The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match is a ‘remake’ of The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle, which debuted on the Neo Geo MVS arcade board. The KOF 2002 The original was not developed by SNK, but by the now defunct Korean company Eolith. This game belongs to a series of ‘remakes’ that SNK Playmore – as the developer was called until 2016 – was releasing for PlaySation 2. These games are The King of Fighters 94 Re-Bout (2004), The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match (2008) and The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match.
Since its launch in February 2009, in commemoration of the franchise’s 15th anniversary, KOF 2002 ONE it was well received by the community. Proof of this was the inclusion of the game in the Arcadia magazine tournament Tougeki – Super Battle Opera of the year 2010. During this competition – which he won Oz– a version of KOF 2002 ONE with balance adjustments and bug fixes. This version was released on June 24, 2010 for PlayStation 2 under the name of The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match Tougeki Ver.
A dream battle
Like KOF 98 A, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match brings toge ther all the characters from the past story arcs of the history of KOF.
Gameplay is what makes great The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match. It should be noted that this is the last game in the franchise to not have any type of difficulty reduction in the execution of the movements, to “expand the audience of the game.” For this reason, players should be aware that the learning curve of KOF 2002 ONE it is slow, difficult, but highly satisfying. Each character, despite the peculiarities and differences in their movements, has the same tools. Among these, we highlight the four types of jump, the special high-damage movements (DM, SDM and HSDM), movements with ‘counter wire’ properties and the ‘Max Mode’.
The ‘Max Mode’ is activated by pressing ‘B’ (weak kick) + ‘C’ (strong punch) at the same time. There are two ways to activate the ‘Max Mode’. The first is by spending a point on the specials bar in a neutral position. The other is canceling a normal hit, to continue the combo and optimize the damage. Mastering this cancellation is essential, to get the most out of each of the characters in the title.
The ‘Rollback’ is the true protagonist of KOF 2002 ONE
What stands out most about the PlayStation 4 version of The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match is the online game. This thanks to the ‘netcode’ known as ‘rollback’ implemented by Code Mystics, which allows a more stable connection between players. In this way, the experience of playing with people from other countries – especially some from our region – is more satisfactory. This is evidenced in the little wait we have to endure when looking for a rival and in the communities that have emerged since the launch of the ‘rollback’ for the Steam version of this same title. Without a doubt, for a fan of fighting games this is the most important thing.
As for the art of the game, SNK commissioned illustrator Hiroaki Hashimoto to do all the game’s victory images and promotional arts for the game. This illustrator is well known to fans of fighting games, as Hiroaki has also participated in games such as Soul Calibur VI , Buriki One Y Street Fighter IV. The scenarios, which in this version are based on the arcade, are not in 3D as in PlayStation 2. However, they are full of details and have multiple cameos of characters from other franchises of the Osaka developer.
If the illustrations in KOF 2002 ONE they ooze quality, music is not far behind. For this game SNK made the soundtrack from scratch, in charge of Yasufumi Fukuda (Monster Hunter), Makoto Asai (Lunar: Silver star Story), Teruo Konishi (Mega Man X 1-8: The Collection) and Two-Five. Some of the most representative melodies of this game are ‘Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy‘, Nameless’s main theme Y ‘Butterfly Emerges from Chrysalis‘, el tema principal del «New Face Team.»
The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match it’s a great fighting game. This is reflected in their extensive catalog of characters, how polished their illustrations are, the excellent combat system and the musical arrangements. Additionally, with the inclusion of ‘rollback’, the gaming community is more active than ever. However, not having the original version – as if it does KOF 98 UM– In addition to the lack of extra content, which we have seen in previous SNK releases by Code Mystics, they leave us with a bad feeling. Fortunately, the price of the game is low. So there is no longer an excuse not to enter the competition and relive the old days in the arcade rooms.
Review made with a digital copy of The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match for PlayStation 4 provided by SNK.