by ON Clan Member, SVB09 Semi-Finalist, MichelS

KoF XIII has to live up to high expectations!
After so many years developing KoF XII and alienating their core fans it looks like SNKP doesn’t have the luxury of another fiasco.

My approach here is a bit different as I’ve played the game few weeks after its release in Japan.
However at that time everybody was playing with their 2k2 characters; so long before all the videos you must have seen with mature’s infinite combos, takuma/goro’s bugs and Raiden dropkick.

It was quite nice to play against other french players few months later.
The verdict? The game feels fun and awesome!

All the idiotic features from KoF XII have been removed.
No more CC combos (always starting so randomly), the cheap combos (strong move, CD …) or the stand C or D that was having such a high priority (Clark for example).

The game feels very much like XII due to its graphical style but I find the game style similar to KoF XI.
The combos timing are less lose than XII but smoother than KoF 98.

The EX moves are very interesting, they are not a simple version of the same move with more damaged but have significant changes.
Kyo’s dragon punch is vertical and doesn’t move forward so not more silly situation in the corner, or Maxima’s sliding grab become a blockable move but will grab you in the air.

The damage scale seems fairly effective and long combos seeing in video looks futile for a serious match. Most the videos showing amazing damage often requires situation rarely possible in real matches.

However I have little fear that the ability to cancel any special moves with a DM or other moves will bring the rise of very cheap characters.

As every fighting game you have a top tiers (someone says K’) and fun characters to play (kensou?). Hopefully the tiers wont be too harsh. It would be nice to not have have K’, Raiden in every match 🙂

Of course the game is in no mean perfect.
The biggest issue is the characters collisions, you notice this especially during the cross ups.
Nothing is more annoying that doing a cross up and landing in front of the opponent “magically” while you were obvious to far off. This is so frustrating when you are in the middle of your combos, and also when you are the one defending…
I m just afraid if this is not patched up the game will be considered being “too random” and doesn’t qualify as a game serious enough for competition.
Minor details: I agree with gunsmith that the grab system from XII (ac) should have been kept.

Ultimately it is a new game, not 2k2 with new graphics.
This is what the KoF community will have to absorb…
There is a new game system, characters have a different timing for combos, different priorities…
But aren’t all these changes why the KoF series is different and fun?

Go try it yourself, I’m sure after passing this first feeling of “everything feels weird” you will love it.

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