I’ve questioned if and when this could occur, however now the day has come. For individuals who haven’t adopted the state of SNK on cellular through the years, the Arcade Archives aren’t the primary time the previous arcade big has reissued its classics on iOS. Round a decade in the past, it did a number of releases with Dotemu. Each was hand-tailored to an extent and as such there have been solely a handful of titles launched. Primarily the large hits. That in fact included one of many extra in style entries within the King of Fighters sequence, The King of Fighters ’98 ($2.99). Hamster has up till now deliberately been steering away from these titles, however we lastly have our first overlap with KOF ’98 ($3.99). So how does the brand new in contrast with the outdated? Let’s discover out!
I really wrote the TouchArcade review for The King of Fighters ’98 (Dotemu model) 9 years in the past. I’m going to borrow a bit from myself to introduce the sport earlier than we begin making comparisons. Shaun of 2014, take it away!
“The King of Fighters ’98 represents the primary “Dream Match” installment of the sequence, the place the story is put aside in order that outdated and new characters can seem alongside one another, even when they’re lifeless or it doesn’t match the plot. As such, with a couple of notable exceptions, this sport has each character from King of Fighters ’94 by means of King of Fighters ’97, rounding out the roster to a powerful 38 characters. If that’s not sufficient for you, 9 of the characters even have alternate variations that mirror an earlier incarnation. What makes that variety of characters much more spectacular is how well-balanced the sport is. Whereas some characters, like Iori or Kyo, undoubtedly outshine others, equivalent to Andy or Billy, the hole between the perfect and the worst is smaller than simply about some other preventing sport with such a big checklist of playables.
As ordinary for the sequence, you decide a group of three characters and battle it out in opposition to different groups of three. This installment was from the period the place you couldn’t tag out and in freely, as a substitute selecting the order by which your fighters will seem. In case you end off your opponent, your character’s well being will get restored a bit and the subsequent contemporary opponent will face you within the subsequent spherical. Get rid of the entire opposing group and also you win. KOF ’98 carries ahead the Superior and Further modes from KOF ’97, providing completely different types of constructing and utilizing your tremendous meter. Other than the roster modifications and balancing, the gameplay isn’t a lot completely different from the earlier yr’s model, however that’s fairly typical for a preventing sport sequel. There’s no story, and the boss this time round is Omega Rugal, an SNK boss if there ever was one.”
Alright, that appears enough. Odds are good that when you’re studying this, you most likely have already got an honest concept of what The King of Fighters ’98 is. You may even personal that earlier model. So let’s get to the right meat and see how Hamster’s KOF ’98 fares in opposition to Dotemu’s The King of Fighters ’98. First, I’ll say that the emulation high quality is superb on each. When you’re within the sport and enjoying, there’s little or no to differentiate the 2. The sound is a bit higher on Hamster’s model to my ear, however solely a bit. Dotemu’s model skips the entice mode and title display, so Hamster’s model does provide a extra genuine arcade expertise. Each variations help exterior controllers, and that’s the really useful option to play.
That may convey us to the primary main distinction: the contact controls. Dotemu’s model is personalized to an extent, with context-specific contact buttons, an SP button for straightforward activation of particular strikes, and a selection between the usual 4 button format or six buttons with some button combos. You may alter the scale and opacity of those controls, however since this can be a pretty outdated app even the utmost measurement is a bit on the small facet. You may’t transfer them round, both. Hamster’s model makes use of the identical inventory contact controls seen in its different Arcade Archives releases. There are not any particular buttons or combo buttons right here, however you’ll be able to transfer across the present digital buttons, probability their opacity and measurement, alter the diagonal sensitivity, and even select whether or not the enter on the stick might be digital or analog. I’m not going to lie: Dotemu’s SP button makes it simpler to bust out strikes with contact controls, however Hamster wins in each different regard.
Certainly, broadly talking, Hamster will get the win in choices. Hamster’s model permits you to tweak a couple of particular gameplay settings the place Dotemu’s simply permits you alter the issue degree. Hamster permits you to absolutely remap controls; Dotemu’s doesn’t. When it comes to video settings, Hamster permits you to change the display format and orientation, flip the wallpaper on or off, whether or not you wish to show “off-screen” graphics (issues that the bezel of most shows would have hidden again within the day, and provides you a wild diploma of customizability by way of making use of filters to the visuals. Dotemu enables you to select whether or not you desire a smoothing filter on or off, and if you’d like scanlines. Hamster affords sound setting choices; Dotemu doesn’t. You can also make a save state and resume later in Hamster’s model, however in Dotemu’s you must begin over each time. Hamster is the clear winner right here.
The extras are the place issues get a bit messier. Hamster affords its ordinary choice. You may decide between the Japanese and Worldwide variations in normal mode, and the usual Rating Assault and timed Caravan modes are right here. Every mode has its personal on-line leaderboard to compete on. Multiplayer is offered, however solely on the identical gadget utilizing a number of exterior controllers. Over on Dotemu’s facet, you’ve a typical single-player mode utilizing the Worldwide model of the sport, a coaching mode that provides you a CPU dummy to beat up on, and help for multiplayer by way of native wi-fi. That final function is a welcome one, as I personally really feel it’s simpler to arrange matches with one other individual that method. Neither one helps on-line multiplayer, sadly. I’d give Dotemu the sting right here, although it’s not a dramatic win.
The final distinction is the value. This new model prices a greenback greater than Dotemu’s outdated one. It’s only a greenback, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a greenback. That may get you no less than a few slices of bread nowadays. Trying on the general image, which model is greatest goes to rely in your scenario. The small digital controls on Dotemu’s model actually harm its worth when you’re not enjoying with an exterior controller. The coaching mode and extra handy multiplayer are nice extras, and the sport runs simply as effectively. Hamster’s normal Arcade Archives options actually provide you with extra to mess around with, however issues just like the Caravan mode aren’t as well-suited to fighters as they’re to, say, shoot-em-ups. Multiplayer is fairly awkward to get going right here, too.
In case you already personal the Dotemu model of The King of Fighters ’98, this new model doesn’t make a really compelling case for itself. In case you don’t have both of them and are attempting to decide on, it’s a tough name. This one prices extra and has extra choices and extras, however the Dotemu one has a few good options you received’t discover on this Arcade Archives launch. I’d most likely advocate this new one just because it has a decrease probability of being deprecated, however I feel it’s in any other case a tough name. KOF ’98 is a good sport that, like different arcade fighters, isn’t essentially the perfect match for cellular. It was dicey to advocate as soon as, and I’m undecided I can muster a lot enthusiasm for a second dip.