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March 19 2019

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  The King of Fighters 2002 - ©Playmore/Eolith 2002 (Review 2)

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

One On One Fighting

681 Megs
Japanese Name:

The King of Fighters 2002

Released On:


Reviewed By:
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Other Opinions - More Reviews On NG4L:
Review 1 - by Kazuya_UK
Review 3 - by Raiken
Review 4 - by Boombada


Ok... The roster isn't as nice as everyone was hoping it'd be... but the game, in my humble opinion, has vast improvements over the last installment of the series.

KOF2002 kills the strikers. No more cheap tricks or anything - completely gone. This is a huge plus for me - I really didn't like the idea of a 4th character. Gameplay feels like KOF98, a little tweaked and definitely a tad faster. Moves come out with extreme ease and fluidity.

Some characters moves were changed/tweaked. This is both good and bad. I'll let you discover why it's good by yourself, but I'll tell you what's bad:


They completely screwed one of my favorite characters. His Kooh-Ken and Haoh-Sho-Kou-ken are both invisible now, and his hyen-shippukyaku doesn't have the same range anymore. Oh well :-\

The graphics are pretty nice, sprites are big, some of them (Rugal for example) looks quite a lot like the sprites from 98. Some characters were "overly-animated" - Kim Kaphwan's clothes move, and compared to other characters, it looks like they put more effort in Kim (and a few others) than let's say, Ryo or Kyo.

In the sound department, the game does well: it seems developers are trying to go back to the old musical style that resemble what oldschool SNK used to do, instead of that techno crap they put in KOF99. Some sound samples seem to have been redone, like K's voices and a few others. Overall, they did a nice job and it fits the game well.

I really liked the fact they brought Rugal back. It's one of those game villains you never forget, he's just too cool. He's a mix of Rugal and Omega Rugal now: If you do the Kaiser Wave move, you get a really fast blast. If you do the same move and hold the punch button, you get the "omega-rugal" electric ball blast. Also, his Genocide Cutter was improved. He has a 3rd kick now in mid-air, and he "flies back" to avoid a counter. Sounds cheap, but for a character like Rugal, it's just plain good.

They should have put Eiji Kisaragi and others back in (and added some others like Tung Fu Rue - afterall, this is a 'Dream Match' game like KOF98. Where's Geese? Saishu? Zero? Argh!)

Here are my ratings to the game:

Graphics - 9 / 10 - It could have been a little more polished, like KOF98.

Sound - 8 / 10 - They're starting to get the music right again! whooray!

Playability - 9/10 - They screwed up Takuma, and that's unforgivable!

Overall - 8.66 / 10

Q) "I'm a collector, is it a worthy addition to my collection?"

A) Hell yeah.

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