The King Of Fighters XV Review – Wanna Play Some KoF?

Few fighting game series can claim to have the sort of cross-generational impact and enduring history that King of Fighters does, but in recent years, developer SNK has struggled to stay on equal footing with its competitors. With 2016’s The King of Fighters XIV suffering from dated-looking visuals and wonky online matchmaking that even the most polished gameplay would struggle to overcome, the new generation of KoF stumbled out of the gate, turning off the new blood it wanted to bring in and leaving many series stalwarts somewhat dissatisfied. Sometimes you learn by taking hard knocks, though, and SNK has clearly taken KoF XIV’s reception to heart, giving its newest title a pleasing visual revamp, tidying up the gameplay, tossing in some extras, and making the online combat better than it’s ever been before. Though it won’t mop the floor with its opponents, it’s enough to make KoF XV a serious contender again.

The King of Fighters series’ claim to fame is that it introduced the concept of a team-based fighting game. Instead of a single character, in KoF you create a team of three fighters to go up against your opponent’s squad. But unlike other well-known 3-on-3 games, like Marvel vs Capcom 2 and 3 and Dragon Ball FighterZ, there’s no tag element. Once a character is in the arena, they aren’t leaving until they’re knocked out. This makes team construction a crucial part of strategy: The characters you place as point, center, and anchor can drastically affect the flow of a match.

The King of Fighters XV
The King of Fighters XV

Another big part of KoF is its movement. While not quite as freeform as games like Guilty Gear, KoF still offers a lot of mobility options, like briefly-invincible dodge-rolls and quick-hop jumps, that give it a distinct feel and push the gameplay in a more offense-oriented direction. Accompanying these movement options are an array of normal and special moves unique to each character, along with cast-wide tools like a guard cancel dodge/counterattack, blowback attacks, the power-boosting MAX Mode, and a newly introduced “Shatter Strike,” a unique combination defensive/offensive counterattack that can also be used as a combo starter. Controls are smooth and fluid, and learning how movement and attacks flow into each other is a fun and rewarding part of fighting.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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