PS3 Review – King Of Fighters XII

August 14, 2009 Written by Anthony Severino

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SNK Playmores’s King of Fighter series has been around for quite some time now.  The first game in the series was King of Fighters ’94 which originally released in Arcades and on Neo-Geo.  The game had a release almost every single year up until 2005.  During the four years between 2005 and 2009 SNK has been hard at work on the re-birth of KOF.  King of Fighters XII is the result of that re-birth.  So is KOF still the “King” of fighters?  Or have they dropped from royalty status?

King of Fighters XII was released on July 28, 2009. The game features hand-drawn 2D character sprites and backgrounds, which are very beautifully drawn, but sadly the art does not live up to the HD era. All of the art in KOFXII seems to be of a very low resolution, which makes me think that this game may have been intended for a PS2 release. While the game features a whopping 22 playable characters, this is a big departure from the series. This iteration of KOF does not feature any type of story what so ever, which will drastically lower its replayability. The online play for the game is tremendously broken, even after an almost 800MB patch. In short, King of Fighters XII is a major disappoinment and a very lackluster entry in the series.

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One can’t help but notice all of the “jaggies” that are included with KOFXII, which are especially noticeable when playing on an 50″+ HDTV. I am sure this game would look beautiful on an arcade screen or a standard 36″ non-HDTV, which happens to be what the average family owns today. While the art is low resolution, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still beautiful and diverse. The character sprites look gorgeous when in motion, whether its your sprite running across the screen to kick some ass or kicking said ass. The animation in this game was put together extremely well and SNK deserves some praise for that.

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The gameplay for this game is very simple, yet quite deep. There are only moves dedicated to the face buttons of the controller. Every character in King of Fighters XII has a light punch, heavy punch, light kick and heavy kick, these four attacks make up your absolute basic move set. There are more advanced move sets which require more work to pull off, which helps with the depth of the gameplay. Hitting both light punch and light kick at the same time will make your character take evasive action. Hitting both heavy punch and heavy kick at the same time will make your character perform a throw. King of Fighter fans will feel right at home with the gameplay here, as not much has changed, but there are some additions. There is a Critical Counter system included in this latest edition. Once your gauge is filled, all that is required is to counter with a heavy punch or heavy kick which will activate a special combo state where you may beat the living hell out of your opponent. There is also a Clash system, which comes into play when two characters attack each other at exactly the same time. This will cause them to clash and be knocked back to fighting stance.

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