The King of Fighters 2002 Hands-On

SNK's character-heavy fighting series gets some Xbox Live support.


TOKYO--Originally released in 2001, The King of Fighters 2002 is the ninth game in SNK's long-running fighting series. While the series has since moved on to 2003, SNK is planning to release KOF 2002 for the Xbox, complete with Xbox Live support.

The version of the game on display at the 2004 Tokyo Game Show was specifically configured for online play between demo kiosks found in both the SNK and Microsoft booths. We played a few matches and found some of them to work perfectly, though some had some minor lag between pressing a button and seeing the action occur onscreen. Given the fact that a trade show floor isn't exactly the most ideal setting to test out latency-sensitive software, it seems possible that the game will run smoothly more often than not upon its release, provided that both players have decent broadband connections.

Graphically, the 2D game mirrors the NeoGeo original quite well. On top of that, there isn't any noticeable load time between fights, which is a nice plus.

The King of Fighters 2002 is planned as a solo release for Japan, but SNK will be releasing 2002 and 2003 in one package in North America. Both offerings are scheduled for release in their respective territories later this year. For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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