King Fighter 2: Classic 2D side scrolling beat em up action with authentic dodgy translations to boot.
Even with all the newer gaming genres out there that more processing power and touch screen technology brings, there is nothing quite like a session of a 2D arcade beat em up.
Gameplay: Ever since the dawn of 3D graphics in the mid 1990s, the age of the side scrolling beat em up was destined to be a page in the history books. Therefore it’s nice to see this genre come about again on modern day devices. For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to be gaming twenty years ago, the industry was full of 2D side scrolling beat em ups, as it was a winning formula, games developers could churn out game after game, changing the graphics as appropriate. There is no finer example of a how fun this genre can be than with the Streets of Rage series.
King Fighter 2 imitates this formulae whilst adding some RPG elements to the gameplay. On first impression, it plays pretty well, the graphics are reminiscent of the early gaming days with jumpy animations and cheesy sound effects. The developers have possibly taken the imitation approach a little too far in their artwork as it’s obvious they took inspiration from SNK’s king of fighters series, notice the similarity in title name also.
Virtual D-pad problems: As you would expect, the controls makes use of a virtual d-pad which again works as well as you would expect. It has all the usual pitfalls of this control scheme in that you don’t get any tactile feedback on whether you have pressed the button or not though it’s not too bad once you get used to it. It can be a little frustrating however moving up and down as you try to align your character with an enemy in order to hit them.
Visually, many things on the screen could benefit from being a little larger. From the characters to the special move buttons to the general text on the dialogue screens. So for those of you needing to wear glasses, you better make sure you have them on when playing this game. Speaking of the text, the developers obviously do not have English as their first language as the dialogue is littered with spelling and grammatical mistakes. This strangely adds to the entertainment and nostalgic factor as the text is rarely so bad that you can’t understand it.
Verdict: 3/5 The RPG elements should have added something new to the genre but it falls a little short of its target; disappointingly adding new equipment to your player doesn’t change anything to his look. Worth checking out the free demo if you are a fan of the genre however for now I would recommend whipping out your old Mega Drive and reaching for the real Streets of Rage.
King Fighter 2 Promotional Youtube Video