SNK Announces The King of Fighters XIII

Illustration for article titled SNK Announces The King of Fighters XIII

The latest entry in the 2D King of Fighters series has been announced by Osaka-based game developer SNK Playmore. It is The King of Fighters XIII.

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The title runs on the Taito Taito X2 arcade system board. Details are scant, and SNK is expected to reveal more about the arcade fighter in a preview next month.

Hand-drawn title The King of Fighters XII was released in Japanese arcades in April 2009.

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DISCUSSION

KoF XIII, more than anything, is a battle from Playmore to stay even remotely relevant at this point.

Here's generally where we stand: SFIV, for better or worse, proved that the '2D' fighting games of old can make the transfer to 3d animation and still retain the rock solid gameplay. While not everyone might agree with the changes they've made, it's revitalized the fighting game genre and brought a whole new generation into the fighting universe.

On the other hand, we have Blazblu, which proved you don't even have to stray that far from 2d fighter's roots to earn a solid place. It's a whole other animal than SFIV, frighteningly complex to new players who want to jump in versus play (and don't even tell me it's easy to button mash in MP, because that is such a god-damn lie), but extremely rewarding to the people who put the effort in. The first go might not be perfect from a balance standpoint, but honestly—neither was the first Guilty Gear. By the time X rolled around, the game hit rock solid—I hope for the same thing to happen with CS.

Both titles have managed to enter solidly into the gaming world, both have managed to secure a decent future.

And SNK/Playmore? Ugh, the only thing they've demonstrated is their reach exceeds their grasp and that they are unprepared to move onto the next gen features (solid online play, feature-laden experiences, etc) by releasing an exceedingly gorgeous, bug-ridden, bare-bones mess of a game. For $50, practically punishing fans of the series for putting faith in their names. KoF has always been hit and miss, but it's fair to say that XII was probably one of their worst. I say this with a great deal of sadness, because I dug KoF '96 and even '98 (or whatever one the DC version was, the one that had Chris/Yash/Shermie, one of the dream matches), particularly since at the time Capcom was going sharply in the Alpha/Versus series style combo mashers, which didn't appeal to me. The name will always hold some sort of nostalgic appeal to me, but I was absolutely appaled at what a mess the new KoF was.

I understand SNK's a smaller company now. They down have the sheer dollar power to throw at a next-gen game ala Capcom. Hell, even Blazblu's parents might have a bigger budget. But if they don't knock it out of the park this time, the fact is KoF is going to be entirely forgotten. Hell, even SNK itself.

But if they're gonna die, good god, let it not be with the whimper that was KoF XII.