The King of Fighters 2000 Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
Retro
Release date:
July 26, 2000
Publisher:
SNK/Playmore
Developer:
SNK/Playmore
Players:
1 - 2
Genre:
Fighting
ESRB:
NA

The King of Fighters 2000

SNK shakes up the gameplay in its flagship series.

Review by Derek Work (Email)
December 31st 2000
What is this? Finally another review from BonusKun you say? Yes I'm back once again to bring forth from the salt of the earth a review about SNK's newest home title...The King of Fighters 2000. Once again denying all logic, SNK brings forth a positive winner in a fighting game. Matching up with Mark of the Wolves at 688 Megs, KoF 2K delivers an upgrade from KoF 99 that quite literally changes the way you play KoF. This is the 7th KoF in the series but, storywise it's termed Episode 6 due to KoF 98 being only a 'Dream Match'. The way this game plays is something of a serious chaqnge from the 'KoF' Norm'. Is this a good or bad thing? Well I'll let you faithful readers be the judge.

'Time has passed since the existence of Nests Cartel, The mysterious secret society that came to light. It has subsequently crept back into the shadows without a peep of activity. Meanwhile in contrast to Cartel's dormancy, Terrorist attacks have intensified throughout the world. Heidern's troop of mercenaries have discovered that K' and Maxima are behind these. Readying his forces for the immediate pursuit of the two, He receives a timely notice for the commencement of this year's "KOF"! The fighters are set to square off all over the world. Surprisingly, a team including K' and Maxima also appears on the contestant roster! As if beckoned into action, The Cartel moves to put its Second Project into effect! Is the mobilization of Nests Cartel's legions a mere coincidence?

Once again a pall of foreboding hovers over the festivities as this year's King of Fighters begins!!' Usually I have some elements I want to cover in my normal reviews but I find myself hard pressed where to begin. I've played this game for quite awhile now and I wanted to be able to give some insight and feeling on how I 'personally' felt this should be done. I've always been a SNK fan and KoF although one of my favorite series hasn't captured me like Last Blade or Mark of the Wolves. So bear with me as in this I'm going to try and point out aspects of this game which I feel are worthy of addressing.

Characters

What can I say? SNK has used the same sprites or at least upgraded and redesigned them over the years that I didn't give them much of a lookover. Once I had seen Iori in Capcom vs SNK I knew that even tho I love KoF, The were starting to show their age on the ole Neo Geo hardware. There have been some redrawn things here and there like Kyo & Iori's new supers but other than the new characters, It's the same designs just refreshed and upgraded.

Control

No debates here. KoF like almost any SNK fighting game has excellent control. Characters respond smoothly to movements and there are virtually no issues here. In fact I will go on a limb and say that without control like this some of the things that are now possible in KoF 2K couldn't be done without perfect, flawless, controls.

Backgrounds

A minor thing.........Who the hell am I kidding?!?! A MAJOR THING for me is backgrounds. If there isn't a good background in a fighting game then I make sure my displeasure is known. The backgrounds in KoF are kind of a mixed bag for me. Some of the backgrounds like the Warf, Factory, Downtown & Zero's stage are very nice. Some of the like the Aquarium just make me try to turn a blind eye. I'll throw this up once again being a 'personal' prefrence of mine and try to look at the overall picture.

Music

Ah the other element in a good fighting game. Why this gets skipped by so many people sometimes is a thing I'll never know. The music in 2K is a lot more of the same techno but with a few rifts and flair that makes it something of a KoF exculsive thing when listening to it. One piece which really REALLY stuck out to me was Kula Diamond's piece, 'ICE PLACE'. This was something I would have expected out an RPG but, I was amazed to find it 'fit' the character very well.

Replay Value

Now we get to the true reason why this baby is different. When I first played KoF 2K I knew about the improved striker system but, I never knew how utterly twisted it became. You can now call strikers while jumping, running, doing a move, or in the middle of a combo. I will go out and state right now for you fighting game gurus out there that KoF 2K is 100% broken. This means that there are so many ways to do infinites, combos and supers that you may as well have said SNK was inspired by Marvel Vs Capcom 2. To get an example would be easy enough to explain that anyone who's played KoF 2K will use only certain strikers and no others. Joe Higashi is probably the cream of the crop when it comes to strikers. The way some people have used him to rack up the combos is nasty. I.E. Blue Mary's QCF HCB+Punch Super.

Right at the end of the super call Joe, Then in the corner, Do a Standing RH and go into the same super again, Call Joe out again and either do her HCFx2+Kick or her HCBx2+Kick if you're feeling bored of doing the same 1st super over and over. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Now you're thinking. 'How can you have so many Strikers or Supers?' Well in the case of Strikers, You can actually just sacrifice a Super level by taunting and regaining one 'Striker Bomb' each time you have Super energy. Now as for Supers, all you have to do is go into Counter Mode. Just like KoF 99, Counter Mode gives you for a short time unlimited supers at your beck and call. Armor Mode still exists also but it's no less worse seeing as you don't get knocked back from a hit and can hit someone even tho they are smacking you silly. This combined with all of others things I haven't mentioned makes this a totally 'Free for all' in KoF.

In closing I would like to say that even tho KoF 2K is broken, I haven't had this much fun in a long time. SNK really pumped out a great game and a few of my associates who I know are avid Street Fighter III players, 'Love' this game. I had thought or was beginning to feel that maybe this was SNK's last title for the Neo Geo and I was personally happy to see the Neo Geo go out with style unlike the Saturn did. Final Fight Revenge I just heard and have also been seeing new screen shots of a new Neo Game called Nightmare in the Dark. I'm not too sure about this game other than it being an action title and nothing else. Once more info lights up on this one you can be sure I'll jump to that as well. And remember, The Next Level with be here for you. Always.

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