The King of Fighters '95

STORY:  It's the year of our Lord, 1995. Once again invitations to the King of Fighters tournament have found their ways to the world's most powerful fighters. And their author is none other than the mysterious "R!" Could the "R" be that of Rugal, who supposedly blew himself up on his aircraft carrier a year ago? Among the contestants for this year's tournament is the newly selected team of Billy, Yagami, and Kisaragi, who sent the American Team packing. But what in the end is Billy's scheme? What ambitions does Kisaragi cradle? And what evil designs for his old foe Kyo Kusanagi spur Iori Yagami on? These new challengers join all of the previous tournament's contestants-except the American Team, of course-both in battle and the all-consuming intrigue that forms the core of King of Fighters '95."

The King of Fighters '95 character select scren.

The King of Fighters '95 reunites all contenders from The King of Fighters '94 with the exception of the USA Sports Team (sorry Brian, Lucky, and Heavy D.). The American Sports Team was replaced by the new Rival Team consisting of newcomers: Iori Yagami, Eiji Kisaragi and Billy Kane. KOF '95 is the first game in the series to receive console ports (besides Neo Geo systems), with PlayStation and Sega Saturn versions arriving in 1996.

A picture perfect flying side kick from Robert. 

The most notable gameplay enhancement of KOF '95 is the option to edit your team (which became a staple of the series after this installment). Now, players can team-up any of the 24 characters to make up their own unique team... a novel idea that hasn't been done in the fighting genre. A few new moves and animations were added for returning characters; however, the gameplay was practically unchanged from the prequel.

"You guys wanna just play darts instead?" -Joe

Visually, The King of Fighters '95 also looks very much like its predecessor, but features a variety of brand new hand-drawn 2D environments to fight in (including the now legendary NEOGEO LAND)! In particular, KOF '95's backgrounds were a pretty big improvement over the prequels, featuring some memorable locales. Like many other SNK fighting games, the hand-drawn backgrounds also feature some impressive animations which compliment the action onscreen.

The debut of Iori Yagami... Good Times.

  FUN FACTS:  Early in the game's development, a "Team Samurai Shodown" made up of Haohmaru, Galford, and Nakoruru was considered for The King of Fighters '95. Additionally, a boss team consisting of Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser, and Mr. Big was also considered for KOF '95. A third team consisting of Rody Birts from Art of Fighting 3 along with Billy Kane and Eiji Kisaragi was also planned. However, none of these potential teams made the cut to KOF '95. However, these teams did appear in future titles in the series. You can view Concept Artwork of these canceled KOF '95 teams inside TFG's respective Art Gallery.









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Page Updated: June 20th, 2024
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Artwork by: Shinkiro
Platform(s): Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy, PSN, Wii Virtual Console
Release Date(s): July 25th, 1995                 Arcade
Sept. 1st, 1995                 Neo Geo
Sept. 29th, 1995              Neo Geo CD
Aug. 31st, 1996               PlayStation
Apr. 26th, 1996                Game Boy
February 1997                  Game Boy
May 30th, 2007               PSN
Dec. 1st, 2009                 Wii VC
Apr. 26th, 2010               Wii VC
Apr. 30th, 2010               Wii VC
Characters Iori Yagami, Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido, Goro Daimon, Andy Bogard, Terry Bogard, Joe Higashi, Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Takuma Sakazaki, Mai Shiranui, King, Yuri Sakazaki, Ralf Jones, Heidern, Clark Still, Athena Asamiya, Sie Kensou, Chin, Billy Kane, Eiji Kisaragi, Chang Koehan, Kim Kaphwan, Choi Bounge, Saisyu Kusanagi, Rugal Bernstein, Omega Rugal

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Featured Video:

Related Games: The King of Fighters '94, KOF '94: Re-bout, KOF '96, KOF '97, KOF '98, KOF '98 Ultimate Match, KOF '99, KOF 2000, KOF 2001, KOF 2002, KOF 2002 Unlimited Match, KOF 2003, KOF XI, KOF XII, KOF XIII, KOF XIV, KOF XV, KOF: Maximum Impact, KOF: Maximum Impact MANIAX, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: MI Regulation A, KOF: Neowave, KOF EX Neo Blood, KOF EX2 Howling Blood, KOF R1, KOF R2, KOF Collection: Orochi Saga, Savage Reign, Darkstalkers 2, Fatal Fury 3, Real Bout Fatal Fury, Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel Super Heroes, Mortal Kombat 3, Ultimate MK3, Killer Instinct 2, Samurai Shodown 3, WeaponLord

Gameplay Engine  7.0 / 10
Story / Theme  8.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.5 / 10
Animation  6.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.0 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.0 / 10
Customization  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.5 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10

 7.8 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version     


Final Words:

KOF '95 wasn't an entirely different gameplay experience from the first game (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but the fact players could customize their own teams definitely added significant replay value to those who enjoyed the original! As I already stated in the review, the charismatic and colorful new backgrounds of KOF '95 made a huge improvement in the overall visuals, especially when compared to KOF '94.

While not quite as "fluid" or solid as other 2D fighting games of 1995-1996, KOF '95 retained the look, feel, and innovation of the first installment, further cementing SNK's new series in the genre. Future installments and new characters would take the series to new heights in the near future! KOF '95 also marks the debut of KOF icon, Iori Yagami. (And he hasn't missed a KOF since.)
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen  

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