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

Posted on Feb 28th 2011 at 12:39:30 AM by (noiseredux)
Posted under PlayStation 2

King Of Fighters 98 was the game chosen for February's Together Retro game club title over at http://Racketboy.com. Though I'm a fan of 2D fighting games, the King Of Fighters series always seemed tough to keep track of as far as I was concerned. And even after putting in plenty of time to research it for the month, it came across as no less daunting of a task. Even this particular entry in the series was released and re-released multiple times, often with alternate titles (KOF 98 is even titled 99 on the Dreamcast!). However, I did my best to wrap my brain around it and put together some thoughts for your amusement dear readers.






Because I've been heavily concentrating on collecting PS1 and PS2 games lately I decided to devote most of my playing to King Of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match. Though even then there was a decision about which PS2 version to buy seeing as how KOF 98 was also featured on a compilation disc called King Of Fighters: Orochi Saga. In the end I chose Ultimate Match based mostly on the fact that I could find the game for a bit cheaper, it apparently contained more characters, and it included a nice KOF poster and bonus DVD. I'm a total sucker for "extras."

I have played a fair share of SNK fighters in the past -- namely Fatal Fury -- but all in all, I'm a lot more familiar and comfortable with Capcom fighting games. As it turned out King Of Fighters 98 played completely differently. The biggest thing for me to get used to was using three fighters out of a pool of characters that I really wasn't familiar with. This proved to be an especially daunting task to me, as I was used to the concept of choosing one character and familiarizing myself with their moves by experiencing lots of fights as them. Instead I was forced to pick three fighters from a huge roster and try to grasp how to use each.



The team that I created is pictured above. First I chose Terry Bogard, based totally on the fact that he was who I often used in Fatal Fury so I was pretty familiar with his moves. Then I chose Mai, because she's fast and has a rather fan favorite animation. And then finally I chose Choi because well... he reminds me of Freddy Krueger. Terry is pretty good. Mai is definitely awesome. And Choi is mostly crappy but fast. So whatever.

I'm still not really sure if the fighting system is just too deep for me, or if the AI is too cheap for me, or if years of Capcom fighters have just left me a total idiot when it comes to any other fighting system, but I just could not seem to make it far in King Of Fighters 98. Generally I'd do really well for one or two fights, but by the third I was just getting completely destroyed. But what's odd is that I didn't find it to be a fun challenge. Instead I just found it annoying. Perhaps a big problem is that I could never quite find a third fighter to get good at. Though Choi was usable, I wasn't great with him. So really I was hoping to beat all three opponents with just Terry and Mai.

Though I didn't love the game itself, I am still impressed with the wonderful graphics. All of the fighters are just drenched with character. It's all so very SNK. Also playing the game to the point of aggravation did unintentionally re-kindle my love of Capcom Vs SNK 2. In fact, I even started using Mai in that game -- adding her to my team of Morrigan and Chun-Li. Oh and speaking of Chun-Li, I was using her Street Fighter II anniversary fighting pad to play the game, which did lend a level of comfort.







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Comments
 
My wife loves to pick on me when I pick Mai in any FF/KOF game, but I tell her it reminds me of her and she conveniently reminds me that hers are bigger ^.^

I honestly enjoy playing as Mai though, flying all over the stage. I would try learning Iori as a third character, as he's fairly powerful and simple to learn.
 
@Shadow Kisuragi: boob jokes aside, Mai is definitely an awesome fighter. I found her move-set super easy to pick up on having been a fan of Chun-Li and Morrigan from Capcom games. In a sense, Mai felt very Capcom-ish to me.
 
Iori is fairly Capcom-ish as well. His move set is similar to Ken's, but has a mix of Terry's moves as well that you can chain.

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