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Game Review: King of Fighters XII

By Donnambr @_mrs_b
About King of Fighters XII (2009)King of Fighters XII
Gaming’s most revered 3-on-3 fighting franchise celebrates its 15th anniversary with its most ambitious entry to date: The King of Fighter XII. Gathering over 22 beautifully hand-drawn 2D characters from SNK storied arcade history, the King of Fighters XII promises to live up to the expectations of next-gen console owners with compelling gameplay, high resolution graphics and best of all…intense combat!

 

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Review: King of Fighters XII (PS3) 

The latest installment of King of Fighters comes in honor of the series’ 15th birthday and has already divided the critics. Entering the competitive market of fighting games, King of Fighters XII proves to be both rewarding and at times frustrating.

There is no story or background to King of Fighters; this is purely about the combat. Teams of 3 characters compete in a tournament of five matches for the prestige and honor of being the ultimate fighter. Each match is very much a test of endurance. For your trio of characters you will need to establish a fighting order at the beginning of each match with the first character having to defeat three opponents in turn. Should your first character be knocked out, the second enters the fray and so on until three members from one team have all been defeated. While your fighting prowess is put to the test so too is the speed at which you complete matches. The successful completion of a tournament heralds an overall time and it is this that you will be constantly striving to improve on.

The 22 characters in King of Fighters XII have access to their own unique moves, such as using electricity or creating small explosions, but are united in their individual arrogance, resorting to condescending dialog directed at their meagre opponents following the conclusion of each bout. In battle each character has access to basic punches and kicks but you will need to perform a series of functions on the controller to execute more complex actions. Details of such moves are available via a menu that can be accessed mid-battle, allowing the most eager gamers the ideal opportunity to master everything. During each fight both opposing characters have a gauge that gradually fills whenever you land a successful blow. Once the gauge is full you can perform your character’s special move, dealing heavy damage to your opponent as you launch swift counter attacks that hand you the initiative.

Aside from the main tournament, King of Fighters XII includes a Vs mode where you can customize your own battles be they 1 on 1 or the standard 3 on 3 team battles. There are 6 venues available for the fights including China, Russia, France and Egypt. The backdrops are detailed and colourful but with the fights so fast-paced you will have little time to appreciate them. There is also a practice mode available in the game for those that want to master all the moves, but I found resorting to my usual hitting all the buttons randomly led to some surprisingly successful fights, so this game is certainly accessible to a wide audience.

There are some disappointing aspects to King of Fighters XII. The tournament mode though fun is unfortunately brief and will not take long to complete. The inclusion of individual stories for the characters would have made it more worthwhile to keep returning to this mode. The six venues on offer all look terrific but it is a shame there are not more available. As with most fighting games, King of Fighters XII finds its strength in the two-player mode pitching you against friends and family. With 22 characters available there is plenty on offer to make this sustainable.

King of Fighters XII is a fast, action-packed fighting game with surprisingly detailed 2D characters, lavish backgrounds and addictive gameplay. A longer, more involving tournament mode could have enhanced the experience, but what’s on offer shows potential for a terrific follow-up.

Verdict: 3/5

Game Review: King of Fighters XII | Thank you for reading Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dave

Game Review: King of Fighters XII Game Review: King of Fighters XII Game Review: King of Fighters XII Game Review: King of Fighters XII Game Review: King of Fighters XII Game Review: King of Fighters XII

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