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Blade TV

 PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION
ABDICATING THE THRONE

here is a certain charm to the old-school fighters. Maybe it's just that once you become intimately familiar with a fighting game, you never really lose your mastery when the next sequel comes around the bend, no matter how many new moves and characters it has. Unfortunately, I can't recommend King of Fighters '99 to anyone but the most dedicated KoF fan.

As much as we poke fun at Capcom for releasing sequel after sequel with only slight tweaks, at least most of their long-running series update the graphics and play to a degree. KoF '99 feels like the same exact game I played five years ago, only the graphics are pixelated on the PlayStation and it has a couple of changes that don't really alter play all that much.

The only really big new thing is that you can bring a fourth character along, whose only purpose is to be activated for Striker moves that heal the player or spring a nasty attack on your enemies. Unfortunately, you can usually see the moves coming from a mile away, making them more of a novelty than a deadly new maneuver. I'm sure thousands of loyal fans will go out and buy this game the second it hits the stores, but I don't really see the point.  



ANDY MCNAMARA   7
King of Fighters is viewed by many as the poor man’s Street Fighter, but if you were to say that to a fan, they would surely have more than a word or two to say about that. For anime fans, the nice thing about the series is that it has always stuck to its cell-based animation, but over the years, KoF hasn’t really benefited from large budgets like the Street Fighters series, and its animations show some age. The fighting, on the other hand, has always been fresh, with plenty of moves to master and combos to unleash. When you put the whole package together, however, KoF comes up short. The new Striker combos are a nice touch, and all the art to unlock is interesting to look at, but this game certainly isn’t heading in a new direction or doing anything impressive. Fans of the series will be happy to get a new version, but SNK really needs to expand this game if they want to make a ground-breaking fighter. As it is, this game is just KoF status quo.
5
CONCEPT:
An old fighting game with an extra bell and maybe a whistle
GRAPHICS:
The SNES could do these graphics adequately
SOUND:
Sound is slightly muffled, much like the original KOF
PLAYABILITY:
If you've ever played a 2D fighter, you can jump right in
ENTERTAINMENT:
It was fun five years ago, but it's time for a serious update
REPLAY:
Moderate
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