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GameBoy Advance Reviews: The King of Fighters EX 2: Howling Blood

 

The King of Fighters EX 2: Howling Blood Screenshots

 

The Final Say!
Gameplay
9.0
Graphics
9.9
Sound
8.5
Value
9.5

King of Fighters EX 2: Howling Blood - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: 14 September 2003
Review Score: 9.5/10 
Distributed By: Acclaim

The King of Fighters EX 2: Howling Blood is the second game of the series to land on the GBA and features 7 new teams, 3 new characters and 3 new modes of play. The game is set in one of the most exclusive fighting tournaments of the world called "King of Fighters" and brings back all your favourite characters plus three new characters that is sure to keep things interesting.

Gamers can play as a variety of different characters that include the sexy but deadly redhead Moe Habana or as the fast and lethal Kyo Kusanagi. With over 21 characters to select from, The King of Fighters EX 2 (now known as KoF 2) not only guarantees gamers longevity but also variety that is the spice of life.

I've been a fan of fighting games from day one and no matter what console form they take, I am the most eager of the impuslegamer staff to test these games. When KoF 2 arrived at the office, I was more than eager to slide that cartridge into my GameBoy Advance SP and once the game was booted up, I was flabbergasted.

The different styles of gameplay modes in KoF 2 is simply amazing and includes 6 different modes of play such as Classic 3v3 Battle modes, 2-player VS mode, practice modes and my favourite, the GBA specific story mode. The GBA specific story mode unfolds the story of the characters you play, similar to series such as Street Fighter and Tekken. The beauty of this mode is that the longer you play the game and win various matches, the more secrets your characters will unlock.

The basic premise behind KoF 2 is an old school fighting game that is extremely similar to the King of Fighters arcade games or for those that are not familiar to the series, the legendary Street Fighter series. The control system of the game is extremely easy to master as you use the gamepad to move your characters while A, B and the two shoulder pads perform a variety of manoeuvres such as punches, kicks and jumps.

The game certainly heats up when you play for a team, for example the Ikari Team has joined the King of Fighters tournament to uncover a mysterious serial kidnapping case and as they progress through the tournament, they soon discover the dark secrets behind the case that will eventually lead them to victory. Each teams story is uniquely different.

The game also contains a great multiplayer mode that allows you to connect two GameBoy Advances together for some two on two competitions. Although I have playing this game for the majority of the weekend, I am still discovering new moves, secrets and various gameplay modes.

The graphics of KoF 2 is simply amazing and contain highly detailed characters and backgrounds that put some of these modern fighting games to shame. The characters all look unique and colourful that are extremely well animated and contain a variety of special moves. The game also contains some great looking special effects such as super moves and explosions that mesh nicely with the various backgrounds in the game. I strongly suggest that all people play this game on either a GameBoy Advance SP or the GameBoy player because the graphics must be seen on this two quality formats to be believed.

The sound effects of KoF 2 isn't the most ingenious sounding game of the year but considering that it is only a fighting game, the developers have done an extraordinary job at recreating realistic fighting sounds such as punches, kicks, fists hitting bodies and people flying through the air.

If you are a fighting game fan than I would highly recommend this game to all GBA owners as not only does this game contain a variety of different gameplay modes but it also contains some of the nicest and most realistic graphics to have ever landed on the system. With perfect gameplay, amazing graphics and some hardcore Hong Kong style sound effects, The King of Fighters EX 2: Howling Blood is a must own game.

- Andrew B

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