Review of King of Fighters XIV
Do you feel that folks? That heat? No, I’m not talking about those 100-degree temperatures. I’m talking about King of Fighters XIV y’all! There were a lot of anticipated titles that came in lukewarm, KOFXIV ups the status quo and comes in blazing hot! I’m talking volcanic irruption. So get those paychecks ready for one of the best game purchases this year. Expect tons of content, modes, and unlockables, King of Fighters XIV reminds us what a real fighting game is all about!
For those of you who haven’t read any of my update posts, I have only been playing SNK games for the last 4 years. I am capcom raised, so as far as this story is going, I am completely lost. I can understand the gist of some of the endings, for the most part, I have to pull up the good old SNK lore. Let it be known to you newbies with interest that King of Fighters is the king (no pun intended) of “confusing anime fighting games that don’t make no damn sense.” It’s worse than Guilty Gear but doesn’t mean it is still not fun to look at.
The King of Fighters tournament is where all the best fighters gather from around the world to prove their strength in hopes of winning the title “The King of Fighters.” But this is not your typical One vs One scenario people. Instead, the best fighters form into teams of three. The winning teams have a lot to gain in a huge stack of cash (and bragging rights) accompany the title of KOF. But for most combatants, there’s a hidden agenda involved. Old rivalries are reborn, new and old mysteries get more confusing in the upcoming tournament.
Where to begin? It just gets hotter as I dove in! Well, first let’s talk content. There have been some titles that have been lacking in this department, King of Fighters XIV goes all out. There is a story mode(which plays like more like ab arcade mode), training mode, and tutorial mode. Mission mode contains time attack, trial, and survival mode. Also get this! The online works on launch (YOU SEE THAT CAPCOM!!). Online has ranked matches, free mode and a variety of other things you can do. It’s like any other online mode in a fighter. Like any other online fighter, there is some lag. I sadly got a decent amount of it. But at least it works and lag is to be expected these days especially since playing a week ahead of schedule for this review. A little lag never hurt anyone right….right?
SNK doesn’t stop there, by having 30 fighters to choose from and… *drumroll please* unlockable characters! Remember those? One of the best things about fighters growing up? You know the unlockables that have been reduced to DLC. Well SNK acknowledges your wallets and brings us a throwback nostalgia trip. You think I’m done here, nope! There are tons of unlockable artwork, endings, and even special battle themes for characters who have a “sorted history” together. So in the event you find yourself bored with this game…. you shouldn’t because there are a lot of things to do.
Now, let’s take a look at the combat. The combat mechanics are on fire (literally in Kyo & K’s case) in this game. The animations are fluid which makes the game feel pretty fast paced. There are basic moves, specials, and supers. When the super gauge is filled, players can activate maximum heat mode to pack a bigger punch! So if you’re sparing with your meter, you can dish out some real OP stuff. What makes the combat more intense is SNKs take on how the fighter themselves play. Some are “super mashie auto pilot user-friendly,” to out right “the struggle is real yo, better get in that training mode” difficult. That is literally the scale here. So new players and die-hard veteran SNK players can hop into the mix with ease. So whether you’re on the competitive side of the fence, or looking for fun KOFXIV got you.
Now normally I would have put the aesthetics first but there’s a reason its last. The interface is okay, nothing really artistic but players can navigate with ease. The soundtrack is pretty awesome. A lot of rock and upbeat kinda stuff. The levels are stunning with 19 to choose from. So much so players may get caught up on what’s going on in the background animation while shaking the stage. But the character designs not so much. It’s like the level designers should have done the Character Modelers a solid and textured them. I’ve said it before, It’s almost as if you could tell when the modelers were having an off day. Terry looks like hours were done in for him, Kensou looks like the last character put in the game at the last second. Iyori looks like a shiny-haired anime god, Daimon looks like a giant wet potato. Yuri couldn’t roll with Mai and King anymore since she makes Kensou look like a 6 on a good day. You get the drill
Overall King of Fighters XIV is a blazing success! There is tons of content, characters, and things to collect to keep players busy. That’s not even counting future DLC. Personally, I would have liked to see all the characters speaking to each other remain, but with 30+ Fighters that would slow the game down. So the only issue here is that the fighters themselves look like pudding. But am I really going to take off points for that? I mean who doesn’t like pudding?! In an age of DLC no content fighters, KOFXIV brings back a classic way of playing fighting games by making and releasing a full game. This seems to be such a foreign concept to some of its competitors this day and because of this (and I like pudding), King of Fighters XIV takes home the gold 5/5! So when payday rolls around, I highly suggest you turn up the heat and get The King of Fighters XIV!
Publisher: Atlus USA
Director: Yasuyuki Oda
Platform: PlayStation 4
NA: August 23, 2016
JP: August 25, 2016
EU: August 26, 2016
Genre: Fighting game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer