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The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga (Wii) Review

Review for The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga is a collection of the first five games within the well known King of Fighters franchise, from the first game, KoF '94, to the much loved KoF '98. So what's all this 'Orochi Saga' malarkey you may be wondering?. Well the 'Orochi Saga' is the actual name of the story that drives the games between '95 - '97, to what many now consider the eventual pinnacle of the series, King of Fighters '98.

After a dodgy looking title screen, which does nothing to imply the collection here is a quality product, players are then able to select from the five fighting games available, KoF '94 - KoF'98. After choosing your fighting game, you are then given the option to select from two gameplay modes, the first of which is the traditional Arcade Mode. Here you can play through the game, and a second human player can jump in at any point, by pressing the <+> button. The game reminds you of this by flashing a crude looking prompt over the second players side during single player battles. It looks cheap, and is annoying for purists like myself, particularly as the font used is not in keeping with the font used in the series, not to mention an image of the plus button itself which in turn looks out of place. It could have been done much better, and that sentiment applies to much of the presentation values of this collection by Ignition.

Aside from the Arcade Mode, players can also choose a Challenge Mode, which gives players specific tasks to perform in battle while under certain constraints imposed upon them by the game. For example, having no HUD to deal with, or having to beat a fighter with a certain amount of energy, or within a time limit. After completion of such tasks, which can certainly be fun and engaging, the game will unlock character artwork and music that can be viewed in the games gallery. It's a feature that should be considered standard fare, to be expected from any such collection meant for fans.

Screenshot for The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

In the game's Arcade Mode, which is clearly the meat of this game, players are given a team comprised of three characters to select, and to choose a order that they will fight in - Team Battle. If you lose a player during a bout, your next player will be up to take up the fight in the next round and attempt to save your blushes. The Team Battle format, where both players pick teams of three, actually forces players to learn a few characters from the get go as opposed to just one (which can get boring fast, for both you and your opponents). It's conducive for fun when you begin to master a number of characters, as with any fighting game. Once you have honed you skills well with enough players, you begin taking on friends in battle using three of your best, while tactically choosing your battle order to counteract theirs. The team battle format encourages good competition from the start and is certainly a positive aspect of the game.

The 2D fighting in the collection comes in classic mould here, it's very fun and easy to get into, and much of it will be familiar to many of you, even those that have had little experience of 2D fighting games. You have a customary life energy gauge, as well as a super meter which when filled to a adequate level is used to fire off wild looking special attacks at your foes whenever needed. These moves are initiated just as they are in many other fighting games elsewhere, but there are in fact multiple ways of initiating attack combos that become known to you as you develop your skills in the game. That's where a ton of depth comes in, especially in respect to the last game in the collection, King of Fighters '98.

Screenshot for The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Having all these games on one disc is great, especially for fans, but the fact of the matter is only one game on this disc is worth playing when you load the game, that game being - you guessed it - King of Fighters '98. The game implies as much on the evidence of its Wii Channel screen, when in the Disc Channel - it's the only individual game that's highlighted within it.

The last game in this collection is truly one of the greatest fighters of all time; it easily ranks alongside some of Capcom's finest. In fact, during the time it was released, it was seen as better than its Capcom's equivalent by many. King of Fighters '98 provides some of the best 2D fighting action to be had anywhere, even today, despite it's age. Having this game in the collection almost makes the other games not worthy of being played anywhere near as frequently. It is by far the best game in the Orochi Saga Collection and is a great incentive to purchase the collection.

But why you may ask? King of Fighters '98 includes 30 fighters to choose from - not cloned fighters with different sprite work and subtle tweaking, but 30 distinct, charming fighters, who all bring their own unique fighting style into the fray. They feature some great 2D sprite animation, many of the 30 fighters available are colourful characters that have animations that are quirky and reflect well their fighting style. Some characters are in truth better blessed than others in the animation department; Mai's bosoms, for example, have more frames of animation than they perhaps deserve, but then I suppose this is in keeping with Japanese character design philosophy.

Screenshot for The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

King of Fighters '98 is also a very fun fighter, it's extremely addictive! I cannot stress that enough. What you get is a fighter blessed with loads of depth and a host of cool characters to master and enjoy. There's a great deal of fun to be had with this one title alone in the collection. If I were reviewing this one game solely it would likely get an overall score of 8, despite this version not being as faithful to the original as versions on other platforms.

The collection on Wii is in truth not perfect. It does suffer from a few issues caused by being emulated from the Neo Geo, though all these issues are minor and only fans will make note of them. I do also expect that versions on Virtual Console will be better emulated, what with SNK actually working on them, unlike here. On the plus side though, load times are good, which is all-important with any fighting game.

The game supports the full spectrum of control configurations the Wii has. All of them except for the Classic Controller option are woefully bad and have the ability to cause severe frustration to the player. Some may have you wondering if they have been included as some sort of unfunny joke, though the fact is Nintendo require licensed developers on Wii to support the Wii's default controller, the Wii Remote, in all games, even though sometimes this means shoddy forms of control are included simply to keep within their agreement as a licensed Wii developer.

In respect to all fighting games of this type on Wii, I think players have to totally disregard the less conventional forms of control. In doing so, your experience of the game will be far better than otherwise. As I suggested earlier, the game plays fine using a Classic Controller, but I would say that if you lack one, you should not be buying this game. A Gamecube controller simply does not cut it here, complex combos require something akin to what the Classic Controller provides. Players should keep that in mind if purchasing the game.

Screenshot for The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Classic 2D fighting fare, learning special moves and combos and utilizing them to devastating effect on your opponent. It's nowhere near as fun in single player though; the gameplay, as with any old fighting game, demands that you have a friend to battle with locally. The level of playability has increased notably with every new game in the KoF series, meaning the latter games in the collection are more fun than earlier games.

Graphics

Graphics in these early KoF games are in truth not that great and don't really hold up that well today (certainly not in comparison to other SNK fighters of the time like Samurai Shodown, which still have the ability to stun). The latter games in the collection do look good though, the feature graphics that are colourful and pleasing enough, especially in respect to character animations and overall style. The presentation could be better and some details found in the originals have gone missing entirely in the Wii version, but thankfully there are none that impact the game too badly.

Sound

The series features many catchy tracks, you will inevitably find yourselves humming to few tracks found within the collection mid-battle. In game speech on the other hand does sound a little muffled in comparison to older versions of these games, but nothing sounds way off enough for me to be annoyed by it.

Value

Four great fighting games, and easily one of the greatest, the content here for a budget price is well worth your pennies. Consider the fact that separately these games each cost 1,000 Nintendo Points in the Wii Shopping Channel.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Me recommending this game to anyone depends largely on the cost you will have to pay for it. If it's attainable at sub 20 pounds, I will happily say go for it. You will definitely not regret your purchase, not after spending a hour or so with King of Fighters '98. It won't take long for you to realise how good that game is, and to know your going to get your money's worth in repeated plays for years to come.

If you're looking for a bunch of good fighting games on Wii, get this collection, but due largely due to the fact it features one of the greatest fighters 2D of all time in KoF '98. Just be prepared to leave the other games this collection practically untouched as a result.

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07.04.2009

4

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Developer

SNK Playmore

Publisher

Ignition

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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Excellent review LS. Smilie

Sound like a good collection of fighters, I especially like the sound of KoF '98.

Nice work LS.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Nice one Linky, thanks for picking up the review for us on this one. Nice to know it's a decent collection, even if it's mainly for '98! Better value than the Virtual Console for sure.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Good stuff - cheers for reviewing this one for us LS, sounds pretty decent - decent enough to justify the release it seems!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

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