The King of Fighters '94

Page Updated: November 9th, 2013
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Artwork by: Shinkiro
Platform(s): Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Playstation, PSN
Release Date(s): August 25th, 1994 (Arcade)
October 1st, 1994 ( Neo Geo)
November 2nd, 1994 ( Neo Geo CD)
December 21st, 2010 (PSN)
Characters Kyo, Benimaru, Daimon, Andy, Terry, Joe, Ryo, Robert, Takuma, Mai, King, Yuri, Ralf, Heidern, Clark, Athena, Kensou, Chin, Lucky, Heavy D, Brian, Chang, Kim, Choi, Rugal

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, 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 2003, 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

Gameplay Engine
 6.5 / 10
Story / Theme
 8.5 / 10
Overall Graphics
 7.5 / 10
 6.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects
 7 / 10
 8 / 10
Art Direction
 7 / 10
 2.5 / 10
Options / Extras
 3 / 10
Intro / Presentation
 7 / 10
Replayability / Fun
 5.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor
 7 / 10
 8 / 10

7.3 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version
Final Words:

KOF '94's 3-on-3 style match-ups were innovative for the time, but the sluggish and slightly "stiff" gameplay was no doubt the main flaw of the game. Even though it wasn't the best looking fighter at the arcades, the KOF '94 bravely offered something unique and different to the genre... and introduced a bold new idea into the fighting game universe (that would be used many times later on)... the "cross-over" fighting game. ~TFG Webmaster  

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STORY Rugal Bernstein s an incredibly rich and notorious arms and drugs trafficker, as well as an incredibly skilled and ruthless fighter. Having become bored with the lack of competition, Rugal decides to host a new King of Fighters tournament. Rugal has his secretary travel to eight destinations around the world and invite fighters to his new tournament.

Fatal Fury VS Art of Fighting?!? Oookay!

The King of Fighters '94, the first installment of what soon would become the long-running KOF series, was a cross-over featuring SNK's most well known characters from arcade hits such as Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting. In addition, "re-imagined" versions of characters from classic Neo Geo games (like Psycho Soldier and Ikari Warriors) also made their fighting game debuts.

Fatal Fury team here to represent!

Players can choose from one of 8 different teams, each consisting of 3 members and representing a different country. KOF '94 is a traditional 2D fighting game, using a simple 4-button control scheme with the staple punches & kicks. KOF '94's most unique gameplay mechanics, include: evading, bop attacks, and super-meter charging.

Along with the unique gameplay elements, KOF '94 offers some pretty fun 3-on-3 match-ups (non tag). Each team has its strengths and weaknesses, and unlike in the sequels, players can not pick individual characters... only teams. KOF '94's character roster was a decent size for the time, although the fact that players couldn't "customize" their teams was a definite flaw (something that was fixed in KOF '95).

Kyo Kusanagi VS Sie Kensou

Graphically, KOF '94 presents realistically proportioned 2D character sprites, which actually brought something unique and possibly "refreshing" to the 2D fighting genre at the time. On the flipside, you could say the games graphics were a bit "heavy on pixels"... Honestly, KOF '94 definitely wasn't the prettiest 2D fighter around in the mid 90's.

On certain stages, characters and backgrounds just seem to "blend" together... which I'd say is both good and bad in different ways. One of the coolest and most unique visual aspects of KOF '94 is that your eternally supportive teammates are seen in the background during the fight, cheering you on when you land hits. That subtle detail definitely added personality to the game, and would also carry on in future sequels. Overall, KOF '94's animation quality is a bit "choppy" in certain areas, and alas; the gameplay didn't seem to feel as smooth as other 2D fighters out in the mid 90's.