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The King of Fighters XIII [PS3]





King Of Fighters XIII for the K.O.!

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Highly addictive"

Summary

I picked up my pre-order at GameStop this morning alongside my four disk soundtrack. I can't review this game without mentioning kof xii, I did not hate the twelfth installment in the franchise but if you played it, then you'll know what I mean when I say it felt like an expensive demo. King of Fighters XIII knocks out its' predecessor in every way!

Content (5/5)
This game has so much more content than the previous one. Several game modes to choose from: Tutorial, arcade, story, versus, practice, network, replay, gallery, mission, and customize. Most of these features were missing from the previous installment, including arcade mode which is a strange exclusion from a fighting game. This also has more than fifteen stages, which was a much needed improvement. The four disk soundtrack with music from kof 94'- kof xiii was just the cherry on top.

Story (4/5)
In my opinion this is the least important part of a fighting game. From what I gather this takes place after kof xi.

Graphics (5/5)
Starting with the epic opening scene and displayed in up to 1080p it looks simply beautiful! Over 30 hand drawn characters, all of them look very unique and are very detailed, with only slight pixilation in some of the sprites motions. I'm not sure if the backgrounds are hand drawn but they look amazing, off the top of my head... I couldn't stop staring at the stage with all the elephants in the background must see to appreciate.

Sound Effects and BGM (5/5)
High quality original music, can't say much here kof has never disappointed in this department. You can choose from two setting in the music section, from what I gather one is kof xiii music and the other is randomized music from various kof games.

Game play (5/5)
The game play is solid as always, this is the strength of the kof series. I'm going to focus on "Arcade mode" which is the one I spent most my time on so far. My opponents never felt overly cheap, the A.I. was challenging but satisfying to compete against. Difficulty is well balanced on all five settings.

Controls (5/5)
I had no problem pulling off some special moves and short combos without looking at a move list. Overall most of the moves are instantly familiar if you played kof in the past or even fighting games in general. If you have a choice I do recommend the use of a decent arcade stick for extended play sessions.

Replay value (5/5)
The extensive game modes will keep you busy for a while. I can't stop customizing characters; it's a fun little feature. You can customize every character up to five separate times, not to mention the custom colors that are already pre-made. The online experience will ultimately extend the life of the game. I spent about 2 hours getting by behind handed to me over the network, the connection with other players was a lot better than I expected, I only had two or three sluggish connections in a 2 hour period. The improvements of this feature are like night and day over kof xii.

Minor Imperfections:
Three small things I do want to mention: Vibration on the duel shock 3 is poorly utilized so far, it would have been nice if this feature was better supported during game play. Also there is beautiful animation and cut scenes during the arcade mode which lack voice acting. The other small complaint I have is the omission of "Dynamic" zoom in and out of camera perspective, its still there but not during actual game play. This makes some of the sprites seem thin. All of these are just small things I noticed, not a big deal.

General View (5/5)
I know I'm going to spend endless hours playing online and trying to achieve gold and platinum trophies. I'm glad SNK did proper justice to this installment, the arcade port out does the previous one in every way. My pre-order choice was very wise and I encourage others to pick up this game, it is worth every penny to own even without the soundtrack, it's a great alternative to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and it's an awesome game for your library. King of Fighters is back baby!!!





KOF 13 righted the many wrongs of KOF 12. If you like fighting games you should give this a try. KING ME PLEASE!

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Revolutionary"

Summary

KOF 12 left a really bad taste in a lot of peoples' mouths. The game was beautiful; but lacked many things that made KOF an icon. KOF 12 lacked a large character roster. Some people even came up with a silly phrase called "NO MAI NO BUY!". The number of characters didn't even go beyond twenty.

The number of game modes were severely lacking. You only had an arcade, time attack, and online mode. The game has no ash story arc and no overpowered boss. The game seemed to be centered more around the online mode. Especially since clans could be formed and I think six people could play together at the same time. However, the online mode suffered from input lag. And to make matters worse the problem wasn't really fixed or improved through patches until it was too little too late.

KOF 13 started off as an arcade game that could be played at arcades. Due to the messy state SNK is in people were worried about the game not making its way to console systems. But, with the help of Atlus SNK was able to make those SNK fans' dream a reality. How did KOF 13 make the wrongs of KOF 12 nothing more than a memory? Let's review.


