KoF Evolution is about as good a port of SNK's The King of Fighters '99 as anyone could ask for.
The King of Fighters '99 Evolution for the Dreamcast successfully reproduces just about every aspect of SNK's original NeoGeo fighting game, The King of Fighters '99, and actually improves on several of them. It features all-new, fully 3D backgrounds, hidden striker characters, and new play modes. In fact, it's an excellent port - but it's a port of a disappointing game, especially if you've played Dream Match, the previous King of Fighters game.
KoF Evolution looks about as good as it possibly can on the Dreamcast - it has all The King of Fighters '99's characters, and each character has every single frame of animation intact. What's more, the game features crisply rendered, fully 3D versions of each of the original game's backgrounds, as well as a number of attractive all-new backgrounds, the latter of which are probably the best of the bunch. That's because the rest of KoF Evolution's stages are as subdued and as plain as the stages in the NeoGeo version of The King of Fighters '99; all the fancy 3D graphics in the world can't make an open sewer filled with brown water seem exciting or appealing. In addition, unlike Dream Match, which features a full-length anime introduction, KoF Evolution features an only slightly modified version of the original King of Fighters '99's disappointingly brief introduction sequence.
KoF Evolution also faithfully reproduces all the sounds from the original NeoGeo game and features the arranged soundtrack music. All the game's voice samples and sound effects are clear, as is the music, and, unlike Dream Match, the music doesn't cut out between fighting rounds, which makes the KoF Evolution's already reasonable load times seem even shorter. Unfortunately, the original NeoGeo version featured some of the most boring and forgettable tunes ever to appear in a King of Fighters game, and not even the most high-fidelity recording can make a bad song sound good. As with the original NeoGeo game, most of KoF Evolution's soundtrack consists of half-hearted techno music - with the exception of Terry Bogard's jazzy but entirely too-laid-back theme, which is, as in the original NeoGeo version, lifted directly from the Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition soundtrack.
Of course, sound and graphics aren't as important to a game as gameplay. And KoF Evolution reproduces the gameplay and control scheme of the original King of Fighters '99 for the NeoGeo more or less perfectly. SNK's original King of Fighters '99 is itself a solid fighting game that borrowed much from its predecessor but is a disappointment when compared with it. Dream Match features two very different modes of play and lets you choose four different character colors and four different win poses. KoF Evolution only features one play mode (which most closely resembles advanced mode from Dream Match) and only lets you choose two colors and three win poses per character. In addition, Dream Match features 38 playable characters plus 13 alternate versions of existing characters, for a total of 51 choices, so you are bound to find at least a few characters you'll want to play. In contrast, KoF Evolution features 33 playable characters, but three of these are variations of Kyo, and one is the game's boss character and official fashion disaster, Krizalid. Krizalid happens to be one of the worst boss characters ever to appear in a fighting game; he's stiffly animated, freakishly ugly, and absurdly overpowered. All these drawbacks grant him the most dreaded ability a fighting-game boss character can possess - the power to completely drain all the fun out of the game the moment you face him.
- Game Universe:
- The King of Fighters '99 (PS, NEO, ARC, NGCD),
- The King of Fighters 2001 (NEO, ARC, DC, PS2, PC),
- The King of Fighters 2002 (ARC, NEO, DC, PS2, XBOX),
- King of Fighters: Maximum Impact (PS2, PSP),
- The King of Fighters 02/03 (PS2, XBOX),
- The King of Fighters NeoWave (ARC, PS2, XBOX),
- The King of Fighters '94 (ARC, NEO, NGCD),
- The King of Fighters '95 (PS, GB, ARC, NEO, SAT, NGCD),
- The King of Fighters '96 (PS, ARC, NEO, GB, SAT, NGCD),
- The King of Fighters '97 (NEO, PS, SAT, ARC, NGCD)
- Number of Players: