The King of Fighters '96 is a 1996 fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home consoles. It is the third game in The King of Fighters series, following The King of Fighters '95. Like its predecessor, the game was ported to the Neo Geo CD, as well as the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Unlike the previous game, the PlayStation and Saturn versions were released only in Japan, with a language setting allowing the player to set the game to English. It is also part of the compilation The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii.
The game made a few changes to gameplay such as new techniques, various changes of some teams, with a few of them introducing new characters. The plot follows a new King of Fighters tournament created by Chizuru Kagura, the heir of Yata Clan who wants to find and recruit Kyo Kusanagi: the one who defeated the previous KOF host, Rugal Bernstein, to ask him and his bitter rival, Iori Yagami to help her in the sealing of the Orochi demon. The new boss is one of the servants from Orochi, Goenitz, who appears after Chizuru is defeated.
SNK members had various troubles with the development of the game as they were dragged on right up to the time of its scheduled release. This happened since developers had diffulties with making the sprites and special moves of new characters from the game. The game has had mixed reviews from several video games publications. While some reviewers have praised the graphical improvements and the addition of new characters, some have commented it was unbalanced in comparison to its prequels.
KOF '96 made a few slight changes to the gameplay of previous KOF games by introducing new techniques. The Dodge technique from the previous two game is replaced by an "emergency evasion" or "attack deflector" technique, which allows the player's character to roll away or towards the opponent. In the latter case, the player can have the ability to roll towards the opponent and end up at the other side. The player can also determine the height of their jump and perform small or high jumps. Additionally, the graphics for all the character sprites from the previous games were redrawn and the commands for certain Special and Super moves were changed from previous games. Like in the previous, Super Special Moves can be perform when the Power Gauge is filled up or when the player's life gauge is flashing red. However, the player can also perform a more powerful version of their regular Super move if both conditions are met (the player has low energy and Maximum level power gauge).
Source: Wikipedia, The King of Fighters %2796 , available under the CC-BY-SA License.