Real Talk By: KJ
KOF XII defined the phrase bare-boned. There is no point reviewing the title, because it was a glorified demo. As long time fans of the series can agree, we were very disappointed with the last KOF entry. There were 5 stages, a small cast of fighters, no modes, and an online server that was almost unplayable due to its crippling lag. A 60 dollar rush job. Were used to a level of quality from SNK that has been firm for years. We decided to give them another chance. Should you?
Every thing is better in KOF XIII. Arcade mode is back so is Survival, Time Attack, you know modes that have been a part of fighting games for years. Trial modes are here, similar to the ones implemented in SF4. It’s a constant grind to improve your personal abilities at KOF. Now there is Story mode. The main narrative centers around Ash Crimson. I’m not the biggest fan of Ash, but it’s still good to see a story of some sort implemented because other than KOF XII, the other titles have done well in this department. The Orochi Saga is an interesting tale. Its set up is very similar to Blazblue’s campaign. Paths will branch off and choices will have to be made. One SNK constant is the ending point. The boss battle. Whether the player is in story or arcade, the ending will surely piss off the casual and even most hardcore fans. This cheap goon you’ll face at the end: Saiki, will frustrate and piss you off.
As far as the online goes, there’s no more lobbies so it’s strictly a one on one affair. It does run smooth, but it’s too bad about the spectator mode’s absence. A lot of the fun can really come from just playing with your amigos. While doing so, KOF vets are really going to appreciate this title. Some of the gorgeous stages pay tribute to the past, and all the levels are well done. SNK hooked it up this time in that regard, the same can be said about the characters and the stage music. The art style truly dazzles in HD. The stage music sounds old school but new. You can switch the music over to retro as well. This game gets a lot of things right. The re-inclusion of Maxima, K’, and yes Mai is back. Pervs. Play through the game to unlock color swaps. Normally this kind of thing isn’t worth mentioning, but SNK Playmore made it so you can colorize every single part of a character, even the bottom of Terry’s Shoes.
As a package The King of Fighters XIII is a day and night improvement over the embarrassment of XII. Not only is this a complete game for Hardcore and casual gamers alike, Its worth the $49.99 admission price. Amazing 2D visuals, and finely tweaked game-play makes for a fighter’s dream. Next time SNK, bring in the spectator mode and Make the damn boss balanced.
The King of Fighters XIII gets MF MF MF MF out of five
+Tons of modes
+Lots of characters
-No spectator mode
-Boss battle is more painful than Seth and Gill combined