Many people who are hardcore fans of the fighting genre of gaming is aware of the level of popularity The King of Fighters series back in the 1990’s. When King of Fighters ’94 made its debut in 1994 many people were blown away by the groundbreaking 2D gameplay seen in arcade centers. Some people argue that in terms of gameplay and 2D graphics that King of Fighters ’94 was just as good as the Street Fighter II titles of the early 90’s. The following year a sequel to KOF ’94 was developed by SNK entitled The King of Fighter ’95 which also made its debut in arcade centers before receiving various ports to different home consoles. After its release The King of Fighters ’95 was ported to Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and even Game Boy.
The release of KOF ’95 saw the inclusion of Lori Yagami who was apart of the rival team which was one of many groups in the game. Unlike KOF ’94 the groups in this game are according to allegiance & affiliation rather than country & nationality. An example would include the division between affiliations such as Hero, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, Psycho Solder and others which generally consists of three characters from each group. The team edit option makes things more exciting because it gives players the flexibility to build custom teams unlike KOF ’94 where teams were pre-selected based on which country one decided to choose. In King of Fighters ’95 includes at least 24 different characters to choose from including Kyo Kusanagi, Terry Bofard, Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, Mai Shiranui, Yuri Sakazaki, Joe Higashi and many more. KOF ’95 also includes the introduction of a sub-boss character known as Saisyu Kusanagi along with Rugal returning as a final boss. Unlike the previous game Rugal has access to a new energy source known as “Orochi Power” which gives him the power to transform into “Omega Rugal.”
This game is so exciting because it features a crossover of characters from Fatal Fury & The Art of Fighting to create dream matches many people have been dying to see. Some people would argue that KOF ’95 is more challenging than its predecessor while others would argue that it just as difficult depending on the player. Similar to KOF ’94 this game includes the use of super gauges & super combos that are sometimes difficult to initiate unless one is an expert at the game. Some say that the controls of this game were difficult but that also depended if one played in the arcade versus a home console. When it comes down to home console many know without a doubt that the Neo Geo probably the best version since it was the closest to the arcade version in terms of gameplay. After its release King of Fighters ’95 was highly praised by gaming publications such as Electronic Gaming Monthly and was recognized as one of the best Neo Geo games of 1995. Even though, this game is not talked about much King of Fighters ’95 was an underrated arcade classic that could rival the Street Fighter II series any day of the week.