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Review Listings - Display Review[ # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]

Name: The King of Fighters 1994
Type: FTG
Platform: Video
Company: SNK
Release date: 1994
Reviewed by: Bata-kun

Welcome to The King of Fighters Tournament of 1994.

The traditions are still in tact. This time around, a new rule has been adopted. Instead of individuals fighting battles, battles will now be with teams of three. That is from the letter of R.

If you don’t know what I mean in the previous paragraph, I already told you about the three on three battling system, as there will be teams of three. What I forgot to mention is that this is not the first King of Fighters tournament ever. Go back to the pages of Garou Densetsu (Fatal Fury) and you’ll know what I am talking about.

With the three on three system in tact, you have to decide on which country you want to pick. Will you pick the favorites of this tournament, the Bogard duo of Terry and Andy and their friend Joe who represent Italy, which to them is like a second home? Will you pick Japan, the future champion team of the three best fighters of a recent tournament there: Kusanagi Kyou, the standard student who hates work, but is a destined fighter of various Japanese and Chinese arts who likes to battle, Nikaidou Benimaru, the flashy bishounen (biseinen now) who shows off especially in front of girls and Daimon Goro, a judo fighter and Japan’s powerhouse? (Don’t ask me who was in fourth place because I don’t know.) Will you pick the Sakazaki father-son combination of Ryou and Takuma and their friend Robert Garcia who represent Mexico? Maybe you want to have fun and pick England, the all-heroines team with King, the tough acting lady, Shiranui Mai, the attractive ninja who was upset that Andy didn’t let her in on his team, and Yuri, the pepped up daughter of the Sakazaki family who was upset that her dad and brother picked Robert to join the team and not her. Will you pick China, the team of the Psycho Soldier duo: Asamiya Athena, the idol and Sie Kensou, the silly, but sincere fighter, along with their master, Chin Gentsai? Will you pick (South) Korea, the Tae Kwon Do team of Kim Kaphwan and his unusual partners who happen to be ex-convicts: Chang Koehan and Choi Boinge? Will you pick Ralf Jones, Clark Styll (Vincent and Paul) and their commander, Heidern, who are from Ikari Warriors that represent Brazil? Will you pick America, the country of the Sports team that have Heavy D, the boxer, Lucky Glauber, the basketball player and Brian Battler, the football player?

Once you picked a team, you have to beat the other seven teams as well as your mirror. Do that and you’ll face R or rather, Rugal Bernstein. Don’t mess with this guy because he learns from the best. He has the Repuken from Geese Howard and the Kaiser Wave from Wolfgang Krauser, who both happen to be past organizers. Rugal has some moves of his own as well.

The only characters that have not appeared in a past SNK game or that are not descendants from characters of past SNK games are Chin, Chang, Choi, Rugal and the Japanese team. Also, did you know that SNK had a hard time designing their new hero? Kyou was not their first suggestion, but he’s here now. There were thoughts of putting in Samurai Spirits characters, but that seemed too crazy. This is the only King of Fighters game not to be released on a home system other than the Neo-Geo ones.

Fun - 8

Well, the concept is spiffy. Team fighting has never been better. Being able to help your team mates. Order is important. Can it get better?

Yeah. There’s no team edit. Some characters could have been played better like Beni. The game is fun until you hit Rugal, who is just plain nasty.

Life - 8

Yeah, it has some life. It’s the first game of a great saga. It may have flaws, but it’s a classic in my book.

Story - 8

A guy holds a tournament and various teams have their reasons to win. Not the best story out there, but it’s a good way to start the series, don’t you think?

Control - 8

You have A for light punch, B for light kick, C for hard punch or a taunt to lower your opponent’s power bar, if you’re far away from your opponent, and D for hard kick. A+B will give you a dodge, C+D give you a hard blow, and A+B+C charges up your power bar or helps a team mate in need. The first team to have all three members defeated loses.

Although they’re solid, there are certain moves that have weird motions like Yuri’s DM. People complain that some anti-air moves won’t come out, even though they know how to pull off the Rising Dragon Punch motion. Aren’t you forgetting that you’re not playing a Capcom game? In the SNK world, to do moves that seem to have a Rising Dragon Punch motion, move forward, put the joystick in the neutral position and move down-forward. Then hit the attack button.

Audio - 8

The songs are good, especially, the sport team’s “Slums No. 5”. That’s one of the best American-flavored composed songs ever. The batch of songs are just solid.

The sound effects are not that natural, but oh well. The voice samples are okay. That’s all.

Art - 8

This is the first King of Fighters game and for a 1994 game, the art looks solid. I don’t think that arcade places did see many games that looked better than this at the time. King looks more feminine than her Ryuuko no Ken (Art of Fighting) self. Speaking of which, King and Yuri have their clothes ripped off if they were finished off with a special attack or a desperate move like in Ryuuko no Ken. The backgrounds look good from Esaka to New York (one of my all-time favorite American stages).

The best way to explain why I knocked off a couple of points is because that I know the art can improve. Well, that’s what SNK did over the next few years. They improved the art.

Overall - 8

Okay! Nice concepts, decent visuals, this is a great start to one of the finest fighting game series ever. So, head down memory lane and play this again or if you haven’t played this one yet, do so and observe how much the series has grown since.


So many interesting concepts are introduced here and this is a nice start of a terrific saga.


As a game by itself, it’s good, but the sequels have done better.
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