Author Topic: KOFXIII first impression  (Read 3179 times)

solidshark

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KOFXIII first impression
« on: June 23, 2011, 09:17:17 AM »
 Finally got out to maybe the only locale in the midwest that has a XIII cab - Galloping Ghosts Arcade outside of Chicago (excellent arcade btw). The drive from Michigan to Chicago and back for a game recently announced a few months from the trip made the trip seem unnecessary, but after making the trip and playing it, I'm really, REALLY compelled to make another trip just to play the game again. One day wasn't enough for me. As a fighting game fan since SF2WW, I can say this is definitely the fighter I've been waiting for in this generation.

Galloping Ghosts Arcade has the best selection of arcade games you've ever seen in the U.S., including all of the current fighters lined up one after another, including MK9, MVC3 (cabinets made from PS3 consoles), Tekken 6, SSF4, Blazblue, and KOFXIII. They weren't in that exact order, but for me the best looking game of the line-up was XIII, hands down. It didn't display the HD quality I was hoping for due to the screen they used, but like everyone else who's played it has said - not even the best-looking online video of XIII gameplay could do the visuals justice. The intro, stages (especially Saiki and Dark Ash's), character sprites, animation - it's just an abundant amount of quality, and you can tell SNK put lots of time and effort in. The color selection is inspired here, some color changes honestly might as well be an entirely different outfit. I've got so many favorites, like Nests Kyo, Fat Venom (Raiden), Terry/Robert, Robert/Terry, Iron Man Maxima, Joker Ash, K' with Jin Kazama's pants, Super Saijan Andy, Benimaru as Jax, opaque transparent Mature & Vice; there might not need to be any color editing mode here. I spent maybe an hour taking in the visuals of the DMs, EXDMs, and especially the NeoMaxes. Just wait till you've seen Kula's NeoMax in person, I swear.
Soundwise, I knew how great the soundtrack was already, but mad that as with any arcade setting, you can barely hear the music tracks like you'd like to. The voices came out clearly though, and nothing disappointed me. I knew what to expect from videos, hearing the voices of characters that don't get picked often like Hwa Jai, Kensou, Joe and others was great. I do wish Raiden would've kept his XII voice actor, but understand why not.

Storywise, I only played through the Fatal Fury team storyline, which had a standard (somewhat disturbing) ending, but it follows the normal formula, which isnt' a bad thing. The Ash conclusion made sense, even put Ash Crimson himself in a bit of a different light, but still had some old unfilled holes. Was it ever established who attacked Takuma in AOF 03 ending? Best part of it though was more the dialog between characters. Just like SvC Chaos, it's clever and more than often really funny. Imagine Terry asking Maxima about father-advice, or Hwa always third-personing himself.

Gameplaywise, even more awesome than I first imagined. The fan demand for XIII was heard, as it feels like sort of a combination of 98, 02, XI, and XII; to most KOF veterans it's debatable which one influences XIII more. I stick more with 02 for the speed and BC combo system. One thing I can say about this is that this is probably the KOF where newcomers and expert players can meet on fairly equal ground. What made older games like 02 more of a challenge to master with technical aspects, it's made easier in XIII. For example, BC mode in 02/UM was a challenge when you wanted to run up to your opponent to start comboing. XIII has auto run. And those who miss what made older KOFs a technical challenge can take note of the fact that characters that couldn't take advantage of every prior system now can. Goro, Chin, Clark, and other lesser played characters now have a chance. Balance is another important thing about XIII, in how close it is to acheiving a perfect level for itself. There are tiers of course, with K' and Raiden at the very top, but I've found that everyones got tools that makes them a threat. EVERYONE. After playing Hwa Jai, Chin, Terry, Kensou and Mai, I definitely know I'll be messing with lower tier characters first. Played a decent K' and Kula, as decent as some tourney players are, and I could hold my own with them, once I got used to the system and movelists. Cross-ups and some damage levels I'm still trying to figure out. Using meter management is really important for this game too, but so fun as there are so many options once you've got it.

