by GregN.


US Title: King of Fighters Dream Match '99 
Japanese Title: King of Fighters Dream Match '99 
Year: 1999
System: Dreamcast
Other Versions? As KOF '98


Remembering back to the Dreamcastís debut, I recall I wasnít very excited. Of all the launch games, I was ecstatic about one or two at the most. One of the games that caught my eye early on was King of Fighters Dream Match Ď99 (a port of King of Fighters 98 for Neo Geo). Though not a game at launch, it was one of the early games for the Dreamcast, and very well done, at that. So well done, in fact, that this game opened a whole new world of fun and gaming that changed forever how I enjoyed games. 


While admittedly not a graphical marvel, KoF DM 99 has its share of detail and flair. Character sprites move fluidly, and are well detailed for their time. Some of my favorites include Kensouís opening where he eats a meat bun, choking on it. Athenaís opening where she magically changes clothes with psycho power is also a standout, utilizing many frames. Opening animationís like these give the characters life you donít see in any 3D games or in too many other 2D fighters. Backgrounds are styliní as well. While some people balked at the 3D facelift of the background scenes, I think they enhanced the game very well and fit right in. Standouts include Rugalís Ship, complete with blood or fluid running though the cracks in floor, and a fight along a crowd of afternoon rubber-neckers. Truly memorable stuff. 



Sound in KoF DM 99 isnít as memorable as the graphics of the game. Music paints an atmosphere for the game, but doesnít stick to your brain like the music of some games do. Sound effects are up to par with most KoF games, and every attack is loud and distinctive. 


Gameplay and replay in KoF DM are absolutely fantastic. There are many techniques to be learned and just as many characters to master. Gameplay is right on par with KoF 97, only super-sized. A dizzying amount of characters are available, some with alternate versions and moves from prior KoFs, like Kyoís 94-95 incarnation in which his fireball goes along the ground. What stands out the most in KoF DM 99 are how Desperation and Super Desperation moves are performed. Extra mode, which was the default in KoF 94-96, returns, along with KoF 97ís advanced mode, which allows you to store up Desperation Moves. This adds a great deal of replay to the game, further increasing the playerís options and enjoyment. With the depth of play, number of characters, and options in this game, there no question why it is the preferred KoF among SNK tournaments. 


KoF DM 99 rocks steady on the Dreamcast. As old of a game it is, it stays fresh after itís life on Neo Geo for three years, and its career on the Dreamcast after two. It is that good of a game. It was the game that catapulted me into playing and collecting games for Neo Geo and other systems after 4 years of stagnation. Better yet, it can be found for under $20 used at many places. Try it out, if you havenít already. Youíll be glad you did. 

Graphics: 7/10

Sound: 7/10

Gameplay: 8/10

Replay: 10/10

Overall: 9/10


(alternate cover of the same game)

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