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Wesley Moore
Wesley Moore

The King Of Fighters 2003


The King of Fighters 2003[b] (KOF 2003, or KOF '03), also known by fans as The King of Fighters X[c], is a fighting game produced by SNK Playmore for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms in 2003. It is the tenth game in The King of Fighters series and the last one released for the Neo Geo, which served as the primary platform for the series since The King of Fighters '94. It was ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox (in North America and Japan only and it was not compatible with the Xbox 360), and was released in North America as a two-in-one bundle with the preceding game in the series, The King of Fighters 2002.




The King of Fighters 2003



Taking place two years after the events of The King of Fighters 2001, a new KOF tournament has been announced, being sponsored by an unknown patron whose identity becomes a matter of public interest in the country. The tournament establishes a new set of rules, including the Multi-Shift System that enables fighters to tag out at any given time and the competition itself, consisting of both veterans and newcomers once again takes place and being shown around the world. The narrative is divided depending on the player's actions against the mid-boss Kusanagi, a clone of the returning veteran Kyo Kusanagi. An alternate path following Kusanagi's defeat has the player facing off against a young man named Adelheid Bernstein who is accompanied by his young sister Rose, with the two of them being the children of the notorious Rugal Bernstein. Once Adelheid is defeated, Rose threatens the winner, only to be stopped by Adelheid who tells her to let them go as they won fairly. Within the true ending path, it is revealed that Kusanagi was created by Chizuru Kagura as an attempt to test the winner. Chizuru and her undead sister Maki soon challenge the player to a boss fight. Following the Kagura sisters' defeat, a woman named Botan reveals herself as the one who had brainwashed Chizuru and that both Botan and her partner Mukai are the true masterminds behind the 2003 tournament, with the latter serving as the true ending final boss. Despite being defeated, Mukai claims success for his unknown superior, having weakened the seal of the ancient demon Orochi and while both Mukai and Botan escape, Ash Crimson attacks a weakened Chizuru and steals the Yata Mirror from her, warning Iori Yagami that he's his next target.


The game was first revealed in Tokyo Game Show 2003, originally planned to be developed on the Atomiswave hardware before settling on the Neo-Geo MVS hardware.[2] In North America the game was released alongside The King of Fighters 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.[3] The game was solely released for Switch on February 21, 2019.[4] As the first chapter of a new story arc, Ash was designed as an "attractive evil character", in contrast to previous King of Fighters heroes.[5] Due to Ash's late appearance in The King of Fighters 2003, the staff joked that teammate Shen Woo seemed more like the series' main character than Ash did.[6] The two boss characters, Adelheid and Mukai, had no problems during their designs with the former being the last added to expand the narrative of the series.[7][8] While Kusanagi was first introduced in The King of Fighters 2002 without a plot focused around him, KOF 2003 gave him the idea of being a clone of Kyo Kusanagi created by Chizuru Kagura while also intending to include his school uniform highly popular within Kyo's fans.[9]


The series inspired a manhua with the same name. In China the series was divided into two halves: The King of Fighters 2003 composed of five issues, and The King of Fighters 03: Xenon Zero (拳皇 XENON ZERO) composed of eight issues. The two series were combined for the North American release under the name of The King of Fighters 2003.[10] In July 2004, ComicsOne licensed the series with its first volume tying the release of a new video game and kept publishing it after their transition to DrMaster.[11][12]


The game got a 7.1 score by Famitsu.[13] DefunctGames gave it a B+ praising the new gameplay style gave the series a major change.[14] New character Tizoc was noted by Kotaku for appealing South American fans based on him being wrestler.[15] Eurogamer was negative believing, previous SNK fighting game like The King of Fighters 2002 offered a better cast and that the new gameplay system would confuse newcomers. Nevertheless, the reviewer commented that the new Garou: Mark of the Wolves fighters introduced in 2003 would also appeal to players similar to Kotaku.[16] HardcoreGaming101 believed the new gameplay features, cast and artwork were interesting but the sequel, The King of Fighters XI, easily fixed most of its issues.[17]


The King of Fighters 2003 (ザキングオブファイターズ 2003ツーサウザンドスリー) is the tenth game in The King of Fighters series. It is the last game of the series to be based on the Neo-Geo MVS hardware, and the first game in the series that was developed and published under the SNK Playmore custody. It is also the first chapter of the "Tales of Ash Saga", the third story arc of the series, and the last game of the series with the year's release in the title. The game is also known by fans as The King of Fighters X.


