Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My King of Fighters XIV U-Turn

Back in September, I posted a pretty unimpressed reaction to the (then) brand-new reveal of SNK's The King of Fighters XIV. What a difference six months can make though! The previously unattractive 'Plain Jane' of fighting games has applied her make-up and put on her tight miniskirt and now looks seriously sexy with vastly improved visuals, exciting gameplay and frequent teaser trailers for new characters all contributing to a genuinely staggering turnaround from where the disappointing September 2015 debut. In comparison, Capcom's Street Fighter V is a real head-turner but jaw-dropping looks can't disguise the fact that she's staggering around at the party, disorientated and bumping into things.

"Predictable!" "Too Easy!" "Double Reppuken!" etc. etc.

SNK are promising a 50-strong roster and frequently release new teasers featuring multiple new characters, the most recent of which showed off the returning, isn't-he-supposed-to-be-dead Geese Howard and his legendary counter-throws. Geese is one of my favourites by far so this was fantastic news but it was just a part of what has been a gradual increase in credibility for this upcoming fighter, especially given how a lot of SNK fans (myself included) were concerned about the company being acquired by a Chinese consortium not long ago. It was feared that the classic SNK properties would be wasted on pachinko machines and the like but right now, The King of Fighters XIV is (in my personal opinion) looking so much more complete than Street Fighter V.

Ironically, Capcom's fighter was a driving force behind me upgrading to a PS4 but I still haven't bought the game. Horror stories about online lag and a rampant rage-quitter problem don't concern me too much as I'm not a major online gamer BUT the lack of single player modes and constant delays with no explanation for the promised updates have put me off for now. It's a bit of a half-assed, incomplete effort as far as it currently stands and while tournament and EVO types will probably passionately disagree, I personally believe that KOF XIV will be a Street Fighter slayer.

Bring it on.

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