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The King Of Fighters XIII

The King Of Fighters XIII

The King Of Fighters XIII

The King of Fighters XIII is a fighting game in the The King of Fighters series, developed and published by SNK Playmore originally in 2010. King of Fighters XIII was released for Japanese arcades on July 14, 2010, while ports for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were during late 2011 in Japan and English regions, with Atlus and Rising Star Games being in charge of releasing them in the United States and Europe respectively. Mobile versions for the iOS and Android operating systems followed in 2011-2012. A PC version was released on Steam on September 13, 2013.

Released after The King of Fighters XII, the game was directed by Kei Yamamoto who wanted to bring elements from prior The King of Fighters titles and fix issues from the prior game. This title significantly modifies the gameplay from its predecessor, removing some modes, and adding ones formerly used in the series. It also expands the character roster, re-grouping the playable characters into three-member teams as in the prior installments. The ports are notable for including more content than the original version such as new characters, stages and game modes.

The game is set after the events from The King of Fighters XI and is also the conclusion of Ash Crimson's story arc, which started in The King of Fighters 2003. It follows another King of Fighters tournament secretly hosted by Those From the Distance Land, the organization behind the events from the two prior games that are trying to break the seal of the demon Orochi and take its power.

Critical reception has been positive and the game has either won or been nominated to multiple Game of the Year type awards.

The King Of Fighters XIII Plot

The game takes place after The King of Fighters XI and is the last game of the third story arc that started in The King of Fighters 2003. The fighter Ash Crimson has absorbed the powers from two of the descendants of the clans who sealed the Orochi away 1,800 years ago, Chizuru Kagura and Iori Yagami, while Kyo Kusanagi is to be his last victim. As his former comrade, Elisabeth Blanctorche, prepares to stop him, fighters receive an invitation to another King of Fighters tournament hosted by a person labelled as "R". The tournament is sponsored by Rose who is being controlled by "Those From The Past", the organization behind the two prior tournaments that has been trying to break Orochi's seal.

When the winning team reaches the game's end, Saiki, the leader of "Those From The Past" puts his work into motion. Saiki intends to use the energy expended by the winning team to enable him to cross time. However, as the fight rages, Botan notes that the gate that links them to the past is starting to close despite the battle. Before Saiki can act, he is ambushed by Ash Crimson, who steals his power. It is revealed then that, while Ash was enlisted by Saiki to obtain the Three Sacred Treasures to power the time gate, Ash had no intention of helping Saiki. Ash is suddenly overtaken by Saiki's persona, who then attempts to cross the time gate in Ash's body. The winning team pursues him into the time gate and the final battle of The King of Fighters XIII begins inside the time gate. Saiki is defeated in the gate but persists on crossing over to the past, believing it means nothing since he can return to the past and then cross the gate again to attempt his plan anew. However, Ash halts his attempt and allows the gate to close, leaving Saiki trapped in the present. Furthermore, Ash reveals that he is a descendant of Saiki. By locking Saiki out of the gate, he denies Saiki's existence in the past and forces his own existence to cease. As Ash vanishes from the living world, the flow of time resumes.

The King Of Fighters XIII Gameplay

The game removes some of the gameplay system features used in the prior game: the Guard Attack, the Critical Counter, the Clash System, as well as the dynamic, zooming camera. In their place, three new features have been added. The first of the three is the new EX Mode, which convert each character's super moves into more powerful versions that allows one bar from the player's power gauge for EX Special Moves and two bars from the player's power gauge for EX Super Special Moves. Another new feature is the Hyper Drive mode, which gives the player unlimited use of Drive Cancels for a while once the Hyper Drive Gauge has been maxed, and the last new feature confirmed for the game is the Drive Cancel, which opens up new combo possibilities. The game also marks the return of the multi-bar power gauge that was introduced in The King of Fighters '97. In addition to standard and EX Desperation Moves, a new class of Desperation Move called Neo Max is included in the game and require that three stocks of gauge be exchanged to perform one, making it similar to Hidden Super Desperation Moves from The King of Fighters 2002 and Leader Super Special Moves from The King of Fighters 2003. These can also be cancelled from standard Desperation Moves, making them similar to the Dream Cancels from The King of Fighters XI.

The console version is based on the 1.1 update of The King of Fighters XIII arcade which fixed several issues from the original version. It also contains a story mode that influenced by the player's actions with various perspectives being available. The mode is presented in visual novel style alongside fights, something considered to be hard to include in the arcade version by the SNK Playmore staff. Other modes shown are Arcade, Practice and Challenge. The online gameplay is based on the one included in later versions of The King of Fighters XII, which fixed the issues the initial one had.

Reception
Following its release, The King of Fighters XIII received positive reviews, taking an average of 81% and 79% for both console versions in GameRankings and a 79 in Metacritic. GameSpot awarded it as Best Fighting Game of the Year and as the Most Improved Sequel. It was also nominated for 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, 2011 Golden Joystick Awards and Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences's 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit awards for the best fighting game of the year, but every time lost to Mortal Kombat.

The gameplay was given major praise with critics from GameSpot and 1UP.com comparing it with critically acclaimed fighting games like Street Fighter IV and finding the execution satisfying despite possible difficulties to newcomers to the franchise. The visual presentation was complimented to the point GamePro stated that the game "has an incredibly distinct – and incredibly beautiful – visual style to it." SNK Playmore was noted to have listened to all the fans' concerns regarding the game as the character roster was increased, with the notable return of fan favorite characters. On the other hand, the game has received criticism as a result of the its story mode which is nearly inaccessible to those unfamiliar with the series as well as its use of illustration alongside large paragraphs telling the plot. Similar comments were given to the online modes as it lacked options to allow players to watch other online fights.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game sold 21,525 copies in Japan during its first week of release. At the game's (and the series') Evolution Championship Series debut in 2012, it became the second-most-watched game of the series at over 90,000 consecutive viewers, thanks to a highly competitive tournament. In 2012, Complex ranked it as the third best SNK fighting game ever made, also calling it "one of this generation’s finest fighters."


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