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SummaryIt's amazing how a single feature can make so much of a difference
The GoodWell finally the guys at snk got it: not everybody likes the ultra-technical, cheap gameplay offered by the KoF series, so why not add a different playing mode to satisfy those other players? Enter the Advanced mode, truly one of the few good ideas snk has ever had. What does the Advanced mode do? It changes the way you power-up your character, instead of holding down the good 'ol three buttons for a while in order to reach max at will, now you have to EARN your power by attacking and performing special moves! Much like in Capcom's games, only in this one when you reach the max you earn a "stock" which you can use to perform super moves or enter Max mode anytime by pressing down A, B & C. What this means of course, is that it takes you a while to earn enough power to dish supers (which thus become more rare), so the Advanced mode removes the "desperation mode" and allows you to perform REAL super moves when on max (of course you spend two stocks when doing this, but you can do it whenever you want provided you have the stocks).
Wusses or cheap snk lovers can still play with the good old power bar under the Extra mode, so you get the best of both worlds!
Finally, on a technical note I would like to point that the loading times have been seriously speed up. Wait, don't jump around! They are still long as hell but they are way more bearable than on previous editions.
The BadThe bad points in the game are mostly the music, which is non-existant. I seriously can't understand who in the hell was responsible for this, but it makes practically every fight in the game significantly duller. There is BGM for some specific characters, but it's over as soon as they get beaten.... who the hell though this was a good idea???...tsk
Other gripes come in the way the storyline is handled. This is 97 folks... and snk is still using the simple-colored crappy "MSpaint"-like artwork with the same tired dip-switch control font to depict the endings... The winning pictures also look way dated, a surprise since they were very good last year.
There's also the "modern/technology" interface which is a love or hate affair and Shingo Kabuki. Why Shingo? he's a good character yeah, but if there's something the KoF's DON'T need is another "Fighting Schoolboy/girl" (btw: what the hell is wrong with fighting game developers?? This fetish has to stop NOW!!).
Other than that there are the graphics, which are practically the same as last year for most characters, and this is not 96 no more....