Game Reviewed: King of Fighters XIV
Release Date: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Atlus USA
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 4]
Genre: Fighting Game
Rated: T for Teen
King of Fighters XIV is here delivering gamers another choice in head to head combat. Every time I look at King of Fighters I can’t help but think about the game that drew me into KOF’s direction, Fatal Fury. A huge fan of fighters: Primal Rage, Killer Instinct and even Street Fighter. Pretty sure I’m showing my age here but it’s these titles that show off and highlight what class King of Fighters belong in. And while those games can tie even closer King of Fighters still deserves a category of its own.
King of Fighters XIV main hub is pretty straightforward with story mode, versus, online, missions (time attack and survival) and various training options. There’s also a gallery option to see photos unlocked from either playing story mode and/or online battles. I credit KOF for giving players a story at launch rather than holding back; let’s talk campaign.
King of Fighters XIV story intro reminded me of an anime television show as it showcased all the fighters and various teams in a brief promo. What I could appreciate is SNK showing off the beautiful 3D character models in detail. After choosing your team of three it’s on to the battles, and though characters are locked in you are able to change the order of your players prior to each battle.
KOF kicks off with champion President Antonov making the announcement of the new King of Fighters tournament in an opening ceremony. After that the story takes an unfavorable twist with poor humor and a champ that looks to be more of a chump with no objective other than seeking viewers and sob stories about an abandoned dog.
Regretting to say, KOF story was a complete let down after 10 stages and roughly three quarters of an hour. The presentation reminded me a lot of Dead or Alive but felt more like dead on arrival.
Luckily the action in the game doesn’t suffer the same fate. Playing online or offline versus allows you to choose between PvP or 3-on-3 teams. King of Fighters requires a bit of practice and patience, learning and mastering the combos of your favorite characters. Yes a lot of the players have special moves and abilities, but KOF is more about timing and gaining the advantage rather than button spamming.
There are three specials that can be performed in KOF XIV, the greatest being new to KOF, “Climax Super Special Moves.” The CSSM can be performed at level 4 at with Max Mode. These are some spectacular moves that complement each characters additional rush moves, specials and super specials.
Stages on KOF XIV are high quality 2D environments similar to Street Fighter IV, not V, much less interactive. But as I made reference to Dead or Alive earlier, one stage with a Texas-like theme has two characters in the background that perfectly resembles Tina and Bass Armstrong.
Online connectivity isn’t at its best either. Hoping for a fluid battle after a few fights with what appeared to be great connections lagged uncontrollably; giving the player that can land the first combo/takedown an unfair advantage. Hopefully post launch some sort of update can clean the connection for a more quality online experience.