|As if Mai's inclusion was ever in doubt...|
I got thinking about which SNK characters I'd ideally like to see in KOF XIV if I had my own way (returning or from another SNK fighting game) and came up with a Top Five (dont'cha just love those?). With no further waffling from me, here is the shortlist of my KOF XIV 'wants'...
1. Neo Dio (World Heroes 2, World Heroes Perfect, Neo Geo Battle Colisseum)
A lot of people don't really care for this guy but I've always liked Nio Dio, despite him being a rock-hard boss at the end of World Heroes 2. He was updated for Neo Geo Battle Colisseum and I have to say that he looked a hell of a lot cooler in that game with some great moves and his signature "WOOOOO!!" exclamations. A cool design that would be a more left-field entry for KOF XIV.
2. King Lion (Savage Reign, Kizuna Encounter, Neo Geo Battle Colisseum)
Another non-Typical selection, King Lion (or King Leo if you refer to the 'original' version of the character) is an awesome SNK boss left in the mists of time. He last made an appearance in the Neo Geo Battle Colisseum crossover fighter as one of multiple boss characters. Armed with a monstrous sword and equally monstrous hair, he is one bad-ass boss character and I'd truly appreciate being able to use him a new SNK fighting game such as, um - I don't know - KOF XIV? Unlikely but worth thinking about.
3. Bonne Jenet (Garou: Mark of the Wolves, KOF XI, KOF Maximum Impact 2)
Does Mai need another rival in that department? Probably not and neither do fighting games in general but bollocks to sensibility. As well as a...distracting visual appearance, B.Jenet is just a fun character to use and quite easy to get to grips with (oo-er) off the bat. I really like her walking forwards animation in the past games and almost cocky personality too. Also - unlike my previous 2 picks - Jenet has already appeared in a 2D KOF installment AND a 3D spin-off so she's firmly a part of the KOF universe. No excuse SNK, none at all. As a side note, the above image is (I think) a non-official piece of artwork I found on Google Images and I prefer it to most of the official SNK stuff and other grossly exaggerated fan art. Whoever drew this, I salute you.
4. Serious Mr Karate (SNK Vs Capcom: SVC Chaos)
I've seen this guy referred to with the 'Shin' prefix (as in Shin Akuma) but also as 'Serious' Mr Karate. Essentially a souped-up version of the regular Mr Karate, this version of the character has so far only appeared in SNK Vs Capcom as one of two end bosses (the other being Shin Akuma). He was really fun to use as well with uppercuts that sounded like explosions and a standard move that unleashed three enormous fireballs in succession. He could be a cool secret boss for KOF XIV...if SNK remembers that he existed that is...
5. Luise Meyrink (King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2)
The majority of brand-new characters in the short-lived Maximum Impact subseries of games were horrible designs that are best off forgotten. Nobody will miss Armour Ralf or Hyena for example but one original creation that I thought was a genuinely good design was Luise Meyrink in the second MI game. Her appearance is certainly unique and interesting but her moves were also very cool. It's a shame that SNK are unlikely to revisit these characters because Luise Meyrink doesn't deserve to be shoved in a closet somewhere with other failed characters. Find that dusty cupboard and get it opened up, SNK.