The King of Fighters XIII is the latest game in the KOF series. It was released to arcades on July 14, 2010, coming a little more than a year after its predecessor, The King of Fighters XII. Addressing widespread complaints regarding the bare-bones nature of KOF XII, KOF XIII adds several new characters and more in-depth subsystems.
It is the climax of the Ash Saga, which began in The King of Fighters 2003.
KOF XIII marks the HD debut of Mai Shiranui, King, Yuri Sakazaki, Takuma Sakazaki, Vice, K', Maxima and Kula Diamond. Hwa Jai, who hasn't been a competitor since the original Fatal Fury, makes his KOF debut in this game.
According to the development team, KOF XIII's theme is "KOF-ism," or capturing the "heart" of previous KOF entries. In line with this train of thought, most of the returning characters resemble their earliest forms. For example, Vice wears her business attire from '95 and assumes her stance from '96, and King's stance and moveset comes from Art of Fighting. For the first time in franchise history, Athena Asamiya does not change outfits between games, merely receiving a paletteswap of her KOF XII costume.
The game uses Square Enix's Taito Type X2 arcade system hardware:
- OS: Microsoft Windows XP Embedded
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400
- Chipset: Intel Q965 + ICH8
- Monitor: 720p/1080p/1440p HD LCD monitor
- RAM: DDR2 667/800MHz (1-4 GB)
- GPU: PCI Express x16-based graphics. Support cards include ATI RADEON X1600Pro to 3800 or nVIDIA GeForce 7900GS to 9800.
- Sound: Onboard Realtek HD 7.1 channel Sound (supports add-in sound cards)
- LAN: 10/100/1000 BASE-T
- I/O ports: 1x JVS, 4x USB 2.0 (up to 8), 1x serial (max 2), 1x parallel port, 2x PS/2, 2x SATA
- Audio inputs: AKG C535EB Stage Microphone, line-in (Surround 7.1)
- Audio outputs: 7.1, SPDI/FX
- Expansion Slots: 1x PCI Express x16 (used by video card), 1x PCI Express x4, 2x PCI
- Storage: 2x 80 GB 10k RPM SATA hard drives
- Media: 80 GB 10000 rpm hard drive
On June 7, SNK Playmore announced that The King of Fighters XIII will be released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was released by Atlus in North America on November 22, 2011. The game was released in Japan on December 1, 2011 by SNK Playmore themselves. Rising Star Games released the title in Europe on November 25, 2011.
The console version features ten modes. In addition to the Arcade and Training modes available in the arcade version, the game features a more in-depth Story Mode, Missions, and a Tutorial for new players. There is also console-exclusive characters; with Billy Kane and Saiki appearing as unlockables, and three more characters appearing as DLC. In addition, several new stages are included. According to Matsushita's twitter, the concept behind the new stages are "Release previous KOF backgrounds and new backgrounds in beautiful HD quality."
One new addition to the game is the ability to change the button configuration from the character select screen. This is done by pressing the Circle Button on the PS3 or the B button on the Xbox 360. The default button layout is similar to Capcom's fighting games. Also, the game can be installed to the HDD to decrease the length of load times.
SNK Playmore stated that the online play would be an improvement over The King of Fighters XII's and was their number one priority. There is no English dub for the game, but the text is translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Korean.
The game offers downloadable content, including three new characters. These characters, Iori with the Power of Flames, NESTS saga Kyo, and Mr. Karate, are each priced at $5/400msp and include a full set of trials, unique stage based on a previous game, and a custom theme song.
The game was released on the iOS on July 7, 2011 under the name The King of Fighters-i. The game retains most of the same gameplay mechanics as the arcade version. At launch, fourteen playable characters (Team Japan, Team Fatal Fury, Team K', Team Women Fighters, Ash and Billy Kane) were available. On September 9, six more characters (Team Yagami, Team Elizabeth) were added to the roster. There are twelve stages available, with more now available, in the game with some from the arcade version and new designs from older games.
There are four playable modes which include Team and Single Battles, Endless, and Training mode. Players can also play against each other in Bluetooth mode.
The game uses touch screen controls, similar to Street Fighter IV Volt, but doesn't use the same four button layout as other SNK fighters. There is one button for punches, kicks, special moves, evades, and one for Hyper Drive activation.
There are unlockables in the game which include trading cards with original artwork, concept art, and team stories that can be read.
The previous canonical game, The King of Fighters XI, ended with the death of Magaki, a member of "Those From the Past." Elsewhere, Ash Crimson defeated Orochi Iori and claimed his Sacred Treasure, and it was revealed that Rose Bernstein is under Botan's control.
It's no surprise that another KOF tournament is announced, with Rose as its sponsor. The leader of Those From the Past, Saiki, plans to use this tournament to start the final phase of his plan. But what is he trying to accomplish? And what role will Ash Crimson play?
KOF XIII does away with many of the changes made by KOF XII and the other Ash Saga games. The overall gameplay speed has been increased, placing it in line with previous entries in the series; the super meter also returns to KOF 2002's 3-to-5 stock system. Critical Counter and Guard Attacks have been done away with completely, and camera zoom-ins only occur during certain animations.
The game's main gimmick is the Hyper Drive Meter. Drive Cancels allow the player to cancel an Special Move into another Special Move which costs 50% of the Hyper Drive Meter. Super Cancels allow players to cancel a Special Move into a Desperation Move which also costs 50% of the Hyper Drive Meter. Additionally, once the Hyper Drive Meter is filled, Hyper Drive Mode allows the player to perform unlimited HD Cancels for a short time.
This game also introduces EX Special Moves, EX Desperation Moves, and Neo Max Desperation Moves. EX Specials work similar to EX moves in Street Fighter III and IV, giving special moves additional advantageous properties at the cost of one stock of Super Meter. EX Desperation Moves do the same for DMs, while increasing the cost of the attack to two stocks. Neo Max moves, the strongest moves in the game, require three stocks of Super Meter and either a full HD meter or Hyper Drive Mode (as of the console version, the cost is reduced to two stocks if performed from HD Mode). Neo Max moves can be canceled into during combos by using Max Cancel (which is essentially the Dream Cancel from The King of Fighters XI).
The game also includes other subsystems that have become KOF standard, including the Jump/Super Jump/Short Hop/Hyper Hop system, rolls, Guard Cancel knockdowns, among others.
Several new stages have been created, and some from XII have been improved. Predefined teams return, along with team themes. Each character has ten color choices (fifteen for the console version) that are selected from a mini-menu, like BlazBlue; some characters also have an additional hidden set of color choices. As a throwback to earler SNK games, King's and Yuri Sakazaki's tops are destroyed when they are finished off by a special or DM.
There will be three "versions" of KOF XIII as of the console release. Version 1.0 of the game had several glitches, some of them game-breaking. These were addressed in Version 1.1, which was released after the Super Battle Opera fighting game tournament.
The console version will receive a complete rebalance, including the aforementioned cost reduction for Neo Max moves. This rebalance, along with the console-exclusive characters, will be ported back to arcades as
The King of Fighters XIII Climax
The standard single player mode that is featured in most fighting games. There are six stages; then, depending on certain conditions, the player will either receive the game's "bad ending" or go on to fight the two boss characters. Each round starts with a short conversation between the two participating characters, a feature last seen in SVC Chaos. During the match, "Target Actions" appear; these are small tasks like "Roll 3 times" or "Perform an EX attack" that grant the player in-match benefits such as stock to the Hyper Drive Meter and Super Meter.
Deep story mode explaining the final part of the Ash saga presented in a visual novel format (akin to BlazBlue story mode). There are three perspectives to choose: Ash, Adelheid, and Heidern.
Split up into team battle (three versus three) or single battle (one versus one). Stages can be selected and handicaps can be set. When the match is over, players can immediately go do a rematch, change the order of the team, or go back to the character select screen and choose a different team.
There are five levels for the handicap, which are:
- Level 1 - HP 50%
- Level 2 - HP 75%
- Level 3 - Normal
- Level 4 - P + 1 - HD 50% (Power meter has 1 stock and 50% stock of Hyper Drive Meter)
- Level 5 - P - HD MAX (Power meter and Hyper Drive Meter are at full stock)
An introduction to The King of Fighters. This explains the basic mechanics and the multiple gauges.
A mode which allows players to test their combos and strategies against a dummy opponent. This mode is available in the arcade version by holding down the attack buttons while pressing Start, but is restricted by a time limit. A number of options can be manipulated for the AI dummy such as action, guard, counter hit, attack and passive mode. Also, the gauges in the game (Hyper Drive Meter and Super Meter) can be adjusted as well. By default, the Back/Select button displays the command input for the playable fighter, but this can be changed as well to either reset back to default positions, move the dummy forward or jump.
- Visual - This mode allows players to view artwork, endings, and videos from the game.
- Sound - Grants the ability to listen to BGM, voices for each character and the system voice.
This is split into three modes:
- Time attack - "Fight against the CPU under fixed regulations and try to get the fastest clear time."
- Survival - "Keep fighting against the CPU opponents until you run out of health."
- Trial - "Challenge a variety of character-specific missions." (This mode is akin to the Challenge mode in BlazBlue)
Players will be able to complete globally in either ranked or player matches along with friend match. After the match, replays can be saved and uploaded.
- Ranked Match - "Prove your strength under specified regulations. Your results will be recorded in the Rankings."
- Player Match - "Fight under a variety of rules. You can also invite a good friend to play with. Your results will not be recorded in the Rankings."
- Friends Match - "Check invites from your friends."
Online matches can be downloaded and saved. When viewing matches, players can choose to frame advance, pause, or skip the round during playback.
- Profile - "Select which items to show in your profile." The online profile allows players to make a default team for online use, add an icon and a short message to display online. Just like colours, icons will be unlocked through playing the game.
- Character - "Edit characters' custom colours." Each character can have up to five custom colour schemes. When changing colours, the region that will be adjusted will glow when selected. When a colour is selected for that specific region, the game will adjust to that colour and use the proper shade instead of having to adjust each individual shade, as in The King of Fighters XI. Colours will be unlocked as players progress through the game with each respective fighter.
Statistics of wins and losses from online play. Also keeps track total play time along with high score in arcade mode plus percentage completed of trials and unlocks in the gallery.
The stages available in the game (with more to be confirmed) include:
- United Kingdom
- Rose Stadium
- Destroyed Rose Stadium
- Rose Stage (Misted)
- Desert (Console version)
- Clock Tower (Console version)
- PaoPao Cafe (Console version)
- Micky's Stage (Console version)
- Kyokugen-ryu Dojo (Console version)
- Rose Stadium Rooftop (Console version)
- Destroyed Manor (Console version)
- Sky Noah (Console version)
- Those From The Past Headquarters (Console version)
- Rival Team Stage '95 (Console version, DLC)
- Japan Team / Psycho Soldier Team Stage '96 (Console version, DLC)
- Mr. Karate Stage AOF (Console version, DLC)
Fatal Fury Team
Art of Fighting Team
Women Fighters Team
Psycho Soldier Team
Ikari Warriors Team
- Billy Kane
- "Normal" Saiki
- Iori "with the Power of Flames" (DLC)
- "NESTS" Kyo (DLC)
- Mr. Karate (DLC)
Atlus and Rising Star Games offered a pre-order bonus for the game which is a compilation of music from all the King of Fighters games entitled "The King of Soundtracks." The bonus spans 4 Cd's. The tracks include:
The King of Fighters 94
2. NAPOLITAN BLUES
3. JUNGLE BOUNCER
4. SLUM No. 5
5. Kecchaku R&D
6. Pre Bon (Long Version)
The King of Fighters 95
7. Ryuko to Ken ~Yureru Otoko Gokoro~
8. CLUB-M ~Aozora ni Flute~
9. Senritsu no Dora
10. Chi wo Hau Base
11. HAL to Base to Melody to
12. THE SUNSET SKY PART6 ~LIEBE
The King of Fighters 96
13. Rumbling on the City
15. Psycho Soldier (REMIX '96)
16. Geese ni Katakori
17. Dust man
18. Requiem in D minor, K. 626 Dies Irae
The King of Fighters 97
21. COOL JAM ~Arashi no Saxophone 3~
22. BLUE MARY'S BLUES
23. Still Green
24. Rhythmic Hallucination
25. The Origin of Mind
The King of Fighters XIII
26. Soul Road ~KOF 96~
27. Esaka ~KOF XI~
The King of Fighters 98
1. Kurikinton (Gomame Guitar Ver.)
3. London March
5. IN SPITE OF ONE'S AGE
6. FANATIC WALTZ
The King of Fighters 99
7. MAD FANTASY
10. 176th Street
12. The way to rebirth
14. Deaf Falling Angel
The King of Fighters 2000
16. INNER SHADE
18. Ice Place
19. DREAM EATER
20. CRYSTAL (TypeA)
The King of Fightes 2001
21. BIG PAIN
22. Muaki no Homo-o
23. THE QUEEN OF FIGHTERS
24. NESTS: Yami no Shihaisha
25. Warekoso Saikyo
The King of Fighters 2002
1. Deserted Town
2. TACO'S DANCE
3. Yuuwaku no Toki
4. Last Dance
5. Festive mood
The King of Fighters 2003
6. Splendid Evil
11. Kakumei no Etude ~Rll
The King of Fighters XI
12. kiss or poison
13. Secret Circumstances
17. an improvised concerto
The King of Fighters XII
19. The Myths of Geb
20. Cafe au Lait au Gout de la Victoire
21. Matryoshka Dance
22. Theme of XII-2
The King of Fighters XIII
23. PURE ~at good old days~ ~KOFXI~
24. Arashi no Saxophone ~KOFXI~
The King of Fighters XIII
- The Second Joker
- Each Promise
- Esaka Continues
- Wild Street
- Purity Soldiers
- Irregular Mission
- Who is Queen?
- Arashi no Saxophone 5
- Kyokugen Shugyoul ~Yamagomori~
- Tame a Bad Boy
- London March ~Arranged~
- Toki wo Suberu Moro
- joker ~KOFXI~
- Queen ~KOFXI~
- Street Dance ~KOFXI~
- Smell of gunpowder ~KOFXI~
- I'm Hot for You ~KOF2003~
- After a long absence ~KOFXI~
- KDD-0075 ~KOFXI~
- Geese ni Katakori ~Arranged~
- Fate ~Arranged~
- Staffroll ~Consumer~