Tag Archives: SNK

Games of My Youth: King of the Monsters 2

SNK’s King of the Monsters 2: The Next Thing. If the first thing that comes to your mind is a giant fire-breathing lizard scraping tooth and claw against another mutant creature as they both lay waste to a city – then awesome – because that is what this classic Arcade game has to offer in ten fold.

But if you’re still scratching you head, wondering what crazy nonsense I’m spouting this time, then right now is the perfect place to humbly welcome you into the monster-filled world that is Kaiju. “Konichiwa!” as our friends from across the Pacific would kindly say. Greetings aside, Kaiju is a sub-genre of any Japanese live-action film or television drama that typically features beast-like monsters, the most famous of these being Godzilla.

In fact, the big-green machine himself made his first silver-screen appearance over fifty years ago, and has since then stared in 28 featured films. That is a lot of movies, and when you include the other Kaiju inspired works that have spawned since the age of the drive-in movie, the list is lengthy. From King Kong, to Ultraman, and that turtle-flying hero himself Gamera, there are a multitude of other giant creatures that have gotten their own big-screen title around the world.

The quality of these films, is yes, questionable, with the majority of which being right-down laughable. But for fans, including myself, we know that that is part of  the charm, the lovable whimsy of  such science fiction/horror films. There’s nothing more fun than watching mini-recreated city sets being destroyed by a guy in a rubber monster suit, explosions here and there, and dose of wacky sci-fi hi-jinks mixed in for good measure.

It’s certainly that same passion for the Kaiju sub-genre that is the basis for the King of the Monsters series when the first installment hit arcades in 1991. In King of the Monsters, you select any one of six monsters, each with their own set of special attacks and attributes, to do battle in a simple fighting/wrestling game. Really I should say that the game plays more like a wrestling game, which takes place in city-sprawled arenas, then anything else. More like “King of the Monster Wrestlers” to be fair.

You can grab your opponent and throw them against an invisible force-field that acts more like the ropes on a wrestling ring. Plus in order to win anymatch in King of Monsters, just like any wrestling event, you must pin your rival for the traditional three count. The game is pretty much no more or no less. And that would have been alright if there was never a King of the Monsters 2, which in my opinion offers some much more in presentation and gameplay. It’s night and day with each title thanks to a simple addition of another Arcade-genre staple.

King of Monsters Above, King of Monsters 2 below.


With King of the Monsters 2 a year later, SNK kept only three monsters and the combat system but added further depth by going the Final Fight beat-em up route. It’s that added style which gives the game a new layer of fun, keeping things from getting boring pretty quick unlike the first. That’s because you don’t have to pin down to win this time, just beat all that stands between you, including the level’s end boss.

In King of Monsters 2 you now have some neat details to help you on your way, such as power-ups that up your attack strength and special attacks. You can also pick up and throw buildings and assault vehicles now too. Something you would have thought would have been in the original, but wasn’t. Better late than never I guess.

Truthfully King of the Monsters 2 is just the better polished game over the first, and is the one that you should seek first. The music is livelier and the visuals  a tad bit more brighter and colorful than the original. I would say the only things that keep King of the Monsters 2 from becoming great are the grappling mechanics and stingy difficulty that can burn away any enjoyment.

While battling against your foes, the grappling gets messy and tiring. You have to forcibly tap the A button in order to get the upper hand, but sometimes it feels that no matter how much you do, the computer still has its way. That goes along with the harsh difficulty too. You will be eating up numerous continues after your character gets defeated – and I mean it. So if you are the type that doesn’t have the patience or neither the interest to begin with, then you might want to steer clear.

Those complaints aside, if concepts of controlling a giant monster and smacking the guts out of other monsters are enough to string you along for a good half and hour or so, which is alright by me, then King of the Monsters 2 is a recommended try.

Now how do you get a chance to play this game? Well it seems I have the uncanny luck, again, of picking games that are not available yet on any official download service. With King of the Monsters 2, that means tracking down a Neo Geo arcade unit or home  console. And unless you have the money and hours to waste on Ebay to do so, well I can understand going with emulation.

SNK, along with fellow Japanese game company Takara, did do two ports of the Arcade version, one for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, both having their own special traits. The Super Nintendo version is almost a carbon-copy of the arcade one with some graphical and sound processing down-scaling to help the game fit on the cartridge.

