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No GravatarGames That Should Be Revived : The KOF Maximum Impact Series

[KOF Maximum Impact is SNK’s first attempt to recreate the KOF Experience in 3D Graphics.]

SNK is a company that many people love the world over and is widely known for its arcade and home console releases. SNK, after creating a successful line of 2D King Of Fighters games, eventually decided to take their flagship fighting game and elevate it to the 3D Level. Thus creating their 3D Sub-series KOF : Maximum Impact. The title Maximum Impact was used to differentiate this game from your standard KOF game. While this is not SNK’s first attempt at creating a 3D fighting game, it is, in fact, one of their better endeavors.

 

[ The KOF Maximum Impact series follows the story of the brothers Alba and Soiree Meira respectively.  Image Source: KOF MI Reg “A”]

KOF Maximum Impact features an alternative storyline of the events of Southtown. Following the events of Real Bout Fatal Fury, in which within that continuity Geese Howard, the man who was known to be the top dog of Southtown at the time had fell to his death. Geese had a confrontation with his nemesis Terry Bogard. Without Geese being in the picture, as Southtown’s undisputed ruler, many gangs vie and fight for control of Southtown. Eventually, Southtown comes under the control of one crime boss known as Fate and order were restored for a time. That is, until a rival crime boss named Duke wanted Fate out of the picture, with both sides trying to assassinate each other to put an end to the turf war. This assassination eventually leads to Duke taking over all of Southtown, this, in turn, prompted Fate’s adoptive sons Alba and Soiree Meira to join The KOF Tournament in hopes to defeat Duke and avenge the death of Fate.

KOF Maximum Impact aside from having faces from the mainstream KOF Timeline has a list of unique characters all on their own.

 The primary reason as to why The KOF Maximum Impact series should be revived is predominantly so the actual series can get finished. As of the time of writing this article, KOF Maximum Impact never got the final game within its series. Nor any did any of its non-sequel spin-offs most notably being KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A2. For a series that was actually good rather than bad? This is a bad thing for a company to have on its record. The secondary reason is mostly that the KOF Maximum Impact series was a breath of fresh air in a series that tried too hard to stick to an otherwise textbook formula.  An example being in three of the mainline King Of Fighters arcs. SNK focused on nothing more than the Orochi Storyline (ranging from KOF: 95 – 97 arcs. KOF: 2003 – KOF XIII arcs and KOF Neo Blood and Howling Blood arcs respectively). KOF Maximum Impact for the time brought a new and innovative concept and story line to an otherwise stale plot angle. This with its completely original story line was a major draw in for the fan base that KOF Maximum Impact has. Also, unlike its mainline counterpart, KOF Maximum Impact had a dark and gritty feel which was reminiscent of the previous generation King Of Fighters titles. I.E KOF 95 and KOF 96 which was also another major draw into the series. Minus the mixed reviews, it got from the series hardcore 2D fan base, regardless of the fact according to SNK themselves. KOF Maximum Impact sold well over in Japan. However, KOF Maximum Impact 2 / KOF 2006 had mixed reception as it did amazing in the states as one of the highest selling King Of Fighters games. However, over in Japan it only did average at best.

 

How can this title be improved?: 

[ KOF Maximum Impact Regulation “A2” was one of the KOF Maximum Impact titles that had gotten canceled as a result of KOF XII’s poor sales ]

KOF Maximum Impact can be improved by having a more diverse cast of mainline KOF characters within its games, rather than just the more popular KOF Characters. For example, a line up of  “Robert Garcia,” “Ryo Sakazaki,” and “Takuma”  rather than just “Ryo Sakazaki” and “Takuma,” or for another team have Iori Yagami, “Vice,” and “Mature” rather than just Iori Yagami by himself as the only representative of his KOF team.  It’s this crucial lack of diversity which was KOF Maximum Impact’s greatest oversight. Now “KOF Maximum Impact” also had several O.T.G otherwise known as On The Ground combos, which allow you to continue a combo on a downed opponent. This system did not go over well over with the more tournament level KOF Players.  This can be fixed if they took more of the combo elements of their mainline 2D Counterpart and ported them over to 3D specifically thus stabilizing an already combo heavy game. Storyline wise? Personally, KOF Maximum Impact already fixed this within KOF Maximum Impact 2 by giving each of the characters their own uniquely fleshed out story lines. If they were to revive this series, perhaps they can take a nod from Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 and add an in-game encyclopedia for the games more confusing storyline and lore aspects as some questions even left the most knowledgeable of KOF Fans struggling to put the pieces together. Structure wise? The game should go from a more “1” vs “1” aspect to a “3” vs “3” aspect like the other games within the King Of Fighters series have, This would attract a bigger following rather than the humble amount of fans it has now. As for the last suggestion as to how “King Of Fighters Maximum Impact” can improve upon itself? Just simply tie up any loose ends that the series has.  This is because KOF Maximum Impact as a whole did not deserve to be canceled halfway through.

KOF Maximum Impact as a whole is one of the more better established KOF Spinoffs as there have been weaker titles within “The King Of Fighters Continuity”. I.E: “KOF Kyo”, “KOF Ex / Howling Blood” in which in the latter game you did not even get to fight the main antagonist. etc. So looking at it from reviewers standpoint KOF Maximum Impact, at least had enough of a following to warrant a final game within its series. But as it stands currently? SNK had stated within an interview that they have no plans for “The KOF Maximum Impact” series at this time. Considering that the last numerical installment within the series was during the year 2006 and it’s 2017. It would be nothing short of a shame of this spin-off entry within the King Of Fighters continuity was fated to be put to the sidelines in favor for story-lines that aren’t as good as this current chapter within “The King Of Fighters” franchise.

