After having spent a massive amount of time analyzing Capcom's recent Street Fighter IV, it was interesting to change gears and jump right into King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match, an upcoming PS2 fighter from SNK Playmore. The King of Fighters franchise -- which in itself pulls from a number of different SNK properties -- has been around for a long time. As the title indicates, the original King of Fighters '98 was released in arcades over ten years ago and is just now hitting the PS2 in updated form. Ultimate Match takes the meat and potatoes of the '98 experience and adds even more content, making it a very appetizing deal for King of Fighters enthusiasts.
Ultimate Match, like its predecessors, is a 2D fighting game that pits characters from across a variety of SNK franchises against each other in a worldwide tournament. This version not only has the aforementioned additional content but also contains the full Neo Geo version, for purists interested in enjoying a blast from the past. Although there's no real story mode to consider, the game does allow players to face off against a series of opponents in either one-on-one or three-on-three battles, as well as play an Endless mode (which is like a traditional survival scenario) and a Challenge mode for providing specific tasks the player needs to face in the ring.