amazingsandwich's The King of Fighters XII (Xbox 360) review

How to do as little as possible and make money.

King of Fighters XII (KOF XII) is an outstanding arcade game, but it takes more than a direct no-frills port to make a fighter console-ready. The console version seems as if the core arcade game was given to one half-wit programmer/designer and let to simmer for a year. Rather than get some playtesters/designers to bounce ideas off it feels like SNL Playmore decided to save some money and devote zero creativity/playtesting to the project. The end result is a schizophrenic concotion of 1-part brilliant arcade exerience and 1-part non-online, no frills fighting game. It is amazing while being ridiculous. Instead of paying someone to drop-in pre-existing (functional) netcode they just let the one half-wit programmer go to town for a year, and this is really it's worst offense. How can you make a current-gen console fighting game without a functional online mode and expect to turn a profit?
To speak on the positive the fighting itself is great.. pressing the two strong attacks and "back" on the joystick pops a quick counter-attack and tapping quickly on a hard attack (when a bar below your life is full) enacts the critical-counter system... which is the most bad-ass thing in fighting games since superarts in Street Fighter 3. These two features coupled with the classic King of FIghters roll escape gives the fighting a depth greater than Street Fighter 4.
The bottom line with KOF XII is that you get a fantastic arcade experience if you have a room full of friends to play with (or  you a thick enough to be challenged by cpu opponents that stand in one place and spam single punches/kicks), but if you don't you will not be able to enjoy competitive play with human opponents. Even with the patch released today (which of course was supposed to fix the online lag issues) the game can not be played in any realistic fashion through the internets like Street Fighter 4, Soul Calibur 4 or Blazblue.


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