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King of the Fighters 2002 & 2003

Developer: SNK Playmore | Publisher: SNK
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 08/31/05 | Genre: Fighting

One of the longest running home consoles was the Neo Geo. I recall being a kid going to a Software Etc store an seeing the huge Neo Geo cartridges running upwards of $600. But with the price of technology always dropping, the incredible multi-hundred dollar experience of The King of Fighters 2002 & 2003 can now be yours for an unheard of $40.

Visually The King of Fighters 2002 & 2003 are not going to take home any big awards. The titles look and feel like the classic arcade games with the addition of CD quality sound and music. Besides being visually average, the games would have benefited greatly from the inclusion of online play. While it may seem like a small gripe to make, I feel that this feature would have gone a long way in improving the overall experience.

The good news is that for forty bucks you get two totally different fighting games. This is not something that usually occurs with this series. Most of the time, the King of Fighters series have had minor changes from one year's installment to the next. It is quite refreshing to see that in the 2003 version, SNK has implemented brand new gameplay mechanics. Specifically, they provide players with a three on three tag team experience. At any point in your fight, players can switch to one of their other two characters on the fly. While this is a welcome change, fans of the series may prefer the standard one on one fighting mode like what is found in the 2002 version and previous installments.

The other big difference between the 2002 and 2003 versions are the roster sizes. With over forty fighters to pick from in 2002, you will be in fighter's paradise. 2003 has a much smaller lineup and will not provide you with the same variety as 2003. But, some people like a rut.

Overall The King of Fighters 2002 & 2003 is a worthy purchase for fighting fans. While it may not be as visually pleasing as some of the newer fighting titles, nothing beats a good SNK fighter. Definitely check this one out.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/21/05
ESRB Details: Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Screenshots for King of the Fighters 2002 & 2003

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