A King Without a Throne.
The King of Fighters is a franchise forever doomed to play 2nd fiddle to the larger games in the genre, with Street Fighter and Tekken Long battling it out for first place, The King of Fighters circles around the edge of the feeding frenzy picking up a small but dedicated community of fans and releasing some pretty solid titles that hold up well even in 2020.
A shot of Nostalgia.
Playing The King of Fighters 2002 is like taking a step back in time, its the type of game that could have easily been made any time from the mid-90s onwards, but despite its age the gameplay mechanics are solid and the graphics while dated in 2020, no way distract from the gameplay experience.
Far from becoming distracted by the retro 2D asthenic, I was captivated by it, warm memories of 16bit fighting games bubbling to the surface.
The King of Fighters 2002 is very much a love letter to the fighting games of the 1990s, and fans of the era will feel right at home.
Character design is like something from a whole other era, with ridiculously oversexed female characters that simply wouldn’t be acceptable by many today, twitter would be blowing up and Resetera having a field day with the amount flesh shown by the female characters.
Honestly, I find their attempt at eye candy more comical than anything, female character representation has come a long way since 2002, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find enjoyment from older titles, even if the representation of an entire gender is awful, to say the least.
Some girl gamers want to play sexy characters, and they should be included, however, please also include some tougher/more serious-looking female combatants for those who don’t wish to look like a lingerie model.
Not a single MTX to be found.
I don’t mind cosmetic of character DLC/microinstructions, I am sorry, but I will never be convinced that wearing a different skin is going to make you a better player or give you some form of unfair advantage.
It was very nostalgic to see a fighting game that offered no form online multiplayer or the cash shop.
Every possible character on the roster is unlocked by completing in-game objectives/challenges, while that is common for the era it was made, in 2020 its a novelty to say the least.
This was only possible back then as games rarely offered any form of official servers and updates/bug fixes post-launch were almost unheard of.
With no longterm overheard there was no need for MTX in 2002, in 2020 that is simply not the case, with games often seeing 12-36 months of post-release content.
Worth a Play?
The King of Fighters 2002 is a true classic of the 2D fighting genre that still feels fantastic to play in 2020, with retro graphics, a wide array of combos and a truly massive cast of playable characters (66), fans of the fighting game genre who somehow missed this title will want to pick it up asap.