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|The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) Review by: Crazy Li
The End of the NeoGeo Era for KoF
Well, here we have it: King of Fighters 2003. This is a strange entry in the series for many ways. It makes the last time a KoF game was made on the NeoGeo board. At the same time that it's an ending, it's also a beginning as it starts a new saga in the KoF storyline (Tales of Ash). This game is also the first KoF game to incorporate a tag-style system to the game reminiscent of Capcom's Marvel vs. games. This tag system is highly controversial among fans. Many dislike it and some accuse them of just ripping off of MvC2. One must remember, however, that SNK did team fighting before anyone else. They've KoF is a series that has been running team-based combat since 1994. They just normally have fighting commence in independent rounds, not enabling switching.
While the traditional method of combat in KoF has its charm and I definitely like it, I can easily appreciate the change of pace the tag system offers this entry. Instead of multiple, almost unconnected fights, the battle now seems like one fluid, cohesive battle between two sides. They all cooperatively work together to take down the other team. It really feels more like legitimate teams rather than each member doing their own thing independently.
Another notable difference in this entry involves the engine mechanics themselves. Gameplay feels more fluid than every before. There seems to be an increased move buffer and controls are a lot looser with more lax timing for execution. The combat itself is much faster paced that normal, making matches more exciting.
Graphics: 9 - Okay, let's be honest... these graphics are pretty poor for 2003, but you have to remember that it's running on an arcade board built in the early 90s. Considering how limited their hardware must have been, they did a pretty good job on this game.
Sound: 7 - Finally free of Eolith's influence, SNK is able to start getting back to quality KoF music. While they haven't fully returned to old form, the actual sound quality seems to be a step up from the previous two games and the soundtrack itself has a few really good songs in it.
Addictiveness: 9 - This is one of the more fun KoF games for me. It may not work well for a serious, tournament scenario, but if you just want some fun matches with friends, this one is great. The fast-paced gameplay and crazy tag action makes it immersive. This is definitely an entry I can continuously go back to and play.
Story: 7 - Here we have a new storyline starting up, full of mystery and confusion. Old school fighting games were not very good at storytelling, but this one does a little better of a job than older games in the series. If you're able to actually find out the full scale of the story behind the bits and pieces it feeds you in cut-scenes, you'll find that it's a really neat and interesting setup for this new saga.
Depth: 5 - It's a fighting game... there isn't much more to do in it but play matches. Home mode has your typical Versus, Arcade, or Practice modes with either the standard 3 on 3 teams or 1 on 1 Single Play. It lacks the Survival or Time Attack modes present in older entries. There are two different paths you can take through the game though with two different endings. Only one of these is considered the "true" ending, but there is at least some replay value in trying to take both paths.
Difficulty: 4 - It's easier to pull off moves than in most KoF games. The AI isn't especially tough either (though this is adjustable).
Overall, this gets a 7.4 which is somewhere between "Good" and "Very Good". It's a solid game that's a must-play for any fan of the series... even just fighting game fans in general should be able to appreciate it. If you like Marvel vs. Capcom style gameplay, there's a good chance you'll enjoy this game as well.
Graphics 9 Sound 7 Addictive 9 Depth 5 Story 7 Difficulty 4
The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) Description: The King of Fighters 2003 © 2003 SNK Playmore.
A new edition of the KOF series with 32 selectable fighters plus Evil Kusanagi, Chizuru and Maki Kagura, Adelheid Bernstein and the final boss Mukai.
SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware
Game ID : 0271
Main CPU : 68000 (@ 12 Mhz), Z80 (@ 4 Mhz)
Sound Chips : YM2610 (@ 8 Mhz)
2 players - 4 buttons per player.
[A] Light punch
[B] Light kick
[C] Strong punch
[D] Strong kick
Released in November 2003, KOF2k3 represents the latest opus in the series to run on the SNK Neo-Geo MVS hardware.
Two new systems have been adopted : 'Tactical Leader System' which sets up a leader favorably treated in capability in a team and 'Multi-Shift' in which player characters can be changed freely during 3 on 3 battle.
Hacks of this game are known as :
"The King of Fighters 2004 Plus".
"The King of Fighters 2004 Ultra Plus".
Characters in Game:
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The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) Highscores Table
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The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) Cheats and Codes
The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) Cheats, Codes and Tips:
* Play as Evil Kusanagi : Hold Down, then rotate control stick clockwise to Upleft then rotate counter-clockwise to Upright, then press any button.
* Play as Chizuru and Maki : Hold Up, then rotate control stick counter-clockwise to Upright then rotate clockwise to Downleft, then press any button.
* Final Bosses : To fight Adelheid, defeat Kusanagi (the mid-boss) without using a Desperation Move as your final hit that KOs him. To fight Chizuru/Maki followed by Mukai, defeat Kusanagi (the mid-boss) using a Desperation Move as your final hit that KOs him.
* Endings : There are different endings for beating either Adelheid or Mukai. You can also see an extended ending for a non-Team-Edit team when you beat Mukai. Here are the teams with extended endings (the order the characters are selected does not matter) :
Ash, Duo Lon, Shen
Terry, Joe, Tizoc
Ryo, Robert, Yuri
Kim, Chang, Jhun
Leona, Ralf, Clark
Gato, Yamazaki, Billy
King, Mary, Mai
Shingo, Benimaru, Daimon
Athena, Hinkao, Malin
K', Maxima, Whip
Kyo, Iori, Chizuru
Kyo, Benimaru, Daimon (picture only after staff roll)
Mai, King, Yuri (picture only after staff roll)
The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710) User Reviews
8.9 Graphics 9 Sound 7 Addictive 9 Story 7 Depth 5 Difficulty 4
- The End of the NeoGeo Era for KoF
- Crazy Li
Well, here we have it: King of Fighters 2003. This is a strange entry in the series for many ways. It makes the last time a KoF ...
Graphics 9 Sound 7 Addictive 9 Story 7 Depth 5 Difficulty 4
Review Rating: 3.9/5
Review Replies: 1
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