Back In 1994, SNK released a beast to the Arcades called King Of Fighters ’94, it would later hit the PS2 and Xbox with its later games, but the King Of Fighter Series is a well known one behind Street Fighter. This time around after a 2 year break away from the fighting game scene, SNK has returned its King of Fighters in  King Of Fighters XII (sorry for the bad pun). I’m going to be honest with you, this is the first King Of Fighters game I have played, EVER. So whatever I may think of this game I hold in my hands is clearly upon first impression. First and foremost, the Pros of this game.

Pros:

Gameplay: I found this pretty interesting, cause if you’ve played Street Fighter, or any previous versions of the King Of Fighter Series you’ll be right at home. For a Newb like me, it took just a little time to pick up some of the movesets and how to string together combos, after all that, I found the game fun to play.

Online: One thing this game does very well, is online. The fact you can have up to 7 other players in a single room for either a team match or a single match is pretty awesome. Your options are pretty open when you create a player match. You can choose your room name, battle type (single/team), Max Players (Up to 8), Friends Slots, Game Mode (Winner Stays/ Loser Stays/ Sparring), Round Time, Language and voice chat. Whew, that’s some bunch of options for you. Rarely will you run into someone who has low ping, unfortunately for me I ran into two straight before I faced someone with decent ping enough for the match not to lag. You also have 3 game types online, the obvious player match and ranked match. King of Fighters XII now features ARCADE Match. Arcade match is pretty much, online Arcade against other people.

Replay System: One thing KOFXII will have over Street Fighter 4’s online system, is their replay system. Everytime you’re in a match, its already being recorded so after you come out of that match you have the option to save that match replay or not. Very smart move by the guys at SNK, I never get asked the question “Do you want to save this replay” from Street Fighter after a championship mode match, so it was a breath of fresh air to see that. You’ll have the options to upload them for the public to see or just keep it to yourself to show friends how bad you beat your opponents butt.

As much as their are Pros, their are CONS, and here they are.

CONS:

Graphics: One thing I noticed, this game has the bad case of pixelated and jagged character. I must point out the backdrop these characters fight on look better than the characters themselves. One other game has actually been able to pull off High Res Characters on a High Res Backdrop…BlazBlue. The only thing that does disappoint here are the character models or sprites, whichever one you want to call them. By The Way, I played this game in 1080p.

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Arcade Mode: Arcade modes of other games usually are at least somewhat exciting if they try to include a storyline with it. One game that did a decent job with that was Street Fighter 4, King Of Fighters Fails there. Being there are no unlockables Arcade mode is a one time play through because going through this mode again would be like slapping yourself across the face. No doubt its a very interesting concept, but its just not worth it for more than one time.

Lack of Unlockables: I mentioned it in the last CON, but I feel I need to re-enforce what I mean. What Street Fighter 4 did with its Arcade mode, was give you something to aim for while playing it. To unlock the impossible almost when it came down to Akuma, Gokuen and SETH (oh how I hate SETH). King of Fighters pretty much comes with EVERYONE unlocked for your use. No alternate attires to unlock, no special mode to unlock, nothing. The ability to unlock something keeps a games lifespan up for a long time, even after the first play-through. This is something I hope they do in the next game (if they make another one).

Overall: This game is fun to play, but graphics and lack there of is holding this game back from a good score. Online is pretty solid, gameplay will make you want to comeback and play this game. Graphically, it could use improvement. The soft filter they have in the game only makes the characters look a bit blurred and lacking the ability to unlock anything kinda blows. If you are a Hardcore King Of Fighters Fan, sure, pick this up. Everyone else, it’s a solid rent, especially if you’re an achievement whore.   I give this a 2 out of 5. [rating: 2/5]

– Norman Rhodes
Norm’s Blog Of Stuff
Founder/Writer/Editor

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