The King of Flash Game Fighters
The King of Fighters series is an arcade fighting game series originally created by SNK – a Japanese games developer. It has been known to have a roster consisting of characters from other games developed by SNK, such as Fatal Fury, Ikari Warriors and other original characters created exclusively for the series; while the series have been known to have collaborated with other 2D fighting game franchises before – such as Street Fighter and The Last Blade. The King of Fighters games have appeared not just in the arcades but also on consoles such as Playstation and Xbox. While many fighting game fans are torn on which type fighting game deserves the crown, whether it is 2D or 3D. The King of Fighters series have always been a strong contender when it came to 2D fighting games crown. Choose your fighter and prepare to fight - in this PC port of one of the most renowned 2D fighting game series in history.
Fighting with Sprites and Pixels
Since the dawning of games with graphics consisting of polygons and textures, people have started viewing 2D games as inferior and pretty much not up to date when it came to visual quality. We strongly disagree. Being gamers for more than a decade, we have seen and experienced the evolution of gaming not just in terms of visuals but also in terms of gameplay. From the all too simple graphics of Pong to the complexity of Kratos’ polygon comprised and textured physique in God of War 3.
While 3D graphics do look amazing especially if crafted by great developers and artists, 2D graphics will always have a place in our hearts. We really love the fact the each character sprite was rendered and animated meticulously, frame by frame. We really like how each character has multiple winning animations, from Kyo removing his jacket then hanging it on his shoulder to Kula’s friends coming in to give her a congratulatory hug, again these were all rendered frame by frame. This not only shows talent but great dedication. The King of Fighters Wing stayed true to its visual roots and opted to use sprite based characters and 2D rendered backgrounds and we could not be happier.
Each character moves convincingly and the animations are still top notch – just as we remembered it from the other King of Fighters games in the arcades and consoles. While most of the character sprites were just ported over from old King of Fighters titles, some animations were tweaked, especially for certain actions not found in the past games.
Stage designs and backgrounds sadly fell short in The King of Fighters Wing, with most of them just static backdrops of certain sceneries taken from existing SNK fighting games or other franchises. Sadly, the game only has a handful of stages and players will definitely fight in the same stage over and over again during their game session. While most would argue that backgrounds and stages are not important in fighting games. Having a well designed and animated stage does add to the overall visual presentation of the game.
The Sounds of Fighters Fighting
A fighting game is nothing without the sounds of punches, kicks and chi based projectiles. When have we seen people fighting in complete silence? The answer is never. It would not be a fight without people screaming something at each other. The King of Fighters Wing definitely sounds like a fight. Each attack that hits an opponent – whether it is a punch or a kick, is accompanied by a sound effect that makes it believable and in some instances painful. Each of the sound effects provided in The King of Fighters Wing was directly taken from past SNK games where each character was taken from. While this makes them sound authentic and legit to their series of origin, having them use the same old sounds rather than make new ones gives us the feeling that the game was rushed by the developers. Despite this, The King Fighters Wing still sounds good for a ported fighting game, especially since this port was not handled by the original developers themselves.
The Sound track provided in The King of Fighters Wing is very limited, with the music looping over and over again in pretty much all the stages. This we felt was really lazy on the part of the guys who made this version of the game since they could have easily used other existing sound tracks from the dozens of King of Fighters games and even those found in other fighting games. We are hoping that the new updated version of the game has more sound tracks available.
Putting Boots to Asses
With a history of being one of the best 2D fighting game series, the developers behind The King of Fighters Wing have a lot on their shoulders. Not only do they need to properly port the game but they have to make sure that it plays just as good, if not better than the past games – and they have to do it using a personal computer’s keyboard rather than a game controller or an arcade joystick. With all this being said, we are happy to inform fans that they have succeeded in making the transition. Although they had to make some changes in the form of simplifying certain command inputs such as the character’s super moves which normally consist of a lot of directional inputs and button presses. What is amazing about all of this is that despite these changes, the game still plays great and is easy to control – even with the use of a keyboard. Players will have no problem executing their favorite moves for their characters – while some intricate combos might require a bit of practice, they can all be done in The King of Fighters Wing.
A complete fighting game should have multiple game modes for players to spend time on, The King of Fighters Wing also delivered on this with modes such as training, player versus player and even a mode where you can watch computer controlled fighters duke it out. Seldom do we see the option to play against a real person in a PC based fighting game using only one keyboard – which we can understand since cramming four hands on one keyboard is not really our idea of fun. But still the option to do so is very welcome since fighting against a computer controlled opponent gets boring after a while and the challenge brought by a real person – especially if they are really good with the game, is still the best.
Training is the key to learning those tough moves and combos. Players can spend their time in the training mode to relearn moves that might have been changed in this version of the game or just practice their own combos in preparation for their next big fight.
The King of Fighters Wing is a game in continuous development – meaning new updates are added such as characters and stages so things might change with future patches and updates. Games balances are some of the things constantly being revised in fighting games and we expect the same thing to happen with The King of Fighters Wing.
And the King of Fighters is…
The King of Fighters Wing is a great port of an already great fighting game. While the game might have some faults in both the graphics and sounds, these gripes can easily be overlooked thanks to the game’s fun and addictive gameplay – especially if you are playing with a friend. While the version we played lacked a few of our favorite characters, we expect to see additional characters included in future versions of the game, although the provided number of characters gave enough choices to at least give players some variety in choosing their fighter. We highly recommend The King of Fighters Wing to fighting game fans that are looking for a quick fight on their PCs without the hassle of installing a full game or buying pricey peripherals. We crown The King of Fighters Wind a regal score of 86/100.