The King of Fighters XII Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
The King of Fighters XII box art
System: X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: SNK Playmore 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ignition Ent. / SNK Playmore 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: July 24, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 (Local), 2-6 (Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There are only a handful of singular strikes and combos, and success in the game will rely on your ability to use the games critical counterattack system to unleash special attacks. To unleash a critical counterattack, you have to land a certain amount of hits (or take some damage) in order to fill up a damage gauge, and then unleash a strong counterattack to temporarily disable an enemy. You can then use your character's Super Special Move in the small window of time that the other player is disabled.

The King of Fighters XII screenshot

There really isn't much depth to the fighting system, and outside of the Super Special move, there isn't very much to discover. However, if you like simple, strategy-based combat, then it fits the bill perfectly. The game's combat really focuses on your ability to read another player's actions and react rather than just mash buttons on top of your opponent, which is certainly refreshing.

As far as sound is concerned, this is another area where KOF XII excels. There are both English and Japanese voice tracks, and both of these are just dripping with personality. Since the KOF series has such flamboyant characters (like the effeminate Ash Crimson), it is really vital that the voice actors nail the characters without making them sounds cheesy. Fortunately, almost all the characters sound great here.

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Overall, your experience with KOF XII will largely depend on how much you value online play in your fighters. If you are a regular on the BlazBlue and Street Fighter leaderboards, then the online experience that KOF XII has is definitely worth the price of the game. The strategic elements of the battle system and gorgeous graphics certainly make the game itself very fun and a pleasure to look at. Just having one single-player offline mode really hampers the overall experience if you aren't an online aficionado. Still, if you do like playing online, then this King can't be beat!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
Hand-drawn characters and environments look amazing in 2D.
3.7
Control
Control is a lot simpler than some other fighters. Regardless, executing special moves and counterattacks provide some great strategic elements.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is great. Both English and Japanese voiceovers sound sincere.
3.3
Play Value
If you like online play, King of Fighters does it extremely well. However, with only one single-player offline mode, this title feels a little empty overall.
3.7
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Gaming's most revered 3-on-3 fighting franchise celebrates its 15th anniversary with its most ambitious entry to date: The King of Fighters XII.
  • Gathering over 22 beautifully hand drawn 2D characters from SNK's storied arcade history, The King of Fighters 12 promises to live up to the expectations of next-gen console owners with compelling gameplay, high-resolution graphics and best of all…intense online combat!


  • Screenshots / Images
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