THE KINGS OF FIGHTERS 2006

Genre: 3D Versus fighting
Console: PlayStation 2
Players: Single, Versus
Disc(s): 1
Rating: T (Teen)
Developer: SNK Playmore
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Released: September 19, 2006 (North America)

My Rating Key

Characters: How original or appealing the characters designs are and how much the player can connect to or do with them.
Story: The originality and content of the story as well as the cutscenes and dialogues.
Music: Quality of music arrangements and how well they fit with the mood of the scenes and overall game.
Voice Acting: How well the characters are portrayed through the voice actors.
Graphics: The quality and amount of detail in the graphics.
Battle System: How well the player can navigate and control the characters during battle and the organization and controls during battle.
Gameplay: The overall controls in the game and how it is set up as well as navigation.
Difficulty: How challenging or difficult the game can be.
Extras: Extra content aside from the main storyline, such as side quests, secrets, extra missions, secret bosses, etc.
Content: The overall elements and aspects of the game.
Replay Value: Amount of replay value for the game.
Overall Score: Total score of the game.

*Each Category will be rated out of 5 points.*

Characters

Being a huge fan of the King of Fighters series, most of the characters were familiar, while there were a lot of new ones added for the second installment and sequel to the first KOF Maximum Impact. This game has many more characters than the first to choose from. There are 24 selectable characters and 14 secret unlockable ones that can be acquired, so 34 playable characters altogether. I just love the character designs for this series and the outfits for them are very neat and interestingly designed, which appeals to most of my tastes. However, some outfits for these characters may be just plain “crazy” or silly, I almost think these were done purposely for laughs. Such as a character with a guitar and sunglasses or something. You may also see outfits that may be “cosplays” of other game characters, which I think it really neat. Such examples are Hanzo cosplaying as Galford from Samurai Showdown, Leona as Asuka from Evangelion, or Terry as Sol Badguy from Guilty Gear. Most of these outfits can be “eye candy” for both the male and female audience, which is a plus.

Score: 5 out of 5

Story

Being familiar with Fatal Fury, which has many of the same characters as some of the ones in this game, most fans will already know their background stories and relationships with one another. But the story for them in this game is quite “general” for most of the characters, while some others have an even smaller and less important roles. I only wished some of the more familiar characters would have had more interaction or have a more “flashy” ending, but it’s fun just to see them take part in this new tournament encountering newcomers, foes, friends, etc. The most interesting part is probably the opening dialogue for them or what their “comebacks” and responses are to other characters during the cutscenes at the beginning or end of the fight. But other than that, the main story connects to most of all the characters and to why they were invited to this tournament and finding out the purpose and person behind it all.

Score: 4 out of 5

Music

I liked most of the music in this game, especially for the opening and ending sequences. It really fits with the mood and pace of the scenes and style for the game.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Voice Acting

I don’t even want to get into the English dub. XD But I must say it’s a real “trip” to hear the voices for these characters in the dub. Most of them don’t really meet up with the same “spunk” as the original Japanese voices, and some of them just don’t fit the part at all. However, some voices may actually be quite good on rare occasions, but not enough it seems. And since most of the Japanese dialogue is said very fast (especially the winning pose dialogues), the English dub does a bad attempt to try to talk just as fast, which just doesn’t work. XD They seemed “forced” to talk incredibly fast to fit with the mouth movements, which makes you sit there in silence then end up giggling or just laughing (at least for me). XD However, I think it actually improved s lot more from the first Maximum Impact. But the great thing about this game is that it now has an option to change to either the original Japanese voices with subtitles or to the English dub, which is an option the first one didn’t have (and that was torture to my ears XD). This alone is a HUGE plus from me, because there’s nothing worse than having to be stuck with something you don’t like. XD Now the player can finally have a choice and even switch back and fourth between both just to compare them for the “fun” or sheer enjoyment of it. XD

Score: 3 out of 5

Graphics

I must say I was quite stunned by the CG in this game for the opening and ending sequence, compared to the first installment. The character movements and rendering are done so incredibly well and very realistic as well as being “anime-style,” which is my favorite combination ever. XD It definitely improved from the first KOF. The in-game graphics are also very nice and even got a bit more detailed, especially for the new and unique outfits. They really captured the characters from the previous 2D King of Fighters into real-life model versions and they even have the same movements converted into the 3D models, which is really neat to see. Nicely done in my opinion.

Score: 4.9 out of 5

Battle System

This battle system is similar to most fighting games, especially the first KOF Maximum Impact. It’s not too hard figure out this system as long as you’re familiar with fighting games and know the controls and moves for the characters. There is a moves list for each character that you could bring up in the game, so that’s also helpful for those who don’t know how to do certain moves. The only thing is that the character may seem a little too “fast” when jumping or doing certain moves, but over time you’ll eventually get used to this pace.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Gameplay

It’s not too difficult to get used to this gameplay, since it follows the similar gameplay of the first KOF. As long as you know the moves, you pretty much have good control in the game.

Score: 5 out of 5

Extras

A very nice selection of extras, especially for a fighting game. You can play missions in this game which require you to complete certain moves or objectives in a fight against the computer. You are rewarded with a new outfit for that character, a new stage, or a new mission level.

But now there’s other extra games added such as car-breaking or pushing a bull dozer off a cliff or fighting some crazy shooting machine in a field of mines. o_O You all get rewarded by completing these games, which allow you to unlock all the many kinds of costumes each character has. This alone makes the game very fun, since each character has two different clothing styles and a set of interesting alternative colors and varieties for each. Certain characters may also have extra “props” on them to go with their other outfit, such as a guitar or sword, but they can’t be used and are only there for “decoration.” XD The amount of outfits vary, but it’s the most amount I ever seen in a fighting game thus far, so this is a BIG plus for those who enjoy eye candy while playing.

Another neat feature is the profiles for the characters, which not only give you their bio and background, but it actually lets you view the 3D character model in the game at the same time. You can rotate the character 360 degrees to get a better look at their fighting stance and zoom in to get a better look at the outfit in more detail. However, it would be better if they let you move closer to see their shoes too, which seem to go off screen when you zoom, but overall, you can see the details of the outfits that can be easily missed when fighting.

Score: 5 out of 5

Difficulty

This is a game mostly any teen should can have fun playing. The difficulty is similar to most fighting games. It may be challenging to complete the higher level missions and some objectives might even seem impossible, but that’s just what keeps the player interested in it more and wanting to get better at it. But if you really know your moves and have a knack for fighting games, then this should be a good challenge that will keep you interested in the game for a while.

Easy to Hard
Score: 5 out of 5

Content

The content in this game has very much improved from the previous one. More extras and so many more characters and amazing costumes with such neat varieties. This is a game you’ll have fun playing for a long time and with friends. Probably one of the best 3D fighting games for the PS2 that will appeal to a wide range of people. ^_^

Score: 5 out of 5

Replay Value

Score: 4.9 out of 5

Overall Score

Score: 4.7 out of 5

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