The King of Fighters: Neowave


SNK Playmore's first (AW-NET) fighting game, KOF: Neowave reverts back to the classic 3-on-3 gameplay, neglecting the newest gameplay features such as the tag system and strikers. Like KOF '98 and KOF 2002, Neowave has no storyline, but is instead a "Dream Match" bringing together numerous characters from past installments.


One of the sexiest KOF selection screens to date.


In addition to the standard 4-button layout, a fifth command button has been added, which activates the new "Heat Mode" (sacrificing health for attack power). Players can select their own playing style similar to (KOF '97 and KOF '98) from three different styles (Super Cancel Mode, Guard Break Mode, and MAX2 mode). This effects the techniques available to the player and the length of their Power Gauge.


Yes... we know it's on Atomiswave. -_-


looks pretty sharp on Sammy's Atomiswave hardware... Neowave features some fully 3D backgrounds, less "jaggy" character sprites than some past console iterations, and updated hit sparks. The character roster is a mix of old and new faces. The home version features bonus characters such as: Kusanagi (clone), Seth, and Omega Rugal.


C'mon now... you guys can't taunt each other to death.

In addition, the PS2 version includes 2 additional bonus characters not found in the arcade or Xbox version (Angel & May Lee). Neowave gives KOF players a chance to use some of the newer KOF characters in the "old style" gameplay, which makes it an interesting title for old school fans of the series.


terry-nw.jpg (100788 bytes)            kyo-nw.jpg (123067 bytes)            iori-nw.jpg (112041 bytes)            k-nw.jpg (105532 bytes)

yamazaki-nw.jpg (73470 bytes)           shermie-nw.jpg (103689 bytes)            joehigashi-nw.jpg (111520 bytes)            mature-nw.jpg (102932 bytes)

Click here for all character artwork!


Page Updated: February 4th, 2020
Developer(s): SNK Playmore
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore
Artwork by: Nakano Tomokazu
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release Date(s): July 21st, 2005             PS2
Mar. 30th, 2006
Apr. 18th, 2006
Oct. 13th, 2006
Characters Kyo, Benimaru, Daimon, Terry, Andy, Joe, Leona, Ralf, Clark, Chang, Choi, Jhun, Ryo, Robert, Takuma, Athena, Kensou, Chin, Mai, Yuri, Iori, Mature, Vice, Yamazaki, Mary, Billy, Yashiro, Shermie, Chris, K', Maxima, Whip, Ramon, Kula, Saisyu, Shingo, Geese, Vanessa, Seth, Omega Rugal, May Lee (PS2), Angel (PS2)

Featured Video:

Related Games: KOF '94, KOF '94: Re-bout, KOF '95, KOF '96, KOF '97, KOF '98, KOF '98 Ultimate Match, KOF '99, KOF 2000, KOF 2001, KOF 2002, KOF 2002 Unlimited Match, KOF 2003, KOF XI, KOF XII, KOF XIII, KOF: Maximum Impact, KOF: Maximum Impact MANIAX, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, KOF EX Neo Blood, KOF EX2 Howling Blood, KOF R1, KOF R2, KOF Collection: Orochi Saga

Gameplay Engine  6.5 / 10
Story / Theme  7.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.5 / 10
Animation  6.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  6.0 / 10
Innovation  6.5 / 10
Art Direction  7.5 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  7.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  4.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.0 / 10
Characters  6.5 / 10

 5.0 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words: KOF Neowave is a 2D fighter that stays close to its roots, but in turn, doesn't offer very much in the way of new. The traditional 1-on-1 gameplay is definitely old fashioned in 2005, especially when considering KOF itself has incorporated tag-team mechanics in past installments (which I personally think are more fun).

Probably the biggest downside of KOF Neowave is the roster. There are NO new characters! Even worse is the Xbox version feature 2 less characters from the PS2 version, and those two characters happen to be the newest additions to KOF. In short, Neowave feels "old" and recycled... and doesn't even feel like a "true" installment to KOF. It seems like Neowave was made for players who have no idea what KOF is. To a completely new audience, perhaps KOF Neowave isn't that bad... but someone should tell those people there are far more inviting and impressive fighting games that they could be playing in 2005. 
~TFG Webmaster