Gendo – The King of Fighters 2009August 4, 2009
Well I was contemplating what to do for my first post here and many different topics have been swimming around in my head the past few days, but some of those can wait for future blog posts. The one that’s been on the forefront of my mind for the past couple days has been The King of Fighters XII. So I present to you a short review of The King of Fighters XII, for the PS3 and 360.
My history with The King of Fighters series is pretty short but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played. Way back in the day I was entranced by Street Fighter and I really couldn’t get enough of it. Street Fighter Alpha 3 is in my opinion the pinnacle of the series so far, and once Street Fighter III came out I was a little dissappointed with where the series was going. Some time after I discovered CAPCOM vs. SNK 2 and I fell in love with the series all over again. However there were all these SNK characters, a lot I had never heard of. I quickly grabbed onto some and started to get a feel for them. This led into myself and a friend of mine checking of The King of Fighters series. We’ve played 2002, 2003 and XI now, and I’d like to go back and play more, but for now we’ll talk about The King of Fighters XII.
How do you review a fighting game? This is a really trickly subject nowadays, because at its core KOF XII is a fantastic fighter. It’s balanced (what does that even mean anymore?) and even fun for beginners because of the “SIMPLE” fight style that allows for special moves to be performed at the push of a button instead of a series of commands. Very “pick up and play”, and a lot of fun when you get a group of friends together to play. But is that all you can ask of from a fighting game in 2009?
When you look at games like BlazBlue and Street Fighter 4 they have much more depth, with extra modes and story. Especially BlazBlue in the story department. So does KOF XII need this to also be considered great? A lot of reviews I’ve read say yes, and with the competition offering so much more we need a little more to make that 70 dollars worth our time. Sadly KOF XII doesn’t have any story and the Arcade mode is just a Time Trial of 5 fights and then its over. So if you look at KOF XII’s core, its an awesome fighter. When you look at it as a whole, its missing a lot of essential parts. Even some of the characters seem a little neglected as some might have three Super Moves, and others like Terry only have one! Seems a little suspect, so I’m not exactly sure what SNK was going for here.
On the presentation side KOF XII gets an A+. The graphics are stunning, especially in 1080p, the sprites and backgrounds are all 100% hand drawn and man does it ever show. 2D still has a place in this crazy gaming world of ours, and I really hope more companies dabble in 2D. Music and Sound FXs are pretty standard stuff though the English dub is pretty rancid. Plus if you play it in English you won’t get the full charm of series stalwart Terry “Rising Taco” Bogard.
Finally I guess we do need to touch on the online play. Of course, again in 2009 we expect our fighting games to come with a meaty online mode so we can relive those days in front of the arcade watching some guy whoop everyones ass with the “Winner Stays” rule always in effect. KOF XII’s online so far has been a bit dissappointing because of some lag issues. Unless you have full bars and your opponent has full bars you’re gonna be having some lag and that is never fun. SNK and Ignition Entertainment are hard at work trying to resolve this, so let’s pray the patch fixes things up for us. Other than that I have no qualms with the online mode. It does what it needs to do!
All in all I’ve been having fun with The King of Fighters XII. Yes its a little pricey to be asking 70 dollars for a game that doesn’t seem like its finished, so that’s why for anyone else I’d say wait until the price drops a bit. Great groundwork SNK, but lets see you blow everyone away with The King of Fighters XIII. I give The King of Fighters XII a 7/10 (0 being vomit-inducing, 10 being awesometastic and 5 being Halo).