Graphics/Animation:

The characters and the backgrounds are colorful, vivid, and beautiful. The animation was also very impressive. When you look at this game you can tell SNK put a lot of care in the detail and design. They practically redrew the sprites and redid a lot of things in order to make the game move faster. For instance, they made the sprites smaller to help smooth out the character sprites. It was said that a few pixels are present; however when something is being done by hand perfection is difficult.


Story:

Yes! This game has a story mode. This game finally brings the Ash story arc to a close. The story mode isn't like the typical fighter. Most fighters usually just have a beginning, middle, and ending cutscene. However, this game has a story mode that goes beyond that. There are choices you have to make and those decisions will determine how the story will unfold. So playing this game more than once is highly recommended. The story mode probably doesn't branch out as much as Blazblue; however there is a very good reason for that....cheap bosses. There are a lot of nice cutscenes; however there is no voice acting or a lot of movement. The text moves a little too fast as well. These problems are only minor; because the story mode feels more like a visual novel of sorts.

SNK is well known for making bosses extremely cheap. If you lose in story mode; then you will get a bad ending. So you want to stay on your toes. The story mode is relatively short, so catching up will not be difficult.


Additions That Filled the Void:

Like I said before KOF 12 lacked a lot of things. This game pretty much addressed the serious issues that costed KOF 12 its crown.

+Story Mode
+More Characters
+More Stages
+Solid Practice Mode
+Custom Character Color Edits
+Mission/Trial Mode
+Gallery Mode
+Functional Online Play
+Replay Mode
+Can Select Between KOF 13 or Arranged Soundtracks

Just so you know the option to choose between the official KOF 13 soundtracks and selected arranged soundtracks from previous titles is a really nice touch. The music score is remarkable.

The Mission mode is a great mode; because it will help you get used to the timing of this game. The timing is a bit more strict than Street Fighter; however after a couple sessions in this mode it will not be as difficult. Especially, since a lot of the movements for specials are similar to other 2D fighters.

The online mode plays wonderfully; however it does take some time to find people who have a decent connection. And when you do playing it is down right glorious. I like how you have the option to practice until someone joins your match. The replay mode isn't as good as a few other fighters, and the online mode lacks a lobby that goes beyond 2 players. Spectator mode really isn't a problem; because the game lacks a lobby that supports more than 2 players. So, saying that the game lacks a spectator mode is pretty much a pointless statement.


Gameplay:

The gameplay is completely different from KOF 12. The game is similar to many fighters in terms of the basics, but there is plenty of elements that make this game unique. Most of the KOF games play by 3 vs. 3 team elimination rules. Each chosen fighter will stay in until they are KO'ed; then the fighter will be replaced by another. The match continues until one team is left standing.

KOF 13 uses EX moves that are somewhat similar to Street Fighter; however the EX moves in KOF are a bit more special. Many of the EX moves in KOF 13 does more than just change the properties of a move. Some moves actually becomes a completely different move. For example, Kyo has a rushdown combo attack that allows kyo to charge at the enemy in order to activate it. But when that same special is in EX mode it becomes a unblockable grab that has to be done up close like a typical grab.

KOF uses powerful moves called Desperation Moves. These moves require an entire bar of energy to use. Some Desperation Moves can be powered up to an even higher level by using 2 bars.

KOF also have some very nifty techniques that makes this game more unique than the current fighters out right now. Instead of jumping over projectiles and blocking supers you can dodge them without getting harmed with the proper timing using the roll technique. You can also use regular counters and roll counters in exchange for one bar of your super meter. Rolling is useful; but careless rolls can set up for grabs.

Jumping is very different in this game. There is a short jump; which can be used to start up combos. You can do standard jumps to get around and jump over projectiles. And there is a super jump which allows you to jump higher and a lot faster.

Each character has one move known as a Neo Max; which is their most devastating move. These moves take up three bars; however when you are in HD mode it will only require 2 bars to use it. But after you use a Neo Max it will totally drain your HD meter. The HD meter will be explained next.

To do more advanced combos you have to learn how to do something known as drive cancels. A drive cancel is when you use one special move and then quickly follow up with another special move. This technique can be done when you fill a meter called the HD meter. A single drive cancel takes up half of your meter. However, you can use more than two drive cancels when you completely fill your HD gauge and activate HD mode. This mode gives you the ability to temporary do as many drive cancels as you can to deal serious damage.

You can also cancel Desperation Moves into Neo Max moves while in HD mode; however the timing is a bit strict.

Final Thoughts:

Pros:
+Amazing 2D graphics
+Plenty of gameplay depth
+Customizing character colors is fun
+Great music score
+The Ash story arc is present
+Mission mode helps you improve your overall game
+The online mode doesn't suffer from
bad input lag and slowdown
+SNK Signature Cheap Bosses

Cons:
-Lobby supports only 2 players
-Replay mode lacks sharing abilities
-No voice acting
-Text moves a bit too fast
-Takes time to find a decent connection with others online

KOF 13 proves once again that 2D fighters can still hang as long as it is in the hands of the right developers. KOF 13 is a game that has more than just good looks. It is pretty much a complete game. It offers enough offline content to keep you busy and help you hone your skills, there is a fair amount of fan service available, and the functionality of the online mode is good when you compare it to KOF 12.

Even though the online mode plays well it would have been nice if the lobby and the replay feature was expanded a bit more.

Overall, Atlus and SNK worked together to help bring back an extraordinary fighter that has been the underdog for a couple of decades. I hope this game does well enough to help SNK, so we can.....maybe.........see more projects from them. I know the future of SNK isn't really good; but positive feedback from the community can help them improve.

Thank you Atlus for working with SNK. And thank you SNK for putting your heart into this game. I feel you guys did the absolute best you could to provide SNK and fighter fans a great fighter experience.

This game deserves a 9 out of 10.











This game has always been a classic for me. If you're into 2D fighters, you definitely want to check out KOFXIII.

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

Pros:
- Total of 33 hand-drawn characters
- Improved 2D graphics
- Color customization for every character
- Astonishing Soundtracks
- Very balanced system
- Beautiful Stage Animations
- Mission mode
- Online mode
- Replay option

Cons:
- Some classic characters missing
- Hard to find good connections
- Difficult to just pick up and play
- Unable to share replay
- No spectator option

If you are a true fan of 2D fighters such as Street Fighter 4, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Mortal Kombat 9(2011), then you'll agree with me that King of Fighters XIII is now at their level. It's predecessor King of Fighters XII didn't live up to the expectations players had on King of Fighters. Although, It did look as beautiful, it lacked many concepts that King of Fighters XIII now included. Such as a stable online mode connection and more characters to join the roster.

King of Fighters XIII is very well known for its 3v3 fight. The only thing is there is no tag in or assists. Last man standing wins. This game also has very unique characters, each with its own personality along with very unique executions. Also this game has a roll system which allows you to evade attacks but not throws, also including a 4 types of jumps. A hop, hyper hop, jump, and hyper jump. Also this game features 3 types of gauges such as Guard, Power, and Hyper. The guard gauge is a way to balance how long you can block, therefore you cannot "turtle" on this game. Power gauge enhances your specials, while hyper gauge allows you to extend your combos and cancel select special moves.

In addition, I will admit that this game is not as easy to pick on and play, but it is very rewarding to learn as you will have so much fun once the pace is set. The balancing in this game is just right, because every character has the same amount of health so you won't have some characters overpowering others. Every character has a way to execute combos, just takes time finding out how since every character plays and feels different. New players will find the tutorial and mission mode very useful since they will teach you at least some fundamentals of the game, the rest is up to your experience.

Thankfully, this game was released just in time for me to enjoy along with other big titles in the fighting scene. Weather you're a veteran or a complete stranger, you'll soon be indulged in this beautiful rendition of King of Fighters. Remember to always have FUN, because it wouldn't be a game without it.








A second timers view.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Best in series"

Summary

In my review of kof 12 I said "I once heard if you do something right no one will talk about it, but if you do something wrong they will" thankfully this is the prior and even more thankfully it will make this shorter. This game is fun. With awe inspiring moves that will make you want to impose your will on your foes again and again.... That is if you have the talent.

