More King of Fighters 2003 details

Beta testers report new combat system, new characters, and changes in team lineups in SNK's upcoming arcade game.

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TOKYO--Additional details on The King of Fighters 2003 have surfaced from the beta test currently taking place in Osaka, Japan.

The King of Fighters 2003 will be the 10th installment in SNK's King of Fighters series. While KOF 2003 will still adopt a three-on-three battle format, there has been a major addition to the game's combat system. In previous releases of KOF, the game ran an elimination-style battle system where the order of team members could not be changed once they had been chosen. KOF 2003 will have a tag-team match system, where the player can freely switch between the fighting character and the awaiting team members during combat.

In another major change, each match in KOF 2003 will consist of a single, 60-count round for the player to beat the opponent's characters. Veteran fighting game players involved in the beta test have acknowledged that the new system in KOF 2003 is similar to that in Capcom's Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but they have debated whether or not the time count is too short to make for satisfying gameplay.

KOF 2003 also features new story elements, a new character named Ash Crimson, who uses flames as a weapon, and other new characters, Sheng Woo and Duoron. There are other notable changes to the character roster: Griffon Mask (Tizoc in English) from Garou: Mark of the Wolves has replaced Andy in the Fatal Fury team, Shingo has returned to the Japan team, and Choi has been replaced by returning character Jhun in the Korea team.

In addition, two new teams will be appearing in the game. One is the Outlaw team, which consists of Gato from Garou: Mark of the Wolves and the returning characters Billy and Yamazaki. The other new team, whose name is unknown, will consist of returning character Hinako, a new character named Marin, and returning character Athena, formerly of the Psycho Soldier team, which is gone. The default roster for the game is listed below.

The King of Fighters 2003 is scheduled for release in Japanese arcades this December. The team lineups are as follows:

    Main Character Team:
  • Ash Crimson
  • Duoron
  • Sheng Woo
  • Fatal Fury Team:

  • Terry Bogard
  • Joe Higashi
  • Griffon Mask (Tizoc)
  • Art Of Fighting Team:

  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Robert Garcia
  • Yuri Sakazaki
  • Korea Team:

  • Kim Kaphwan
  • Chang Kohan
  • Jhun Hoon
  • Ikari Team:

  • Leona
  • Ralf
  • Clark
  • Outlaw Team:

  • Gato
  • Billy Kane
  • Ryuji Yamazaki
  • Female Fighters Team:

  • King
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Blue Mary
  • Japan Team:

  • Benimaru Nikaidou
  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Daimon Goro
  • KOF 99' Team:

  • K'
  • Maxima
  • Whip
  • Mystery Team (name unknown):

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Shijou Hinako
  • Marin
  • Individual Entrees:

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami
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