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Plaid Horse Game Review: King of Fighters XII

KingoffightersXII2 Authored by super special guest contributor and honorary MamaPop Bestard, Plaid Horse

I’ll admit, fighting games aren’t on my priority list of must-play games. 17 years ago? Well, that’s a completely different story. My brother and I basically took rolls of quarters and duct-taped them to the coin slots of Street Fighter II so we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to jump back into the brawling. Our wrists splintered with pain. Our elbows ached from smashing little onlookers out of our way. When Street Fighter II came out for Super Nintendo, we didn’t sleep for three weeks. BLISS.

Slapping King of Fighters XII into my machine brought all that back. It’s a no-holds-barred time trial where you’re invited to choose three teammates as they blood-sock their way though swift competitions. There’s little or no room for story in arcade mode, but who needs that? Narrative, what? BORING! You’re here to clobber your opponent as fast as you can. At the end of each round, you can choose to retry and best your best (clobberin’) time.
 
By no means does King of Fighters XII try to reinvent the trackball. In fact, it’s kinda funny to see a side-scroller on the xBox when you’ve got all the muscle pushing the pixels. SNK Playmore knows they can deliver a solid came by sticking to and refining the basics. That’s not to say the graphics aren’t great. Illustration quality animations reinvigorate the old characters, giving them new life.
 
The play control is what you’d expect. Like most fighting games, timing and combos are key to winning, as well as mastering the strengths and weaknesses of each character. And all the classic characters are back – Terry Bogard, Goro Daimon, Ryo, and the drunk out of his man-skull Chin Gentasi – with a few new and bazaar competitors thrown in. I do love the amped up audiences gathered around to watch the brawling. SNK decided to speed them up wicked-crazy fast when the match is over, and it gives the game a manic speedball ambiance that made me laugh more than once.
 
Hardcore fighting game fans, probably of a younger ilk, will flock to online arenas for multi-player, but I’ll probably pop in King of Fighters XII when a friend is over and we want to bet dollar games on who take a fiery uppercut to the solar plexus and belly flop into the gutter. So yeah. King of Fighters XII gets a B + because it makes me actually feel like I’m back in middle school and got a B + on an unreasonably difficult English exam about the existential dilemmas of Robert Cromier’s, I am the Cheese.

And now all I want to do is run home and deliver a round house kick to Ash Crimson’s shoulder blade. Take that, you gender confused, line dancing ultimate fighter, you!

KingoffightersXII







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