Of all the fighting game series to grace the arcade, none has been as consistent in releasing a yearly update in some form than The King of Fighters by SNK Playmore. Out of the many, many versions of the game to come along since the early 90’s, only two have really seemed to stand out for fighting fans, KOF’98 and KOF2002. SNK may have released KOFXIII last year in glorious high-definition but that hasn’t stopped them from wanting to revisit a couple of their old titles with some improvements in balancing and graphics.
Thanks to Taito’s recently released NESiCAxLIVE online download service for arcades, SNK will be delievering these remakes to Japanese arcades with the platform on Monday January 24th. The official titles are: The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match Final Edition and The King of Fighters 2002 Ultimate Match. One can already purchase a PCB for KOF’98 UM running on the Taito TypeX platform(which has been around since 2008), but the Final Edition will include some tweaks that include NESiCA card support and presumably further balancing between the characters. KOF2002UM is a title that has been available on home consoles and I can’t find out whether this is just a straight port to add NESiCA features or if they plan on making any other improvements to the game.