King of Fighters iPhone Review

Real Talk By: J.Valdez
When I first picked up this game I expected it to be bad…I don’t really like fighting games and the controls don’t always work on touch screens. However, let me tell you about how this game overcame all of my bad prejudices and is now sitting in my favorite games folder. .. Starting out, I changed the level to easy, because like I said, I don’t like fighting games, and I usually just get my ass kicked. Then after about 10 minutes of me easily kicking ass, I decided to “challenge” myself and play on normal. After that got easy I stepped it up and started on hard. That’s when I was really able to polish my skills, I went from quick and easy combos to actually strategizing how to fight each opponent. On hard one thing I noticed is that your opponent starts blocking almost everything you throw at them (including your super special awesome attacks). As if that’s not bad enough they spam attacks, which gets really annoying. It actually feels like a pretty cheap AI…
The graphics look great, being 2D, I didn’t think it would look too great, but the detail in the levels and characters along with the flashy and great looking attacks are just amazing to look at. Sound is also top-notch, all the effects and grunts are timed perfectly.
Many great ways to play, you can do 1 character or play in teams of 3. I find teams to be easier since the last boss doesn’t get a team, but when playing the last boss on hard with no teams, I tend to get my ass kicked across the level. There’s training, which I actually used in a fighting game, there I was able to sharpen my skills enough to at least stand my ground a bit longer than usual.
A great to play in is endless, see how far you can get with just one life, I thought that was really cool for a fighting game. There is local (Bluetooth) and WiFi multiplayer so you can play with your friends. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play multiplayer, but I’m sure I would’ve kicked some ass.
Controls are also easy to use, you have the original layout or the “easy” layout where your specials can all be done with one button. The virtual analog stick is also decently accurate, there were times where it didn’t register a diagonal movement (for combos) but that may have just been a user error (I’m terrible with combos, not the games fault). There are collectibles that you can get or buy during the game. You earn money after every fight, depending on the level you’re fighting and whether you win or lose. You can use the money to buy trading cards that you can actually trade with other players. There’s also some really cool artwork available. And you have the option to save and replay battles that you can share with others.
Some little things I noticed that were really cool is that achievements don’t show up until after you’re done playing a tournament. That way they don’t interrupt your gameplay. I’ve hit many achievement icons by accident before, and it can sometimes disrupt your game, which of course is really annoying. Gamecenter is whats used for achievements, leaderboards, and multiplayer.
Overall, this game is a must get, it’s very fun, I’ve been playing it for the past week or so almost non stop. This week two angry birds games have been updated and I haven’t even touched them because I’ve been playing this. That’s saying a lot right there.
King of Fighters-i Gets


4.5 out of 5

What’s Legit?
+The game is great in almost every aspect

+Visuals stand out

What’s Perpetrating?
-The AI blocks way too much on hard mode and spams attacks

One thought on “King of Fighters iPhone Review

  1. Great review! I’m also enjoying the game

    However note that if the AI appears to spam attacks it’s usually more of an indication of a hole in the players’ strategy. I’ve been listening to a great podcast by a fighting game pro, Juicebox, and he describes the way an airtight strategy works in a fighting game.

    Sometimes the distance between players means one will lose ground by moving, but can force the other player to move instead by repeating a particular move. If the player that would lose the advantage did *not* repeat that move, they could be destroyed easily by the idle player. Therefore an AI designed to face people that are at this level of skill will not give up its position, and will appear to “spam”. Usually when the spam begins it means you are in a position where you could easily gain a significant advantage.

    If you learn these you will find the AI doesn’t spam at all because it will be too busy adapting to your strategy/positioning.

    Also, I didn’t find the AI’s defence to be too annoying: its basically training so we the players learn how to properly take advantage of any opening. Just attacking the AI when theres no opening rsults in a block, so you as the player knows that such an attack was not well-advised. However if you properly bait the opponent and counter-attack, or read its moves and interrupt them, the AI cannot block and will in fact lose more life. At the moment I can get to the last boss easily on very hard (but the last boss beats me silly) scoring many perfects along the way because I can call the moves the AI will perform and can counter/interrupt with accuracy due to the simple controls meaning I never have to worry about moves not coming out. And Im not very good at fighting games.

    Just thought to mention that “AI spams attacks and blocks a lot” is not neccesarily a bad thing- its just a stepping stone to deeper understanding of the game. I wish they included tutorials for these things, Juicebox’s podcast is recommended listening for anyone who wants to understand the hype about fighting games, and why a series like KOF can exist for 17 years with minimal changes.


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