Review by Saidi

"KOF at its best."

Note: King of Fighters Evolution is referred as KOF 99 in this review and King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 [Also for DC] is referred to as 98 since those are the games they really are in the arcades. KOF Evolution is also available for Playstation.

King of Fighters 1999 is just like Sonic Adventure 2 in my opinion. Both games could have a lot better if the developers would have just stopped sitting around, twiddling their thumbs and at least try to give there games just a little more polish. KOF 1999 is not a bad game; it plays just like its prequel KOF 1998, actually. But KOF 1998 exceeds 1999 in so many ways it is honestly not funny and I shall prove to you that KOF 998 is a lot better of a purchase than this game will ever be [unless of course you are a hardcore KOF fan, like me].

Gameplay- KOF 99 has solid gameplay like just about every other 2-D fighter out there. There is nothing real unique about 99 unless you consider the new “Striker” system [which is basically a very bad rip-off of Marvel vs Capcom 2’s partner attacks]. Before each match you can pick 3 out of the 4 characters you selected to fight and what order they appear in [no real time character switching in this game] and you pick one character to be a “Striker” or really just a character who pops out at the push of a button and does a quick move to back you up [Note: You can only use your Striker a limited amount of times per match-up]. The problem with the Striker system is that nearly every character in the game that acts as a striker is really bad at it. Nearly always you or the CPU can block striker’s move because they are slow and very predictable. But there is still hope because there is another new thing added to KOF 99 that is actually good! Like in many Street Fighter and KOF games you have a meter that rises up to 3 levels depending on how many times you and your opponent got it and with just one level you can perform a special move. But with Three levels you can either set your character to Counter Mode [Push X. Y, A at the same time] or Armour Mode [Press Y, A, B at the same time] for a short amount of time. Counter mode improves your character’s overall strength while Armour mode increases your character’s defensive. These new methods can really rile up a fight between two good players.

Graphics- Both KOF 98 and 99 both have very familiar graphics. In both games 3-D backgrounds were added so it would give the games more flavor. The 3-D backgrounds look very good and the 2-D models of the characters actually fit fairly well with the backgrounds [considering that both games had originally 2-D backgrounds in the Arcade], but Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 did a lot better job doing this because the game was meant for 3-D backgrounds. Though KOF 98 and 99 has basically the same backgrounds, 98 has a little “perk” added to it’s backgrounds that actually helps it exceed it’s own squeal. You see, in 98’s backgrounds the backgrounds actually move when characters do certain attacks and in 99 this perk was oddly cut out. Though this might seem to be a real stupid difference to mention, it really does help 98’s graphics to exceed 99’s.

Though 99 might have lost the Background war with 98 it still has one good thing going for it, Character Models. The character models in 99 go a little above 98’s because there is just a bit more animation in 99’s characters that can be noticeable to the right eye. But for every good Pro there is a worst con, because though 98 might have a little less frames to my “hawk eyes”, 98 has a lot more characters than 99. Now can somebody please tell me why 98 have nearly ever character in every KOF game and 99 don’t? That is because SNK was for the first time, lazy, and decided not include more characters in 99! Some of my favorite characters from 98 was taken out and not seen in 99 and this makes this once loyal KOF fan very upset! But at least 99 have some cool new characters to mess around with, but I am still upset.

Sound and Music- In this area KOF 98 and 99 are pretty equal. The sound in both games is okay, while the music themes for some of the characters are pretty good, but not great. This area could use some improvement for future KOF games because many sounds and music in 99 are ripped right from 98.

Overall-This game is okay in comparison to its prequel, 98, in many departments. And if you want to get a KOF game please get 98 and not 99 unless you are a hardcore fan. Cya all later!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/10/01, Updated 11/10/01

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