King of Fighters 2000/2001


posted 12/2/2003 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
I’ve got a poster on my wall; it says, “End the millennium with a baddabing and a baddaboom.” Now you’re probably wondering, ‘who are the ad wizards who came up with this one’ and I’ll tell you, it’s from SNK’s booth at AMOA 2000 where they first debuted King of Fighters 2000 for a domestic arcade release. Of course that release saw far too few a machine appear in arcades. So I would make the one-hour trek whenever I needed my KOF fix. 2001 and 2002 came and went, and now we’re on our way to 2003. After many Dreamcast imports I’m more than happy to report that SNK has deemed the Playstation 2 worth of hosting it’s console release. So no more shopping at NCSX or one of those other import sites paying upwards of 50 bucks a game.

The graphics of the King of Fighters games have never been a strong point; in fact both of these games can be considered downright ugly. KOF 2000 is a bit better looking than KOF 2001 but not by much. The art of the game however I am a big fan of 2001’s art is quite nice looking. Rather than spend a lot of time on graphics the effort has gone into the deep fighting system and the actual story behind the game. Although I think the story went out the window seriously back in ’97. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a little intermission in between rounds. So nix the graphics, and the sound, because that’s also not a very strong spot and just focus on the furious fighting. It’s some balanced fighting that’s for damn sure. You’ll find yourself constantly working to get better with some characters learning all their properties of special moves, cancels, strikers, and more. It can get really complex but it’s never overwhelming.

Screenshots from King of Fighters 2000

The process of the game is simple; you’ve got 40 characters to pick from. Pick four characters and then decide the order in which they fight. In KOF 2000, one character would be a striker, a character who could come in during battle for a one shot attack, and your super attack meter can be built up to three levels. In KOF 2001 it’s a tad different, you pick four characters yet again but this time you choose which characters get to be strikers, and the more characters you choose to be strikers the more super moves you can store and the shorter the meter gets. So you could have three characters be strikers and one character can stand it alone against the other team. You are also able to change your team order before each match so you’re not always stuck with the team your choose the first time around.

In this world of new fangled 3-D graphics from the likes of Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter it’s good to see SNK sticking to what it knows best, 2-D. Both of these KOF games come paired together so you’re getting a great value when these games are released. Don’t miss out on some of the best fighting action this side of the 2-D spectrum.
Screenshots from King of Fighers 2001