Get ready for a thrashing in King of Fighters 15th Anniversary
King of Fighters XII has finally arrived onto next gen consoles. With the likes of Street Fighter IV setting a benchmark in the series, I bet your wondering what makes KOF XII a contender. Among updated sprites and backgrounds, it just might be worth a look.
Let me start by saying developers SNK Playmore have used newly drawn sprites with a touch of soft shaded shadows in KOF XII, more suited towards a HD audience. Due to development time there are only 20 playable characters, which happen to be the lowest number of characters seen in the series.
Animations transit smoothly between frames, a credit to this would be Kim’s beautifully flowing Taekwondo outfit. While observing the backgrounds of each match I couldn’t help but notice how they look smoother and more polished in comparison to the characters.
There isn’t a huge selection of backgrounds but they provide an exhilarating atmosphere none the less. However, in comparison to more recent fighters, KOF XII is definitely lacking a few modes.
For one there is only an arcade and multiplayer mode, no sign of a story mode or even a survival mode in fact. Sticking to the usual formula of three on three action, arcade mode lasts 6 stages. While this doesn’t sound that long it can still be entertaining trying to beat your last rank.
Online is a bit of a hit and miss situation…literally. You’ll find that the lag takes away a lot of the fun. By the time you land two punches your opponent would have pulled off a massive combo and vice versa. For the trophy hunter this will be disappointing as there are so many online trophies to be unlocked in this shoddy multiplayer.
A new addition to the KOF engine is the critical counter system. You can build up the critical counter gauge during a fight and execute it whenever it’s full by countering someone and hailing down a storm of combos. It definitely proves to be useful if you use your survival instincts.
This is not the rebirth or reaction fans have been waiting for
The lack of incentive to continue is so untrue. With the only unlockable within the game being a gallery of photos there isn’t much replay value here. At the very least they should have made the two new additions to the roster Elizabeth and Mature unlockable.
One thing any newbie to the series is sure to find annoying is to discover there is no button command list in the practice mode. It can only be viewed within the arcade and versus mode. Another annoying factor is the shortage of options at the character select screen, especially the option to return to the main menu. I found that the only way you can return to the main menu was by pressing start during a match. The alternative being to quit the game and load it back up.
While the core gameplay remains the same, it’s problems like a shoddy multiplayer experience and mode limitations that makes KOF XII an outdated but fun experience. This is not the rebirth or reaction fans have been waiting for. The fact that Capcom has revitalized Street Fighter IV on next gen consoles in so many ways, shining like a diamond in a bottomless pit compared to KOF XII, I can only imagine that the hardcore fans will be purchasing this.
The Bad: • Sloppy multiplayer experience ; • Fewer characters in this entry, two new characters make no exception; • A shortage of modes both offline and online;