In terms of plot, KOF '98 does not have a
story and was developed as a "dream match" with characters from all
previous installments of King of Fighters.
stages, music, and characters.
The fifth installment of the King of
series features an unprecedented 38 selectable characters (the largest roster to
date) with fully customizable
3-man teams. Like the prequel, KOF '98 offers two styles of play after
you've picked your team: Advanced & Extra.
Terry: *whistles* Over
The main gameplay enhancement of KOF '98
is the new advantage
system. Now when you lose a round/character, you gain an advantage during the
next round depending on your
play mode. In Advanced, you get one more power stock, and in Extra the
gauge size decreases. Like with past installments, many characters' fighting styles were
slightly tweaked, and most returning characters acquired some new moves. A variety of characters even
have alternate "EX" versions
which feature entirely different movesets.
That probably hurt a
Following series tradition, all of
the returning character sprites are the exactly the same, but the hand-drawn
backgrounds are entirely new. In my opinion, KOF '98's backgrounds are
the most exciting to date, featuring a ton of catchy details and animations.
While KOF '98's animation and overall graphics quality didn't really
stand up to the "top" 2D fighting games of the time period, the game
still managed to turn heads with its awesome roster, customizable gameplay
experience, and what I like to call "classic 2D fighting game charm". King
of Fighters '98 was no doubt the best
the series had to offer when it debuted, and even many yearsafter
new KOF sequels were released, many fans were still playing 98'
competitively. The large and balanced character roster, in addition with the refined
and balanced gameplay, made KOF '98 a fan favorite SNK fighting game for many
years (and still is).
After KOF '98's
original release in arcades on July 23, 1998, the game was ported to the PS1 on
March 25th, 1999. A few months later, a Dreamcast version was also released
(June 24th), under a new title: The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999.
The Dreamcast port featured a brand new "anime style" opening movie
(which was awesome), retouched backgrounds introducing new 3D elements, and some
additional modes. Finally, ten years after the original release, King of Fighters
Match, a remake featuring new characters and stages, was released on PS2. King
of Fighters '98 is also found in the compilation pack, King of Fighters
Collection: Orochi Saga, released on PS2, PSP and Nintendo Wii.
KOF '98 is the game that really made me a "fan" of the King of
Fighters series. What got my attention was the massive character roster,
the fun 3-VS-3 team battles, and of course some of the "coolest" and
most stylish fighting game personalities around. The series had surely come a long way
in only a few years... and KOF '98 was one of the most definitive
versions of KOF. ~TFG