- In addition to its elimination matches, King of Fighter’s team system has led to such gimmicks as tagging out and the striker system, in which the fourth member of a team can leap into the fight to quickly perform an action.
- King of Fighters is much faster than Street Fighter, both in character moves and the game speed itself.
- To grab in The King of Fighters, players tilt the control stick in their opponent’s direction at point blank range and press the strong kick or punch button. Street Fighter 2 and the Alpha games did it that way too, but King of Fighters has done so consistently through every game, while Street Fighter later assigned grabbing to pressing both weak attack buttons.
- In Street Fighter, double-tapping the control stick forward makes your character hop forward. In The King of Fighters, they run.
- In KOF, by pressing both strong attack buttons at the same time, characters use their knockdown move, which take a split second to use, but can knock an opponent off their feet.
- Attacks in The King of Fighters have significantly more damage feedback. Characters can be pummeled into the wall while they’re guarding, get knocked backwards when they aren’t, and go flying with any high impact special attack they’re hit with. Unlike Street Fighter, where a powerful attack usually only sends you a few inches backwards, King of Fighters has their combatants take up the whole ring. That combined with the bone-crunching and explosive sound effects, and immolating and flashing impact effects, makes KOF characters really look like they’re getting horribly wrecked.
- By pressing both weak attack buttons at the same time, characters in KOF use their dodge roll, in which they quickly roll to avoid an attack and adjust their distance to their opponent. The first two games had a sidestepping dodge move instead.
- Special attacks are used more often in The King of Fighters. The super special attack gauges of the Street Fighters games have variances that don't guarantee there are going to be a lot of super attacks thrown (longer gauges for some moves in SF3 and the 3-level system for the Alpha games). The King of Fighters games (mostly) consistently use a super stock system that fills with each hit and special attack thrown.
- King of Fighter’s equivalent to Street Fighter 4’s ultra combos are leader moves in KOF 2003 and 11, and neo max moves in KOF 13. Leader moves can only be used by the designated team leader and take up two super meters, while neo maxes use up three super meters and the hyperdrive gauge added in KOF 13. Both have spectacular results, but don’t focus on themselves long enough to break the flow.
Personal Fighters of choice
The Best of the BunchYou can't really go wrong with any of the King of Fighters games, really. Aside from KOF '94, '95, and 12, I recommend playing them all. If I had to choose though, my favorite is a tough tie between King of Fighters 11 and 13.
On one hand, KOF 11 has more characters, several of which have yet to appear in another KOF. KOF 13 changed character movesets and designs quite a bit, so 11 serves as a nice alternative, with many moves 13 doesn't have, like Maxima's Bunker Buster and many leader super moves. It also has the fun tag team system 13 didn't implement.
On the other hand, KOF 13 has more features, richer graphics, even better music, and an even more solid story thanks to pre-battle dialogue and a full story mode (although it will only make sense to people familiar with KOF's plot, including that of KOF 11). I say get them both. KOF 11 on the PS2 can be found for extremely cheap prices, and KOF 13 is still easy enough to find. You can even get 13 on Steam now, if your computer is really powerful.
|Screenshots from Days of Memories 2 on the DS. I did not make this up. Images are from The Spriter's Resource.|
Part of its charm comes from how it ratchets up the action of The King of Fighters games to Dragon Ball Z levels of destruction and property damage. It's awesome, but sometimes so overblown it can be unintentionally funny.