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December 14 2018

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  The King of the Fighters '98 - ©SNK 1998 (Review 2)

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

One On One Fighting

683 Megs
Japanese Name:

The King of Fighters '98

Released On:


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

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


A dream match within a dream match. Man, I must be dreaming.

The Orochi saga has ended and now to fulfill their duties, SNK gives themselves a much needed break. Skipping the idea of making a storyline for KOF 98 this year they just have an all out no nonsense dream match brawl, bringing past and present fighters from the old KOFs together as one. This is really about the fans this time around as this is the SNK way of saying "Thank You!"

Graphics: 9/10

Holy crap, the graphics are freaking sharp and clear! Seeing as how SNK is bringing back the people from these KOFs, it gives SNK some good time to look through cleaning up the pixels instead of focusing on the things then what they usual have to do for each KOF before it. The artwork, as a whole, is very mature and stylish.

The special and desperation moves look sweet with nearly no break ups. The flames, the lightings, and the projectiles truly match the atmosphere the game is trying to have. All the fighters who returned from their long absents looked like they never left the series. The regular common fighters might have their basic sprites, but you won\'t even notice they don\'t look as old as they still seem. However, I liked the fighting stances Mature and Vice had back in 96. This version, SNK looked like they tried too hard on their fighting stance, especially Vice's 'zombie' standstill. I wasn't feeling that. I also was into how much they had certain fighters reacted to others in special intros.

The players' selection interface is covered with the fighters' faces to the brim, leaving no space to put half drawn portraits of the chosen fighters like they would do. It's funny. The stages have cool uses of colors, enriching the scenery around them. The China stage, which has the reputation in the KOF series of having the most beautiful stages, once again has the perfect picture of a painting. I also like the redone USA Sport team stage. The train station looked nice, but it felt out of place and since there is no story mode in 98, we get the rewards of seeing several normal, sometimes humorous, pictures in the ending credits.

Gameplay/Controls: 9/10

Every nook and cranny that made it from 94 to 97 is here. The super bar systems, Advance & Extra, with their command traits are there to be picked as well as the mostly ignored, but helpful "relationship" icons is here, too. The fighting game play is definitely at it finest in all the KOFs I played up upon its debut. The cool thing they did in 98 is giving the losers advantages during the fights when it's not going their way. In \"Extra\" mode, each lost of a teammate gives the player a cut down of their special blue meter, making it faster and less dangerous to charge up to the MAX, in the heat of the battle. Advance takes every player's lost by given you an extra slot to get a green ball stock, maxing out on five spots.

The controls throughout the game are always near perfection. In fact, each fighter seems to be at their closest to each other that I remember, so all of them have an even chance of beating one another. I really didn't see that much juggles or infinites when I played, so I can't say for everybody about that part of the experience. No tapping of any buttons are going to save you. The only chance that will happen is when you are doing combos.

On the computer AI, the one thing that I didn't like was how short the one player mode was. Six teams are to be defeated, before your meeting with the last boss, Omega Rugal. However, they do make the fifth or sixth team, during this quest, a hell of a lot smarter and that's what they should do in every KOF. Trust me when I say this, as you will never look at Iori's team or the USA Sports Team, who seem to get those lucky \"Smart AI\" spots many times, the same again. You also have the chance of fighting Shingo and Rugal by themselves, in the middle of the game, if you are really good, but there are easy as heck. Omega Rugal does have some great sneaky power moves up his bloody sleeve.

Sound/Music: 8/10

Majority of the soundtrack is past team themes from past KOFs, with most of them coming back in remix form. So whoever adores some tracks, like Psycho Soldiers' 95 or Iori's saxophone jazz theme from 96, will love this group of music. Shingo's theme still cracks me as its sounds like he's ready for action, but once you see Shingo's attitude, it fits him even better with his goofiness.

The voice acting was the same, but they did add some nice new dialogue for those special fighter intros. You can actually make out every syllable of words they say without question, even if you don't know the Japanese language. The sound of the blocking and hitting combinations are average, but at least you can understand them enough so you know what is going on during the fight.

Replay Value : 9/10

The teams that appear on KOF 97 have remained intact with some returning older team and fighter favorites. Iori is back with Mature and Vice, the '94 Sports team has come back to show the haters wrong, and a team consisting of the old male fighters who hadn't been seen since 95 (Takuma, Heidern, & Saishu). Rugal and Shingo are there as single entries, too.

For those who are use to how some of the fighters play outside of KOF and you want to play them from their other versions, have no fear. Several of the fighters can be change to play whatever game they come from. Most of the fighters from "Fatal Fury" can play like they were in Real Bout, some AoF fighters can play their versions that will let there fireballs travel all across the screen, Kyo can be his KOF 95 self with fireball and all, and the entire New Face team can change into their Orochi versions with a touch of a button. The vast number of assortment will provide a great long lifespan for all fans who worship KOF to the fullest.

Two players versus is still, as mention million of times on just about all fighting game review, cool and there is a little neat secret is if you beat the game with some special teaming, you get an exclusive picture of them for fun.

Overall : 9/10

The King of Fighters' 98 is what many called one of the best finely tuned 2D fighting games out there in history and after playing this for all these years, it took me a long time to finally say I agree with these people. The roster is massive and the game play is undeniably addicting so much that it will leave you speechless. In this case, just save your words for the trash talking when you play this against a friend or stranger. KOF 98 is as good as KOF fighting can get!

Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

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Review by LWK
Review by Sol Badguy
Review by ZeroMJ

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