The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match is a fighting game developed and published by SNK Playmore in February 26, 2009, initially for the PlayStation 2. It was later ported to the Arcades, Xbox Live Arcade on the Xbox 360 and Steam.
It is part of the 15th anniversary of The King of Fighters series, alongside with The King of Fighters XII.
It is a remake/reboot and a more promising/ambicious version of The King of Fighters 2002, with a similar fashion to The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match. While the said one gathers all characters and mechanics from the Rugal / Orochi saga and makes some tweaks like new interface, same-styled portraits, remixes etc., KOF2002UM goes deeper...
Why It Rocks
- Most of the good qualities from The King of Fighters 2002 are back, and got even better! And there is more!
- Totally new logo, opening (attract mode), interface, artwork, soundtrack, stages and even the announcer! Rather than mostly recycling, remixing or improving; like KOF98UM did.
- All characters from the NESTS Saga KOF games are here! At first glance, you can select 51 fighters to play with. Completing challenges or fighting bosses will extend the roster to 62!
- Fight against one of the 4 bosses, depending of how skilled you are in the arcade mode. With even more skill, you'll fight against an extra boss...
- All the 4 bosses are the NESTS executives (bosses from KOF99 to 2001): Krizalid, Clone Zero, Original Zero & Igniz. Once you defeat one of those, you will unlock the said and play with!
- The extra boss is Omega Rugal! The hardest one and, yet, strongest and cheapest fighter in all the roster. No continues, it's either win or lose. Once you defeat him, you will also unlock and play with!
- The Challenge Mode offers 30 normal challenges based on the game's mechanics. It is a good way to improve your skills in the game.
- If you complete all the 30 challenges, you will unlock alternate versions of Robert Garcia, Sie Kensou and Takuma Sakazaki. An Expert Challenge Mode will also be unlocked, with 20 harder challenges to complete.
- Completing 19 of the 20 expert challenges will unlock Goenitz and Geese Howard. Completing the last one will unlock Nightmare Geese!
- K9999 was replaced to a new character: Nameless. This is due to a legal issue about K9999 having an appearance, characteristics, movements, quotes and even the same voice actor being very identical to the character Tetsuo Shima from the Akira series.
- Some characters were redubbed, in order to make new special pre-battle dialogues and new moves. Good examples are K', Maxima and Yuri Sakazaki.
- Highlights for Yuri Sakazaki, which finally got redubbed because her voice is intact since The King of Fighters '96.
- Artwork by Hiroaki Hashimoto. The same artwork style seen on Advance Wars: Days of Ruin is reprised here.
- Despite being totally new, the OST is surprisingly good.
- More variety of Special Moves and Desperation Moves for the characters. Yet, the damage is more balanced.
- The analog stick is fully supported on the PlayStation 2. That was an issue seen on early KOF games on the said console, because those were unplayable without having sore thumbs.
- The Command feature allows you to record a combo and save it as a macro. You can also edit the button input's frames, which timing is based on the game 60fps. Said feature is very useful for some combos, because lots of skill, focus, reflexes etc. are required to perform.
- Hidden Super Desperation Moves. That's all.
- Even better for Unlimited Match! The moves feel more epic here than the original KOF2002. Now there is an eyes cut-in effect and the "running" background is now green and breaks when the move finishes.
- Speaking of which, there are some changes in the characters HSDMs...
- If the HSDMs remains intact, the command inputs were simplified for some. Good examples are for Angel and the Orochi New Faces Team.
- Some returning characters got totally new HSDMs, while the former ones became Desperation Moves which is either Normal or Super. Examples for Blue Mary, Maxima, Vice, Shingo Yabuki, King and Goenitz.
- Some returning characters got better looking/more epic HSDMs. Good examples are for Goro Daimon, K', Kim Kaphwan, Ryo Sakazaki and Shermie.
- Newcomers returning from KOF99-2001 got their HSDMs for the first time! Good examples are for Heidern, Kasumi Todoh, Kyo-2 and all the NESTS executives.
- Nameless' HSDM is his only move totally different to K9999's ones. It's not a screen-filler (thankfully).
- The game is totally in English with Japanese voice acting for the fighters in all region locks. Japanese translation in text is only made for the victory quotes and moves list.
- The glorified original KOF2002 is included, under "Neo-Geo mode"! It's a near perfect port of the Neo-Geo AES version!
- Still some cheap/unbalanced characters. Most notably with Bao and Kula.
- The SNK Boss Syndrome is back, as always. Both Igniz and Omega Rugal... don't even argue.
- The Command system can be used as a shortcut to be approved in the expert challenges and get some advantage in the fight. The feature obviously does not show skill and is considered cheating.
- If you're not in the MAX-ON state, the SDMs and HSDMs will spend 3 stock bars (rather than 2).
- While most glitches were fixed, they are still possible, mainly with Chris' HSDM and Kasumi Todoh's close/combo move.
- While these "some characters" were redubbed, most of them doesn't sound better than their previous appearances. Examples are for May Lee, Heidern, Original Zero and even Omega Rugal.
- There is not much information about Isolde, the girl that appears on Nameless' HSDM.
- Saisyu Kusanagi, Orochi Iori, '99 King and Krizalid's Initial Form are missing.
- Releasing a game for the PlayStation 2 in 2009 wasn't a very good idea, considering that the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS and the PlayStation Portable already existed. This is probably the reason why the PS2 version never left Japan, because sales (for most of the markets) tends to be higher if released on the latest consoles. Legacy or obsolete consoles tends to suffer with piracy easier.
- To make matters worse, a Tougeki ver. revision was released in June 2010. Very few visible changes were done in the revision.
- Two-players only. No on-line multiplayer.
Xbox 360 & Steam
- The stages are rendered in 2D, rather than 3D.
- Interface text's font is in Arial, rather than the "squary" default one. It looks ugly.
- The original KOF2002 is not included.