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Thread Author: Murikov
Thread ID: 3272
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There are 5 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 5268 times.
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King of Fighters XIII - Preview
Ok, I passed the last two weeks in Montpellier, France, to better up my humble French skills for professional purposes.

But what really blew me away was not the fact, that you could eat snails and frog legs in Restaurants, but rather that a local Arcade was in possession of an original KOFXIII Arcade Cab (Vewlix L), Version 1.1.

As you already can imagine I was too giddy with excitement and actually had the possibility to play this Arcade gem for about 2 hours in total.

YouTube Video

As you have already seen tons of screenshots and videos, I only can confirm that the graphics and HD sprites look fantastic and are real feast for the eyes. Except a few sprites like those of Ralf or Clark (did they eat too much anabolic agents?), all characters look great and polished as never before. Maybe I was too impressed as I've never played KoFXII, but the new generation of KoF is extremely good-looking if you ask me. The effects are marvelous and colourful, most character animations are top-notch.

SNKP really took it's time to integrate many details like lots of cameo characters in the stage backgrounds or other references to the prequels. Hidden in the stages you will discover for example B. Jenet lying on a double deck coach, Shingo whining with a broken arm or Hinako in love with Sumo wrestlers. But what I sadly miss in KoFXIII are the striking opening character animations like those from the prequels, which gave the players a look into the fighter's personalities and manners. This fact makes the characters in the 13th installment of the series a little lifeless imo. To recompense this flaw, SNKP added character conversation texts which pop out at the beginning of each fight, similar to those of SVC:CHAOS. Joe Higashi and Hwa Jai for example admit their rivalry for the title of the Muay Thai Champion or Yuri annoys Andy concerning his relationship with Mai, etc...

Worth to mention are also the few Anime cutscenes, which are really nice to watch and bring forward the story about Ash & Co. As for the soundtrack, there is also not much to complain about. Some tracks like the K' Team or Kim Team Theme are awesome and really tune up the KoF atmosphere.

The overall gameplay is fast, fluid and of course fun, the mechanics seem to be well-engineered and -thought as well. I've already read about problems, that certain characters like Raiden aren't balanced and too strong or weak, but while playing I didn't experience any of such disequilibria. The character move lists aren't that perfected as in KoF2002UM for example but most characters still have their traditional moves and characteristics, what makes me also believe that old-school KoF players quickly will master the controls.

The only point, which I'm a little concerned of, is the replay value of KoFXIII. Playing against another human is definitly fun for a long period of time, but the Singleplayer part (respecitively what I've seen of it) was a bit short and forgettable imho. It surely has a dramatic boss fight with the typical SNK characteristics (cheap bastard, lol) and nice ending cutscenes, but it isn't really earthshaking either compared with other prequels of the KoF series. But after all I think that KoFXIII is primarily a 2P game, which should be generally enjoyed with a good challenger.

To say it in a nutshell, I was more than positively surprised and amused with KoFXIII. It might not be as good as a perfectly-engineered KoF like 2002UM, but it is definitely fun and makes a solid game in today's Gaming market. If the console version effectively comes out, I'll seriously consider to get it together with an according console (NO, I don't own a PS3 or 360 yet).

My Personal Rating so far:

Graphics: 9.3
Sound: 9.0
Gameplay: 8.7
Replay Value 1P: 7.5
Replay Value 2P: 9.0

Overall Rating: 8.8
Thanks for that review, Murikov. You´re a good review-writer. I have never seen the viewlixcab IRL much less played one what did you think of the construction of this cab?

Thumbs Up

Used with the kind permission from their creator "Shiny"
priest wrote:
Thanks for that review, Murikov. You´re a good review-writer. I have never seen the viewlixcab IRL much less played one what did you think of the construction of this cab?

Thanks, Priest! Thumbs Up

As for the cab itself, I especially appreciated the customizable button layout, screen angle and playing comfort which are all fantastic. With that mentioned button layout you are as well capable of playing 4 button games like in this case KoFXIII or 6 button games like SSFIV: Arcade Version, which I played as well on the same cab. In KoFXIII's Character Select Screen you can also select your preferred button configuration, either the classic Neo Geo layout or a more modern squared layout.

All these Vewlix cabs (I spelled it wrong in the preview) I played on, were actually directly imported from Japan, so I can understand that these can be pretty rare outside of Japan/Asia.
Edited by Murikov on 24. April 2011 00:18
on XIII Murikov. It's always nice to hear the low-down from a fellow member! It somehow just makes it all the more tangible.

I can see why you'd be so impressed under first impression. Basically, you managed to skip 'starters' (XII) and head straight for dessert! As such, you managed to get a hold of SNKP's HD KOF vision as it was meant to be (for it's first iteration).

Like you said, the 2P is where ALL the longevity is (even in 2D fighters of old) and, to be honest, I kinda expected XIII's 1P to be a bit shallow. But I'll forgive it for now, as long as the rest of the experience is more complete. From what I've seen via the 'net, this game looks infinitely better than XII - in terms of character select, movesets, stage design, overall presentation and the all important (from what I've heard?) kick ass OST too!

Can't wait for the PS3/360 release...

Michael Max
Thanks for the preview. I still play XII and love it so i know ill be on cloud nine when XIII hits consoles. Id say if you do get xbox360 or ps3, pick up kof 12. Its not bad like everyone says imho. I still play it and find it very to be better than ssf4. But as you and ninja already pointed out... Its all about the two player experience.
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