The ‘90s was when the fighting game craze was at its peak. You had Capcom’s Street Fighter II and Midway’s Mortal Kombat leading the charge, not only at arcades across the country, but these franchises also had remarkable ports created for the home consoles as well. SNK was another company that threw its hat into the fighting game arena, and had some respectable franchises as well.
One of those games; Samurai Shodown II, is currently in the App Store. However, SNK never really had much success creating a good home console port. The only way you could get the arcade experience at home was to purchase a Neo Geo system (and you thought the Xbox One was expensive).
Nowadays, it’s not as difficult to get the arcade experience you were always hoping for, whether it’s at home, or on your phone. I’m happy to say that King of Fighters ‘97 is a fun, old-school fighting game experience. Despite not having physical buttons to work with, it does not disappoint.
In King of Fighters, you pick a team of three characters out of a pool of 35. The characters themselves come from SNK’s Fatal Fury, and Art of Fighting franchises. You then go off and fight other teams of three until you reach the final boss. It’s pretty standard fighting game fare, but being able to pick your ultimate team and fighting your way to the top is a really fun experience.
The controls appear onscreen, and they can be set up a couple of different ways. You can either go with the standard four-button layout (two punch buttons, and two kick buttons), or you can use a six-button layout, which will make it much easier to pull of the complex special moves that King of Fighters has.
There is also the addition of a special move button, which you can use whenever the need arises. Despite this button being on screen at all times, you still need good timing when you use it. Pressing the button and a direction on the joystick, will get the character to do a specific move. So you as the player, have a little bit of control over what moves your character will use.
The only issues I really had with this game were the lack of options once you finish playing the story mode. Sure, you can play through the game again with different characters, but as far as other game play options go, there’s just the multiplayer mode which doesn’t really add to the replay value. Another issue is the button layout– it seems like the buttons only added more clutter to an already busy screen.
King of Fighters ‘97 is a fun game, with interesting characters, and a lot of moves to learn. If you’re a fan of fighting games, don’t let this one pass you by.