Fighting games aren’t the most common genre on the market. Nowadays we see FPS and Sport titles the most. Since fighting games are rare, the release of a magnificent title turns many heads, including mine. As the name implies, you’ll be getting both King of Fighters 2000 and 2001 in one neatly packaged box. Instead of one complete game, both titles come separately for your liking. There are numerous unlockables including new people, intro videos, and much more. King of Fighters 00/01 keeps to the tradition by providing the solid action of an arcade fighter.
Gameplay is one of the two better executed parts of the game. 00/01 have the same gameplay modes through and through. Single and Team play, Practice, Party, and a few others . Fighting boils down to getting the better move fastest. Character selection is abundant in both titles. KOF 2001 adds five new players to the 35 present in 2000. Even though the selection is great, the players lack any difference in skill-besides speed. Each player is represented with his/her own special moves to be used. The moves vary with each player, and when used properly, they can be destructive.
What KOF 00/01 lacks is the story mode. This is understandable since most fighting games don’t have one, or they’re very bad. Single player mode is a substitution of a story to be found. For the most part you’ll be fighting through endless amounts of challenges. Every person you defeat tallies to your score, in which you can unlock people and places further along in the game.
The computer’s AI is off balanced . At some times, opponents won’t put a challenge up, and other fighters will come back to kill you right before conquering them. There isn’t a way to change their settings, but skilled people will rejoice in it. KOF is a serious button masher. Most of the time, you can get lucky by pressing random buttons at the right times.
When you get into tight places, you can prompt a nifty feature called ' Striker’. By pressing R1, it sends one of your 4 preselected teammates to attack your opponent. Stringing combos together fills up your striker gauge. Some of your allies have no use as a 'striker’. Instead of attacking, many just stand there and sing. You also have to make sure that you're close, or they will miss quite often.
The lowest point of the game has to be the sound. The sound effects and voice overs are both bland. Since the KOF series is based after one another, there isn’t any major voice overs to be found. KOF is also an import from Japan, so some of the voices are still left in Japanese. They provide enough entertainment, but get repetitive in a short amount of time. ' Average’ is the word to be used to describe sound in both games.
No other game has been able to capture the magic the KOF series posess. 2D animation set standards 'way back when’ and it still does today. KOF can’t be compared to any game like Soul Calibur, because the KOF series captures 'old school’ style by adding its 2d animation . To some this is good, but to many this is a turn off. KOF sets its own class with this feature.
For the most part, the background’s settings are the same. Some of the environments include shore sides, race tracks, even in a snowy mansion. Mixed with the fast action fighting, KOF proves to use the 2d animation wisely. As every sequel should have, in 2001 there is a slight step up in the graphics on the front menu, upgrading it from the horrid blue colored background used in 2000.
Every fighting game should have this option, and KOF does too. You can play Team & Single Vs. While there aren’t any new features to be introduced, they both provide the solid action you’d come to expect. If you have many friends, this feature will be the main concern of gameplay.
All in all KOF 2000 and 2001 are average games. The gameplay is the same as in any other fighting game. Plus, there is a lack of customization in every department. You’re stuck with the same attributes throughout the game. The 2d animation brings up a nice point, but is quickly dulled down by the gameplay. A few times, I noticed a short slowdown in the fighting. KOF 00/01 can’t compete with the likes of Soul Calibur 2, but SNK sticks to the tradition. Nevertheless, any SNK/ KOF fan boy should go pick this up, as for its price (retailing brand new for below $40 for both games), it’s a steal.