Conclusions and Overall Thoughts
The King of Fighters XIV does the KOF series justice with this latest release. Being a KOF fan from the beginning, I was ready to put this game through some serious scrutiny, as I didn’t want to be disappointed. Luckily, I was far, far from that.
KOF XIV dives in with a current-gen 3D presentation that’s pleasing to the eye. What little of the story there was at least was well-presented. The story itself just needed more foundation to establish the scenario for newcomers to KOF. The special conversations between characters of unique relationships was a nice touch. The nostalgic music remixes for the more epic encounters was an even better touch and should hit home with seasoned KOF fans.
Gameplay itself is properly paced, being not-too-fast for the newcomer and not-too-slow for the veteran. A forgiving command input system, a to-the-point Tutorial Mode, and a roster of over 48 characters welcome players of all skill levels with open arms. Story Mode, (local) Versus Mode, and Mission Mode should keep players occupied for some time given the lengthy roster. As an extra bonus, Mission Mode not only forces you to perform fancy combos and cancels with your chosen fighter, but it also teaches you increasingly difficult combos for you to potentially take with you as you fight others.
Multiplayer added some nifty features that made me question why we haven’t seen these before in KOF or in any fighting game, for that matter. Online Training Mode allows you the features of Training Mode but with the ability of connecting with others online. Want to just sandbox around with your friend or just share tips? Here’s the most straight-forward way to do it! The new Party Battle mode allows for 6 players, with each player controlling a single fighter within the 3 v 3 match up. Now feel like an actual part of an actual team as you chat with your friends and fight alongside them against others! My one and only gripe with this mode is that it is quite confusing to navigate without instruction. After about 10 minutes, I finally understood how to actually join a game.
Those last two new modes feel like modes that should have been common up to now. They are intuitive and complete the respectable package that is King of Fighters XIV. Atlus did a great job with this one, and after the Street Fighter V release debacle, it’s great to experience a fighting game that is more than simply “good” in its own. Hell, its COMPLETE, at launch. A great fighting game that I’d suggest to anyone that’s actually COMPLETE at launch? That’s a no brainer if you ask me.
Go. Go now. Go find a way to try out King of Fighters XIV for yourself. If you ask me, aside from a story presentation that could be better, you can’t miss with KOF XIV.
† Review copy provided by Atlus PR.