At the end of the tournament, depending on how players defeat the mid-game boss, Kusanagi, the players will either face Adelheid Bernstein or learn that the tournament organizer is Chizuru Kagura and that a group known as "His Distant Land" is working in a secretive plot. After defeating the mysterious stone fighter known as Mukai, Ash Crimson appears before Chizuru, attacks her in her weakened state and steals her powers. Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami come to Chizuru's aid as Ash tells Iori that he's his next target.


The game was first revealed in Tokyo Game Show 2003, originally planned to be developed on the Atomiswave hardware before settling on the Neo-Geo MVS hardware. In North America the game was released alongside The King of Fighters 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The game was solely released for Switch on February 21, 2019. The title was developed as the first chapter of a new story arc, Ash was designed as an "attractive evil character", in contrast to previous King of Fighters heroes. Due to Ash's late appearance in The King of Fighters 2003, the staff joked that teammate Shen Woo seemed more like the series' main character than Ash did. The two boss characters, Adelheid and Mukai, had no problems during their designs with the former being the last added to expand the narrative of the series. While Kusanagi was first introduced in The King of Fighters 2002 without a plot focused on him, KOF 2003 gave him the idea of being a clone of Kyo Kusanagi created by Chizuru Kagura while also intending to include his school uniform highly popular within Kyo's fans.


The series inspired a manhua with the same name. In China the series was divided into two halves: The King of Fighters 2003 composed of five issues, and The King of Fighters 03: Xenon Zero (拳皇 XENON ZERO) composed of eight issues. The two series were combined for the North American release under the name of The King of Fighters 2003. In July of 2004, distributor of Asian comics ComicsOne licensed the series with its first volume tying the release of a new video game and kept publishing it after their transition to Dr. Master.


The King of Fighters 2003 returns again with its 3 vs. 3 team battles. For the first time ever in the series, the matches are taken place in a single 3-on-3 round, unlike the 3-5 round matches, as seen in previous installments. This due to the new Tag Shift mechanic, where fighters can switch out with other members during a match, similar to the Marvel vs. Capcom series. By pressing either BC or CD, players can switch place with any standby team members, with BC switching out with the second member and CD switching out with the third member. Because of this, CD Attacks do not appear in this game.


Another mechanic introduced in this game is the Leader System, where one member of the player's team becomes a "Leader". The leader will always be the first character which the player chooses when picking his team, and during the match.


Nevertheless, the reviewer commented that the new Garou: Mark of the Wolves fighters introduced in 2003 would also appeal to players similar to Kotaku. American magazine HardcoreGaming101 believed the new gameplay features, cast and artwork were interesting, but adds that the sequel, The King of Fighters XI, easily fixed most of its issues.


The dawn of a new chapter in the King of Fighters legacy and the 3rd saga for the famous SNK fighting series. King of Fighters 2003 was developed in-house by SNK-Playmore (unlike King of Fighters 2001 and 2002, which were done by EOLITH Co.). The game marked the beginning of the new saga, the Neo-Orochi saga, and featured the biggest gameplay tweak in the history of the series. For the first time ever, KoF matches were governed not by team competitions of one-on-one fights, but rather 3-on-3 tag matches (though, the home version of KoF 2003 did feature the traditional 3-on-3 team matches as well as singles fights). Finally players could freely swap between their team's characters on the fly and even perform tag combos (as well as designate a leader whom would be able to perform a super move that is exclusive to the team leader). This gameplay element would also be found in The King of Fighters XI and appears to be the new standard of team gameplay in the KoF series. 041b061a72


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