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The King of Fighters '97 (NeoGeo) artwork

The King of Fighters '97 (NeoGeo) review

"One of my most favorite entry in the series."

The fourth installment in the series, King of Fighters '97 arrives with a new storyline, new characters, and new gameplay mechanics along with it culminating the Orochi Saga arc. The game also comes with a more realistic approach on being a fighting tournament, crowds cheer and the settings are more focused on announcing the battles for example. It is quite fascinating to gawk over really.

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My team. The Well Dressed Team.

Depending on who you finish the game with there will be several different endings, with some characters gaining more than just one. The game will also follow a certain storyline should you choose the right characters in your team, continuing the Orochi Saga that has been announcing in the previous game. Other team formations will follow certain endings, such as having Athena teaming up with Ralph and Clark, all three coming from other SNK game franchises. If you choose a team without editing its members you most likely will get said team's ending, otherwise you would get a standard finish to any random team you form that has no ties to any story or within each other whatsoever.

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The antagonists this time around are the Orochi Team, who are present to make sure the resurrection of Orochi comes to fruition. While you can choose said team in the character select screen, a more powerful version of them await you at the end of the game, followed by Orochi himself in a continuous battle without break. As with most KOF boss battles, the fight with him is by no means an easy one.

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The Satella News Network covering the current KOF Tournament.

Players can choose between two modes of play, ADVANCED which has the character store up to 3 points to execute super special moves and EXTRA which is the classic mode that has been with the series since '94. Advanced will allow you to use one of the stocked points to "power-up" momentarily and use another point within the stock to perform an even more powerful version of a super power move with characters. The same can be achieved in Extra, where if your stamina bar is within the red, you can perform the same type of powerful moves when the bottom bar is full. Extra also allows you to perform the standard super power moves when said health bar is flashing.

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Devastating Super Combos.

As it is the norm with any other KOF game, teams are edited for this entry, as well as moves are altered in an attempt to round up gameplay although some characters seem to benefit a lot less on said changes than in previous entries. Some characters like Kyo and Ralph for example, are still stronger than most and quite challenging when some of their moves are quite broken to fight against. An adept player can deal with this with no difficulty but any who would try it out, if they have not played a game of the series before, might have a lot more difficult time by the third round.

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An occurring glitch which makes the CPU choose random characters in teams for you to face at times.

The background music changes with each team presented, but only the leader of said teams would have their own tune playing instead of the stage's main track. This is yet another bonus in diversifying themes within the series.

With such difficulty spikes and overwhelming characters gameplay on this entry is quite enjoyable nonetheless. Plenty of time to practice your skills and combos with ease and finding secret characters along with the roster presented to keep replay value fresh. The overall tournament-esque atmosphere keeps you stoked and maintains interest all the way till you either lose or are able to beat the game. Whichever the case it may be, KOF 97' still delivers as strong as its predecessors had done.

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Community review by CptRetroBlue (June 08, 2020)

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