 

 

By Terrence T. Watson On 7 Jun, 2017 At 12:46 PM | Categorized As Games You Slept On | With 1 Comment

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[This is The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja Cover Art]

Introduction: Welcome back to the SNES Era of Gaming. Here, I’ll be talking about a hidden gem that not many people actually know about. This title is known as The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja or (Ganbare Goemon) in Japan. Whilst only one Mystical Ninja title came over to the United States, there has been a whole slew of these titles in Japan, whereas there was only this version, and GBA title and 2 N64 games released in the US.

The Story: The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja stars the adventures of Kid Ying (Goemon) and Dr. Yang (Ebisamaru) respectively. Their adventure starts with investigating the haunted Horo Shrine and it leads all the way across Japan in an effort to save Princess Yuki from The Forces of Evil. From what starts off as a small Journey, turns into being a rather massive epic adventure. Going from places such as towns to amusement parks, through actual bamboo forests literally leading to a final battle within a Japanese castle itself. Now for a SNES game, it is rather impressive just what this particular game is quite capable of. Regardless without giving too much away, you should definitely give this title a chance!

Gambling as in betting high and low is one of the many Mini games within This game. 

Why you should not sleep on it?: There is a lot of different things you can do within this game alone. From going through hidden mazes, hitting the sauna, playing a Whack A Mole-style game, getting your fortune told, gambling, actually playing the lottery, actually being on a quiz show, actually betting on horses and playing Gradius. The Legend of the Mystical Ninja has enough to satisfy even the most finicky gamer. With a hefty campaign and side areas, you can visit and that is excluding the games hidden areas, Legend Of The Mystical Ninja is a game that has enough for just about anyone. Literally, this alone justifies why you should not sleep on it.

Fun Factor: Honestly, the single player campaign of The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja” is a large enough endeavor in its own right. Even having beaten the actual game? I’d say that the entire game itself is fun due to the sheer amount of areas that you can explore. Almost every area has one town and one dungeon area. Most stages have a boss at the end of each level. I think the sole exception to this rule is the third level in which it only has a gigantic Octopus mini boss given that it’s a Konami themed amusement park. The developers more than likely threw this in as a way to break up the gameplay and keep it fresh.

Personal Likes:

 Any video game that actually has an actual amusement park has my vote.

The Sheer Amount Of Diversity This Game Has

Seriously this game offers a lot and the diverse gameplay element keep thing light and fun. Legend Of The Mystical Ninja still impresses me for the hardware they were using SNES.

The amount of Mini games it has.
Now to show you why you should not sleep on this game. I have played about 99.9% of the minigames that this game has. Each one of them brings more replay value to the game that already robust in gameplay options. It shows why this game is the total package.

It’s amazing Cast Of Characters
Literally, every character is memorable in its own way. From Kid Ying who is actually based after the actual Goemon Ishikawa. Even to the Fabled Doctor Yang who serves as this games. As player 2 there are also supporting characters who do appear. They include a ninja named Sasuke, to a girl named Yae, who is a part of the Iga Ninja clans so the game itself is filled to the brim with Japanese references overall.

The setting for the entire game overall.
I usually don’t like all areas of most games, but this game is different. The lore of the game is what I personally enjoy the most. You start in Edo and you wind up in Kyushu, how awesome is that? Extremely awesome if I do say so myself.

Personal Dislikes:

Sadly not every level has a boss. The third level only has a Mini-Boss but the fact that it’s an amusement park makes up for it.

The Length Of The Game
Personally, even though the game is satisfying, I wanted more. I personally feel that it should have been much longer. But then again, I like my games to be long and drawn out but at the same time have a lot to offer. For me, Stage 3 even though it is an amusement park, could have been bigger. For the gamer who is speed running the game, you can literally pass four screens and be done with the entire thing and that to me is saying something.

Some of The Boss Dungeons can get tedious
Namely Stage 4 and 5’s boss castles. Generally, The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja’s levels is easy going and smooth. Those castles turn the game into a platformer where the screen has you doing everything from jumping onto 3D platforms to turning the entire screen around in a puzzle-like environment in order to advance. So yeah, it does take some skill to get further ahead.

Some stages require you to buy a key item to advance.
Only two levels do this, but still, it is quite annoying. The first being a pass within the bamboo forest level and the second is in the form of a royal textbook that is needed to translate the language of the monarch so you can advance. That can honestly put a cramp in the gaming style of some players. This is mostly a slight oversight but still one that can get in the way if you are pressed for time. Let’s face it, if you’re the gamer on the go, (the game is also on New Nintendo 3DS) You’re more than likely going to be pressed for time.

The inability to go back to previous stages
So once you advance. that is it until you replay the game. Unless you save your progress at the diary stage, but this game also has the password system that most SNES titles used at the time, so this is kinda more of a drawback.

Personally, if you have not picked up The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja for the SNES. You are missing out.

Closing Statement: For this being a SNES era video game, The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja was one of Konami’s greatest titles on the SNES. The game for me is pretty much a godsend. This is because in an era of traditional American style titles. The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja broke the Japanese based game mold for me. Now granted, this was before the big Asian-based boom came in where every title was inspired by some form of Asian archetype. Basically, The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja” also introduced me to a whole new genre of gaming and personally, I’d like to pay it forward and tell the whole world about how amazing this title is. So if you fancy playing a hidden gem within the SNES library look no further than,”The Legend Of The Mystical Ninja” for Super Nintendo because it is a game most people definitely slept on. With that being said it’s time to wake up and smell the Coffee.