29, 2000 (Japan)
> The King of Fighters series needs no introduction. SNK's
flagship series has been eating up quarters in arcades since 1994 and gets
better with every incarnation. The Orochi storyline is over and now
a new hero has stepped into the spotlight. The mysterious K' takes
center stage as Kyo Kusanagi is moved into the shadows. Teams have
been changed from three members to four, with the fourth fighter becoming
the "Striker". The Striker system is similar to Marvel vs. Capcom's
extra character that comes out to attack when you hit both medium attacks
at the same time. Strikers can either attack, heal your character,
or hold your opponent to set them up for your own attacks.
> Who needs polygons to have a good fighting game? 2D fighters
were the norm for years and show no signs of slowing. The 3D rendered
backgrounds used in this installment are a great improvement over the ones
used in '99 Dream Match, with fewer jagged lines and a greater amount of
animation. The new backgrounds added to the ones from the arcade
game are also a nice change and add a bit more variety to an already nice
assortment. The 2D character sprites look a little odd against the
backgrounds, and a little pixelated to boot, but graphics aren't all that
this game is about.
> The control in this game is on par with the last installment,
but this is definitely one game that screams out for the Ascii Fighter
Pad. The normal DC controller just isn't good for fighting games.
A joystick is even better for that arcade feel. Motions are pretty
easy to pull off and the controls can be adjusted to give you the button
setting you prefer.
> Being someone who has played KOF '99 in the arcade (and putting
up with the cartridge music), I really like the arrange soundtrack clips
that play during the rounds in Evolution. Attacks and voices are
clear, but not really anything that hasn't been heard in every other KOF
game. Nothing terribly new here.
> If you don't like the King of Fighters series, don't play this.
If you do, you're in for more of the same. Whether you like more
of the same or not will determine how fun this game is for you. The
extra strikers that are included are not all that exciting. They
merely give you more of a variety to choose from when choosing your striker.
Extra playable characters would have been a nice addition in lieu of the
extra strikers, but it's a small complaint. Being an SNK game, the
in-game text can be changed to English using an option in the configuration
menu, so importing is no problem. However, the text in the button
configuration menu is still pretty much all Japanese, so it takes some
experimentation to figure out what they mean if you can't read Japanese.