The King of Fighters series was without a doubt the best thing that SNK had going in terms of arcade video games from the 90’s. The 3 on 3 team battles along with the advanced in game fighting mechanics were arguably better than the likes of the Street Fighter titles from the 90’s. KOF ’97 was the prequel to the legendary and critically acclaimed King Of Fighters ’98 and its plot directly followed the events of KOF ’96. In KOF ’97 players saw the return of several popular characters that were included in KOF ’96 such as: Terry Bogard, Kyo Kusanagi, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Mai Shiranui and others. KOF ’97 also saw the introduction of a new group known as the New Faces Team which consisted of Shermie, Yashiro Nanakase and Chris. In KOF ’97 players encountered the New Faces Team right before the final battle with Orochi who possesses Chris body in order to fight. One of the most interesting things about KOF ’97 was the fact that characters such as Lori along with Leona appeared as mid-boss characters. Both Lori and and Leona were challenging in their own respective ways but players had the ability to choose certain fighting styles beforehand.
Those who choose Advanced Mode basically received modified gameplay from KOF ’96; which allowed players to perform their Super Special Moves without their Power Gauge being at maximum. The Extra Mode offered similar gameplay to that of KOF ’94-’95 where players had to fill their gauge up to maximum in order to perform Super Special Moves. When players had their gauge at maximum in Extra Mode their characters fighting abilities were also enhanced; they also had the ability to perform their Super Special Moves if their life bar was flashing red. In terms of being able to choose between fighting styles from older games within the KOF series; King Of Fighters ’97 looked somewhat reminiscent to that of Street Fighter Alpha 3 from ’98. KOF ’97 in some ways turned out to be a better arcade fighting game than Street Fighter Alpha 2 despite not being popular to casual gamers. Also, KOF ’97 was arguably the best arcade fighting title to have emerged from 1997 depending on who ask. Since its release KOF ’97 has been released on countless game systems in over the past decade such as: Neo Geo CD, Neo Geo AES, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS4, Xbox One, etc. KOF ’97 is legendary without a doubt but it pales in comparison to its sequel King Of Fighters ’98 as it pertained to popularity.