KOF '98 was basically the culmination of a work that panned through 3 games. Ever since the fighting system was revamped in KOF '96 with the introduction of rolls, and in KOF '97 with the Advanced mode, SNK had tweaked with the engine ever since and basically KOF '98 is the final result of all that work. Rolls were kinda useless in KOF '96 due to their very short invincibility window, whereas by KOF '98 it was already a fundamental tool. KOF '97 had some issues with the damage increase given by activating MAX status in Advanced mode (I remember Andy’s Kuhadan doing 40% damage in MAX mode, WTF? :wtf:), which was somewhat solved in KOF '98 as well as the stock distribution system.
The only thing I can pretty much see where players might complain is the Extra mode players from KOF '97 who got totally nerfed in '98.
You can pretty much say grapplers are the cream n’ crop of KOF '98, but you also have Iori and Chris which aren’t heavily based on command throws, per say. Besides, you have characters who totally sucked in KOF '97 who actually become able to compete in '98 (Chris, Chizuru, Shermie, Vice if you’re counting from way back in '96). They also took the retardness out of Benimaru, Mary, and Mature (again, if you’re counting from her last appearance in '96). Sure, there are some tiers you can’t dispute (Daimon is God), but overall the mid tier is VERY extense, which allows for more competition.
I think Yashiro is actually better in KOF '98 (I’m talking normal version). '97 Yash just felt a lot more clunky and awkward, whereas '98 Yash was a lot more fluid and his moves were more comboable.
Robert is still good…they just took away his Hien Shippu Kyaku abuse from '97.
And whoever said this game blows KOF 2002 out of the water…I will most certainly agree. Again, this game is like the ST of SNK players.