The legendary 3-on-3 fighting game series that united rival brawlers from SNK PLAYMORE's classic arcade franchises celebrates its 15th anniversary in style with the 2009 release of The King Of Fighters XII. For the first time in its history, this epic martial arts showdown has undergone a complete graphical overhaul. The antiquated character sprites used over the past 14 years have been dropped in favor of all-new, high-resolution fighters fluidly animating across painstakingly detailed, 100% hand-drawn backgrounds.
The King of Fighters XII is a pure arcade fighting title. Like a few other releases in its franchise it does not contain a storyline, instead focusing on the tried and true 3-on-3, five round team fighting gameplay mechanic. Far from a liability, the lack of storyline plays into the fighting mechanic by eliminating official teams linked to the prevailing story, which in earlier releases compromised the characters that could be added to a team. In addition, the game also features new combat elements including the "Critical Counter" system which opens up the possibility of additional linked attacks and finishing moves when players land effective counter punches following an opponent's attack, and "Clash Timing," a break effect during a bout that separates combatants when they land blows on each other at the exact same time.
More Than 20 Playable Characters
Although the more than 20 characters featured in The King of Fighters XII is only about half the numbers veteran players of the series may have grown used to selecting from in earlier releases, the characters that are included having each been recreated for the game are very much graphically superior to anything ever seen in franchise history. Going for an old school feel, the majority of these are pulled from early King of Fighters games. They also retain, as close as possible, their original move set and have been rendered in costumes either from their classic King of Fighters appearances, or in some cases that of their original game. In addition, two of the playable characters, Mature and Elizabeth Blantorche, are exclusive to the console releases of the game and are not found in the arcade version. Both are clad in new outfits. Aside from these two, a sampling of the playable characters includes:
- Over 22 hand drawn characters, two of which, "Mature" and "Elizabeth Blantorche," are unique to the Console releases of the game.
- Classic The King of Fighters 3-on-3 team fighting combat that now allows you to create a team with any mix of characters you want.
- New Gameplay elements such as critical counter attacks, air guarding, deadlock counters, clash timing and guard attacks.
- Ability to form clans, create your own personal Clan emblem and compete against other clans online, as well as record and replay your matches, then upload them to the Internet.
- Four robust modes of game play.