NEWS - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

SNK Goodness On The Xbox

It is commonplace for companies like Namco and Midway to release arcade collections comprised of their early coin-op hits. But when you wade into SNK territory, the games are too big to be stuffed into a collection- especially titles like King of Fighters and Samurai Showdown. Last week we were privy to an early viewing of the Xbox version of both of these classic fighters. King of Fighters ’94 Re-bout is a special release that coincides with the tenth anniversary of the King of Fighters franchise. Considering this was the first installment of the celebrated fighting series it’s a fitting title to re-release. This remake of ’94 gives players the opportunity to play a special high resolution version of the game that includes three dimensional backgrounds. There is also a two dimensional, arcade perfect version of the game available for purists. Along with enhanced graphics, KOF ’94 will feature online play over Xbox Live that includes one-on-one battles and a tournament mode. In the original version of the game the three-man fighting teams were automatically selected for the player, but now there’s an option to choose each member of the team from the 24 available brawlers. Fighters can have their colors adjusted so when players take their skills online each character will look slightly different. Nothing makes an arcade fighter feel new again like online functionality and customization options. Samurai Showdown 5 Next up from SNK is an upgraded version of one of the best two-dimensional weapon based fighters ever released. Once again, the key selling point of this game is the Xbox Live component that allows player to directly challenge fighters from around the world or enter a multiplayer tournament. Samurai Showdown rocked the arcade with its bloody action for years and now its landing on the big black box. There are 11 new fighters added to the mix bringing the total count to 26 and this doesn’t include a hidden fighter and the boss. We witnessed the gruesome Kusaragedo (the giant bald monster shown below) as he slammed and vomited his way to victory. While the game has a ways to go before it is optimized for the Xbox it is still leaps and bounds above the build that was shown at E3 in May. A rage meter allows players to initiate death combos, and spirit strength allows players to send their opponents into a slow motion mode. There have been eight new moves added to the Xbox version of the game creating 23 combo moves total.


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