Junker Woland

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Insert Coin – The King of Fighters XIII

Only SNK would release the thirteenth installment of their premier fighting-game series, The King of Fighters, on the fourteenth day of the month…

Regardless, the time has come, at last.

After spending several years valiantly crafting gorgeous all-new sprites, SNK finally seemed to cave to fan and financial pressures by rushing into arcades the overwhelmingly lackluster The King of Fighters XII. Although the roster was limited, with glaring omissions of certain fan-favorite characters, most praised the glorious hand-drawn graphics, but took serious grievances with its slow, muddy play mechanics that barely felt reminiscent of the series, and its lack of storyline or final bosses—recurring criticism of the game was it came-off more like an expensive beta test than a complete piece of software. Sadly, the home release didn’t win the already haggard title any further fans, as the online play was poorly implemented, crippling matches with horrendous lag.

But that time has past. The future, or really the present, is The King of Fighters XIII. Months of previews and testing have buffered the game, revealing lavish backgrounds and more beautiful 2D sprite work, a buxom roster (Mai Shiranui allusion totally intended), and game systems and mechanics favorably compared to KoF2002, the last series entry to receive unanimous acclaim amongst fans (and also one of the few KoF installments still being seriously played in arcades and tournaments).

This all, unfortunately, means a whole lotta nothing for us poor Joes living in the “land of the free, and the home of the brave,” as all we know about a possible U.S. arcade release is one might be coming this summer (assuming SNK’s placeholder of an English website can be believed). Given this is a Taito Type X2 game, one can expect the arcade software alone will probably run in the $2,000 range (the price is currently TBA at one of the better U.S. arcade retailers).

Of course, there’s always the inevitable home release, with fans across the globe praying to whatever electronic deity they hold dear that SNK gifts this title with functioning online play (if BlazBlue can move blessedly smooth online, so should KoFXIII, damnit). While no information on a home version has yet been announced, even considering SNK’s general loyalty to arcade owners, one would think we’ll see a console release by early 2011, at latest.

So for now, U.S. citizens, lets enjoy some random linkage & videos…

- Japanese KoF XIII website, Blog, and Arcade Countdown site
(Countdown site has some awesome technical gameplay videos)

And what would a blog post be without an embedded video? Well, how ‘bout some hotness from the game’s opening cinematic? Hit the jump to view the opening movie in all its 2D-hard-rocking goodness...


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