The King of Fighters "98 (KOF "98, subtitled Dream Match Never Ends in nhật bản và The Slugfest in the U.S.) is a fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and trang chính consoles in 1998. It is the fifth game in The King of Fighters series. It was advertised by SNK as a "special edition" of the series, as it featured most of the characters who appeared in the previous games (from KOF "94 to lớn "97).

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Ports of KOF "98 were released for the Neo-Geo CD và the PlayStation. A Dreamcast version titled The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999 was also released, which featured much of the stages remade in 3 chiều. The game was also remade for the PlayStation 2 as The King of Fighters "98: Ultimate Match, which expanded the number of playable characters.

KOF "98 has been commonly praised by several video game publications as the best KOF from the series due to its graphics & gameplay. Ultimate Match, however, was criticized for how similar it is to KOF "98.


The gameplay does not differ much from the previous game, KOF "97. Like in KOF "97, the player has a choice between two playing styles: Advance & Extra, with a few slight modifications to Advanced mode (unlike in KOF "97, the character will resume lớn normal if the player performs a Super Special Move sầu in MAX state). This time when one character loses a round, the losing team is given a handicap in its favor. In Advanced mode, this means that the player"s stochồng capacity for nguồn Gauges is increased by one. In Extra mode, the time it takes to charge one"s power gauge to maximum cấp độ is shortened, & the maximum remaining health requirement for a MAX Super Special Move sầu is increased.


All the regular characters from the previous game return, along with several characters from preceding installments such as Vice & Mature (Iori"s teammates from KOF "96), the American Sports Team (Heavy D!, Lucky Glauber, và Brian Battler) from KOF "94, and the Old Men Team (or Veteran Fighters Team) composed of Heidern, Takuma Sakazaki, & Saisyu Kusanagi, all characters whose last appearances were in KOF "95. Rugal Bernstein from KOF "94 also returns as a Team Edit character, with his alter-ego Omega Rugal (the cyborg version of Rugal from KOF "95) serving as the game"s final boss in the Single Player Mode. 

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Shingo Yabuki (who originally appeared in KOF "97) continues as a Team Edit character, but also appears as a mid-boss character during the Arcade Mode. Additionally, the characters of Kyo Kusanagi, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Ryo Sakazaki, Yuri Sakazaki & Robert Garcia are playable with movesets from previous titles of KOF, while the alternate ones of Mai Shiranui and Billy Kane are based on their movephối from Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers.


In The King of Fighters "96, several moves from Kyo Kusanagi were changed in order to lớn adapt hyên ổn to lớn the new game system. However, the original movemix was still popular between gamers and as such, an alternative version of Kyo was added khổng lồ The King of Fighters "97. The introduction of this version was noted to be "a hit" within gamers, the staff kept adding new alternative sầu versions of other characters in KOF "98. Since this game did not have a storyline, the SNK staff decided to lớn return Rugal Bernstein as the trùm character noting that "he"s the only character who truly represents the ultimate KOF boss." Additionally, some of his special moves were redesigned, which the staff found khổng lồ have made hyên ổn the strongest version of Rugal as well as one of their favorites.

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KOF "98 was originally released for arcades on July 23, 1998. It was ported lớn the Neo Geo AES on September 23, 1998, the Neo-Geo CD on December 23, 1998 & the PlayStation on March 25, 1999. The PlayStation version was published in North America & the PAL region by Agetec, becoming the first PlayStation installment in the series khổng lồ be released outside Japan since The King of Fighters "95. A Dreamcast version was also released on June 24, 1999 under the changed title The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999, reflecting the year the version was released. This game was released in North America on September 30, 1999. The original game is also included in The King of Fighters Collection: Orođưa ra Saga compilation released in North America and the PAL region for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii (the game was not included in the Japanese Orođưa ra Hen compilation). The game was later re-released for iOS và Android.


During its release week, the Dreamcast port of the game sold 58,354 copies in nhật bản. As of 2004, the sales increased lớn 104,049. Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast port of KOF "98 a 30 out of 40, và GameRankings gave sầu it a 71% based on a total of 18 reviews.

Various reviewers from video clip game publications have commented on KOF "98. While reviewing the compilation The King of Fighters: The Orođưa ra Saga, Matt Edwards from Eurobạn noted KOF "98 lớn be the most enjoyable game from the collection as well as the most famous game from the series "that really made people stand up và take an interest in the series. We"d disagree in favor of some of the later games, but for its time KOF "98 was reasonably well balanced for a 2D fighter. And there"s no denying it was a blast." The game also received praise by writer Richard Li who found it to be the most balanced game from the KOF series due khổng lồ the fact it improved the game mechanics from the previous titles. Jeremy Dunham mê from IGN gave sầu the game an 8.4, praising, apart from the gameplay và characters, the graphics, the music as well as the backgrounds thiết kế added for the Dreamcast version. However, he was disappointed with the lachồng of story in the game, noting the ones from previous games khổng lồ be very entertaining. GameSpot"s Jeff Gerstmann found it to lớn be one of the best 2D fighting games, noting that although new players may find it hard to play due to lớn the difficulty in executing various special moves và how difficult the opponent AI is. Although Andy Chien from Gaming Age found that the Dreamcast port of the game was well done since it does not have sầu the disadvantages that it had in other consoles, he noted it "could have sầu been a lot better." He also found that the game had a bug when he tried lớn persize a special move from Mai Shiranui, which unlượt thích the other ports, is very inconsistent.

Tom Russo reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five sầu, & stated that "Not bad, but with so many other high-chất lượng fighters available, this one only makes sense for players nostalgic for old NeoGeo fighting games."

GameRankings gave sầu Ultimate Match a 77% based on 14 nhận xét for the PlayStation 2 version và 74% based on 5 reviews for the Xbox 360 version. Metacritic gave sầu it a 73 out of 100 for both the PlayStation 2 & Xbox 360 versions based on 11 nhận xét and 4 Review respectively. Various publications for Clip games và other media have sầu commented on Ultimate Match with IGN writer Ryan Clements giving it a 7.8, saying that probably this game should only be recommended lớn fans of The King of Fighters due lớn how old its graphics are as well as the little balance it has with 60 characters being playable. James Mielke from 1UPhườ complained on how the game is very similar to KOF "98, but found the controls to lớn be comfortable & intuitive sầu for any fans of 2 chiều fighting games. However, Heath Hooker from GameZone found that the gameplay and sound from the game hóa trang for the graphics even though there is not much difference between KOF "98 & KOF "98: Ultimate Match. In 2013, KOF "98 Ultimate Match was ranked as the 15th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex, who also called it "possibly the greathử nghiệm SNK fighting game of them all," và included it on their list of 25 best 2D fighting games of all time in 2013.

In 2017, the Chinese mobile game King of Fighters "98UM OL grossed ¥9.8 billion ($88.75 million) in Japan.

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