King of Fighters R-2 Switch Review – Chibi SNK Action

SNK’s flagship team based fighter is here on Switch in a form unlike anything most people have experienced before, as now we can play as all our favorites such as Terry and Mai in a super deformed chibi art style with King of Fighters R-2 originally on Neo Geo Pocket Color. It is based off the super popular King of Fighters 98 just with a simplified control scheme. 

Special attacks are nice and easy to pull off.

You can play arcade mode with one on one fights or the classic 3 v 3 where once a character gets KOed the next comes out as this was made before the days of mid-fight tags. There’s also Making mode which allows you to take one character on a journey to defeat the evil mastermind of the game: Rugal. In this mode you can powerup your character by equipping skills, it really adds to the replayability of the title as it’s rare for a classic fighter to have anything above and beyond arcade mode.

How rude.

For a classic handheld game the complexity of the fighting is astounding. You have only two buttons to use to attack yet there’s light and heavy attacks based on the length of the button press, dashing, super jumps, dodge rolls, a whole host of special and super moves, reversals and escape moves, power modes and two types of play style. That’s a hell of a lot to master. The two types of play style only have small differences with ‘Extra’ auto activating your power mode and shortening your special meter so it charges faster each time one of your characters is defeated and ‘Advanced’ you choose when to activate power mode and your maximum special meter stock increases each time one of your characters is defeated.

Both filters look great and you can pick how zoomed in the game is.

The multiplayer is really well implemented with the ability to play 2 player on one console docked, tabletop with a normal view or handheld with the view splitting into two screens to play with one person at each end of the Switch for some competitive novelty complete with a brand new way to put off your opponent by pushing and pulling the console itself.

There are 14 characters plus some unlockable classic and orochi versions of fan favourites which isn’t a bad amount for a Neo Geo Pocket Color game. They all have different play styles and quite a few special and super moves though you’ll have to Google them or spend ages in Sparring mode to figure them out the old fashioned way because no moves are included in the in game manual.

Rewind time.

The difficulty is almost perfect with it taking a bit of practice but not being overly hard and just like SNK Gals’ Fighters there’s an extremely handy rewind function to correct things when they just don’t go your way.

I absolutely love the Neo Geo Pocket Color’s graphics even today and King of Fighters R-2 is no different, the super deformed chibi art style is gorgeous.

No Rugal don’t blow yourself up.

King of Fighters R-2 might seem a wee bit pricey at £7.19 but this is a bargain considering it costs so much more to buy a physical cartridge on the Neo Geo Pocket Color. For an easy to pick up SNK fighter you can’t beat these Neo Geo Pocket Color ports and King Fighters also comes with an iconic list of playable characters and the Making mode to keep you coming back for more. 

A huge thank you to SNK for providing the review code for King of Fighters R-2. King of Fighters R-2 is available on the Nintendo eShop for £7.19/€7.99.

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