The King of Fighters Neowave (2004)

by Christopher
5 minutes read


The King of Fighters Neowave: A Neo-Classic in the Fighting Game Genre

Released in 2004, The King of Fighters Neowave is a 2D fighting game developed by SNK Playmore and the ninth installment in the King of Fighters series. It was originally released as an arcade game before being ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.


Neowave retains the traditional 3-on-3 team battle format of previous King of Fighters games. However, it introduces several new gameplay mechanics, including:

  • Heat Mode: Players can activate Heat Mode to power up their attacks in exchange for a gradual loss of health. This mode can be used to turn the tide of battle, but it must be used strategically to avoid being left vulnerable.
  • Super Cancel: Players can link a Special Move with a Super Attack in Super Cancel Mode to cause extreme damage. This technique can be used to create devastating combos and finish off opponents quickly.
  • Guard Break: Players can use Guard Break to break through an opponent’s guard and deal unblockable damage. This technique is effective against opponents who rely on defensive play, but it can be countered by using Evasion Rolls or other defensive maneuvers.


Neowave features a roster of 43 characters, including 7 bonus characters. The roster includes a mix of classic KOF characters, such as Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Terry Bogard, as well as new characters, such as Nameless, Foxy, and Angel.


The 12 teams in Neowave are:

  • Fatal Fury Team: Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi
  • Art of Fighting Team: Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia, and Takuma Sakazaki
  • Ikari Warriors Team: Leona Heidern, Ralf Jones, and Clark Still
  • Psycho Soldiers Team: Athena Asamiya, Sie Kensou, and Chin Gentsai
  • Women Fighters Team: Mai Shiranui, King, and Yuri Sakazaki
  • KOF ’94 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido, and Goro Daimon
  • KOF ’95 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Chizuru Kagura
  • KOF ’96 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Leona Heidern
  • KOF ’97 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Shingo Yabuki
  • KOF ’98 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Mature
  • KOF ’99 Team: Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Vice
  • NESTS Team: Igniz, Zero, and Kula Diamond


Neowave was developed by SNK Playmore, a Japanese video game company known for its fighting games. The game was directed by Yasuyuki Oda, who had previously worked on the King of Fighters ’98 and King of Fighters 2002 games.

Neowave was released in arcades in Japan in December 2004. It was later ported to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005. The PlayStation 2 version of the game was released in North America and Europe in 2006.


Neowave was praised for its large roster of characters, multiple gameplay modes, and gorgeous graphics. However, it was also criticized for its high difficulty level and lack of online multiplayer support.

Despite its flaws, Neowave is considered to be one of the best fighting games of its generation. It is a must-play for fans of the King of Fighters series and fighting games in general.


Neowave is the last King of Fighters game to be released on the PlayStation 2. The series would later move to the PlayStation 3 with the release of King of Fighters XII in 2009.

Neowave has been included in several compilations of classic fighting games, including SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 and The King of Fighters: The Orochi Saga.


The King of Fighters Neowave is a neo-classic in the fighting game genre. It features a huge roster of characters, multiple gameplay modes, and gorgeous graphics. While it is a challenging game to master, it is also one of the most rewarding. If you are a fan of fighting games, then you owe it to yourself to check out The King of Fighters Neowave.

Review Score



Cover Art


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More