King of Fighters 2006

King of Fighters 2006

Written by Matt Mirkovich on 8/11/2006 for PS2  

As dismal as my little catch line may sound, I’m actually really looking forward to getting my hands on the finished product from this year’s SNK/Playmore 3-D venture. After Maximum Impact I had a feeling that the series was going to head in a wrong direction but I’m rather impressed by some of the things present in this outing. First of all there is the expanded roster which features a couple of new characters; including one of my personal favorites, Kula Diamond, along with a good amount of unlockable fighters rounding the cast out at close to 30. Some of these characters are from outside of the King of Fighters universe so I am super stoked to see them. Now if King winds up being an unlockable fighter then I’m totally sold on this.

The story mode is also back and for what it’s worth it further separates the Maximum Impact series from the King of Fighters XI storyline. This time there appears to be an outer space influence in the story (Perhaps an allusion to Mars People showing up as a playable character?). This is also something I’ll always find confusing, as it made little sense to switch the annual moniker to the 3-D version. So before you get confused, I am talking about the 3-D King of Fighters, called Maximum Impact 2 over in Japan. Yeah it seems a little silly to have this little naming mix-up, but whatever.

The combat seems to have been cleaned up significantly, the ground game that was introduced in the last game seems to have been tuned for balance and isn’t nearly as broken as it was before. The walls that are present still have some balance issues that need to be worked out but overall it is tolerable, hopefully it will receive a final tune before coming out here in the US.

Graphics are also looking a bit better than to the switch in graphics engines, and all of the characters look very good, not quite up there with Virtua Fighter, but still they hold their own. Each character also has a second model with really makes it seem as though you’re playing with a different character, though it’s not like Battle Arena Toshinden 3 which had thirty throw away characters with identical move sets to the base characters. Looks are on the up and up and that’s always good with me. Sound though seems to really be more of the same, and the announcer this year sounds way off in the pronunciation on names which is driving me up the wall but that’s just a personal issues. And hurray hurray the Japanese voices are present in this game. I’m sorry to the English voice actors, but give me the originals any day of the week.

With a little less than a month before the release of the game, all is looking well. It’s going to release at what looks to be a thirty dollar price point which is more than fair considering how much better this game is looking to be right now. I’m actually looking forward to having this in my library when it finally comes out at the end of the month. Check back soon when we have our full review.

 

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.

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I recently cleared the 10 year club with Gaming Nexus. Kind of surprised I've been a mainstay here for a little over a decade now.

In a past life I worked with Interplay, EA, Harmonix, Konami, and a number of other developers and have recently returned from a job in Texas doing production work for a company that did cell phone games. Now I'm working for a record label, along with Gaming Nexus, and anywhere else that sees fit to employ me.

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