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King of Fighters

King of Fighters

King of Fighters


The King of Fighters (ザ·キング·オブ·ファイターズ Za Kingu obu Faitāzu?), officially abbreviated KOF, is a series of fighting games by SNK Playmore (formerly SNK). The series was originally developed for SNK's Neo-Geo MVS arcade hardware, which served as the main platform for the series until 2004, when SNK retired the MVS in favor of the Atomiswave arcade board and will move the series to the Taito Type X2 with the release of The King of Fighters XII. Read more on Last.fm
The King of Fighters (ザ·キング·オブ·ファイターズ Za Kingu obu Faitāzu?), officially abbreviated KOF, is a series of fighting games by SNK Playmore (formerly SNK). The series was originally developed for SNK's Neo-Geo MVS arcade hardware, which served as the main platform for the series until 2004, when SNK retired the MVS in favor of the Atomiswave arcade board and will move the series to the Taito Type X2 with the release of The King of Fighters XII. Ports of the arcade games and original The King of Fighters games have been released for the Neo Geo CD, Neo Geo Pocket, Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, N-Gage, Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation and PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox. The first game in the series, The King of Fighters '94, was released by SNK in August 25, 1994.[1] The game featured characters from SNK's previous fighting game series Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, as well as original characters (including characters from older games such as Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier, adapted for a versus fighting game). The success of the game lead SNK to release yearly installments of the series and numbered the games for the year they were released.

The King of Fighters '95, was released on July 25, 1995, with several ports being released the next year. In addition to adding new characters, this game allowed the players to create their own team of three members, out of any character in the game.[2] The King of Fighters '96 was released on July 30, 1996. The game establishes a new story arc regarding the main antagonists of the series. Depending on the playable characters in a team, an exclusive ending will be played.[3] The King of Fighters '97 was released on July 28, 1997 and ended the Orochi arc.[4] The King of Fighters '98 was released on July 23, 1998 and unlike previous games it did not feature a story; instead, the game allows players to play with most of characters available on previous ones, including ones that were supposedly dead.

SNK refitted the Sega Dreamcast version renaming it The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999 with an extended cel animated introduction and 3D backgrounds.[5] In July 22, 1999, The King of Fighters '99 was released, which introduced a new story arc. The game includes several new characters with some from the previous game selectable as secret characters, as well as the addition of a new member to each team, being the fourth an assistant named "Striker". The Sega Dreamcast version was titled The King of Fighters: Evolution, there are several improvements such as new strikers and better animation,[6] The King of Fighters 2000 was released on July 26, 2000, with the addition of several new character that would only work as Strikers.[7] The King of Fighters 2001 was released on November 15, 2001 and ends the plot started in '99. Due to some economical problems with SNK, the Korean company Eolith helped in the development of the game.[8] The King of Fighters 2002, released on October 10, 2002, was created to reunite old characters from the games, and featured no story, similar to KoF '98.

It was also developed by Eolith. A new story arc starts in The King of Fighters 2003, released on December 12, 2003. It allowed the players to change characters while playing but the number of team member was reduced to three. SNK, now SNK-Playmore, returned to KoF development in this entry.[9] By 2004, SNK abandoned yearly releases of the series and numbered future games in a more traditional manner;[10] the first main series game released as such was The King of Fighters XI, released on October 26, 2005.[11] The King of Fighters XII, the latest game is expected to be released in April 2009. KOF XII will use newly-drawn 2D sprites on detailed 2D backgrounds.

