"You are cordially invited to this year's
King of Fighters." The invitation is
sent to fighters all over the world. The King of Fighters will take place again
this year! But the circumstances this time around are different. There is not a
hint of the hoopla surrounding the entrants like that of the previous tournament
which thrilled the whole world. For the skeptical fighters, even the new
tournament rules for battles bode ill...
"The method of combat will be 3-on-3
battles. The adoption of Striker Matches, however, has been decided for this
Matches?!" The fighters cannot hide their surprise at this unfamiliar mode
of battle. Meanwhile, Heidern, who sees through the suspicious tournament,
dispatches Ralf and Clark to investigate the truth behind this tournament.
Benimaru Nikaido, as well, receives an
invitation to KOF and to join the Special Team consisting of other carefully
selected fighters. Among the pre-selected
teammates listed appear two names: K' (K-Dash) and Maxima. Benimaru is
confused-he's never seen these names listed at any other fighting events;
regardless.... Benimaru heads toward the
tournament venue, clearly unsettled by the circumstances, and the other entrants
are soon to follow. WHAT IS THE STRIKER
MATCH? What is behind this year's
tournament? With its myriad of mysteries, the King of Fighters gets ready to
K' is KOF's new cover boy.
installment of the KOF series introduces a new anti-hero known as K' (pronounced
K-dash). Joining him are a handful of newcomers, such as: Maxima, Whip, Bao, and Xiangfei. The classic 3-on-3 battles are back once again, but
a fourth "assist" character (AKA the striker) is now selectable.
Strikers can jump into battle for an assist attack to help extend combos or
pressure the opponent.
Some of the
most detailed backgrounds to date.
After many years of traditional battles, KOF
system is a welcomed change of pace to the classic 2D gameplay, and something the series needed
if you ask me... (although I'm sure some "hardcore" KOF players
might beg to
differ, since a handful of bugs and balance issues came with the new
striker system). I say to them: those flaws are
only seen in high level play, and assist attacks are fun, dammit!
Besides, considering all of the other 2D fighting games out in 1999 that
featured fast-paced tag-team gameplay and/or assists, KOF '99 was at
least keeping up with the times.
Other new additions to the
gameplay include the Counter Mode
& Armor Mode systems. Counter Mode increases the player's
offensive strength and allows the player to use their character's Super Special
Move infinitely, as well as combo a Special Moves into a Super Special Moves by
using a "Super Cancellation Attack" or a "Moving Attack".
The other powered up mode is Armor Mode, which increases the character's
defensive strength, allowing the character to take more damage from the
opponent. However the player cannot use Super Special Moves during Armor Mode.
Joe loves his uppaaahs.
KOF '99's new gameplay
mechanics breathe new life into the series, but at its core, of course it still
feels like classic KOF. Graphically, the game has also advanced a bit. There
are a ton of new hand-drawn backgrounds that look excellent, and even a few character sprites
were redefined. The new characters also look particularly awesome in 2D form
(and in the artwork). Also enhancing the overall presentation, is an all new
soundtrack, in addition to brand new hit sparks and super move effects.
An enhanced edition of KOF '99, titled King of Fighters '99:
Evolution, was released for Dreamcast in the year 2000. The Dreamcast port
included new striker characters and a few new stages. The new strikers, include:
Athena Asamiya (in her school uniform), Fio Germi, Gai Tendo, Vanessa, Syo
Kirishima, Alfred Airhawk, Kyo, Goro Daimon, Billy Kane, Yamazaki, Seth &
Chizuru Kagura. KOF '99: Evolution can also be connected with the Neo Geo
Pocket Color title, King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise. If you actually
owned both games, you could transfer your points from Battle de Paradise
to KOF '99: Evolution which would speed up the leveling process for Extra
KOF '99 introduced some cool new characters to the franchise, and
presented enough "new content" to be a quality sequel to KOF '98
(and those are indeed big shoes to fill). While it's not perfect, I found KOF
'99 to be the best looking and most stylish KOF
presentation to date when I first tried it out.
In high level gameplay, there are indeed a few bugs and nasty death combos that rear their
ugly heads... but that doesn't hurt the game for the casual player. KOF '99 is
definitely a classic and unique
installment that shouldn't be missed! ~TFG