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December 18 2017

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  The King of the Fighters '97 - ©SNK 1997 (Review 2)





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
One On One Fighting

Size:
460 Megs
Japanese Name:

The King of Fighters '97

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

The Orochi has been revealed and now, they have begun their final preparations…Will the teams involve in this year’s KOF find out before it’s too late? (Yeah, pretty much…)

In the end of The King of Fighters '96, we founded out about the group known as the Orochi clan. We also uncovered several of the fighters were connected to them in some way, shape, or form. Now, Chizuru Karuga have sponsored another KOF with some old and new faces (no pun intended) making their way onto the fighting stage and figure out what plans the people of the Orochi have inside their heads! (yeah, pretty much...)


Graphics: 8/10

The fighters this time around have some work done on them and are starting to don their attitudes are really showing it. The rest of graphics in KOF 97 can be said in one word…rushed. I fine with the reusing of the flames and projectiles or sprites (you only do get one year deadline to make it), but it looked like it was not finish on time and they chose to make the best of it, hoping no one will see through the cracks.

There locations of the stages aren’t as detailed then last years and are in fact, choppy and lacking color in several views, cause fighting in Japan with hundreds of people’s blurry faces is all right. You won’t see anything nice until you reach the final stages and the thing is that they are all the same exact landscape, just in different settings! Though, KOF 97 does seem more ‘tournament’ this time around, having everything ‘live’ doesn’t mean it’s a winner.


Gameplay/Controls: 9/10

The coolest feature that made its way into the KOF universe is the new optional super meter called Advance. This is great for the patient people who know what they are doing. No charging up the buttons, no sir! If you’re not a fan of the dodge sidestep, Advance gives you the more effective evade rolling sidestep. This orange bar stores up to three stocks by attacking and defending. Take one to use a desperation move, take one stock to enter a special trance that gives you an attack power increase that is very useful, or entered the power up trance and during it, do your regular DM and it will turn into a super desperation. Overall, Advance is a good and frightening system.

Another inclusion is the relationship factor. For every teammate you choose depending on their outlook towards to another person, it can be more helpful or deadly in using your super meter in one is defeated, if you follow the storyline. For example, it quite obvious those legit teams will add an extra stock in Advance or cut your Extra bar shorter to charge faster, but other will more then that or worse. While selecting fighters, you can hold your start button to see a little face icon, in the corner, to determine or question their friendship. A happy face means a boost of help on the super meter, a plain face mean it they can go either way or do nothing, or the dreaded mad icon, which can have the loser steal away all the stocks or shortcut to do your Desperation Moves. If you ask me, that’s neat.

Controls are really at its best and the move setups are easy to memorize. While they are the same charging or pacific motions we all known by heart and done them to death by now. The knock out blows, the super jumps, air-blocking, combos (juggle combos are at their craziest in 97) and super moves are still in good hands as doing them is simple as they are quick.

The Computer AI took a backseat on this one as they are walking dummies, even when the AI chooses to have one team go berserk on you, they’ll just be a little extra time to fight them and you’ll eventually pass. Difficulty in the bosses of this game seem to be in reverse cause I though the harder person was suppose to be last. The Orochi version of the New Face team came off a hundred times more challenging in putting up a fight then the actual last boss himself, Orochi, who was lackluster as plenty of players could read and beat him within the first match. While the Orochi Team isn’t as near Goenitz’s level, they can be just as hard, Yashiro can provide the proof.


Sound/Music: 7/10

Huh? There’s music in KOF97? You think all fighting games would have a soundtrack, right? Well, 97 does has one, but it executed in a poor state of mind. The majority of the stages have no music, but instead, the ‘live crowds’ hollering and cheering. Only some fighters get a theme song playing for them when they fight like Kyo, Terry, and Athena. This makes SNK look like they did a half-nut job and didn’t want to go through with it. If that was the case they could have just had their theme represent their teams. The voice acting had some altercations with a few new lines for some fighters, but the new characters sound killer. Even the screaming rage of Iori and Leona in Orochi mode sounds devilishly good.


Replay Value : 9/10

Just about all the teams that had fought in last year’s contest have survived with little to no changes. There’s no boss team and Vice and Mature have lost their lives to an uncontrollable Iori, who comes in 97 as a single entry. The mid-boss from 96, Chizuru Karuga, has replaced Kasumi Todo in the all female team and has downgraded her power to give an equal chance to anybody she fights against.

Two new teams make their way onto the fighting floor. The “New Face” team composed of Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris, who have their dark secrets, and the “97 Special” team of Yamazaki, Blue Mary, and Billy Kane, who were chosen by SNK fans through voting. Finally, Kyo’s ‘student’ and hard hitting new guy, Shingo Yabuki, comes as a single entry, too. Under circumstances, you could find a way to unlock The Orochi version of the fighters who are in the storyline of it. In 2 players versus, it’s a wonderful fighting you and your friends will enjoy the unthinkable amount of team setups.

Overall : 8/10

While they did miss, some purposely, a few key notes, SNK are made up of the game play over graphics type people and that can’t be anymore correct then in The King of Fighters’ 97. With a solid roster and great fighting system add-ons, this was fun to play from end to end. So go pick up yourself a copy of this game. It shouldn’t be ignored.

Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


Review by Sifl

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