Four to Go

There’s one thing I will finish this year; Collecting a library of five hundred individual games. With a friend’s input, I’ve decided to make the last five quality titles all around. The game number 496 is The King of Fighters XIII.

The reason I decided to purchase this game is simple; I don’t support CAPCOM or Blazblue series. While the KoF series has always have this stigma of being a second-rate Street Fighter clone, much like bulk of SNK’s tournament fighters (incoming hatemail and flaming fanboys!), it has a quality that in certain areas CAPCOM couldn’t really match, like re-inventing the character move sets and the insane amount of characters within a main-series game. In all honesty, the KoF games have always been good, but sometimes overlooked. The fandom is insane to defend their precious games thou, and the fierce competition between the companies and fanbases was intense. KoF games have always seen better gameplay balance than Street Fighters, and the games are aimed at different crowds in the fighting game community, thou during the last ten years or more saw the time when old Street Fighter fans searched something to quench their thirst for fighting. OK, I found Guilty Gear first and I stand behind my statement that Blazblue is a lacklustre Guilty Gear copy. I’ll return to Guilty Gear one day.

King of Fighters XII was a nice game, but nothing else. What I’ve seen and read, KoF XIII is better in every regard. Also, I have a hunch that this will be a really good game. I’m right nine times out of ten when it comes to the quality of a game, so when I get that certain itch, I know what to get. I’ve got to say that what they’ve done with K’ looks really promising, and his going to be one of the main characters in my team. K’ isn’t really a rush character, but I can manage the technical side of his moves well enough to lay down a beating or two.


DAT CHAIN DRIVE GODDAMMIT

Also, they got Mai so they got my buy. The only way this game would be better if they had Sumika from MuvLuv as a fanservice character. Her Drill Milky Punch would show them all a thing or two.

The next game? Now heres’ the nice thing; I will go down every game console generation as I get closer to 500, meaning that #456 will be on Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox or GameCube or older. Actually, I’m lacking one PS2 game I’ve kept my eye on… unless something good comes up in my face at a cheap price like DoDonPachi Daifukkatsu. Spoiler tagged for your safety.

King of Fighters XIII First Impressions from a trailer


Goddamnit SNK stop applying techniques I want in and implamenting them in this sad fashion.

KOFXIII looks promising. Fighting looks smooth and very SNK’ish, meaning that a flow of combat has these small moments of staggering. Personally I never cared for it, but after a while you’ll get used to it. The hitboxes seem to be nice and what you can see from a trailer the controls seem to work rather well.
I’ll just say that the visuals are good. Mai’s new sprite makes me look back at yesteryears and think how much she has changed in those little ways. Athena is still equipped with thunderthighs.


No Sumika, I have absolutely nothing against hunderthighs. I preffer them!

Speaking of Mai, she seems to be complete fanservice character (no surprise here) but she seems to be lacking in actual gameplay department a bit. Athena on the other hand looks like she’s getting into my team simply because of her tactics. Learning her moveset and gameplay mechanics will most likely offer a challenge, which I’m more than willing to take.

It’s nice to see returning characters like Vice even thou they’re supposed to be dead in the story, but I find it disappointing that Rugal’s kids are just messing in the backgrounds rather than being playable characters. Perhaps next time, SNK?
I’m especially pleased in with Takuma’s changed sprite and small changes in his actions. The stance is far more different from what it was and gives a whole new level of intimidation to him. For now he looks like a characters I’d play without a doubt simply because he seems to be grumpy old karate master. Let’s hope that Mr. Karate is an unlockable character.

The HUD has to be mentioned for one reason alone; the energy bar. It has small divisions that divide it into ten parts. I don’t know why I love that detail so much. In general, the HUD is clean, clear and sharp, except when it comes to the names. The general gameplay design follows this ideology, but I’d love to see dedicated Character Potraits next to Energy rather than just stock images from selection screen. Add faces that rumble and change expressions according to the fight and you’d have an instant purchase. I think Guilty Gear and or some other game had this once.

Speaking of Guilty Gear, BlazBlue is a horrible mess compared to it.

All in all, KOFXIII seems to be building up quite nicely. Nothing major, but there’s so little to complain about at this point. Let’s just hope that no game breaking bugs sneak in.