|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.
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.
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!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor