I’ve commented enough times about the SNK Neo-Geo and its games being hard. Obscenely hard. And then when you’re a completist like me, fighting games from the Neo-Geo can be a nightmare. They’re tough, and there’s a lot of characters. Hence why King of Fighters ’94 may be the fighter that’s taken me the longest to beat.
For those of you confused by the title and its reference to the in-game tournament from Fatal Fury, settle in, it’s going to be a long story. After Terry Bogard defeated Geese Howard, the tournament seemed to be over. Now, (or at least, in 1994) someone has reopened the tournament, opening it up to teams of three from all over the world. Some are in it for glory, some to prove themselves to other characters from the SNK universe, and some because they suspect what’s behind the tournament.
This game was built as fighting fanservice. Characters from the Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting series are grouped together into teams of three. Some are obvious, like the three heroes from Fatal Fury, some mixed with new and old characters, and some like Team Japan (led by soon to be KoF series hero Kyo Kusanagi) are all original.
The game has two modes, team and single. Team, you choose the order in which your three fight. Single, you pick one of your team to fight that round’s opposing representative. New features to this game from previous SNK games is the ability to sidestep an attack (which is awesome and needs to be in more fighting games these days) and the ability to charge your super attack meter at the cost of being exposed.
Graphics and sound-wise, its as good as all the other SNK Neo-Geo games, good arcade quality. And like the arcade, it’s hard as hell. Took me forever to beat it with enough characters to talk about it fairly. I still recommend it as good fighter, and hope you get as much frustrated fun as you ever get.