Today is a big day for King of Fighters news, as two new games in the massively popular series come to light, both of which are strong examples of SNK’s somewhat belated forward thinking approach to the games market.
The first offering carries the name King of Fighters NeoWave and is the first game to snub the ancient MVS arcade platform in favour of Sammy’s Dreamcast-based AtomisWave 3D-friendly board.
The game will be a traditional 2D affair, albeit with 3D backgrounds and video resolution that will finally reflect the last decade of hardware development. Little was announced in terms of the play structure of the game, though the KOF ’98 three vs. three system will remain in place. Interestingly, the defence system will be lifted from Garou: Mark of the Wolves – whether that is a good thing or not will be a point of debate until the game hits arcades this autumn.
Next up is perhaps the most interesting thing to happen in the King of Fighters series ever – a fully 3D version of the game! Carrying the name King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, the game will be a completely three dimensional affair a la Virtua Fighter, and exclusive to PlayStation 2.
This unprecedented move by SNK Playmore is most likely a reaction to the firm’s difficulty in having certain games accepted for PlayStation 2 publication by Sony Computer Entertainment America. A 3D update that is exclusive to the market-leading home console makes a rather tempting peace offering and may smooth the way for future 2D MVS ports.
Expect Maximum Impact to launch in Japan this summer with a western release expected before Christmas.