BAD'S Commentary Page


|| TITLE || Long Live The King
  || WRITER ||   PurpGuy
  || DATED ||   11.13.2009


SNK-Playmore's King of Fighters XII could certainly have been better, there's no doubt about that. The delivery of the highly-anticipated rebirth of the series was premature, and left many fans feeling as though they'd paid for an unfinished game.



There is no storyline. There are not enough game modes. There are no taunts. Characters are missing moves. The graphics aren't as good as BlazBlue. Some character or other is missing. Yadda, yadda. What few KOFXII forums that haven't totally died off, are full of complaint after complaint. It seems a vast majority of fans were disappointed, and there are valid points to be made.

That is not what this article is about. What it IS about is how "professional" reviewers such as Gamespot, 1UP, and Gamespy could sing nothing but praise at the 2009 E3, calling it "Fighting Game of the Year" and slapping it with several awards, yet once the game was released to a lukewarm audience, those same reviewers turned around and trashed KOFXII for the very same things they loved about it a few months before. The "vibrant" hand-drawn sprites? Too pixely. The retro fighting engine? Boring. 22 characters? Not enough.





What does this say about "professional" reviews? A couple things, actually. For one, all of the hype generated for any given game is just that - hype. There is no way to tell what condition the final product will be in until it has been shipped out. For another, all of those supposed awards given to games must not really mean anything at all. And lastly, that their opinions reflect not how good or bad a game may or may not be, but reflect whatever opinion they feel will win them the most followers. It's not unlike a lying politician who will say whatever it takes to get re-elected. Gamers could say that they've been fooled, and these "professionals" will put on the panda face and say that they were ALL fooled. That's bullshit. They have hands-on experience with games long before the rest of us. It is not their job to review a game on its merits, but instead to review a game based on their own predictions of how the game will be received. In regards to KOFXII, they all failed horribly.

One of the complaints leveled against SNKP is the terrible netcode, which induces an entire second of input lag before your character responds. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed. Hardly anyone can play KOFXII online, and many people are giving up and selling their copies as trade-ins for BlazBlue and Tekken 6. As of late, the KOFXII Facebook page announced that a patch has finally been approved by Microsoft, with no set release date as of yet. What few fans have been holding out hope for a fix to the netcode hope that it's not too late.



KOFXII is far from perfect, but it is a step towards what fans have wanted: A high-definition continuation of a landmark fighting game franchise. Future installments will, of course, build upon what KOFXII has begun. Someday, perhaps the thirteenth or fourteenth KOF will be everything it is expected to be. In the meantime, KOFXII offers a solid, old-school fighting game engine, with enough tweaks to keep things fresh. Just because it wasn't everything you wanted is no reason to throw it entirely away.

SNKP: You can do better.
Whining gamers: Shut up and play.
"Professional" reviewers: Fuck you.