"A very good edition to the series."

A while back I purchased a game called Capcom Vs SNK for the Dreamcast. The game as you probably already know is a cross over of the Street Fighter series (Capcom) and King of Fighters series (SNK). At this time I was familiar with Street Fighter but not King of Fighters. But after playing the game for a while and using some of the SNK characters I started to take a shine to it. One day I happened to see The King of Fighters Evolution for sale at a local game store so I picked it up and needless to say I was impressed once again. Now onto the review.

GAMEPLAY:

King of Fighters series (for those of you who didn't know) is a tournament fighting series that was started in 1994 by combining character's from several different SNK fighting game franchises such as Fatal Fury. Although often a bit over shadowed by Street Fighter the series has gained a fair amount of popularity in recent time. The gameplay area is were King of Fighters has always shined and the latest installment as usual shines in this department. This game is definitely focused on gameplay since there are lots of characters, moves, and special features. One feature in particular which really sets it apart from past installments is the striker option. Strikers are characters who you can call in to assist you a limited number of times throughout a match (sort of like the system used in Marvel vs Capcom 2). As usual the game is very strategy focused and it takes a lot of skill to play it well (if your a button masher your in for a tough time) and the control in the game is very tight but luckily this seems to works well for it. The one player game is good but multi player is probably the area that will provide the most entertainment. Well done in the gameplay area.

STORY:

There is a general story behind the game and each individual character has his or her own story (although you have to have some knowledge of previous games in the series in order to understand much of it). The game's main story like the ones in most fighter is not overly deep (although it is better than the most) but story has never really been an overly important aspect to fighting games so you really can't complain too much.

AUDIO/VIDEO:

The music is very well done and none of it is very annoying, it fits the mood of the game well and in fact some of it is even a bit catchy. I haven't played many games in the series but I think some of the music is remixed from previous King of Fighters games. As for the graphics although they aren't quite up to par with most Capcom fighters they are pretty darn good in their own right. The character's have a lot of detail to them and most special moves look good. The stage and character intro's also look good as do most of the character's victory poses. Although the character's are 2D the backgrounds are 3D and this adds a nice touch to them. And after playing the Dreamcast and arcade versions of King of Fighters Evolution and comparing them I'm happy to say that the Dreamcast version is a very faithful port. All in all a very good effort with good results in this department.

REPLAY ABILITY:

Unfortunately the replay value is not overly high since there are not many secrets to obtain other than extra strikers. But if you are a big fan of the series or fighting games in general and like the game mechanics that alone is probably enough reason to keep playing it.

TO BUY OR TO RENT?:

If would recommend buying it if you are a fan of the series or a series fighting game fanatic, if you are not familiar with it I would say rent it first and if you like it then buy it. This game will probably become some what of a collectors item since the SNK corporation recently folded (we'll miss you) which means this could be the last King of Fighters game. Unfortunately this game was not widely produced either, making it a bit rare and expensive so if you want a copy I suggest that you start looking now before valuable Dreamcast games start becoming even harder to find.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/01, Updated 11/24/01


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