Hardcore beat em up for the hardcore gamer
When I received this game, I was expecting another typical ‘Beat ’em up’ game in the style of tekken, mortal combat or street fighter, but upon my first play I realised that It was subtly different and a lot harder. The game is clearly intended for ‘hardcore’ gamers, who are extremely skilled at this type of game.
King of fighters XI has several modes that you can choose from, including arcade play, single player, story, challenger, and practice modes. The game allows players to choose their characters from a list of 47, which are already split into teams of 3, but can be mixed and matched if you so choose. Arcade mode allows you to choose 3 characters (which you control 1 at a time) and battle other teams until you complete the game or are beaten yourself. Story mode is similar to this but allows you to continue with a chosen handicap on the CPU. Single player mode is the most similar element in the game to other fighting games, allowing the player to choose a single character to fight CPU controlled fighters in a best of 3 match. Challenge mode is similar to this but does not follow a set story and practice mode allows you to practice your skills on a CPU controlled opponent without dying. All of these modes allow a second player to join at any time by pressing the start button.
this game will provide fun and entertainment for the more serious and experienced ‘beat ’em up’ gamer
The game play is relatively simple, with the analogue stick or D-pad controlling movement and the other buttons being used for different attacks which are defined by what team the character was set into on the menu (I.E. boxing teams, karate teams etc?). Most of the special moves seemed to me to be almost impossible to pull off, with the occasional successful combo. The problem with this is that after the third or fourth level, the opponents constantly use powerful combos and special moves, meaning that they are extremely hard to beat using normal moves. This meant that I got completely stuck on one of the earliest levels in the game, and became extremely frustrated at the impossibility of winning matches.
As I previously mentioned, King of Fighters XI boasts 47 characters, each with their own unique abilities. The main problem with this is that some characters have extremely powerful attacks, while others have attacks which are either much weaker, or much harder to use. No indication of power or styles is given on the selection screen, meaning that you could end up choosing a bald man who throws what appears to be burning tissues at the floor just in front of his feet, or you could end up with a kung fu expert who can grind opponents into the ground with a few moves.
The graphics seem very primitive for this genre after playing games such as Dead or alive and tekken 5, consisting of uninteresting, 2D characters who spend most of the time standing in the same place, and simple backdrops, reminding me of the early street fighter games. In 1995, this would be acceptable, but in 2007, it cannot compete with the graphics of other fighting games in any way.
In summary, this game will provide fun and entertainment for the more serious and experienced ‘beat ’em up’ gamer, but will most likely just provide frustration for the rest of us. It uses an intuitive style of 3 man teams, but is still created in tag team style, which means that you will still spend all of the matches fighting one on one, but both teams have backup. The graphics are bland and uninteresting, and cannot stand up to those of other ps2 games in this decade. If you fancy a challenge, or are used to the other KOF games, this game is for you, but if you want a regular, button bashing fighter game, this isn’t it.
The Bad: gets extremely hard after a certain point, no indication of which characters have which abilities, hard combos for special moves, primitive 2D graphics