Review by OrochiJin

Reviewed: 07/02/00 | Updated: 04/25/01

This great series continues with a great installment!

Being a KOF fanatic, it's about time I review the latest in the series, King of Fighters 99 Evolution Battle. This game has plenty to offer fighting fanatics.

Story - 8
Basically we see the beginning of what is a new enemy. Gone are Rugal and Orochi storylines. What we face here is someone has created yet another tournament, but changed the teams from 3 on 3 to 4 on 4. Their goal - to download the battle abilities of the best fighters into clones they have created of Kyo Kusanagi. The NESTS cartel is introduced, and some new characters are as well.

Graphics - 9
Well, it's the same old NeoGeo type graphics for the characters, but gone are the old 2D backgrounds. They have been upgraded to beautiful 3D backgrounds, my personal favorite being the Amusement Park. That's really what kept my graphics score this high. I'd really love to see this on a Naomi board and see what they could do.

Sound - 9
All the voices, hits etc sound crystal clear in the version of the game. The music has again been changed for all teams.
My personal being the Ikari team and Kyo's theme as well. Personally, a great sounding soundtrack.

Gameplay - 9
Ah, but how does it play, which ultimately decides a fighting games fate. How about a whopping 35 characters, and several extra characters for striker only purposes? Well the returning characters have more or less stayed the same, with some new moves and supers sprinkled throughout and the new characters are as fun to play as well. With the switch to 4 team members, it stays as a 3 on 3 battle. The 4th character acts as a striker, akin to the Helper systems in Marvel vs Capcom. Each striker has their uses (just one hit or a short combo, even draining super power) and some even change what they do depending on if they hit or how they hit the opponent. Some strikers are more useful than others of course, leading to evil looking combos (my personal favorite? Shingo as a stiker grabbing their legs while Ralf loads up a Galactica Phantom). Supers are now stored the same as in a Vs game, where every time the meter fills, you get one super up to 3. Supers take 1 stock, and the Super Desperations can only be done when your life meter flashes red. Super stocks do not carry over to the next person on your team, however.

New to the series is Counter Mode and Armor Mode. Both require all 3 super meters to use. Counter mode allows unlimited supers, and the ability to super cancel, meaning special move interrupted into super, not super to super. Armor mode gives you hyper armor, which really doesn't help all that much. After either mode, you will no longer have a super meter to build at all.

Modes/Extras - 9
You do get a lot of modes in this game. Team/Single play, Team/Single Vs, as well as a Single all and Survivor. A good training mode with in game command lists for ALL moves is a great addition. There is also Neo Geo Pocket support and network support as well, which unfortunantly I haven't had a chance to use either. And depending on how good you play, you get points to unlock more characters who can act as strikers only (check out Justice Kyo as a striker, he rocks!).

Overall - 9
Overall a great game. The character graphics are a bit outdated now, but the gameplay and the characters themselves is what this series is all about. Definantly a good purchase, though it will probably have to be an import due to SNK's departure from the US. But if you can get it, do it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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