Initial Impressions for KoF XIII

Had a bit more time looking up King of Fighters XIII now, and from so far it's looking pretty positive. 

To be brief, I don't like how the sprites are now 1/2 the size of the screen.  I was pretty smitten with the large, zoomed-in look from XII, but it's not a game breaker — it gives it an old classic feel, which is fine.  Gameplay still looks as fast as ever, and each character appeared to be back to their old incarnation (Elizabeth and Mature are now a complete characters again).

CD moves are a thing of the past now.  No more charged unblockable shenanigans anymore.  So are critical counters (thank god), and that awful counter system. 

Max Mode is a bit confusing for non-King of Fighters players, but in a nutshell it means you can cancel a special into another special, usually on specific frames only.  This enables larger, more advanced combos and allows you access to your strongest attack: the hyper desperation move.  Just imagine the damage you can dish out by cancelling one super into another.


A lot of the new female characters seem to be lacking some range with their normals, but their special attacks overcompensate for that.  King has an air fireball, Yuri get's double air fireballs a la Akuma, and Mai gets incredibly fast special moves. 

King by the way, is now the new broken top tier.  Her regular DM has a bug that freezes you in place.  Godlike.

I feel bad for SNK.  They have perhaps the worst fans out of all the fighting game franchises, ever.  It's their fault too, for pigeonholing themselves into that spot by giving and taking away a lot of niche characters.  First the fans bitched and moaned about how Mai isn't in the game.  Now that she is, more people are complaining about Tendo Gai not being in the game.  Really now?  Really?

King of Fighters has always been about change.  Well except for Athena this time around.  She didn't get a new costume this year (sadface).

Lastly, some rumors and hearsay on the net:

  • Ignition might not be working with SNK Playmore on a (possible) console port.  It's a shame, considering that Shane Bettenhausen tried as hard as he could to convince the top brass that fans wanted better netcode, which never came to fruition.
  • This will be the end of the Ash story arc, which has been running for roughly seven years.  Story mode, here we come!
  • The new characters are rumoured to be these three.  The one in the middle is Botan, from KoF 2003.  They might even be the bosses for all we know.

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