Another fighting game I hear you say. Well, it has been a month for fighters I must admit. Street Fighter 4 then the Samurai Shodown Anthology and now this. But King of Fighters (KOF) Collection is a little bit different in the way you fight.
Normally you have one on one and go so many rounds, but with KOF, it’s more like a 3 man tag team elimination match. So instead of choosing one fighter, you pick a team of 3 and fight until you’ve beaten all 3 of your opponents.
It is one on one, but when you beat the first guy, the 2nd guy comes straight in and you get a little bit of your health back and carry on. First to beat all three of their opponents is the winner and you move onto the next stage.
I found this to be quite refreshing in a fighter and I do enjoy playing this game.
There are 5 games on the disc, starting with KOF ’94 up to KOF ’98. In KOF ’94 you have the choice of 8 teams but you do get more selection of characters as the games progress in years. The later games allow you to pick any 3 fighters and not just those from a certain country.
As well as the 5 games that are available on the disc, there is a challenges option from the main menu which you can try any time you like unlike nowadays when a lot of the games reward you for doing things during the game.
It’s not an amazing extra but just something to add something else to the game. One of the first ones is beating your enemy ‘blind’, which means you can’t see how much time or health you have left. As I say, they’re nothing amazing, more gimmicky than anything else.
But they aren’t for nothing, as on completion of the challenges, you will unlock extra features such as artwork and the soundtracks for all the KOF games.
The gameplay is fluid enough and hasn’t noticed any huge lags which spoil the run of the game. The graphics are really nice for their time and do improve with most of the later games, and KOF ’98 is probably the best looking game in my opinion, plus the soundtrack is quite cool, for the most part.
All the characters have certain moves and these can all be seen through the in-game menu from the moves list. There aren’t hundreds of different moves, but I suppose that keeps the game easy to use and with a lot of them being the same combination on the pad, you should learn the majority in no time.
There’s also a power-up move that can be done by all the characters. All you need to do is press both light and strong punches and kick buttons at the same time, and your power bar will fill up at the bottom of the screen. Once this is done, your fighters will attack harder and take your opponent’s health down quicker. However, this doesn’t last forever, so keep on eye on it.
This is definitely a game that anybody can just pick up and play and has difficulty settings from 1 to 8 with 1 being the easiest if you’re not too sharp with your fighting skills.
If you feel you’re finding it hard, then there is a training option available. Just choose which version of KOF you want to play and then there will be the option to play the Arcade Mode (which is the normal mode of the game), or the training mode so you can practice with whichever team/characters you fancy.
If you like your fighting games, then I do recommend The King of Fighters Collection (Wii) as a great old skool Neo Geo gem. It’s kept me occupied for hours.
Plus, look out for King of Fighters 12 which is being released on PS3 and XBox 360 in the not so distant future, possibly around July/August of this year, there are some good looking screenshots to be seen!
3 out of 5
Danny ‘Ender’ Martin has been part of the Zath team from pretty much the very beginning since he met Zath himself at Leeds Met University whilst studying Business IT. He’s an avid gamer and a big film buff. Danny graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in Computer Animation and SFX and now currently works at one of the biggest UK games developers, which will hopefully see some of his ideas hit the gaming world.