Producers informed that the game is one hundred percent hand drawn.[12] It is to be a storyless gathering of fighters, similar to KOFs '98 and 2002 before it. he King of Fighters '94 was remade and released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 as The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout in Japan. This version has several new features like hi-res graphics, online play, team edit, a playable Rugal Bernstein, and the addition of Saisyu Kusanagi.[13] A remake for KoF '98 titled The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match was released in Japanese arcades on March 18, 2008 and later on some video game consoles expanding the character roster and improving the graphics.[14] A remake for KoF 2002, titled The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match has recently been released for the PlayStation 2, on February 26, 2009 in Japan. In 2004, SNK produced the first 3D installment of the series, KOF: Maximum Impact. The game and its two sequels revises much of the backstory for characters and settings from previous games. The producer of the Maximum Impact series, Falcoon, stated that the Maximum Impact games are in a different continuity from the original series of games.[15] Another spin-off video game, The King of Fighters Neowave, was released for the X-Box, PlayStation 2 and Arcade during 2005 and 2006.

Like KOF '98 and KOF 2002, Neowave has no storyline and is considered a "dream match" game. The game is a gathering of numerous characters from previous installments, including dead characters like Mature and Vice from KOF '96 and the New Face Team from KOF '97. The character artwork was done by Tomokazu Nakano.[16] Two video games were released for the Game Boy Advance titled The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood and The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood respectively, featuring characters from KOF '99 and 2000.[17][18] A role-playing game was also created exclusively for the Sony PlayStation under the name of The King of Fighters: Kyo, adaptating a manga with the same name.[19] An N-Gage version of the Game Boy Advance game was released in 2005 titled King of Fighters Extreme which added Bluetooth multi-player.[20] Three pachinko slot games were developed for the series. The first, The King of Fighters, is based on the Orochi storyline and second, The King of Fighters 2, is based on the fights between K' against the NESTS organization.[21][22] The newest one, Maximum Impact, was released on January 19, 2009 and it focuses on the series' 3D titles.

None of these were released outside Japan.[23] Six games for Japanese mobile phones have also been developed. While a few of are fighting, others are mini-games like Volley Ball and quizzes.[24] Several characters from the series appear also in cross-over video games. Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is a 2 on 2 tag team fighting game for the Atomiswave arcade board. Along with the KOF, characters from other SNK video games also star there.[25] Capcom also produced a series of similar crossover fighting games with SNK.

The SNK-produced fighting games of this crossover includes the Dimps-developed portable fighting game SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium for the Neo-Geo Pocket Color in 1999 and SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos for the Neo-Geo in 2003 The games produced by Capcom includes Capcom vs. SNK in 2000.

It was followed by a minor upgrade, Capcom vs. SNK Pro ; and a sequel titled Capcom vs. SNK 2, both released in 2001. All three games were produced for the NAOMI hardware as well. n addition to the remakes of individual games such as Re-bout, Ultimate Match, and Unlimited Match, SNK Playmore has released compilations of their KOF games.

Two KOF compilations were released in Japan for the PlayStation 2 as part of the Neo Geo Online Collection. The first compilation, The King of Fighters Orochi Hen (ザ·キング·オブ·ファイターズ -オロチ編-?, "The Orochi Compilation") features KOF '95, KOF '96, and KOF '97, the three games comprising the Orochi story arc. The compilation features a Color Edit mode that allows the player to create a custom color palette for every character in each game, the choice to play each game with original and arranged soundtracks, and an online versus mode which supporting the MMBB service.[26] The second compilation, The King of Fighters NESTS Hen (ザ·キング·オブ·ファイターズ -ネスツ編- ?, "The NESTS Compilation"), features the original Neo Geo versions of KOF '99, KOF 2000, and KOF 2001, as well as the corresponding Dreamcast versions of each game. It has the same features as the previous compilation, but with online support available only for the Dreamcast games in the compilation.[27] A separately produced compilation titled The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga was released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii in North America, the PAL region, and Southeast Asia.

This compilation has the same lineup of games as the Japanese Orochi Hen, along with KOF '94 and KOF '98, although the extra features are different, with an added Challenge Mode where the player must win certain matches against the CPU in KOF '98 under specific conditions and a Media gallery featuring listenable tracks from each game and a collection of official illustrations.[26] Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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