App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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The King of Fighters franchise is a relic of an age when Capcom and SNK frequently faced off, in hopes of landing on top of the fighting game heap. Unfortunately for SNK, while the King of Fighters series had a very dedicated niche collection of fans, it never quite had enough traction to overtake the behemoth that was Street Fighter. As time has passed, though not completely fading into obscurity, the series possesses much less of a player base than it once did. Will it be up to the task when compared to Capcom's most recent iOS outings, or are we looking at a repeat of console generations long since left in the past?
On the surface, King of Fighters-i 002 looks to live up to the expectations of those who have already partaken in Street Fighter IV's splendor on iOS. Upon closer examination the game actually exhibits far more depth than one might actually expect. To go along with garden variety kick and punch style attacks, players will also have an evade and special button that could be used much along the same lines as their names might imply. What can't really be accounted for without an extensive amount of time with the game is the combo driven combat that adds levels to the conflict that transform the action from button mashing to more of a digital chess match.
Adding another level to the complexity is the hitch that has made King of Fighters famous: three character teams. Each player will choose their combatants of choice, with the next character taking over where the other left off, upon their defeat. Matches become far more about planning matchups in advance in hopes of putting the other combatant at the disadvantage. The action will be fast and frantic, so players need to be prepared to be forced to the edge of their proverbial seat.
If there were one significant flaw to this otherwise outstanding title, it would have to be the brevity and lack of overall challenge that is provided through the relatively short arcade campaign. However, this is for the most part offset by a multitude of other gameplay options and variety of different characters available in your stable.
While not quite on the level of frontrunner Street Fighter IV, King of FIghters-i 002 is still a standout amongst fighters on the iOS. It is a well constructed romp through the universe that has enough variety to keep players coming back for replay after replay.