The King of Fighters: Neowave PS2 Review

The King of Fighters: Neowave, whilst largely similar to other entries in SNK’s popular scrapping series is still perhaps the biggest departure in the history of the series. Every prior iteration of the game were Neo-Geo powered, Whilst Neowave relocated to the fresher hardware of the Atomiswave and now jumps to the PS2.

The King of Fighters is rarely a series that deviates from a well known path, perhaps in fear of alienating its passionate fan-base. Sure, every new game, gets some welcome tweaks to the well oiled mechanics, but ultimately it’s nearly always the same game beneath, albeit with new characters and new backdrops. This is always more than enough to please its fans, whilst perhaps not being quite enough to always be successful in attracting new fans.

Neowave returns to the three-on-three format that the series has become famous for (though traditional one-on-one fights are available if you so wish). These skirmishes are not fought in a tag team like manner as they’re strictly one-on-one, meaning any selected partners won’t get a taste of the action until their turn comes around. Victory comes, once every fighter in a team has been knocked out.

Neowave plays similarly to many other 2D fighting games, which is to say it’s strictly for the diehard fighting game fans, who are prepared to put in the time and reap the benefits of the game. Whilst there’s nothing radically new here, the heat mode is at the least a moderately unique addition, which allows you to become more powerful by trading some health, but other than this, it’s -with ultra cheap final boss and all- business as usual.

Whilst the game was constructed around new hardware, visually Neowave isn’t the vast improvement that one might think. The environments are certainly more detailed, but the characters remain as a roughly textured bunch. In the end, it still looks like a game crafted with Neo-Geo hardware, but thankfully it stills looks decent enough today.

The King of Fighters: Neowave is a good 2D fighting game that has the familiar and revered mechanics intact that makes it such an enduring series. It’s hardly a reinvention, but who can blame them for just merely tweaking when everything already functions so well? Then there’s the case of hardcore fans with pitchforks that they also have to keep in mind.