Guard Cancel is an interview series profiling KOF community members. The goal is to get to know the people behind the tags. Guard Cancel will be published every Monday. If you’d like to be featured, email email@example.com
1. How long have you played KOF? Which KOF was your first? Which is your favorite?
I’ve been playing KOF since 1996, starting out with KOF96 (what a shock), but I had to step away from fighting games in general for personal reasons for a long time (from around 2003 until last winter), so I missed everything between 2002 and 2002UM. My favorites are 98 (though I don’t play it much anymore), 2002, 2002UM, and XIII, but if I had to pick just one, I’d probably go with XIII. Hoping that the console release can turn that “probably” into “definitely”.
2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?
KOF games let you have some flexibility between being aggressive or being defensive, whereas something like Guilty Gear Accent Core forces most characters to favor being offensive or something like Capcom vs SNK 2 forces most characters to play a midrange poking game a lot of the time.
Secondly is just how individually unique a lot of the characters are, in terms of gameplay. Even among characters of the same archetype, they each have their own different feel (like Clark, O.Yashiro, Vice, and Shermie are all grapplers in 98/2002, but Clark is a straight rushdown beast, O.Yashiro has some nice pokes and crazy reset mixups off of hcf+P, Vice has tools to be a threat even if she can’t get right in your face, and Shermie is the most stylish despite kind of being left in the dust). Then you have the characters who are more or less unique to KOF, like Angel, Jhun, May Lee, Blue Mary, K’, and so forth. I think that, no matter what fighting game background you come from and no matter what type of playstyle you prefer, you will always be able to find at least one team that feels good to you in most KOF games, which is not something I can say about many other fighting games.
3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings.
I used to play in some local arcade tournaments in the past, but I have not really been involved in the tournament scene for any game in such a long time that it seems unfair to refer back to that time. Since getting back into fighting games recently, I have only been involved in some local tournaments for Arcana Heart 3, but it has been very fun to get that competitive spirit fired up again. With the release of XIII coming up for consoles, I definitely will be involved in tournament play for that.