Archive for category King of Fighters XII

King of Fighters XII Review

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Pros

  • Beautiful HD hand drawn art: This isn’t 3D models with stylized cartoon rendering, this is authentic classically animated 2D art and animation. 2D art used to be the norm, and it was always limited by the 2D sprite processing technology of the time. Now, new games use 3D modeling, which is for the best overall, but it is amazing to see a new full production game done with hand-drawn 2D art that takes advantage of recent high-definition capable hardware power.
  • Excellent Animation: The animation is simply gorgeous. All the animations and transitions are done with large numbers of hand-drawn animation frames and it shows. That is a very labor intensive process, which is why most games have much less animation frames, and more jerky animation. When comparing this, to something like Marvel vs Capcom 2, the difference is striking. (I know that is an older game, and not the most fair comparison).
  • Core Fighting Engine: The action mechanics, the controls, the special attacks, the power meter, and the combo/chaining system are all very polished. The King of Fighters series has long been a fan favorite for long-term strategic competitive play, and this doesn’t disappoint.
  • New User Accessibility: The controls are easier to use and it’s much easier to get into than many other recent big fighters.
  • Online Play: (with recent 1.02 patch) I was prepared for the worst, but my play experiences were very smooth and had no noticeable lag. For a novice player like myself, the matchmaking was sufficient, and I had no problems finding online games. While, spectating, I had horribly laggy experiences, which was annoying, but it was just spectating.
  • Extras: Very thorough and fun trophy system, free XMB theme on the disc.

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Cons

  • Bare Bones Product: While other fighters of recent years have thrown in tons and tons of special modes, special training features, elaborate single player campaigns, hundreds of multiplayer options, hyper polished menu systems, and bonus fan content, this is a disappointingly bare bones affair. For a full-priced 2009 release, this is simply behind the times. There simply are not a lot of modes or extras and the core content is very minimalist. The single player has no real story and is extremely simple. I actually beat it on my first try without using continues (admittedly on Simple control mode). The interface screens are also extremely minimal, unattractive, and confusing to navigate through.
  • Less fighters and stages: There are twenty two playable characters, which is low by KoF standards, but perfectly fine compared with other fighters. It’s also generous given that SNK reportedly spent as much as a year and a half for a team of ten animators to finish a single fighter. There are also only five stages, which is definitely too few.

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Summary

King of Fighters is one of the most popular fighting series, and with this release, they’re finally giving fans full HD artwork, a major improvement to the animation, a polished fighting engine, and Internet multiplayer. There is a disappointing lack of polish that can be found in other recent fighting games, but this is overall an excellent fighting game, and is obviously much better than the wave of ported back-catalog 2D fighters on PSN.

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of King of Fighters XII provided by SNK Playmore.

3 Comments

New King of Fighters XII Video

It’s amazing how fluid the motion is in this game. I hope there is a demo I’d like to try it out.

King of Fighters XII punches through with a new video

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King of Fighters XII & BlazBlue

Fans of 2D fighters are about to get their fill from two big production titles that have been in a long development cycle and are finally set to ship this summer:

  • King Of Fighters XII This is the first current-gen console fighter from SNK. The developers are aiming to make this the ultimate 2D fighting game. As opposed to more common place cel shading technology, KoF XII is using completely 100% hand-drawn artwork and animation.
  • BlazBlue This is the spiritual successor to the Guilty Gear series. While they have shipped several Guilty Gear up-port releases, this is their first game that is fully designed from the ground up for current-gen HD systems.

Both of these games take the competitive one-on-one fighting genre very seriously and these should be very well crafted titles.

Custom KoF Fighting Sticks

There are two new sticks for KoF XII. They are PS3 exclusive and Japan only however they are regular USB and should be import-friendly. One is a six-button layout stick with custom KoF artwork and other is a four-button SNK black stick with no flashy artwork. KoF is designed for the four-button layout.

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King of Fighters XII

SNK is releasing the new version of one of their big fighting franchises to the PS3 this summer.

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This game is 100% hand-drawn HD 2D graphics. That is a real rarity these days.

Personally, I’d rather see a new high-quality 2D HD treatment of the Samurai Shodown series, but KoF is a highly respected series on its own.

Will this stand up to SFIV or Tekken 6?

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