Why don't you like KOF 2003?

HeavyMachineGoob

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Over the years there's been this general consensus that KOF 2003 in particular is looked down upon a lot. It isn't outright bad like 2001 but people still put it way below 98 and 2002, the fan favorites.

Maybe 2003 makes too many changes? You don't like prettyboy Ash? Ive seen people say the backgrounds and music aren't very good.

Me I really enjoy KOF 2003 and have for many years. It is a fantastic noob-friendly game to get into. The instant tag system keeps the action tense all through a match, when playing solo this game does include service options when you use a credit which noobs love, great character selection and the bosses with triple health bars are fun.

15 years ago, KOF 2003 MVS was easy to find and very inexpensive, commonly well under $100. It has climbed far above that in recent years, not cheap anymore but at least is staying below metal slug 5 and SVC Chaos, sister games of sorts from 2003.
 

Neo Alec

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I like 2003. It was a good step in a new direction, which was perfected in XI. The new graphics, tag mechanic and fast matches were impressive. Ash is very fun to play because he is a charge character like Guile, but his flash kicks flies across the screen.

2001 isn't bad either. Its presentation is derided, but it grows on you (at least it's different), but it plays solid, despite the bugs (they all had bugs).
 

city41

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2003 might be the only SNKP game I really like. I appreciate they took some chances with it and it's fun to play.
 

Johnny16Bit

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It has more to do with the changes in gameplay, characters and esthetics than the overall "game quality" I think. 2002 is goddawful & fugly in many respects, yet it has a much greater following because it sticks so much to the KoF formula. Also,
Ash Crimson is a crime... but May Lee and Whip were also serious offenders in their time.
I rather like it - I like all the KoFs on the Neo Geo, and I don't think it's the worst of them.
 

sirlynxalot

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I like 2003. I like the inclusion of new Fatal Fury characters like Tizoc and Gato and the new costumes some people got, like Yamazaki. Nothing after 2K3 really interests me. It was kind of the end of the era in terms of annual installment KOFs, and KOFs designed for neogeo. Once you take away the neogeo limitations aspect, its like... ok, no more excuses, you should redraw all sprites to be high res now.
 

sirlynxalot

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Although I think KOF12 made it pretty clear that's a big ask.
Yeah it would be labor intensive, but I wonder how much more labor intensive that is compared to giving a spriteset new costumes, which SNK did frequently. Anytime they did something like give Athena, Billy Kane or Kyo a new KOF costume, they had to redraw all the sprites for that character. Heck, didn't Capcom basically draw 20+ higher resolution sprite sheets for the SNK characters for Capcom vs SNK 1 and 2, and they did that in pretty short order.
 

HellioN

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The "quality gap" of the sprites between CvS and KoF XII/XIII can be measured in light years.
 

Hans

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just don't feel right. sound effects are flimsy too
 

rarehero

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I dislike the game, but it's been awhile since i played it last. I remember it feeling like a hodge podge of a game and that the game play didn't feel as tight as any kofs before it. I think 02 was the last decent kof for me with 00 being my favorite of the more modern kofs.
 

fake

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I like it a lot, especially the style. The thing I have a hard time with is timing around jumping in. It just feels super off to me.
 

kernow

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I like the intro music

beep boop
boop beep
beep boop
boop beep

the fuck is this
and you can 1cc the whole game by fbf+c with ryo, it's broke af
 

yagamikun

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Subjective, but I've never felt 2003 feels good to play, especially at a competitive level - that nebulous realm of "game feel" and player feedback. Everything just feels squishy to me compared to prior games.

I have the same gripes with both 2003 and SvC, actually - the hitbox/hurt box placement on the sprites is a bit wonky and the impact effects (particle and sound effects) aren't very...well...impactful. 🤷‍♂️

I'm also not a fan of the tag mechanic in a KOF game (although, KOF 11 is much improved in how the game feels and plays). The presentation in 2003 is better than the prior two games, though, and I think it looks quite good for a Playmore era game even if their sound design pales in comparison to classic SNK.
 

SouthtownKid

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I would have liked 2003 more if it had a dedicated tag button, which of course was impossible on MVS/AES. I still like it okay, though.
 

Fygee

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2003 is one of my favorites. It plays so butter smooth and just feels really good. The graphics and music are much improved from 2001/2002, has a great roster, the story is neat, and the tag mechanic works great without it being some convoluted mess like it became in XI.
 

sirlynxalot

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You gotta hand it to snk. 2k2 could have been the last neo kof. A return to the 3 on 3 formula, return of favorite characters, it didn't go out of the box, it was a dream match - a celebration of what kof was on the neo up to that point.

2k3 took some risks and changed the formula with the tag battles, threw in a ton of new characters, and launched an entire new storyline. I found it exciting and interesting, and an unusual way to end the series on the neo. It was also neat to see the neo doing 3 on 3 tag battles. There had been fan speculation that the neo couldn't do that sort of thing, which is why kof had always been a take turns team battle mode rather than the well liked tag matches of several of the Capcom fighters of the time.
 
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