King Of Fighters XIII Review

It's been almost a week since King Of Fighters XIII has been released in North America, and other parts of the world. Believe it or not it hasn't been released in Japan by the time I'm writing this. The release date in Japan is December 1st. Anyway, since it's been about a week since it came out I might as well get to reviewing this.

If you want to know what I think of XII for comparison's sake here's that little review

In short this is TOTALLY worth $50.

Where to begin you may ask? One of the many complaints that comes to mind first is the roster size. A lot of fan favorites were left out. Number one on that list is probably Mai Shiranui. Well, with a roster size of 30+ characters, including Mai Shiranui, KOF 13 is totally fine in that regard. Also with upcoming DLC characters, like Iori with his flame power, and Mr. Karate version of Takuma the roster size definitely won't be a problem for those who like a wide variety of characters.

Mai makes a comeback and the fandom rejoiced

For those of you who play fighting games seriously and are wondering about the balance, SNK did a pretty good job with keeping the characters balanced and not having them be overpowered while also not being too weak either. A good example of this kind of balancing would be Raiden. In the arcade version of the game Raiden's drop kick did insane amounts of damage. In the console release they nerfed the kick so he wouldn't be overpowered but everywhere else he got a buff so he wouldn't be useless. Another thing about making everything balanced is that everyone in the game has the same amount of health and stun.

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All three members of the Ikari team are being used in tournaments more and more thanks to the balance changes

Another big complaint, my main complaint for KOF XII is the lack of content. The reason why I felt it wasn't worth the money. How does XIII do? It has 10 gameplay modes. Arcade, Story, Online, Playstation Store, Missions (which includes trials, time trial, and survival), gallery, options, tutorial, practice, and versus. For those of you want to know the story, story mode is great, and even arcade mode is ok because it has the usual ending scene. (Not even that was in XII) So for you casual fans who don't want to go online or to tournaments (or not immediately anyway) you have those modes on top of the mission modes to give you enjoyment without being a serious player.

I played online for a few casual matches and am happy to report that the netcode is better than XII. Though I can't say it's great, just good. In the matches I played the game seems to run smoothly and I only experienced lag in one round of one match.

Well, those were the pros now on to the quick (and minor) cons

Number one thing, continuing with online play, is as I said it's ok but not great, some things in terms of the netcode can be tightened up. I'm sure a patch will come out sometime.

Another knock on the game is also from the online mode, and that's the lack of a spectator mode. Nowadays almost all fighting games have a spectator mode when online, so you can watch the matches being played while you're waiting to play. Or in the case of some streamers like and peacefuljay who get online and go into spectator mode so you can watch those players play the game. A lot of us feel spectator mode should be a given in modern fighting games and there's no real reason it shouldn't have that. SNK said they wanted to make sure the netcode was good, but games like UMVC3 have good netcode AND spectator mode so I really see no reason to not have it.

Final con to this game, despite it being the mode I really wanted is how they handled the story mode. It's still a good mode, but having only a few animated scenes and having to read bucket-loads of text doesn't really cut it. Though I will admit it's not terrible and I still did enjoy it, but having some voice acting and more animations would have made it better.

All in all, with those few gripes the game is still amazing. I have to give it my full endorsement. This game is worth $50 if you're a longtime fan or are interested in the series and want to try it out, go buy this game you will not be disappointed.

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I do wish Clark and Ralf would go back to their old designs, Leona's redesign I'm actually fine with, she looks good either way.