Review by Majestic_Lizard

"Difficult to find and not worth the search."

As much as I love 2D fighters, I would really like to be more enthusiastic about this one...

King of Fighters: NeoWave is a fighting game for the Sony Playstation 2. It was only released in Japan, Australia, and Europe, and for good reason. For those not familiar with it, this is a fighting game in which you can choose from an assortment of characters and either fight the computer with the goal of beating the tournament or fight a friend in a match. It is very similar to Street Fighter 2. Each character has an assortment of moves, strengths, and weaknesses. As with the other King of Fighters titles, you choose three characters and fight teams of three characters. In order to lose, each of your fighters must be eliminated.

Story: 2
What story? This game doesn't really make any sense. It has the modern King of Fighters characters fighting a version of Geese Howard from 1970's Art of Fighting storyline (yet he has a super computer in his office). The programmers at Sammy obviously did not research the mythology of SNK games very well.

Graphics & Sound: 6 of 10
The sprites (characters) look exactly the same as the last five or six King of Fighters games, with no improvements in resolution. The 3D backgrounds look completely out of place and do not match the resolution of the characters. There were no improvements to the lighting or resolution on the actual fighters, which makes them look like cartoon people fighting on virtual 3D landscapes. I didn't like the music; it didn't take advantage of the Atomiswave sound capabilities (or that of the PS2). This is basically King of Fighters '99 with weird looking 3D backgrounds and no storyline. In fact the 3D backgrounds in this game are WORSE than the backgrounds in the last few King of Fighters games because those at least had an artistic quality to them that gave the game atmosphere.

Game-play / Control: 5 of 10
The game has actually lost several features from earlier King of Fighters iterations. The tag-team mode from King of Fighters 2003 is gone. The strikers option from earlier King of Fighters games is gone. The controls are very responsive, but this is because they were lifted from King of Fighters '99. The game offers no substantial improvements or changes. There are some new modes offered in the matches, but they aren't noteworthy.

Replay Value / Fun Factor: 4 of 10
This game is exactly like earlier King of Fighters games, but lacks the atmosphere, storylines, and hand drawn background art. The 3D backgrounds worked in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and in Capcom Vs. SNK2, but not here because they look bland. You don't need to play this. King of Fighters XI is a lot better.

Overall: 6 of 10
This is not a terrible game. However, it is easily one of the weakest in the King of Fighters series, despite being designed for more powerful hardware. I would really like to rate this higher, but it was overall a failure, in my opinion.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/30/10

Game Release: The King of Fighters NeoWave (EU, 07/31/06)

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