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The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  opened by paleface at 13:34:33 08/20/19  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Fighting; reg=JPN]
"Enhanced" version of NEOGEO game The King of Fighters 2002 (see entry 141 for the Dreamcast version, which is pretty much a straight port of the NEOGEO version), with mandatory 3D backgrounds, a completely reorchestrated, fully orchestrated, really ripping soundtrack (and not an "Arrange" soundtrack, since there's no option to use the old NEOGEO soundtrack in the enhanced modes--and this new soundtrack doesn't the inconsistent volume problems their old "Arrange" soundtracks typically suffered from during gameplay), lots of additional or EX characters, and the original NEOGEO version ("NEOGEO Mode") of 2002 thrown in for good measure.
Also, unlike the similarly enhanced "The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match," in Unlimited Match the character shadows in the enhanced modes are smooth, 50% transparent effects, as opposed to the old black, blinking type of shadows SNK used to use. Easier on the eyes. : )
Speaking of easier on the eyes, although the original, NEOGEO 2002 doesn't let you turn off Supers (which are really flashy 8o), and the main menu options of Unlimited Match don't, either, you *can* turn them off in the enhanced Practice Mode; since you can also set Practice Mode's options to have the game run non-stop, one-round battles, where the winner stays on for the next battle and the losing character is swapped out for a different random character, this is the weird, Super-flash-free way I play the game. ; )
Like The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (see entry 1370), the difficulty level in Unlimited Match's enhanced modes only goes to 7, rather than 8 of NEOGEO Mode, and, in the enhanced Practice Mode's "speed battles" that I run, anyway, is a wee bit on the too easy side of things. So eh it's more of a relaxed way to play KOF, I guess. Still, ripping right along with the amazing soundtrack, it's pretty fun.
Practice mode "speed battles":

All modes:
  paleface 13:53:04 08/20/19
The random character switching in my "speed battles" in UM's Practice Mode does have a quirk, one might say a bug: a character switched in randomly uses the character's default palette, rather than the palette matching the button you pressed when picking "EDIT RANDOM" at the initial character select screen. If both sides are eventually switched to the *same* random character, this can result in completely identical, same color character sprites fighting each other, something that pretty much no fighting game every allows--and for good reason, it's darn confusing! See 6:55 in the first video above for a very confusing Clark vs Clark battle, for instance. : o
  paleface 11:09:02 08/25/19
My eyes may not be as happy with the game as I'd thought. : P In the Practice Mode "speed battles" configuration, the screen clears suddenly to white when a character is KOed--this also happens at the end of a match in KOF 2000, for instance, but here in UM it's at the end of every *round*, which is as much as five times as often.
Plus, running in 480p as the game does, even doubled to 960p with my OSSC, comes out considerably blurrier on my 1080p monitor than an a) 1080p game, or b) a 240p game, which my OSSC can 5x to a special, slightly overscanned 1080p mode.
· The King of Fighters 2002 (DC)
· The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (PS4)

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