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October 20 2017

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  The King of the Fighters '96 - ©SNK 1996 (Review 2)





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
One On One Fighting

Size:
362 Megs
Japanese Name:

The King of Fighters '96

Released On:

Home/MVS/CD


Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
The King of Fighters series:

94 - 95 - 96 - 97 - 98 - 99 - 2k - 2k1 - 2k2 - 2k3

- Samurai Shodown
- Samurai Shodown 2
- Samurai Shodown 3
- Samurai Shodown 4
- Samurai Shodown 5
- Samurai Shodown 5 Special

- Double Dragon

More of One-Fu's Reviews may be found at SNK-Capcom.com.


Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 1 - by Kazuya_UK



Introduction

In this third installment to the team based series, a new sponsor has send out several invitations throughout the world to determine the best fighting team in the universe, but with the death of Rugal, who is this new sponsor and what are their intentions? With the success of the first two King of Fightersí games, could SNK perform better with The King of Fighters í96?


Graphics: 8/10

SNK decided to make several changes in term of the graphics department. Playing the game you will notice itís not as slow and choppy like the last two games, so thatís a plus. The intro into the game really gets you pumped up to play. The stage intros are very mesmerizing and the winner screen is one the best screenshots in any fighting game I have seen. Some of the fighters were given tune ups to their sprites, special moves, animation, and so forth. For example, Chang & Choi get matching outfits off of Kimís attire and Andy sports a new fighting stance. The character artwork is superb and the backgrounds are incredibly detailed with tons of colorful and active scenery, even having a few altercations to the stages if certain fighters are playing there. Sure three of the stages have two versions of themselves, but they each have plenty of elements to totally make it something else. Itís the small things like those that can make it more interesting for the game. It may not be the best graphics you will ever see, but it's a step in the right direction.


Gameplay/Controls: 8/10

The gaming engine has been tweaked to make the fighting more enjoyable as it definitely shows in 96. The power meter charging is still a great system to use. Thankfully, they toned down the power up damage consumption that plagued the first past King of Fighters, so neither you nor your opponent can be that overpowering and defeat someone in a mere few hits. The difficulty setting is pretty balance for the most part, but it does have its faults. The computer AI randomly can be easy on one team, expert the next. Another thing is that, for some reason, the CPU always becomes predictable on the same exact fighters either by being rather difficult (i.e. Robert), a counter-attack fanatic (i.e. Kasumi), or a one special move abuser (i.e. King). Even with these small problems, youíll find your way around it in due time.

This game also debut new tactics to further push the fighting in offense and defense. Gone is the sidestep dodge and replacing it is the rolling guard, which felt out of place and took a while for me to getting use to. Guard Break forced players to know that being a blocking fanatic will not save you in the long run as it is a cool feature. The three ways jumping system is also a great maneuver to control how far you want your fighter to travel in the air. Though, it may look stupid, the jumping distance will prove crucial in majority of the matches. Add in the very useful air blocking, and you got yourself a pretty solid fighting engine. The end bosses in 96 will make sure for every mistake you think you see them do, its not! Remember, this is SNK were talking about! In some rare cases, I have seen some glitches and bugs during fights, but itís nothing major to be worried about.

Every action performed on the Neo Geo arcade pad whether doing basic commands or special moves, are near to perfection. Speaking of special moves, the commands for desperation moves were drastically altered to be more execute-friendly for all players. In my opinion, this was a very wise decision on SNKís part. The joystick can be adapted very easily as moving around is a breeze. The several button press combinations to charge your meter and special movements are layout flawless and performing combos can be done without a hitch.


Sound/Music: 9/10

The soundtrack is incredible. All the music tracks fits really well with they were put in. Every one of the songs has their own way of getting stuck in your head without the annoyance factor, making it one of the most addicting soundtracks in KOFs history. Wait until you hear the boss teamís stage, as each member (Geese, Wolfgang, and Mr. Big) had their own theme song! The sound effects are very clear and the voice acting for the fighters really does match their attitudes and emotions. However, the female announcer in the battles sounds a bit too Ďroboticí. The gameís intro announcer was clearer then her and wouldíve been better suited as the fight announcer.


Replay Value : 9/10

By looking at the roster, even by todayís standards, this was probably one of the best set of fighters ever assemble in KOF. Every single fighter in this game brings to the table a vast amount of special moves to differ from one another. Strangely enough, all of the new original fighters in 96 are all female, with the exception of Goenitz. Having 27 original and diverse players in your grasp, not counting the last two bosses, and the ability to edit your own teams, everybody wins when itís come to making your own favorite group of three. With tons of combinations to put together, the possibilities are endless, increasing the replay value even more. So if you get sick of one teaming, you can always make a new one and find it satisfying every time.

Overall : 9/10

The experience I had, pushing quarters in dozens of times when it was put in the arcade place I went to after school, I enjoyed every minute of it. By itself, this is probably the most underrated chapter of the series. The chance to play it in the arcade is a must for any loyal fan to SNK. If it's available on the home console you have, go get it! The things that SNK did to make 96 look better then the first two KOFs before it are done wonderfully and should be appreciated.

Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


Review by LWK

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