Super Nintendo version above, Sega Genesis below.

Meanwhile the Sega Genesis port ditches the beat-em up theme and goes back to the fighting game premise in the original King of Monsters. Now according to which ever message board you hang out on, the Sega Genesis is the above-all best version of the game. Notably because, the Genesis port has the right difficulty level and is a lesser nuisance when dealing with the grappling mechanics.

Personally, I say if you can try both, go for it. Find which version, either Arcade or Genesis, is best for you. In the end you’ll still come away satisfied in your need to smash buildings and fight off aliens from sizes big to really really big.

The King of Famicom

Today I believe I might have discovered a clone of myself living in Japan. How else could this video below, combining two gaming elements which I love dearly – The King of Fighters series and retro gaming, be created and executed to such extreme bliss.

Now, I’ve talked about The King of Fighters several times here; probably a bit too much that it’s driven away any readers we have left. (Heck, what am I kidding, we didn’t have readers to begin with.) Anyway, this video, posted by a Japanese YouTube user Bash4208, inserts a creative spin on that 3-on-3 fighting game series by blending in a who’s-who of Famicom (NES) stars. And what better name fitting for such a piece of media than calling it The King of Famicom.

Ooo… I can already feel my knees shake with anticipation. I won’t spoil it for you, oh-no! You’ll just have to check out for yourselves. See if you can guess each character’s respective franchise.

A much grateful thanks to GoNintendo.com for finding this gem.

The King Of Fighters XIII And Other Awesome Links Of The Day

King of Fighters? That fighting game with the chick with the camel toe?! Yes it’s that game, but don’t hit the back button on your browser yet; this time it’s the newly announced sequel being previewed next month in Japan.

SNK, the company behind other well known series such as Metal Slug and Samurai Showdown, announced the game today with a simple press release and a very sexy logo image to boot (as seen above.)

The previous King of Fighters entry, The King of Fighters 12, was the first to usher in high definition 2D graphics that replaced the  series previous set of character sprites that were being constantly recycled despite their ageing quality.

More changes, including a completely re-hauled fighting engine that tossed away what was done in The King of Fighters 11 and 10, were also introduced in The King of Fighters 12, but unfortunately that didn’t save the game from major fan disappointment.

The game’s fighting mechanics were almost fundamentally locked down and the character graphics, including the backgrounds, were in my opinion beautiful. Yet The King of Fighters 12 was sadly plagued with a short roster of characters and an online performance that made dial-up look good by comparison. Overall many gamers felt short changed as to what they perceived to be half  of a game for full retail price.

Hopefully, SNK can fix these issues and give a more better experience this time around. Though with the sound foundation they made with The King of Fighters 12, that won’t be an Mount Everest’s climb to achieve such a goal. Again, hopefully.

The unveiling event for The King of Fighters 13 will be March 25th, at Belle Salle Hall in the Akihabara area of Tokyo, Japan; basically the nerd section of Japan for all you Japanese culture illiterate.

Well before I head off to DeviantArt to look at awesome fan art of Terry Bogard, I might as well leave you with some meaty awesome links of the day. OKAY!

So a Sony executive says that they made a mistake with the PSP Go? Well, admitting you have a problem is usually the first step to recovery.

Sony Exec Says PSP Go Did Confuse Consumers, Might Have Been Too Expensive [Engadget]

Oh yeah… there was some big Nintendo event yesterday or something like that, and they showed some pretty huge games, along with a bigger version of a current handheld device. Must of been a really big event for someone to take pictures of it too.

Pictures From Nintendo’s Media Summit [GoNintendo]

What was it like to play Mario Bros. on the Atari 2600, while a lucky majority were a bouncy-bouncy-joy-joy with our Nintendo Entertainment Systems and Super Mario Bros. 1 to 3? Nadia Oxford over at the 1Up Retro Blog writes that the view was good from her vantage point. That, and it also gave her a good excuse to post this video (below link.)

Shuffle On, Shellcreeper: Remembering Mario Bros. for the Atari 2600 [1Up]

King of Fighters Online Debut Trailer From GameTrailers.com

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