|Graphics: 8||Music: 9
|Gameplay: 10||Replay: 9|
Quick, change it to Satella, KOF is on. IMO this is where the KOF series starts to go from mediocre to excellent. But enough talk. Boot Camp is over, it's time for battle.
GRAPHICS-8 Good crisp Neo-Geo graphic goodness. Characters don't look funny like Neo fighters of yore and BG's look nice, the heat wave in Monaco, a the rave in Japan, the Amusement Park in the greatest land of all, the BG's only look even better when tinted red.
SOUND-9 Being a firm believer in Quality over Quantity, only main Characters like Kyo, Iori, and Terry have BGM's and all are ear-pleasing vice having some good, some lousy BGM's shared by a team in past KOF's. Minor characters without BGM's will play ambient noises that are very fitting with their environments. Beautifully done.
GAMEPLAY-10 Here's where this badboy shines. No longer do we have to put up with the Gawdawful "Charge Bar", for we have Advanced Mode. And if you actually like the charge bar, and these folks must exist somewhere, they can use Extra Mode. KOF'97 is much more fluid as far as control is concerned. To me the game feels faster and I feel that it's easier to pull of specials and DM's in '97 than in past KOF titles.
CHARACTERS-9 Many excellent Winners to pick from, some Losers. From Iori to the New Face Team and the '97 Special Team, you should find something you like. Blood Riot Iori an Leona add for an extra bonus, as these two aren't even in the 1998 incarnation. I'd give it a 10 but Iori just had to kill Mature and Vice off.
STORY-10 Shining Point #2. The Orochi saga's climactic finale. The Caliber and NFT endings were pretty heavy. Other endings ranged from entertaining to silly to just plain gay. I also liked the bonus Kyo vs. Iori fight after the end of the game, nice touch.
REPLAY-9 The category that counts, This is Neo-Geo heroin. You cannot just put this one down. The Intro is the coolest in the series, even if the announcer is hard to hear, and everything after the start button is an absolute pleasure for the avid KOF fan.
KOF'97-All those who can't hack it are headed for a long sleep.