The King of Fighters 2003
Last Updated: 11/30/2012 Developer(s): SNK NeoGeo Publisher(s): SNK Playmore Artwork by: Falcoon Platform(s): Neo Geo, Playstation 2, Xbox Release Date(s): December 12th, 2003 (Arcade)
March 18th, 2004 (/ PS2)
Characters: Kyo, Benimaru, Daimon, Terry, Tizoc, Gato, Joe, Leona, Ralf, Clark, Kim, Chang, Ryo, Robert, Athena, Mai, Yuri, Malin, Ash Crimson, Duo Lon, Shen Woo, King, Iori, Yamazaki, Mary, Billy, Shingo, K', Maxima, Whip, Jhun, Chizuru, Hinako, Adelheid, Mukai
Related Games: King of Fighters '94, King of Fighters '94: Re-bout, King of Fighters '95, King of Fighters '96, King of Fighters '97, King of Fighters '98, King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match, King of Fighters '99, King of Fighters 2000, King of Fighters 2001, King of Fighters 2002, King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, King of Fighters XI, King of Fighters XII, King of Fighters XIII, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact MANIAX, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, King of Fighters: Neowave, King of Fighters EX Neo Blood, King of Fighters EX2 Howling Blood, King of Fighters R1, King of Fighters R2, King of Fighters Collection: Orochi Saga, Garou Mark of the Wolves
Gameplay Engine 8.5 / 10 Story / Theme 8.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 8 / 10 Animation 8 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 7.5 / 10 Innovation 8 / 10 Art Direction 9.5 / 10 Customization 8 / 10 Options / Extras 8 / 10 Intro / Presentation 8.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 9 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 8.5 / 10 Characters 9 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.8 / 10
Review based on PS2 version Final Words:
The new team-team gameplay element gave the series the push it needed to continue being competitive with the top 2D fighting games out there. KOF 2003 presented a new way to play the game for casual fans, but kept the core gameplay system intact to satisfy fans of the previous installments. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: KOF 2003 begins a new story arc following the conclusion of the NESTS arc in KOF 2001. This story arc centers around a new lead character named Ash Crimson. Unlike the previous protagonists of the series, Kyo Kusanagi and K', Ash is a villainous character with a self-serving agenda, seeking to steal the powers of the Three Divine Vessels for himself.
REVIEW: The tenth installment of the series, The King of Fighters 2003 redefined the classic gameplay of the KOF series with the new "Multi-Shift" feature (AKA 3-on-3 tag team gameplay)! Along with the dramatic change in gameplay comes a decent selection of new characters, including a few welcomed crossovers from one of SNK's all time best 2D fighters, Garou: Mark of the Wolves!
KOF 2003 also introduces the Tactical Leader System, in which one team member is designated by the player as the "Leader". The leader of each team is granted an exclusive move known as the "Leader Super Special Move" (in addition to their regular Super Moves). These moves usually require two Power Gauge stocks to perform. The Tactical Leader System definitely adds some different strategy to the gameplay, but it's slightly disappointing that only one of your team members can perform their strongest super move. One thing's for sure, it makes you want to use a lot of different teams.
Great new selection screen... Welcome Garou!
The "old school" graphics have undergone a slight, yet significant improvement. First off, the backgrounds show off a lot of detail and are well designed in general. They're actually some of the best looking backgrounds of the series. The super move effects have also been revamped, making them to look more epic, and more painful than ever. Several classic characters have also been given new animations, stances, and new even outfits this time around (such as Terry Bogard, now sporting his badass threads from Garou: MOTW).
Meet the new guys...
Even with the "dated look" that returning players might expect, KOF2003 at least pulls off looking like new game. Although the animation and sprites aren't nearly the most impressive we've seen in recent times, SNK's classic franchise looks, sounds, and plays better than ever. 2003 is definitely a worthy sequel on all levels.