Review by Iluna

Reviewed: 01/17/03 | Updated: 01/17/03

Bring back the exictement of the past KOF memories......

After 2001, it's the end of the King of The Fighters ~ NESTS saga. You would be wondering, Is there a new story coming out from Eolith? Well, no, you will be playing the Dream Match game once more, after KOF98. The second dream match is up for you players to have another experience on the fighting arena once more. Behold! King of the Fighters 2002 ~ Challenge to the Ultimate Battle!

This game doesn't rules, but bringing back the past KOF memories.....With New Face Team back, Iori's past team mates Vice and Mature ''revived''. Rugal...... well, I can gurentee you would want to play it. And all characters were stronger now. With moves, and new experience!

This game doesn't have storyline, unfortunately, but it doesn't matter, since you are playing the ''non-story'' KOF game. This game still provides some pack of fun and fighting experience that you've ever imagined. However, your boss, is still the same Omega Rugal, except for now, he's much stronger.

Artwork could use some improvement. But a big great news is Athena became a main ''model'' for this years KOF. Her hair is longer, her cloths is beautiful. and her two fans will be with her during the whole out battle. With a cute introduction pose. She even prettier than KOF99 (sure, she is 10x better than she was in KOF2001). However, the character portraits could give some improvement. Not bad in terms of drawing, but the style doesn't give out the sense of beauty. But more or less it's up to players who decide this. I still prefer the KOF2000 artwork if you ask me.

Gameplay is still the same way as the previous KOF games, you still fight, with power bar which you fight to build it up. And use the Desperation Moves or Super Desperation Moves to do a finishing move to a character, it's the same old way that KOF games that they ever provided. Except that now, Characters gained a Hidden Super Desperation Moves, which you have to activate it when you're low on life. And needed certain command to execute it. Not bad actually.

Some of the old abilities like: Cancel, Autoguard, Backstep Jump, Rolling is back in this game. Surely, mastering the usage of those abilities will help tremendously on your fighting skills throughout the whole game. But those need some time to master it. For experienced KOF players, this never be a trouble for them. But for newbies, mastering them needs some time. Honed with those skills help you playing the versus mode easier, when you want to challenge someone into battle. Connecting Combo moves and end with a finishing move is a KOF players goal. That's what you've to do on it. Since you are more focused on combo's, not the basic Street Fighter II fighting style anymore.

Music is somewhat downgraded. Although it is taken from the previous KOF songs, I still prefer the old theme. It feels like Eolith just take the theme from the previous games and simply rearranged it. But Arcade centers are usually noisy, you won't hear that so clearly. Try to buy the soundtrack if you want to. Voice acting is good. Character voice acting is changed, to much aggressive tone. But sometimes, you'll get annoyed. Have a rest if those bugged you too much.

Loving this game is easy, replay this game is fun, but to master this game still needs your previous KOF experience and skills to play it. It's not easy if you ask me, the CPU's difficulty is tweaked, and your opponent is much smarter, and more difficult.

Overall this game is provided the best gameplay so far, so it says ''Graphic doesn't matter much, gameplay must be fun and attractive.''. I rather Eolith refines the graphic and their artwork. If they do so, I would be definitely mad on this game.......Well, at least I do love Athena this year for now! ^_^

Pros:--

-Good gameplay
-Athena is prettier
-New Abilities and Super powers, worth to try it out
-New gameplay experience

Cons:--

-Artwork needs improvement
-Music
-Difficulty is much higher than before

Overall it has more pros. than cons. But overall it is a nice game. I can't complain much on this. Hop on, It's time to play KOF2002 again. In arcade!~


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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