King of Fighters XIII Coming, Mai Shiranui Included (UPDATED!)

The next KOF will have more kunoichi bounciness.

Last year, SNK scored a big lemon with King of Fighters XII, a beautifully-animated bare-cupboard 2D fighter. Well, this year the makers of Fatal Fury should hopefully redeem themselves with a more robustly-featured sequel to their long-running franchise, King of Fighters XIII. Well, they’re off to a good start at least by right off the bat announcing that the game will include bouncy ninja girl Mai Shiranui in the roster. The fan-throwing heroine was snubbed out of KOFXII, but she’ll be returning in her usual skimpily-dressed form later this year when the game debuts in Japanese arcades.

SNK recenly held a preview event for the game, and there was some bit of footage shown over at Kotaku, showing very tiny footage of a couple of big, brawny fighters doing battle. Precious little else is known about the game, but I’m fairly certain that at the very least, Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami and Ash Crimson will also be returning. Other than that? Terry Bogard, almost surely. The Ikari Warriors, probably. I also hope that the game’s narrative also makes a return, as things were put on hold since the last game. I’m hoping that SNK just used KOFXII as a time buffer and was actually using all this time to develop XIII into a real stunner of a fighter… we’ll see. For now, you can check out the game’s official teaser site (nothing there save a larger image of Mai though). More on this as we get it.

UPDATE: Dengeki just posted some direct-feed pics of the game, and it seems that yes, there seems to be more of a story for the game this time- at least, we’ll be seeing some imposing new bosses or enemies judging from some screens, as well as an anime intro. Also added to the roster along with the returning Mai Shiranui is King (the kickboxing crossdresser chick) and Yuri Sakazaki. Check out the pics here.

Also, some vids of the KOFXIII event and gameplay were posted on Youtube here. Check ’em out!


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