Trying to get a more vintage fighting game experience on your Android? Are you riddled with Google Play clones of your favorite fighters of yester-year? Or maybe you’re in a moral battle with yourself as consider installing the emulator for SegaPlayTendoBox-360. Well, SNK Playmore just threw their most recent current-gen fighter, KOF XIII, straight into the smartphone fray.
The game sports a slimmed but not anorexic roster, a handful of game modes, unlockable KOF artwork, and the same unique art style from the last two KOF releases. (In case you want some background on KOF XIII, you can get some from my review here.) The frame-rate closely matches that of the console version; I was playing on my HTC EVO 3D, a phone with respectable specs. This kept the pace of gameplay exactly where it should be to keep a fighting game enjoyable. In fact, the entire move list for all the 20 characters that are in this release remains intact. The game even uses the same fighting engine of KOF XIII, and if you can get a handle of the on-screen touch controls, you may even pull of that 20-hit combo you spent hours trying to impress yourself with.
Given the pace of the actually fights, it’s important to mention such controls. Your “buttons” include: Punch (P), Kick (K), Evade (E) for your rolling, Special (S) in case you wanted some ease Special Move usage, 8-Direction D-Pad and the character’s picture. Sounds silly? It’s really not when you consider how to pull off those exaggerated NEO MAX moves on a touch screen. Fill up 3 bars of “super” and one bar of “Hyper Drive” to pull off your character’s best move by simply tapping their face. If you frequently play fighting games, you will definitely feel a sort of relief whilst you show off for those on-lookers on the train. You have the option to rearrange the button layout to your liking; Everyone’s phone is different after all.
As for the nooks and crannies, this port brings along the fun character specific dialogue in the Arcade Mode. Arcade Mode itself breaks off into the now standard fighting game features such as: Team Battle (KOF’s historical norm), Single Battle, Training, Challenge, and Endless (aka “Survival”). Each Arcade Mode victory even gives you the option to save a recording of the match, of course to replay it for that Subway on-looker that is still looking over your shoulder… (Seriously, what stop does this guy get off of anyway?)
All in all, this game is an excellent port for any Andriod-owning fighting game fan. Action remains fast-paced, the fighting engine is respectable, and the game is just plain fun. You can even stop play at any time, go as far as to shut off your phone, and resume play where you left off anytime you are ready to jump back into it. It is definitely worth keeping an eye out for the game’s release on Google Play, hopefully sooner rather than later.