Like most gamers I'm a fan of old school fighting games like the Street Fighter series. But to be honest, I've always been partial to the SNK fighting games on the Neo Geo. Some people seem to either hate or act like they never existed. The graphics weren't as detailed as most Capcom fighting games, but I liked them no matter what.

I've always seemed to go for the underdog, be it Sega or SNK. In this article I'm just going to talk about some of my favorite and not so favorite characters.

Kyo Kusanagi



Kyo may have been in his 30's and still wearing his high school uniform, but he was always my first pick. I was never good at pulling off any of his "fire starter" moves, so I would mainly use his strong kicks and throwing moves. Throwing moves may seem cheap, but so are some of the other fighters you encounter while playing against the computer.

Benimaru



Benimaru is one of Kyo's friends/rival, depending on which KOF game you were playing. Like I mentioned before when it comes to cheap attacks, Benimaru was one of them. His electrical and sweeping kick attacks made me want to smash my controller on many occasions.

Shingo



Shingo is Kyo's pupil who wishes to become a better fighter. Shingo's fighting moves didn't seem as strong as the others. I think the reason I liked playing him every now and then was because of his funny intros and taunts. For example he might get nervous before the fight between Kyo, or read a book to catch up on his studies as a taunt move. I guess you had to be there.

Terry Bogard



Fatal Fury was the first fighting game I ever owned, so Terry Bogard would have to be one of my picks. I never liked his brother Andy that much. I think pulling off Terry's moves seemed easier in the KOF games than in Fatal Fury.

Robert Garcia



Robert Garcia always reminded me of Antonio Banderas. Then again, maybe I'm just crazy. Robert was the only one I liked from the Art of Fighting series. Granted Ryo and Garcia had similar moves like Ken and Ryu, but I liked Robert nonetheless.

Mai Shiranui



Mai was pretty hot for a video game character, but I rarely ever chose her for a fight because she seemed like the weaker one in the female roster.

Leona Heidern



I guess Leona could be considered a clone of Cammy from SF since they're both soldiers, though Leona wears more clothes. If I had to choose between the two though, it would have to be Leona. I guess I have a thing for females with blue hair.

Kim Kaphwan



Kim was one of the less annoying teammates from Team Korea. If I ever used him I would create my own team so I wouldn't have to put up with Chang Koehan or the midget Freddy Krueger aka Choi Bounge.




The Bosses


Rugal Bernstein, Geese Howard, Orochi


If you think the main bosses in today's games are tough, take a whack at these guys. The KOF bosses love to use the same move over and over again while you sit there like an idiot. I usually "cheated" and waited for the boss to come towards me and throw them.


Samurai Shodown


I've been a fan of the Samurai Shodown games since I owned my first SNES. I would have to say I like this series more than the KOF. When I first played Samurai Shodown, I didn't know that some of the characters were based on real people and or legends from Japan. That just gave me more reason to like it.

Hattori Hanzo



Hattori was my favorite of the series because he was a ninja. Ninjas are cool no matter how old you are.

Galford



I highly doubt that there were American ninjas in 18th century Japan, but it was a game after all so it really didn't matter. Plus the fact I liked using his dog for his special attacks.

Haohmaru



I'm going to have to be honest here and say that I never started playing as Haohmaru until Capcom vs SNK 2. It may not seem fair to use a samurai in the game, but who better to take down Ken and Ryu?




Guys I love to hate



I think I hated Amakusa (the girly man), and Zankuro the most out of any Neo Geo/ SNK fighting game boss. Just like their friends in the KOF, they would resort to one move to back you into a corner. I would just fight back by throwing them or using someone with a long range attack.

I think the reasons I've always liked the KOF and Samurai Shodown over Street Fighter was:

1) They had more characters to choose from.

2) The cast seemed like they had been pulled straight out of an anime, while Street Fighter's seemed less original to me. Don't get me wrong. I like the Street Fighter games. I just think the SNK games have a more colorful cast.

Other noteworthy games


Kizuna Encounters


I've played both Kizuna games (Reign and Super Tag Battle). I would have to say I like the second one the best. 1) The character sprites were done better than the first in my opinion. 2) The play controls seemed easier. 3) As the name implies, you could switch back and forth between two characters as long as you were near them. It made fights much easier since the computer tended to just use one fighter.

I would pick Rosa and Kim since they both used long range weapons. Rosa would use a sword, and Kim used a staff.


Kim and Rosa


To this day I still can't beat the main boss King Lion. I could swear his defense is on "god mode." The usual trick of using low kicks or throws doesn't seem to do much to hurt him. Maybe I'm just no good at playing this game.


Someday I will defeat you.


Last Blade


I didn't get a hold of this game until the Dreamcast came out. The second Last Blade to be exact. Last Blade seemed to have more of a serious tone and better graphics than Showdown. I'm not saying that good graphics are the most important thing; it's just something I noticed at the time.

My picks for Last Blade would have to be Kaede, Akari, and Yuki.



Kaede is the main character from the game. I seemed to always choose him because I thought he was cool looking, the way he fought, or a bit of both.

Yuki uses a lance. If I couldn't get past the main boss with Kaede, I would choose her to finish the job with her long range attacks.

Akari wasn't the strongest of females in Last Blade, but I always had fun playing as her. I liked the fact that she could summon ghosts to attack her enemy and teleport like Athena from King of Fighters.

2D fighting games don't seem to be as popular as they used to. I hope I never grow tired of them.








And yes, I really do like Ken and Ryu.


Comments welcome.