Was King of Fighters the first non-sports annual franchise? If it wasn’t, it was at least the first to admit such a thing, with the year hanging at the end of each new entry (they don’t do this anymore, but then, it’s no longer a yearly tradition. It hasn’t been for quite some time.). I always wondered why people grabbed the latest FIFA or Madden day one for what seemed like minuscule updates, but then I’ve been loving my trip through the past, to see a series slowly push its way into the future. And ’97 was certainly a good year for KOF. And myself, for I was touring California that year. Ah, to be seven again in 97… though I didn’t have access to Neo Geo games back when. Thank Hamster for being able to live the past in the present.
And now I’m tangled up in a barrage of words, rather than the beautiful brawl which is this here fighter. So… fight!
New fighters, new stages, new ambience in place of good old fighting tunes (surprisingly effective, rarely replicated), and a whole load of flashy moves make up KOF ’97, and it’s certainly the best up to this point. with the story reaching a wonderfully nonsensical conclusion to make one wonder just how the series can progress from this point on. It’s like a grand finale, the true king of the fighters.
Of course in 2018, we’ve seen the future we couldn’t see back then.
And who can remember 1997 after 1998? Not I.