King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 / King of Fighters 2006 STORY:
Many contended that the illegal
fighting tournament in Southtown was sponsored by the gangland syndicate
"Mephistopheles" to achieve the annihilation of their rivals and
procure some operating capital. After its "King" Duke suffered
defeat at the hands of Alba Meira in the finals, he and his organization
vanished from Southtown. Meanwhile, the media, firmly under Duke's control,
released a fusillade of sensational exposes based on information from
confidential sources regarding their former oppressors. In spite of this new
torrent of "information," almost no one knew that an even larger
entity had been pulling Mephistopheles' puppet strings.
The truth behind the
organization name was only known throughout the dark recesses of the underworld.
No one really had an inkling as to what this organization was truly about. Now,
another of Addes was to reveal a new battle royale. Invitations in white
envelopes were sent to the world's mightiest, who will find the call to the
battle by Addes irresistible. As stated in
Alba Meira's private novel by Akihiko Ureshino on the official KOF Maximum
Impact 2 site (which serves as an official follow up to the story of KOF
Maximum Impact 2) Alba was in fact the one who defeated Jivatma and Luise.
Soiree was kidnapped as a result of that and Alba has not seen him since then.
faces... and some new ones, too.
as The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact
2 in Japan, King of Fighters 2006 features 24 initially playable
well as 14 unlockable ones (including the final boss), making for a grand total of 40
playable characters... An impressive number even for a series known for rather
large character rosters. In addition to a generously enhanced character roster, KOF 2006 shows
off significantly improved animations, graphics,
gameplay mechanics and overall presentation over the original KOF: Maximum
Impact. SNK, known primarily for their
2D titles, actually managed to deliver their best 3D fighter to date.
KOF 2006 features
a great line-up of SNK characters, each with a robust (and sometimes
humorously confusing) moveset. Characters retain most of their attacks from
their most recent movesets, and were each given some brand new ones. Many of the
new moves (and super moves) look badass, to say the least, and are presented
quite nicely thanks to the game's smooth animation (which can be fully appreciated during a
K.O., as the camera slows down during the last strike of the match). The camera also does an
epic 360 around the final attack if you manage to finish with
a "Super Special Move"... nice touch!
The majority of attacks are done with a lot of justice, and look as painful
as any KOF fan would expect. The overall transition of animation from 2D to 3D was
actually done much better this time around than in the original Maximum Impact.
Additionally, some of the original Maximum Impact character designs were fleshed
out more and look better in MI2. Even some classic characters
have slightly updated appearances, giving some of the designs a much appreciated
breath of fresh air. In general, KOF veterans have more
"exaggerated" features in terms of their outfits in MI2. Some of the reworked
costumes (designed primarily by Falcoon) seem a bit overdone, not to mention a
few of the bizarre alternate costumes.
KOF like you've never seen
As with the first Maximum Impact, the pace of the
gameplay is definitely fast
and takes some getting used to. If you've ever put any time into a 2D version of
KOF, you'll most likely feel right at home playing KOF2006 due to the speed of
the game. On the flipside, any seasoned 3D fighting game player might find this game to be a
bit too fast-paced at first. The core gameplay is
all about cancels... you can cancel normal moves into special moves, special
moves into other special moves, and then into super moves. The system is
intuitive and it's rather easy to start creating some cool-looking combos. There
are some cheap combos that can be abused in high-level gameplay, but the game
does seem to reward patience and skill for the most part. On the downside,
there are some sickeningly overpowered characters in the game, including (but
not limited to): Hyena, Jivatma and Armor Ralf. Some would argue that those 3
characters in particular should've been left off the roster... but SNK sort of
made up for it with awesome cameos by Hattori Hanzo of Samurai Shodown
and Fio Germi of Metal Slug, both fighters offering cool (and balanced)
movesets inspired by their original series.
With the addition of a brand new "Counter" system and a tweaked
wall game, KOF: MI2's
gameplay should not only please veteran KOF fans, but perhaps
even attract some new players to the series as well. One of the things
that killed the PS2 version of the first Maximum Impact for me was definitely the
English voice acting... and yes, English voices are back by default in MI2.
But rejoice KOF fans, after a quick trip to the Options menu, you can now
select Japanese voices and hear the KOF fighters
as they were originally intended. When the Japanese dialogue is turned on, the
characters of KOF 2006scream their special moves with
spine-tingling emotion and enthusiasm... and Viola, the "magic"
of the series is back.
Billy Kane still has his
also features buckets and
buckets full of unlockables... notably, TONS of costumes (possibly
the most unlockable costumes in any fighting game to date). On the downside, some
costumes are quite ugly, absurd, completely unnecessary, borderline disturbing,
and in many
cases have terrible color schemes. Others are pretty decent though, and the "cosplay" alternate outfits based on other SNK characters
are quite entertaining for longtime SNK fans.
You can also unlock some cool new stages, mini games (including a battle with a Metal
and various missions. For a console fighting game of this era, King of
Fighters 2006 is a decent package.
the classic SNK fighters against each other in 3D, with a solid gameplay
system (for the first time), is definitely satisfying for the old school fans.
However, the overall character selection is a mixed bag. In my opinion, the veteran KOF'ers like Kyo Kusanagi,
Terry Bogard, Rock Howard, or Billy Kane are all incredibly fun to use
(for those of us who know their moves by heart). However, some of the newcomers
just don't quite live up to the veterans in terms of originality, personality and fighting
style. Although the newbs aren't all that bad, I would've much rather had the
ability to use even more of my old favorites like Vanessa, Yamazaki, Joe or Gato for example.
Metal Slug tank battle? I
see no problems here...
SNK Playmore, Ignition Entertainment
April 15th, 2015
One of the first questions I ask myself when rating a
"new" KOF game is: "Did they get
Iori's laugh right?" Well, good news is they actually did get it
right this time around.
With better graphics, more moves, more characters, and Japanese voices... I now
feel like I'm playing a 3D KOF game, rather than some scary "Americanized" bootleg
version (see KOF: Maximum Impact review).
flaws? Despite a few overpowered characters & combos, there's not much to
complain about... it's a simple system and it's pretty fun once you get the hang of
it. There is some slowdown during gameplay, but honestly
it looks kinda cool sometimes... lol.
A personal favorite slowdown moment of mine comes during a 20-hit Iori combo,
causing epic slow-mo in the right places (makes the combo hurt that much more). Good
An even more comprehensive roster and less silly alternate costumes would've
allowed people to take Maximum Impact 2 more seriously... but for what it is,
MI2 is a quality installment to the series and definitely worth checking
out at the very least.
Actually, no KOF fan should miss out on MI2! SNK did pack a ton of
fan service into the game and presented a decent PS2 console fighting game
overall. KOF: MI2 was succeeded by the sequel, KOF: Maximum Impact
Regulation A, which sadly was only released in Japan. ~TFG