RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Aug 18th 2012 at 08:51:30 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Dreamcast, Sega

My recent desire to get back into Dreamcast collecting (thanks OatBob) isn't just to watch piles of games stack up on my shelves. Nope, I want to actually spend time with these games. I want to delve into the library and find out first hand everything the Dreamcast did right, wrong, and just downright bizarre. So to start with, let's talk about a game it did very, very right: King of Fighters Evolution.

Evolution is actually a port of King of Fighters 99, though the Dreamcast port of KOF 98 was confusingly titled 99. All title-weirdness aside, it is an absolutely fantastic game. But before I get into all that, I should tell you a bit of my history with the KOF series to put things into context. Growing up, I was a huge fan of Street Fighter II as I'm sure most of you reading this can relate to. My first introduction to SNK's breed of fighting games came via a Neo Geo cab at a convenience store a few blocks from my house. The game was Art of Fighting, and I popped some quarters into it whenever I had a chance. Not long after I added Fatal Fury to my collection via its SNES port. I found both games to be fun -- with their bright colors and large, expressive sprites. But ultimately, neither would prove as memorable to me as Street Fighter II. And for the most part, I wouldn't touch another SNK fighter until just a couple years ago when I finally played King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match on PS2.

King of Fighters 98 UM I actually blogged about here and basically complained about its difficulty. It seemed to me an exercise in pure frustration. But of course this had a lot to do with its gigantic roster of characters I was completely unfamiliar with. That and y'know... KOF 98 is pretty damn hard. But for some strange reason I stuck with SNK. And really, I'm glad I did. Subsequent titles I'd check out were oddly amazing (Neo Geo Battle Colessium) or just downright incredible (Garou Mark of the Wolves, King of Fighters XIII). And slowly I started to branch out from just using my staple Terry Bogard, and started to really learn some new favorite characters (Athena rules).

So now that we're all on the same page, let's talk KOF Evolution. First off, the roster is large but not outlandish, topping off at just over 30 characters. And luckily many of the series' fan favorites are present -- including some of my favorites like Terry, Mai, Athena, Kasumi, Choi and so on. Graphically the game is stunning. 3D backgrounds mesh beautifully with the 2D sprites and the music is fantastic and bordering on the darkside. Even more interesting is the strange storyline -- something about a conspiracy and an evil organization who has infiltrated the King of Fighters tournament to capture "data" in the form of the winners' fighting styles. It's all a bit over-the-top in a really awesome way.

There are many King of Fighters games out there, so certainly it can be a daunting task to know where to start. Certainly I've yet to make my way through all of them. But I would certainly suggest this one as a good place to start. The final boss is difficult, but lacks the infamous SNK Final Boss Difficulty that many have known as a reason to break windows with controllers. And while it uses the series' usual three-character teams, it also incorporates a fourth Striker character (including a couple exclusive to the Dreamcast release) that can jump in during a match similarly to the Marvel Vs Capcom series. What's even better is that this particular title is not overly expensive, especially if you're interested in the Dreamcast port, so you've got every reason to give a try.

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I almost completely missed out on the KoF series until a few years ago when I picked up the KoF Collection The Orochi Saga for my Wii. It really made me feel like I was missing out on a cool franchise, but with the tons of games and ports I didnt know where to start so I just stuck it out with my Collection.

When XIII was announced a local place was holding a release tournament so I grabbed a copy of XII (not the best game in the series by far, but it did what I needed) to practice. When XIII hit I was hooked though. It was so fantastic and it was pretty obvious why people enjoyed the series now. I'm looking forward more than ever to trying others in the series so I'll definitely be on the lookout for Evolution now. Thanks!!
Yeah, XII should have been good. I mean it was a good game, in all seriousness. But its roster was so dinky for a current gen game that had so many characters in the franchise to choose from. Yet, I was going to overlook that since Athena was in there -- but the online was soooooo bad that it really detracted from the experience. A shame. But as you noted, XIII fixed everything wrong with XII.

It's great playing SNK fighting games from time to time.  Capcom is great, but sometimes I need a combo set that is different from SF.
This makes me want to look into KoF again.  I haven't played any of then since I was heavy into the importing scene with KoF '96 and '97.  Great stuff.
Dreamcast really rocks for fighters... KoF, Soul Calibur, MvC 1&2, SF Alpha 3, SF 3rd Strike, etc.
Then there are the Japan releases!

Great to see the DC getting some respect!

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