Make no mistake this game (in my opinion mind you) is the be all end all of learning curves in fighting games. You will work hard for your combos. You will learn your combos. You will love your combos. You will be your combos!

This is a world for a person that loves a challenge that is both worth their time and beautiful in the ways a fighting game enthusiast expects. Simply put, if you like to fight you love KOF13.




King of Fighters XIII review<br />

9.0

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Ambitious"

Summary

Whoever thought that the King of Fighters franchise would cease to Part XII, was rightly afraid of the future. The game suffered from several flaws, both on and offline. You can not make in a year when the competition sucesevolle games like Street Fighter IV and Tekken 6 came up. Of course, this same game a lot of disappointed fans, and this stimulated SNK Playmore to try again. Does it succeed in the thirteenth section our interest, and therefore our confidence, to win back?


With releases such as Mortal Kombat and Marvel vs.. Capcom 3 is once again set the bar very high in the fighting genre, but whether you are familiar with the franchise or not, you will immediately see why this franchise ever had so great. Meanwhile, King of Fighters XIII knows himself to be distinguished from the other big names, but it also borrows a lot of different rivals. So you are fighting in groups of three, as in MVC 3, but it is not possible during a battle to switch between characters you selected. Plus, you not only official King of Fighters characters at your disposal, but you will also fighters from other SNK games again. This provides a lot of variation in terms of playable characters, which even in some modes you can combine your ultimate fighting team.

The playable modes are greatly expanded when comparing them to XII. For example, a story mode and added a Mission mode. The latter is mainly for newcomers to the franchise is very convenient because it allows you to master difficult combos to get. For this I am extremely grateful to them so, because with random button bashing will not do. During Story Mode, the merciless fighters and especially the boss fights you will float like mad you have no idea what you're doing. The boss fights in the game based on luck a little, because they have unique moves that you stun them, so they have a free hand a few seconds.


The story mode is also intended to inform the players about the story behind the King of Fighters tournament. Here are some of the main characters of the word, the brief and explain their views to the opponents. Here and there comes a cut-scene look at, but most consist of text reading and X button. A little trash talk before a fight should be, of course, but here I'd rather have a good voice actor for display. It is a pity that is thrown with terms and names that refer to the storyline that began with Ash Crimson in 2003. This put so much back story with him that eventually it very difficult to follow.

In addition, they thought they SNK, if they so much need to refine, but better to change everything at once. The total combat mechanics are in fact adjusted to provide you with a little exercise as the most deadly moves out of the cupboard. With a little practice I mean lots of practice, because even the simplest moves consist of combinations of 8 or more buttons. Guard, Clash and Critical counters are removed and this will EX Special Moves Hyper Drive mode and super-powered NEO MAX moves in the place This emphasis on "the bigger the attack the better 'and although you would not expect to see that is in tip-top order out.


Although the power of King of Fighters XIII certainly in the big, exuberant, almost too good to block attacks is, they are pretty tough in terms of implementation. The KOF veterans will one after another NEO MAX move shake out their sleeves, but there was no question of my case. These moves are only possible because if you attack meter is full. It decreases gradually filled after successful attacks you, but also those of your opponent. So sometimes you can win by yourself on the brink of death to save a NEO MAX move, if you have mastered it well. But frankly, even the tutorial for this already difficult and this makes the game way for go-getters, but definitely not up to speed. These will soon ignore the game.

Even if you look at the animations of the characters are with us, you will have jumps at the slightest notice that here a lot of work into it. Apart from the somewhat grainy display, there is tremendous attention to detail was great and all animations run smoothly. Moreover done secretly in the background much more than you notice when you're in the heat of battle is, but luckily it's not all just annoying. Furthermore, you also have the option to adjust your character. If you're tired of the old look, you'll just pass it? Win-win situation!


All in all, King of Fighters XIII is a great improvement on its predecessor, though it might be a greater challenge was to create a game just worse than King of Fighters XII. Goal, SNK is back at its old level. Each point of criticism is understood and where possible incorporated into the next installment. This is a much more extensive than the previous section, although the elaboration of some modes in some areas some may be strengthened - including the story in the story mode. If you do, do it well! Essentially it is a good start, but in future we prefer only successful submissions without half measures.

8.5

Superb
7.8