OverviewThe King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to the Ultimate Battle is a 2D 3-on-3 fighting game developed and published by Eolith for the Neo Geo. Like The King of Fighters '98: The Slugfest, the game is a non-canonical "Dream Match" game. The "Striker" system and four-player teams are discarded, while gameplay mechanics feel more like King of Fighters '98.
Heidern, King, Shingo Yabuki, Foxy, Lin, Bao, Hinako Shijo, and Li Xiangfei from the previous installment are absent as playable characters, as well as Jhun Hoon and Kasumi Todoh. Though, King and Shingo return (with no team association) in the console versions. The game also features a series of teams representing each of the previous King of Fighters games from The King of Fighters '96 to The King of Fighters 2001, returning Mature, Vice, Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie, Chris, Ryuji Yamazaki, Billy Kane, and the final boss, Rugal Bernstein. Goenitz, Geese Howard, and the cursed version of Iori Yagami also make their return in some console versions as secret characters.
Like The King of Fighters '98, the game was considered one of the more competitive-friendly installments of the franchise. The game was ported to the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, a well as later remade under the name The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match.
- Kyo Kusanagi (also with an EX version, known as the evil clone Kusanagi)
- Benimaru Nikaido
- Goro Daimon