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The King of Fighters '98: The Slugfest

aka: KOF '98, The King of Fighters '98: Dream Match Never Ends
Moby ID: 5030
Neo Geo CD Specs

Description official description

The King of Fighters '98 takes a break from the Orochi plot line and instead is presented as a "Dream Match" game where the KOF roster duke it out for the top spot (similar to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, but without the storyline component). Most of the characters from the past four years return, thus providing the player with a very large roster containing 38 characters. Many of the characters have been altered in an attempt to make the game balanced regardless of the player's choice of fighter. Rugal Bernstein is provided as a non-secret character for the first time in KOF '98, and several regular characters have hidden "alternate" versions that may also be used in-game.

KOF '98 uses the same gameplay system present in The King of Fighters '97, so players may still choose between Extra and Advanced modes. In addition to the Survival battle mode and the ability to choose between Single Play or Team Play, versions of the game on console systems that use CDs to contain their media (PSX, Neo-Geo CD) also include an Art Gallery one may look at.


  • アケアカNEOGEO ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ '98 - Japanese spelling
  • 拳皇98 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Neo Geo CD version)

90 People (81 developers, 9 thanks) · View all

Chin/Heavy D!
[ full credits ]



Average score: 88% (based on 10 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 58 ratings with 1 reviews)

The series finally honors its title!

The Good
Gameplay is king. That must have been what went in the heads of the guys at Snk responsible for this Kof, for years we have had to contend with lame, complex gameplay and pretentious storylines. Kof '97 placed gameplay back on the front seat with the addition of the Advanced mode, and now this year's model completes what was hinted at last year. Instead of being a "real" sequel, Kof '98 is more of "commemorative edition" so to speak of the first Kof. Quite simply the guys at Snk took last year's model and added it some new game mechanics (the Advantage system that gives you more stocks on Advanced mode, and the ability to counter when dodging in Extra mode) along with brand new backgrounds, and moves.

But wait! That's not all, the game's interface has been revamped to replace the pretentious "hip" interface of last year's Kof with a more pleasing one with bigger power bars, cool looping music, etc. On the graphical side of things the changes are less obvious, hell they are pretty much the same as last year but they added new, hand-drawn (finally!) winning pictures. Moreover, if there's something I have always loved of the Kof series is the opening animations each character had against other certain characters. Unlike other fighting games, if the two contenders are say, lovers or brothers for example, they react accordingly to each other making some sort of salute or funny interaction (last year a certain character enters the arena on a wedding dress, to the horror of her boyfriend! ;D). This year this funny tradition is taken to the extreme with practically each character sporting at least two animations when facing specific characters. Kyo gets yelled at when fighting against his father, Benimaru makes a short advance whenever fighting against a female character, the Ikari warriors salute each other, etc, etc. Plus each character got a new finishing animation making 4 winning poses for each character!

Also, something that was forgotten last year makes a smashing appearance: the music. It may be the nostalgic factor, but I truly believe this is the best collection of music that has graced the Kof series, with new cool tunes for certain teams, and some surprises like the use of a new version of the original Art of Fighting theme for said team... total coolness!

Furthermore, Omega Rugal is cheap as any Snk boss, but in the Goenitz scale of cheapness he gets a 6, which makes him actually possible to beat and fun to play!!

All that and 38 characters and you've got the best Kof to date! (and maybe ever...)

The Bad
Well there are some things that you don't know how much you miss until you lose them, case in point: story. Yeah, yeah, I know this is not an official sequel and the selection of characters would make it impossible to explain a story that didn't meddle with time travel, paradoxes, etc... But at least give us some endings!! The ones in here are merely a collection of sepia pictures made by different artists, which yeah, are nice, but we could have had a little more...

Other than that is the fact that there are some sad omissions in the character rooster. Where the hell is the Boss Team? And Eiji? Lots of characters appear in cameos on the backgrounds, but it would have been great if we could have selected them too. Ditto the secret characters, they are simply different versions of the same characters, with simply different moves.

The Bottom Line
Quite simply the one. THE Kof to have, regardless of the psx-related problems, this one is fun to play, and showcases all the stuff that has kept Snk alive after years of stealing Capcom's ideas: inventive characters, lots of "Japanese-ness" (without going overboard), and fast, furious action. If you have to have just one 2D fighter from Snk make it The King of Fighter's '98. This one is really royalty.

PlayStation · by Zovni (10502) · 2001

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 5030


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zovni.

PlayStation 3, PS Vita, PSP added by Fred VT. Neo Geo CD added by Corn Popper. Xbox One, Arcade added by mars_rulez. Android added by GTramp. Wii added by Michael Cassidy. PlayStation 4 added by Rik Hideto. Windows Apps added by Kennyannydenny. iPhone, iPad, Nintendo Switch added by Sciere. Neo Geo added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Longwalker, Unicorn Lynx, Kam1Kaz3NL77.

Game added September 26th, 2001. Last modified March 6th, 2023.