Long-term devotees of SNK's King of Fighters beat-'em-ups will be interested to learn that SNK Playmore's fiddling with its traditional naming convention - The King of Fighters 2006, announced this week, is actually a sequel to 3D spin-off KoF: Maximum Impact.
KoF 2006 is another 3D fighter produced by artist/designer Falcoon, and will be released in the States this summer. As a follow-up to Maximum Impact, it features a mixture of characters from that game, KoF stalwarts, and several new characters. SNK Playmore's US president Ben Harman says, "Our fans expect our fighting games to be fast - whether they're 2D or 3D, and KOF 2006 is not going to disappoint them."
In the past, SNK's reserved the year-numbered titles for updates to its traditional 2D beat-'em-ups, which it continues to re-release on current formats - King of Fighters 2003 on PS2 and Xbox being the most recent example of this in Europe.
However 2006 is going a bit differently, as Maximum Impact's sequel is given top billing while the next 2D effort appears to be King of Fighters: Neowave.
There's no firm UK release date for KoF 2006 or Neowave at this point, but we've asked Ignition, which handles local releases, for an update, so we'll let you know if they get back to us.