I know I've only skimmed the surface with this game. I really wish I could've afforded a few days or a week instead of just a day, but I know I'll be putting lots of time into this. I'm one of the few people who will admit to liking KOF XII, but I won't deny XIII was really the game I was waiting for, as is everyone else. To those still waiting to play this, don't be surprised if this game stays in your system for a long time once you get your hands on it.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 09:48:02 PM by Kane317 »
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Rex Dart

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 06:11:15 PM »
Thanks for the write-up.

For me, it feels strange to keep mentioning this point. Being a KOF fan ten years ago was all about "gameplay is what matters. Graphics aren't important." But geez, this game is just too beautiful. My local arcade only has the game on a small CRT monitor, which doesn't do it justice at all. When I played the game on the Viewlix monitor in a Tokyo arcade, I was amazed all over again. It was honestly hard for me to concentrate on the game, I was just so absorbed in all the details in the backgrounds. XIII is just that good.

Luckily, the gameplay is good enough to back it up. If I may quote Mr.KOF (from the SoCal thread):

Quote from: Mr.KOF
Yeah this Game Is by far the best KOF ever in my opinion. Friendly enough for everyone to learn the game quickly with its fine and easy engine. It's great that it will be on console for everyone to level up on their own time.

Pretty much that.

solidshark

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 06:23:17 PM »
When I played the game on the Viewlix monitor in a Tokyo arcade, I was amazed all over again. It was honestly hard for me to concentrate on the game, I was just so absorbed in all the details in the backgrounds. XIII is just that good.

That's exactly the type of screen I want to play this game on.
"You had guts kid; now clean them up off the pavement"
-Terry Bogard, 1995

Kane317

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 10:00:51 PM »
Solidshark, first of all great, well thought, write up.  

I think you hit the nail on the spot.  I know that some of the other communities can't understand why we're not playing '02UM anymore, and I reiterate again that it's not becase '02UM is crap, nothing could be further from the truth.

XIII is so well constructed in almost every way imaginable.  Yes there could be balance tweaks, yes they could add more moves for some characters, but there's a reason why our socal group hasn't stopped playing since it came out in the arcades.  I can honestly say, none of the previous twelve iterations have seen so much playtime in the arcades for Socal.  Most of the kofs will be play a lot for the first 3-4 months, and it'll dwindle off for a couple of months and strangely it'll revive again towards the end of the kof "year".

The gameplay videos alone should be enough to keep people captivated; keep people intrigued--but there's so much more than we can possible describe in text without actually feeling it viscerally in person.

Remzi

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 11:55:06 PM »
I haven't played it yet, but I can honestly say it's very well balanced for a larger cast, aside from K' and Raiden. Even the worst characters like Athena are still very usable.

As Kane said, there could be tweaks to improve the lower tiers, and whatnot, but the system and everything about the game is fantastic, at least from what I've seen (15+ hours of gameplay). It's a great game that I can't wait to purchase.
MBAA: H-Aoko
MBAC: Hisui & Kohaku
LB2: S-Akari
NGBC: DIO & Kaede
KOFXIII: Yuri / King / DuoLon

EDDR

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 12:18:48 AM »
Quote
I do wish Raiden would've kept his XII voice actor, but understand why not.

Because the voice actor (who also did Heihachi) committed suicide.

http://www.1up.com/news/heihachi-voice-actor-dead

I have yet to see the game in full glory but in videos i always catch myself looking at the details. I need my 2d eye candy.

Remzi

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Re: KOFXIII first impression
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 01:11:55 AM »
Aww, that sucks. Raiden's XII voice was nicely done.
MBAA: H-Aoko
MBAC: Hisui & Kohaku
LB2: S-Akari
NGBC: DIO & Kaede
KOFXIII: Yuri / King / DuoLon