Mellow, jazzy music - no hard rock here!
Reader review by Paul Hoyak
King of Fighters is not a bad fighting game - the same goes for the music. The CD starts the same way as KOF '95 - the basic theme song, with the typical "background" voices that are in many of the tracks to KOF. Now, as I mentioned in my KOF '95 review - this is *not* a bad thing. The voices add to the song, and are almost a necessary part to the music of KOF. From there on out you'll find most of the music is jazz and blues type. Some of it works pretty well, like track 6 which is very snappy and *very* catchy. Track 12 can only be described as interesting. It's fast, has background electric guitar, and the main tune is piano/keyboard. It's sounds, well, funky. That's the only way I can describe it in print. Other pieces such as the fast and upbeat eighth track and the lighthearted eighteenth track are enjoyable, while some aren't quite as impressive, like the slow and melodious track 19 (can you say "Barry Manilow"?).
Some rocking selections are thrown into the mix as well. Track 4 is the crowning glory of this CD. It's awesome and almost worth the price of the CD (almost...). The track is a hard rock tune, and not repetitive at all (in truth, almost none of KOF music is repetitive). Track 16 is also fast and rocking, with heavy guitars and the signature KOF background voices. You can't really whistle or hum to it, and it's very much like what is in the middle tracks of KOF '95. Classic fighting music, I guess. There's also some "mood music" to be found on the CD. Track 11 begins with a rainstorm. The tune is slower, and gives the feeling of fighting in a haunted castle. Don't get your hopes up, though. It's not as cool as it sounds. Some other ominous pieces are included on the CD that are more effective. Track 9 sets a rather different mood. It's a heavily Italian-flavored song - picture music playing in a pizza parlor or Italian restaurant, heard in cliche movies. It's just like you're fighting on the streets of Venice.
All in all, I would say that this CD is equal to KOF '95. Both have their good and hum-drum songs (nothing is "bad"), and is certainly a must-buy if you are a Neo Geo fan. Otherwise it's questionable.