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the7k
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Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(Steam)

by the7k Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:07 am

Long title. Is it worth the amount of effort to pronounce? Well...

This video review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maqHYdq7YLc

Ultimate Match expands 98’s roster to 43 regular characters, 16 EX characters, and 5 playable boss characters for a total of 64 fighters you assemble into teams of three. You can play each of these teams in three different modes - similar to “grooves” or “isms” in other games - and the third can be customized at the select screen, allowing for a lot of options.

If you haven’t played KOF’98 before, then prepare to put some work in. Even if you have played more recent releases like KOFXIII and even gotten pretty good at it, this game will humble you. Inputs have to be very precise, there’s very little flexibility or leeway compared to recent fighters. Even rekka chains take a bit of practice. Thankfully even advanced combos tend to be very short compared to other fighters. There is a practice mode with some decent options, yet it somehow lacks on-screen interface for showing precise damage or user inputs.

Execution aside, the AI is almost hilariously hard. It’s only hilarious because you have to laugh just to keep from going insane. It doesn’t even feel fair, it just feels like they can read your inputs and react to everything in milliseconds - and the AI knows this, taking opportunities to taunt you often to make sure you know your place. I’ve tried to beat this game legitimately without lowering the difficulty level and without continuing since I got the game, and I still haven’t been able to do it. Luckily all the boss characters are unlocked from the get-go, but if you want to 1CC with ‘legit’ characters you are in for a long haul. I still find it hard to believe that there are three difficulty settings higher than the default setting.

If you’re looking for long-haul single-player content, you’ll need to look elsewhere. For those familiar with KOFXIII, this lacks a lot of the extra in that game: No story mode, no gallery, no color edits, no unlockables of any kind. There is a challenge mode, survival mode and the original Neo Geo game, but that’s about it as far as extra content goes. There’s also achievements, but there’s only a few and none of them are particularly creative or difficult thanks to the boss characters.

As for the multiplayer - the netcode is hit or miss. The public beta is pretty good, I’ve had some solid matches with players around 100-200 miles away that felt lagless. The retail non-beta version however felt terrible, with even good connections feeling unreactable and combos feeling impossible to pull off. However, the public beta does indicate that this is changing in a positive way.

Regardless of how the netcode turns out, the matchmaking is terrible and I don’t see that being addressed. You cannot filter by ping, by region or anything else that would keep laggy matches away from you. Considering this game is very popular internationally - especially in South America and East Asia - you will get matched up with people several thousand miles away from you more often than you could ever care to.

So, in summation, only get this game if you can find people locally who will play it with you. Private online matches with people in close proximity is really the only way to play this game, because whether you are fighting the near omnipotent AI or fighting random players from any corner of the globe, it’s an exercise in frustration.
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outlaw_moon
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by outlaw_moon Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:50 am

Like every other KOF fan, I LOVE KOF98. I find myself more and more tempted to start a Steam account.

Quick question 7k, would a standard everyday Laptop work with Steam? I want to know if it has to be a semi-game dedicated or not.
It's time to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of gum.
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fastbilly1
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by fastbilly1 Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:25 am

Would you choose 98 over 2k2, which is also on steam?

outlaw_moon, it requires a p4 1.8ghz, a gig of ram, and a gpu. You should be able to run it on any pc that has been purchased new in the last three years without issue.
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noiseredux
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by noiseredux Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:32 am

fastbilly1 wrote:Would you choose 98 over 2k2, which is also on steam?


if I recall his review of 2K2 was more positive than of 98.
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outlaw_moon
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by outlaw_moon Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:15 pm

fastbilly1 wrote:outlaw_moon, it requires a p4 1.8ghz, a gig of ram, and a gpu. You should be able to run it on any pc that has been purchased new in the last three years without issue.


Thanks for the reply.

I gotta a quick look at the games offered by Steam. Since I am more inclined to purchase the retro games on there, it seems most of those games, a standard Laptop will do the job.
It's time to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of gum.
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the7k
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by the7k Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:10 pm

The main issue I had with 98 on Steam was the matchmaking. No regional filters really killed it, forcing you to cultivate a list of opponents manually to get any fun out of it. However, that could have been fixed by now. 02 has no regional filters either, but it did a far better job of matching you with people nearby.

And yeah, you shouldn't have any problems running this on pretty much any computer. My computer is very much outdated (far too broke to upgrade it to anything worth a crap) and yet I was still able to play it just fine. (recording gameplay and playing it would cause my computer to overheat, though, so I had to record in very very short spurts.)
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outlaw_moon
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by outlaw_moon Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:21 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but any suggestions on a decent fight stick/controller for the PC? I like a dedicated controller rather than an adapter but there is always the cost to take into consideration.
It's time to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of gum.
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noiseredux
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by noiseredux Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:25 pm

outlaw_moon wrote:I don't want to hijack the thread, but any suggestions on a decent fight stick/controller for the PC? I like a dedicated controller rather than an adapter but there is always the cost to take into consideration.


well any wired 360 USB stick should work on PC.

I use one of these personally:

Image

and one of these:

Image
Image
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fastbilly1
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by fastbilly1 Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:34 pm

outlaw_moon wrote:Thanks for all the replies.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but any suggestions on a decent fight stick/controller for the PC? I like a dedicated controller rather than an adapter but there is always the cost to take into consideration.

Any stick with legit parts - Sanwa/Seimitsu if you want Japanese, Crown if you want Korean, or Happs if you want USA feel.

http://www.amazon.com/Qanba-Q4-Q4RAF-Bl ... B007SGGLZW
That is an excellent stick and easy to replace the buttons after they wear out.
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outlaw_moon
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Re: Hardcore Report: KOF '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition(St

by outlaw_moon Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:59 pm

Thank you @fastbilly1 @noiseredux for the replies. Need to start saving up.
It's time to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum...and I'm all out of gum.
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