The game uses the same mechanics as the earlier version. Choose teams and then fight until the final boss is defeated. The combo system was improved to be more user friendly.
The third King of Fighters game on the Neo-Geo. However, it is also one of the most important games in the series. All sprites were re-drawn and the difficulty was toned down a bit to make it easier and attract more players.
The dodge from the previous two games has been replaced with a forward or backward roll. The roll will dodge attacks and will go through (and behind) opponents. However, a rolling character is still vulnerable to throws.
Kyo’s fighting style is drastically changed. Where he used to throw fireballs, he now does flaming punch combos.
A lot of the teams were changed around in this one:
Japan’s Heroes: Kyo, Benimaru, Daimon
Ladies: King, Mai, Kasumi
Lonely Wolves: Terry, Andy, Joe
Iori Team: Iori, Vice, Mature
Art of Fighting: Ryo, Robert, Yuri
Ikari Warriors: Ralf, Clark, Leona
Kim Team: Kim, Chang, Choi
Psycho Soldiers: Athena, Sie, Chin
Team Evil: Geese, Krauser, Mr. Big
The player always faces Team Evil last before the bosses. Chizuru then acts as a mid-boss with Goenitz being the final boss.
The super move system was also tweaked. Like before the super bar can be charged up by holding down ABC. When charged, a super attack can be performed. However, if you do this when your fighter has low health (so the health gauge is flashing red) and have a full super bar, then the super move will be a lot more powerful and look better.