The King of Load Times '95.
As Capcom was cranking out its umpteenth version of Street Fighter II
, SNK was changing things up, juggling multiple series. In 1994, they introduced King Of Fighters '94
, which pitted not only characters from fighting games, but games dating back to Ikari Warriors
, against each other. The three-character teams offered a lot of variety, as you weren't stuck playing the same guy until you lost the entire match. King of Fighters '95 was a great update, especially since it introduced Team Edit, letting you pick your own team by hand, rather than choosing a team of three characters of SNK's choosing.
The sights and sounds of the arcade are here in full-effect. There may be some missing frames of animation, but nothing that's going to break the game. Some people seem to think that the control's off, but I never had any trouble with it. If anything, the problem probably lies in its adherence to SNK's more rigid control setup. While Capcom allowed for slop, SNK did not. When in a match, I enjoyed the gameplay. While waiting for a match, I was digging through my stack of games or thinking of something else I'd rather be doing.
This was one of two games I purchased with my Playstation, as it was $20 and I liked King of Fighters. Besides Dungeons & Dragons: Iron & Blood
, this game has gotten the least amount of play of my early collection, and ranks rather low in my entire collection. Why? The load times.
If you've ever rented a game that was so scratched and dirty that it took ten times as long to load, you know the Hell that is KOF95's load times. Even when you go into single mode, choosing one fighter and playing against single fighters, load times are far too long. Granted, this is a very early PS title, but it's what kills the game. It's a shame, because it probably would have sold better if not for that snag.
The Bottom Line
If you absolutely have to have a King of Fighters game for PS, this is not the one to get. I haven't played the entire series, but I can easily say that King of Fighters '97
and King of Fighters '99
are the ones to own. Not only do they play well, but the load times are a mere fraction of those in '95. While the core of '95 is great, the load times will frustrate you almost as much as trying to defeat Rugal. Yes, they're that bad.