Return to its roots, that is. King of Fighters XII abandons the 3D style of Maximum Impact and KoF 2003 in favor of the 2D sprites of its predecessors.
However, don't let that fool you! SNK isn't being lazy and just recycling old sprites like the Street Fighter Alpha series and several of Capcom's spin-off games of the time. The new Sprites are beautifully fluid and well detailed while retaining the visual spirit of the classic KoF games.
Gameplay is for the most part unchanged from previous games, but in all the right ways. Similar to what Capcom figured out with Street Fighter IV, SNK figured out that sequels should have the classic fast-paced 2D gameplay with only Graphical updates and limited bells and whistles, and that this style is vastly preferred by Old-School Fighter Gamers leagues above the side-stepping 3D Tekken clones. The new Clash system is a great example of an update in gameplay that is just new enough without changing the soul of the game. Essentially, when both fighters attack at the exact same time in the same basic location (e.g. - high, low, or airborne), the attacks cause a "Clash" where both attacks are negated, and instead both fighters are repelled accompanied by a burst effect on screen (Dragonball, anyone?).
The part of the game that is perhaps my favorite feature is nothing revolutionary at all, but simply a well executed logical next step for the KoF saga: Fast and Furious Online Play. Matches are quickly found, paired and started. The only downside is a flaw shared with all online fighters including Soul Calibur IV and Street Fighter IV: if your opponent has a poor internet connection, your game is slowed as well. But again, that should not be held against the game as much as X-Box Live and the Playstation network.
Overall, the game is superb. If you are familiar with amazing SNK fighters like King of Fighters, Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, etc., then you will LOVE KoF XII. Even if you are new to SNK, give it a rental and enjoy.
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
Although a long existing series, King of Fighters XII is simply a game with great graphics and gameplay, but lacks in other departments.
The character roster is only 22 characters, which is small for a KOF game, but is a solid amount compared to other fighters with less. Although popular characters are missiong, like Mai, K', Yuri, etc., it's roster is still plentiful.
The gameplay itself is solid and does require some skill, but according the moves list (not in the book, but in the pause menu), everybody has fewer moves than usual, and only one super. Although disappointing to many, it is a solid fighter that is fun to play and is deep in the mechanics.
The thing that is really lacking is the levels. Although it has nothing to do with gameplay, there are only 6 levels, and 2 are a day/nigh difference. Artistically well done, but it is very lack luster.
Because of the lack of levels, you also only get 5 stages in Arcade mode. Also, arcade mode is simply a time attack mode with no story line for the characters or a boss battle at the end. Not really something to get into multiple times.
I will admit to not playing the online feature, but many say it has the simple modes that anybody can play. However, it's also noted that it may be very laggy.
The game could have been much better, but it's still a solid game to play. If you are a KOF fan and had high expectations, this may not attract you at all. But if you like fighting games simply because of the gameplay, then get it when the price drops to under $40.
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
well in all the kof games i have played this one has better graphics and background music just there is no story line in this one which is sad. Whats the point of making a brand new kof with new characters, and it has no story line, what happen to some characters and where the new ones come from, besides all that the game is awsome, better combo and im digging the counter combos alot, so i gave it an 8.