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The King Of Fighters XII

The King Of Fighters XII

The King Of Fighters XII

The King of Fighters XII is the twelfth installment of The King of Fighters series. SNK Playmore announced that it is abandoning the Atomiswave system and is moving its most popular game franchises to the Taito Type X2 arcade system. KOF XII uses newly drawn 2D sprites on 2D backgrounds. Due to the time the developers took to make the sprites, there are 20 playable characters , with an extra two added to the console versions. The game was released in Japan in April 2009 for arcades. Home versions of the title for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 had a worldwide release on July 28 of the same year. Like The King of Fighters '98 and The King of Fighters 2002, this game does not have a storyline; the saga from Ash Crimson that started in The King of Fighters 2003 finishes in The King of Fighters XIII.

The King Of Fighters XII Gameplay

KOF XII uses the usual 3-on-3 team system with each fight consisting of up to five rounds. However, the Tactical Shift System from The King of Fighters 2003 has been removed. KOF XII also introduces the "critical counter" system. During a match, a bar beneath the player's vitality will fill. When it is full and a player lands a close strong punch as a counter, the character enters into a critical counter mode where the player has a short amount of time wherein their character can link multiple attacks together. Once the critical counter's time period has expired the player can finish with a special move. The new "Guard Attack" feature allows a fighter to intercept and hit an incoming opponent's strike damage free (even Desperation Moves can be repelled in this fashion). Finally, there is also a "clash" system in place (called the Sousai or "Deadlock") wherein characters who land blows on one another with matched timing, the engine will generate a 'break' effect and push the characters away from one another into a neutral standing. As it happened with The King of Fighters '98 and The King of Fighters 2002, the game does not contain a storyline, allowing the return of several characters depending on their status in the series. Additionally, there are no official teams, leaving the player to create any team to use. Players can still dash, backstep, and perform rolls as their evade. The Guard Breaks from previous games can now be done at any time.

During the 2009 E3, IGN awarded KOF XII as the best fighting game, noting the new graphics as well as the gameplay. On the other hand, in the Game Critics Awards from the E3 2009, KOF XII lost to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars in the same category. It also won three Best Fighting Game of E3 2009 awards from GameSpot, 1UP.com and GameSpy.

Prior to its release, various video games publications have commented on KOF XII. Ryan Clements from IGN celebrated the new graphics as among the best that a 2D game could have. Although he noted the gameplay to be very similar to previous KOF games, he found satisfying the new game mechanics that allow players to counterattack opponents' combos. 1UP writer Richard Li found the gameplay to be a mix between Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Street Fighter III and The King of Fighters '94. Like Clements, Li found the gameplay similar to previous titles from the series, but noted that SNK added new revisions which make the game to be "a new experience." McKinley Noble from GamePro also liked the game's graphics, but most notably the background scenery of a European villa, which he noted to be a good example of the new design. Although he lamented the removal of various mechanics featured in previous games such as the Tactical Shift System, Noble liked the addition of the new critical counter systems as "split-second timing is a critical key for pulling out a decisive victory." Andy Eddy from Teamxbox.com found the new artsyle to be a bit weird due to the interpretations from various cultures as shown in the backgrounds as well due to the fact they are distracting from the fights. However, he liked the cast of playable character as well as the addition of Elizabeth and Mature to the home versions due their new designs and fighting styles.

Shortly following the release of the game, critical response has mostly been average or mixed. It received a C from 1UP's Richard Li who notes that various parts of the game would induce players to "rage quit" out of their matches. Graphics were commented to be initially good, but later criticized due how different some characters look in this game from previous KOF titles. IGN's Ryan Clements commented that despite graphical overhaul the game was "disappointing". He found the new graphics to be "smoothly animated", but added that the backgrounds are limited. Although Andrew Park from GameSpot praised the redesign from several characters' appearances and gameplay, he still noted that there are better 2D fighting video games due to how several features added in KOF XI were removed from KOF XII and the poor quality from the online mode. GamingAge's Jim Cordeira gave it a C+ commenting "It's a reboot/re-birth alright, albeit a seemingly unfinished one." Although he also added that KOF XII "is a good enough start", he remarked that other fighting games such as Street Fighter IV or BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger were more entertaining.

In the website GameRankings, the PS3 version of KOF XII received a percent of 60.82% based on eleven reviews. The Xbox 360 version was given a percent of 66.13% based on fifteen reviews. Metacritic gave the PS3 game an average of 58 based on ten critics while the Xbox 360 received an average of 63 based on seventeen reviews.

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