Friday, February 13, 2015

The Future is Sixteen Years Ago: King of Fighters '99 for the Playstation

Uh, sorry. Anyway, here's some tidings of great gaming joy for those interested! There's a love/hate Flash Sale going on over at PSN to celebrate both Friday the 13th (which it is) and Valentine's Day (which it soon will be). Games up for grabs include everything from hentai titles like Idea Factory's game-consoles-as-girls adventure Hyperdimension Neptunia (which is a fantastic idea in theory, at least) to a whooooole lot of versus fighters. Stack that on top of an SNK sale already in progress and you've got pure paradise for penny-pinching pretend pugilists. Special thanks to the always handy CheapAssGamer for the scoop.

This sale gives me a convenient opportunity to talk about one of my favorite Neo-Geo releases. You can pick up a copy of King of Fighters '99 for the PSOne and play it on a variety of Sony-branded systems, even that silly Playstation TV thing that the company can't seem to give away. Now I know you're thinking, "Ew, a PSOne fighting game!," and I thought that too at first. Trust me, though, it's worth the obscenely low price. I mean, come on, $1.20? It costs almost that much to snap into a Slim Jim. 

Milk, it does a battle good.
Beyond that, this is a surprisingly good port of a King of Fighters game that took the series in a bold new direction. Yes, some animation has been skimmed off the top, and no, you don't get the cool 3D backgrounds from the Dreamcast version. However, the gameplay is still brilliant after all these years, and the graphics just drip with color on the Vita's OLED screen. If you're an SNK fan, you want this. You really, really want this.

Just a few notes for anyone who plans to play this on a Vita. First, be sure to turn on fast loading, because otherwise, you'll go batty waiting for each round to start. You could probably further limit the access time by using a single character rather than a team, but then it wouldn't really be The King of Fighters, would it? Second, resist the temptation to reach for the Home button when Kryzalid appears, because he's been dramatically watered down in the PSOne port. Instead of spamming the screen with Old Navies, he'll let you get close enough to smack him around, making the fight mercifully short and painless. I thank you, SNK, and my blood pressure thanks you.

Okay, enough outta me! Get yourself a copy before the sale ends this Monday!

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