Monday, May 30, 2011

The King of Fighters '95. . . For Game Boy

Okay, embarrassing confession time. The first King of Fighters game I ever owned was The King of Fighters '95 for the Game Boy. Though it was not the first SNK game I had ever played, it is still amazing that I ended up as a fan considering this trash was the first of their games I spent money on. Of course, calling this one of their games is using a pretty loose definition of ownership. Back in the 90's SNK was still letting outside companies develop and publish ports of their popular Neo Geo titles. The company that did the most of these ports was Takara, whom were responsible for this monster, though they farmed out development to a company called Aspect, who specialized in portable games. Why Nintendo decided to publish the game in the US, in 1997 by the way, I will never know, but I guess they got my money.


This game is just terrible and was the basis of my “portable fighting games are shit” theory. I can't find any redeeming quality to it. None of the characters feel right, and neither do the general controls. It is just a poor representation of what KoF 95 was, and 95 wasn't all that great to begin with. If it weren't for the existence of the King of Fighters for the Neo Geo Pocket, which was a perfectly scaled down version of the game it was based on, I would have just accepted that the developers were given the impossible task of making a portable KoF. But two years after the original release of the Game Boy version of The King of Fighters '95, The King of Fighters R-1 proved my theory wrong.

If I were trying really hard to compliment this game, I would probably say something about how the game's title screen and character portraits look okay with the added color when plugged into a Super Game Boy. I hate this game, but for some reason I played the hell out of it. Sure, I only had a few games for my Game Boy, but I really should have just spent all my time playing Final Fantasy Adventure. Does anybody know why Nakoruru was a hidden character in this game? I mean, do you think Takara even bothered to pay for the license to put her there? Bleh, this version of KoF 95 may be better than that Game Boy Color version of MK4, but that's like saying being stabbed in the leg is better than being stabbed in the face.

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