The King of Fighters ’94 Review

The King of Fighters ’94 (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: T
Number of Players: 1 to 2
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK
Release Date: December 21st, 2010

Parent Talk: The King of Fighters ’94 is rated T for teen for violence and mild suggestive theme.  Like any fighter from the early to late nineties, virtually anyone can play these games without any problem, but we respect the ESRB guidelines and so should you.

Plays Like: Any 2D fighter.

Review Basis: Played through the typical arcade mode on the PS3, and tried some online multiplayer.

Details: PS3 version is $8.99 and PSP version is $6.99.

What’s This About: The original concept for the first King of Fighters was to take characters from popular SNK franchises like Fatal Fury and The Art of Fighting and mix them together.  SNK went one step further and took characters from pre-Neo Geo days as well.

The story is rather simple, Rugal Bernstein who happens to be an arms and drug dealer wants to prove he is the ultimate warrior.  Remember that the King of Fighters tournament originated in Fatal Fury with Geese being the one to form the tournament.  Rugal is a different character though and he doesn’t just want to fight one opponent, but rather a team of fighters.  As such he gathers three fighters from eight different countries and vows to destroy them all with his incredible fighting skills.

What It’s Remembered For:

  • Eight teams featuring three characters per team.  Players couldn’t select the character they wanted or edit the teams, meaning you either had to get good with characters that didn’t interest you, or suffer the consequences.
  • KoF ’94 introduced the power gauge, which filled when players psyched themselves up.  This left them open to attack, but if they managed to get their meter full all their regular attacks were strengthened.  The power gauge was also used perform a Super Special Move.
  • Team gameplay proved so much fun that it shaped the future of the series.  Instead of taking on one fighter for the best two out of three matches, players had to wipe out the opposing team in what played like one continuous match, even though rounds separated characters entering to replace fallen ones.

Anything Else We Need To Know?

(Note that all Neo Geo Station games feature online play, PSP versions, region-selecting options for blood and added bounciness, visual smoothers, save states, bug editors, and command lists.)

  • The online gameplay isn’t as smooth as what we’ve seen on newer Neo Geo Station releases, and sadly it doesn’t appear as if the developers are going to go back and fix the net code.

Bottom Line: Who Should Download This?

The King of Fighters ’94 remains a fun title to this very day, but it’s extremely basic.  Only the hardcore SNK fans should apply.  Everyone else would do well in downloading one of the newer releases.  Even the added online play is nowhere near as smooth as what we’ve seen from The King of Fighters ’96.

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