written by Lord Wolfgang Krauser

US Title: King of Fighters '96
Japanese Title: King of Fighters '96
Year: 1996
Size: 362 Megs
Home Release? Yes
MVS Release? Yes
CD Release? Yes
Graphics: 9.5 Line Up: 10
Gameplay: 9 Sound: 10

Okay, let me start by telling you this is one of my personal favorites, this is the third installment of the KOF series, while many argue which is best I like them all regardless.   OK!   KOF 96' in my opinion was the pinnacle of the series. I liked the character lineup the best, this game got me into KOF and it should do it for you too. Unless you are already and established fan of it.

FIRST lets talk gameplay, characters are greatly balanced in 96,the engine feels more solid than 95.  I like the roll in and roll out system, a good way to avoid an oncoming attack, and a better way to set up for a counter.  As far as character animation goes this game delivers.

SOUND- One of the many kill scenarios on the neo but not in 96, NO WAY! The sound is darn good. You'll know when you get to Iori's stage but I wont spoil it for newcomers, all around this game has cool jazzy toones from drums, and opera music ...did I leave out cool electric guitar? ITS THERE TOO!

REPLAYABILITY- (keep in mind that this game was released in 1996) as far as replay goes this is a good title, because you cant stop coming back for more (I SEVERELY RECOMMEND PLAYING ON EXPERT FOR NEWCOMERS SO YOU CAN ENJOY IT FULLY)

LINE-UP- This is the good part,.... 27!  -characters all with unique moves, no palette swaps here!  This game delivers, typical neo geo.

Gameplay- 9.0 

I loved the previous KOF's and this is no different, the gameplay has a rock solid feel to it and it responds great, attacks are accurate. My only gripe is the tiny slow down I.E. when Krauser throws a blitz ball......Which slowdown was also present in 97, and completely fixed in 98.

Character line up- 10 

Its got my vote, this has a great line up. 27 normal characters and 2 bosses and they all have personalities all there own.  From Iori's laugh to Krauser's insults, its too much.


Some have complained that KOF is too hard, well this series was not meant to be child's play, if you got the skills, put it on 8-EXPERT, the reason being KOF invites all areas of gamers.  Also it is best played on Expert level, it adds to the replay like you would not imagine.


The neo delivers, characters have never looked so cool (well in 96' anyway) animations are great, backgrounds look real clean, and in that emotional neo-style we all love.

Originality 7.0 

Hmm... well to be honest this category fails me. but I think the originality has no use anyway, just don't wanna hold anything back.   KOF is not original at all. 90% of fighters aren't anyway.  Since when were fighters original anyway?

Story- 9.0 

Great story with prerequisites to the previous KOFs, Goenitz and Kagura make an appearance to open the Orochi story line up!  They also play Boss roles.

What's new???  Well characters, more solid gameplay, and a whole new line of stuff to master such as roll in & roll out and the counter system feels tighter, but that all depends on your skill.

Over All 9.75 

Great, another neo title you cant live without, a great game for all walks of fighter fans. As long as Neo fans continue to support the Neo, it will live on forever.


More Reviews of This Game:

by Kazuya_UK - Courtesy of Kazuya's


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