The King of Fighters 2002 PS2 Review

The King of Fighters series has always been one of the major contenders for Street Fighters 2D fighting crown. It’s a series that has earned itself a rather good fan following over the years, and has done many major things for the fighting genre.

This 2002 edition is a “dream match”, which is KOF terminology: simply meaning that the story has been frozen, and characters that have either been killed or retired in the usual progressing plot make a return to the series. This means that there is little plot to speak of, but as any fan will tell you, it’s all about the fighting!

The King of Fighters pioneered the popular three-on-three battle format and it made a triumphant return to the series in 2002. This means that you can select a trio of characters, and with each defeat your next character comes into play. It can also be quite a strategic element if you know what you are doing with the order of your characters. Will you begin the match with your favourite character? Or unleash hell with him or her when your other two fighters have been battered into submission?

There’s an ample selection of characters, which includes 39 ready and waiting for some fighting or some pummelling, as well as five bonus fighters. Needless to say, long time fans will be happy with the roster, which boasts characters from the 1996 edition right through to the previous 2001 edition.

The games options don’t offer any real surprises, which means the usual arcade and vs. modes are present. The arcade mode predictably ends with a maddeningly cheap boss fight, and it’s a battle that is so difficult, that we struggled to defeat him even when we got the option to lower his health. He’s really that relentlessly nasty.

As far as the actual fighting is concerned, it’s business as usual for the bruisers, which means a load of famous moves split between the fighters and a nicely rounded fighting system. The game has a fair amount of depth to it, and certainly isn’t a Particularly easy to play fighting title, therefore the more casual of fans may not have the required patience to get the most out of it.

The PS2’s Dual Shock pad certainly isn’t the greatest tool for fighting games, and therefore if you haven’t already and you are planning to play the game, we would recommend you to invest in a better pad at the very least or if you have the financial means, a good arcade stick.

The King of Fighters 2002 certainly wasn’t set to light the charts on fire, but fans of the KOF series will undoubtedly be adding this right next to the previously released KOF 00/01 on their shelves. Hardcore Fighting fans will also easily find plenty to love here, for everyone else, just prepare to put some time and practice in!