This game is a strange mix between KOF’99 and 2000; it has the scenarios from KOF’99 evolution for Dreamcast (and most of the characters)
King of Fighters has very solid gameplay despite a few minor flaws that more anal retentive fighting fans will abhor. The inability to reassign buttons will seem like a major blow to the games overall playability
But after short periods of practice, most moves performed with the L button become somewhat easier. Anyone buying this game with the expectation of arcade-perfect combos is, quite frankly, a total idiot. The GBA’s design very obviously inhibits this, but it is not a very large detractor from the whole package. Another slight flaw is the odd reassignment of moves for certain characters. For example, instead of Terry’s Crack Shot move being qcf+k, it is dpb+k, a very odd choice for a small d-pad that does take some getting used to.
It takes only a slight amount of time to adapt to the new movements, though, and again, it does not detract much from the overall game. The game’s final flaw is that of striker-only characters, which again reflects the developer’s laziness more than the limitations of the GBA hardware. It seems they wanted to rush the product out and not program in certain characters. Favorites such as Joe and Chin are relegated to striker only roles, which again may strike some as a major flaw. But with a cast of 20 playable characters, though, the roster is somewhat more robust than ST.
The controls in this game are fine for the most part but take some getting used to. For example, hitting the ”R” button in combos seemed kinda awkward for me at first. Some moves are surprisingly hard to perform on the GBA, but nothing impossible.