KING OF FIGHTERS '98
Every year, come hell or high water, there's been a King of Fighters game at the arcades (King of Fighters 2001 is running late, but it's said to be near completion). And after their arcade run, the King of Fighters games are ported to the PSX and the existing Sega system (Saturn - KOF '95-'97 and Dreamcast - KOF '98-2000). I'm here to tell you that SNK makes the best fighting games on the PSX. Period. King of Fighters '98 is a sheer joy to play, eclipsing all the previous King of Fighters games in every way.
Outstanding. The characters have been smoothed out from previous years and look better than ever before. The costumes are perfect (Yamazaki has never looked better!), and the animation is the best the KOF line has seen on the PSX. Each character moves quickly with few frames of animation missing from their moves. There are a few idle animations that were taken out for the PSX's lack of RAM, but they're hardly noticeable. This is a first class job from SNK.
There are some pretty games out there that have no sense of decent gameplay - King of Fighters '98 is not one of them. Controls are responsive and special moves are easier to perform than recent years. The fighting engine for the game has been refined, allowing faster paced, action packed battles to ensue. Fighting hasn't been this good on PSX in a while...
I dunno... sound has never really struck me as that important, but what would you do if it's not there? The music is better than it was years back, and the background noises in the stages (i.e. Seagulls in the Korean sea wharf stage) add a nice, realistic feel to the game. Kicks and what not sound the same, and they've always been good, so there's no complaint there.
King of Fighters '98 is a masterpiece. It's my personal favorite KOF game (with '95 coming in a close second), and it's easy to like it. Great graphics and tight controls give maximum enjoyment on the RAM stricken PSX. You won't find a game this good on U.S. shores, as it was never released here, but it's worth buying a Japanese PSX or PS2 just for this incredible game. If that's not a great game... I don't know what is.
- John Gillerlain
Overall: 9.0 / 10
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