Bitmap Books partnered with SNK to offer fans a stunning visual story for The King Of Fighters series
Image: Bitmap Books)
The King of Fighters: The Final Story
Bitmap books have an extraordinary knack for creating brilliant visual tributes to some of the most beloved retro titles in video game history.
This time they have decided to create a visual celebration for the legendary series The King Of Fighters. SNK’s The King Of Fighters is a long series of fighting games that began in 1994 on the Neo Geo MVS arcade hardware.
The game was something of SNK’s first crossover fighter as it featured characters from other games like Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury.
It became SNK’s leading fighting game series in 2000 following the release of the latest Fatal Fury game, Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
Since then, The King of Fighter series has gone from strength to strength, amassing a total of fifteen major games, several spin-off titles, and even crossovers with other fighting heavyweights like Street Fighter.
It’s safe to say that The King Of Fighters has established itself as one of the best fighting game series with its ever-growing legacy.
This is why Bitmap Books was met with such adulation when they announced that they would be collecting this illustrious story in one of their fantastic books.
The King Of Fighters: The Ultimate History appears to be the biggest visual celebration of the series’ legacy, available in two editions, Standard and All Star.
We were lucky enough to check out the standard edition book before pre-orders go live on May 9th.
Those who are able to grab one of the All Star Editions will receive a fantastic electronic box set that includes a series of touch panels on its fascia which, when pressed, reproduce in-game sound effects.
Fans will also receive a set of A4 prints featuring artwork from various KOF games and a postcard illustrated by Eisuke Ogura.
To top it all off, the prints arrive in a white invitation envelope, complete with an imitation seal of The King Of Fighters 94.
The book is huge and measures 210mm × 297mm and features an astounding 544 pages. It is protected by a sturdy hardcover with a stunning illustrated image by Kyo Kusanagi.
It is held together by a stitched binding which is perfect for two-page reading while ensuring quality. Bitmap Books has also included a bookmark that matches the turquoise color scheme of the spine.
The King Of Fighters: The Ultimate History begins with a brief introduction to the King of Fighters book and series.
But it’s after this that fan service begins when the next page load is filled with interviews and great quotes from the likes of Takashi Nishiyama, Masaaki Kukino, Masanori Kuwasashi, Toyohisa Tanabe, and more.
There are more intimate one-on-one interviews conducted by the Bitmap books towards the end of the book, which are fascinating reads that will give fans of the series a real insight into how the game was born and the challenges the directors faced.
The interviews are decorated with dazzling images of characters, levels and game graphics that serve as a visual commentary for the interviews.
The main feature of the book is the images and Bitmap Books has really come out with an abundance of art from each of the games showing the graphical changes over the years.
I particularly love the character graphics section because it didn’t just include the graphics themselves, but a lot of information I didn’t know about each character.
There’s a nice mix of character conception sketches, pixelated character models, and promotional art.
Fans will be really impressed with the quality of the images, especially the old pixel art that really jumps off the pages.
The color scheme of black, white, and turquoise worked well with colors that complemented each other without being overbearing.
As the book is all about images, I found that the size and placement of the captions were adequate as they gave all the images a breath while being easy to read at the same time.
The King Of Fighters: The Ultimate History is like having a historical museum on your library.
Each page is filled with stunning visuals and excellent information that cheekily celebrate this game series.
This is a must buy for game fans and a great buy for gaming enthusiasts.
The King of Fighters: The Final Story can be ordered from Bitmap book site from 9 May