Review by rebellion1

Reviewed: 04/16/03 | Updated: 04/16/03

Possibly the best fighting game ever created

This is it, one of the last great neo geo ports that will come to dreamcast. The dreamcast has always been the best place to play fighting games this side of neo geo and KOF 2001 shows us why.

Firstly, the gameplay has been much improved over the past few incarnations. KOF 2001 introduces the ability for 4 on 4 battles for the first time and further develops the ratio system. The ratio system allows you to pick 1-4 playable fighters, with the rest being strikers. The more strikers and less playable characters you have, the stronger your characters are.

For example: pick 2 fighters and 2 strikers and your fighters will have much more stamina (bigger life bar) than someone with 4 fighters and no strikers (the same kick that takes say, 15 points of damage away from someone with 4 fighters, will only take away around 6 or 7 for someone with only 2 fighters). They will also have an easier to fill super meter and will be able to have 3 super meter stocks at once, while the person with 4 fighters has only one, very long to fill super meter.

The drawback to having a smaller amount of fighters is that if you get caught up in a really nasty combo, your shot goes out the window. So while someone with only one fighter might be strong as anything, if he has one really bad round it is as good as over. Plus, the fewer characters you have, the easier it is for your opponent to read your moves.

SO that's the major game play change to 2001. The striker system is still intact and i think it is much better than the 2000 version. Also, some fighters have been VASTLY upgraded from previous versions (Robert is a good example, he is much more of a contender now).

Here's the lowdown on everything else in the game

Graphics- upgraded a bit from 2000, but the standard KOF look remains. The low-med res characters are good, but no where near fatal fury mark of the wolves or guilty gear X. The backgrounds range from decent to excellent with many old backgrounds returning as a bonus. The animation is superb though, a KOF staple.

Sound - sadly, there is no cd-quality music like in the DC version of 2000. Not to say it isn't good, but the music was made for an 11 year old neo geo cart system so it isn't the best in the world. There ARE however some very memorable tunes, and none really get on your nerves. The sound effects are far improved over 2000 and really add to the great experience.

Gameplay - now where games like guilty gear X have much better graphics and sound, this is where KOF 2001 ices them all. The aforementioned ratio system keeps the game from ever getting repetitive. The game is fast (ALOT faster than 99 or 2000) and just a load of fun to play. Deepest fighting game in ages this side of VF4. Control is dead on as well.

Final report - If you like fighters at all, go get a copy of this import. playing imports on DC is easy as pie and DCs can be had or as little as $25.

do yourself a favor and play it, you'll love it.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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