Despite minimal sales numbers in modern terms, SNK’s King of Fighters series is one of the most beloved fighting game franchises ever. While not quite reaching the commercial success of other 2D fighters, such as Capcom’s Street Fighter or Midway/WB’s Mortal Kombat, it nonetheless survives primarily in arcades in Asia and on consoles for more serious fighting game junkies, with the most recent iteration appearing in 2010. With a slew of other classic games from the 80′s and 90′s making their way onto the Android OS, from titles like R-Type to Sonic the Hedgehog, it’s no wonder SNK has decided to release many of the various installments of this franchise onto the mobile platform.
Fighting games haven’t been exactly stellar on phones or tablets. Many of them have tried to incorporate the touch screen in various ways, to make it feel more than just a port with the buttons on the screen. However, trying to re-invent the wheel doesn’t always produce amazing results. Games like Injustice: Gods Among Us on mobile ended up being more of who could swipe the hardest on the screen. Other games that have used the on screen buttons, such as Fighting Tiger – Liberal, also haven’t been all that great, having wonky button controls and not the most concise response to what a player wished for the game to do.
It’s not that The King of Fighters ’97 has a progressively amazing control scheme; in fact it’s quite the opposite. The buttons on screen work well with player’s input, but aren’t phenomenal. Depending on the size of the device you’re using, your giant hands may block you from seeing most of the action on screen. Luckily, this title supports many game controllers, such as the PowerA Moga controllers, which really gives players a console or arcade like experience when playing it.