Review by CPilecky

"Lone Wolf"

Mark of the Wolves picks up 10 years after Terry Bogard won the King of Fighters title, and has raised Geese Howard's son Rock as his own. Terry; the only returning character, has put on a few pounds, lost his trademark red cap, cut his hair, and is now sporting a leather jacket. Unfortunately he has also lost his ''Rising Tackle'' (RT). For most combo's I can substitute in the ''Power Dunk'' (PD). But there are still some instances when I really miss the RT.

There are 12 select-able characters and 2 hidden ones. Their not hidden terribly well though (Just scroll off the screen and there they are).

Graphics: Keep in mind this game was originally programmed on SNK's 12-year-old MVS arcade hardware! Which makes it all the more amazing that they have managed to squeeze Street Fighter 3 quality animation out of this thing! It doesn't look quite as sharp as SF3, but its just as well animated.

Sound: The character voices are done well, and the music is very good. The one odd quirk in this port is that the characters voices seem to play about a half second AFTER they do there moves, which sounds really weird at first but you soon get used to it and wont even notice.

Gameplay: FF:MOW features the ''Just Defended'' system, which is obviously SNK's answer to SF3's parrying. The way it works is; Successfully block an attack at the last possible moment, and you will regain some life meter, guard endurance remains stable, and guard cancel moves are enabled. At first the gameplay might seem a little awkward compared to King of Fighters and Capcom VS SNK 2, but you get used to it quickly. I felt the same initial discomfort with SF3 till I got used to the added animation.

All in all it's a very solid, and addictive fighting game. This is one of SNK's last great fighters, and also one of the Dreamcast's last as well. Every SNK fan owes it to them-selves to buy this game! It's selling for $30 new! But it may be pretty hard to find if you didn't pre-order. With Dreamcast on its last legs, and SNK already gone, software stores won't be getting many copies (if any) over there pre-sale allotments.

Hopefully all of SNK's franchises will find good homes, and capable caretakers to treat them with the respect they deserve. (Capcom are you listening?) This could be the last time we ever see a true SNK fighter, don't miss out!

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 9
Value: 8

Overall rating (Not an average): 9

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/27/01, Updated 11/27/01

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