King of Fighters Neowave review

2D meets 3D to deliver the worst of both worlds

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    Massive Xbox Live tourneys

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    Customizable costumes

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    low price


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    Mishmash of 2D and 3D art

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    Annoying soundtrack

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    How many KOFs does Xbox need?

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Take the mechanics of a classic, 2D fighting game, put them on the backgrounds of a 3D game, and you've got the best of both proverbial worlds, right? Not if The King of Fighters Neowave is any indication.

A faithful yet expanded translation of the arcade game of the same name, Neowave exists because of a hardware shift. SNK Playmore changed the technology behind its KOF fighting series in the arcade, so to ring in the new hardware, parts of the traditional, 2D King of Fighters 2002 were grafted onto fancy 3D backgrounds that the new chips 'n' bits supplied. The problem is evident with one glance: stages like lush, animated gardens and swanky penthouse offices awkwardly play host to chunky, jagged 2D fighters.Colors aren't blended well on the character models, which just adds to the low-res look.And even the animated 3D stages aren't all that; they're not distracting, but not terribly impressive as pure set dressing, either.

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DescriptionThis bastard child of the KOF fighting series feels like a forced tech demo, albeit an affordable one.
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Alternative names"KoF Neowave"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)