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SNK's perennial fighting game series, which premiered in arcades in 1994, makes its PlayStation 2 debut with the simultaneous release of The King of Fighters 2000 and its 2001 update. Both games combine the fighters from such coin-op hits as Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury, with the action played from a 2D view amidst a variety of indoor and outdoor backgrounds. The emphasis is on team-based fighting using three playable characters and a fourth "striker" used for special attacks. Battles consist of one-on-one fights until all members of a team are defeated.
The titles also offer a series of nine to ten teams, each consisting of four characters apiece, from an all-girl squad to teams grouped together based on a common goal. PlayStation 2 exclusive features include a Party Mode and Memory Mode, both of which are found in The King of Fighters 2000. Party Mode has players trying to defeat as many opponents as possible within a specific time frame, while Memory Mode challenges players to complete specific requirements in order to unlock footage from each game in The King of Fighters lineup. The King of Fighters 2001 offers 3D polygonal backgrounds as a PlayStation 2-specific option, which is a first in the series. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide