Broken, Barebones Brawling

Reviews for SNK’s console port of King of Fighters XII are out, over at 1Up, Team Xbox, IGN and Gametrailers. Though a couple of these reviews are a bit too kind to this seriously lacking and terribly thin arcade port, I think the overall low scores are indicative of how this ‘rebirth’ to the classic fighting series is more of a false start.

I won’t be doing a KOFXII review as I won’t be wasting money on this bare cupboard of a game. The simple fact is that this game has NO Single Player Value at all. There’s no Story Mode (throwing to the wayside the so far cool storyline with Ash Crimson and the Orochi saga), no Boss to take down, no extras or unlockables (unless you consider a couple of character pics big rewards), no modes or incentive for players without a Class-A internet connection or a posse of regular fight buddies to call over at the drop of a hat. What you get is a very reduced roster with many of the fighters missing moves, an updated KOF fighting engine and the first (and only) real graphical makeover for the series in about 10 years. That’s it.

Really, what KOFXII basically is a tech demo or a DLC title being sold off as a full-price game.

Okay, what the heck was SNK thinking when they put this game out? That the Hardcore KOF Fans would eat it up despite all the flaws? That they really don’t need to add anything else to the mix aside from two very obscure console exclusive characters (who are among the underdeveloped category)?

KOF has a great storyline running in the last few installments and it’s gotten to a bit of a climax with Ash Crimson and his manipulations of Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami… HEY, here’s an idea! Let’s throw all that aside and just have this latest KOF just be about fighting. At least Blazblue did all it can to make a Single-Player experience viable for the home game… this… I am at a loss.

If you’re a hardcore KOF fan who regularly has mates over, then this game may be for you. For fight fans not that much into KOF, if you’re looking for a 2D fighter, Blazblue surely has more value. SNK, you screwed up this one. Take a look at good home console ports to see how they’re done.

Read the 1Up review here, Team Xbox’s review here, IGN’s is here, while GT’s video review is here.

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