Retro Review – King of Fighters ’95 Still Delivers
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3.
If you dont have an appreciation for vintage graphics, turn back now. Still here? Good. Now onto the review.
I played Neo-Geo SNK’s The King of Fighters ‘95 remix for the PS3. Having never personally played The King of Fighters series before, I came into this review with my extensive Street Fighter bias. With that said, the bias is probably well earned looking at the current generation of fighting games on the market.
While The King of Fighters has been ported to the PS3, the graphics have been preserved. It wouldn’t be considered high-quality by today’s standards, but we won’t hold this against it. The 2D artwork is still pixelated and old-fashioned, yet stylish in its own right, with nice touches added to characters and backgrounds. . One such case is during tag team matches, where your team members will stand in the background either looking bloody and beaten or cheering you on. Playing the game made me feel like I was back in an arcade getting my ass handed to me by the CPU (on easy). So, if you like to revisit the old-fashioned arcade games, the dated graphics only add to your gameplay experience rather than detract from it.
Like most arcade-style fighting games, there’s very little story. All you can really gather (and need) is the main premise: there’s a tournament where the fighters are battling for the title King of Fighters. Your fighters do have a bit of dialogue after they win a fight, which reveals something about who they are, but we’re here to play a fighting game, not a story-driven RPG.
Sadly, the default control scheme is not as intuitive as I would prefer and can take a while to learn. Each button maps to the original control scheme used in the arcade; if you want to change the control configuration, it can be a bit confusing until you figure out what each option means specifically. You need to specify what the PS3 controller buttons are in relation to the arcade buttons (e.g. the X button on the controller can mean the A and B arcade buttons to dodge). It may seem simple to some players, but it took me a while of fiddling to actually get my buttons the way I prefer them.
Nowadays, so many of the fighting games on the market are about bells and whistles such as unlockables and bonus content, and lack in the fighting aspect of the game. This game delivers (or redelivers, as it were) what I was looking for in a good fighting game: something that’s hard to master but easy to jump into, and where the fighting sequences are fluid and dynamic. Fights are available in one of two modes: solo and tag team (where you choose any three characters to build the team).
Each fighter is slightly different in both subtle and obvious ways. Some characters are actually much larger or smaller than average, and it makes a difference in their style of fighting. For example, a larger character may be less agile and have broader attacks, whereas a smaller fighter may have agility and speed but lose out in other abilities. The gameplay isn’t as simple as button-mashing your way to winning a round; Skill and the ability to adapt your play style are required while playing each of the characters.
The best feature of the King of Fighters ‘95 is definitely the ability to fight others online. This adds a lot of replay value to the game, and allows you to hone your skills against many different kinds of players with diverse play styles.
Overall, the game has been very enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a retro game that will take you a good while to master. I rate this game a 4.0 out of 5 because it delivers what we expect, which is a retro arcade game ported to the PS3 with the ability to fight our friends from the comfort of our homes. It may not be a game for the new generation of gamers, but if you love arcade games you will love The King of Fighters ‘95.
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