usual, players will pick three characters for their team and before each fight the player will be given a choice to pick the order of whoís fighting first, second and last. When a character is knocked out, the next character on your team will be up next until one teamís cast is completely wiped out. There is a huge roster of characters to pick from which easily goes over 40. Every character has their very own unique fighting style and set of moves.

 

Like almost every 2D fighter, there is a super meter. When building up the super meter you have to tap R1 to put your character into a super move mode. Your character will begin to flash for a limited time and you must be quick to pull off your special move before time runs out, but at the same time, you have to be careful not to be predictable to your opponent (especially if itís human). What really ticks me off is that to do a devastating super move you have to have more than one gauge filled up in the super meter and your character has to be near death. I do not like that very much, but Iím sure some gamers might find it to their liking.

 

Despite being a fighting game, the KOF series has a pretty good storyline and I still find myself looking it up sometimes on the net. Of course for the most part, the game still revolves around characters like Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami.

 

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- Playstation 2 Game Reviews

- Fighting Game Reviews

In the King of Fighters 2003, the gameplay has changed a bit. Players still pick a team of three (or go one-on-one if they wish) but this time gamers are allowed to switch between their three characters during fights. It doesnít take a rocket scientist or a fighting aficionado to know that this switching method was inspired by Marvel vs. Capcom. In KOF 2003, pushing R1 isnít necessary to perform a special move, which better suits my preference. There is also a super special move that only the team leader can 

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perform. However, the other team members are still allowed to use normal, special, and super moves. KOF í03 is easily as solid así 02 in terms of balance and fighting but, unfortunately, the character roster is drastically reduced.  

 

King of Fighters 2003 is in no ways worse or better than 2002. Even though I love both these games, I still find Guilty Gear X2 to be the best 2D fighter to date. (Read Mr. Nashís review to find out why.) Despite Guilty Gear X2 being the better game, this shouldnít stop you from having hours of fun with KOF.

 

king of fighters 2002/2003 review          king of fighters 2002/2003 review

 

Graphically, the series still looks the same. Itís getting no better or worse but just doesnít hold up to todayís standards. Sure, there are some 3D backgrounds, but the characters still looked pixilated. Come on SNK, now is the time to act!

 

The tunes in the game arenít bad in 2003 but are less than mediocre in 2002. They kept the old school arcade-like tunes for the music but again, itís time to upgrade. Maybe SNK should consider the old school tunes as an alternative track in the options and add badass remixes like what Namco did in Tekken 3. Despite the uninspiring soundtrack, there are still plenty of good voice overs.

 

The two games both have their strengths and weaknesses and in the end I just wasnít able to pick which one I liked more. Should it matter though? You get both games in one case for just $40US. Fans of fighting games cannot pass on such a great deal.

 

- JíTonello

(March 31, 2004)

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