On the plus side, this gathers every release of this yearly updated 2D fighter series – 1994 to 1998 – into one small and modern place. It lets you play through the entire storyline and see every improvement that was made year on year. Were this still 1998, King of Fighters running on a handheld would seem like a gift from the heavens. However, it’s 2009 now, and things have moved on.
The storyline is gibberish and, to our Street Fighter-addled eyes there seems to be very little difference between all the games. It’s the same thing five times. And look, there’s classic and there’s just plain old: KoF relies on blocking (lots) and the odd special move, but even this dullness is dragged down by poor controls (the analogue stick is hopeless) and technical sadness (it doesn’t fit the screen). Even KoF obsessives will be hard pressed to love this. In 2009, portable King of Fighters seems far from magic.
Mar 12, 2009