by Steve


Japanese Title: The King of Fighters '97
Year: 1997
System: Saturn
Other Versions? Neo Geo: Home cart, CD, & MVS; Playstation 


King of Fighters... many folks have the misconception that the franchise is just another "Street Fighter" rip-off... but they couldn't be further from the truth. Fact is, KOF has a lot of cool aspects that separates it from SF. KOF '97 was the final KOF game released on the Saturn and let's see how well it does or does not... 



Very gritty. You won't find any cartoony graphics here. Some animations are missing from the arcade obviously, but nothing I find too disappointing. The graphics are a bit outdated though. 




There isn't much music in this game, Saturn or arcade. The sound effects are fairly muffled in this port, but are still decent in my view. I especially liked the effects on the SDMs, nice touch. 



This is where KOF '97 shines. It isn't a mashing buttons game. It's very deep and takes a lot of skill to succeed at. My brother never played this game before and the first time he played, I whupped him 30 matches to nothing. Not such the case in other fighting games. KOF '97 may turn off the "casual" fighting fans... but hell, if you're reading this review on such a website, most likely you're not the casual fan. 



27+ characters at your disposal. Practice mode, singles mode, team mode, singles vs. mode, team vs. mode, people, there are a lot of modes here! Lots to be explored and tinkered with. It even has an art section. 




The loading in this game really isn't as bad as most Saturn gamers have made it out to be. It really isn't. Although not the best SNK-Saturn port out there, it still is a solid fighting game. Orochi awaits you...


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