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.
The tenth installment of the series, The
King of Fighters 2003
redefines the classic, tried-and-true 2D gameplay of the series with the all new "Multi-Shift"
feature (AKA 3-on-3 tag team gameplay)!
Along with this dramatic change in gameplay comes a fan-approved selection of new
characters, including some epic crossovers from one of SNK's all time best
2D fighters, Garou: Mark of the Wolves! Tizoc & Gato definitely make
awesome KOF characters and thankfully they play just like they do in Garou.
Great new selection
screen... Welcome Garou!
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
The "old school" sprite-based graphics have undergone a slight, yet significant
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 appear more
epic and more painful
than ever before. 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).
Even with the "dated look"
that returning players might expect, KOF2003
at least manages to look like a new KOF game. Although the animation and sprites
nearly the most impressive we've seen in recent times, SNK's classic franchise
looks, sounds, and plays better than ever. KOF2003 is definitely a worthy sequel on all levels.
Geo, Playstation 2, PSN, Xbox
Dec. 12th, 2003
Mar. 18th, 2004 (/
April 15th, 2015
tag-team gameplay mechanic gives the series the push it has needed (for years) to continue
being competitive with the top 2D fighters of the genre. Other than the tag-team
element and the new characters, it's definitely still good ole' KOF...
nothing more, nothing less. ~TFG