Monday, 28 November 2016

King of Fighters XIV set for a graphical boost

I've yet to post up my thoughts on The King of Fighters XIV, a game I had been hotly anticipating for a long time and waffled on about more than a few times here at DS90Gamer. I own it and have played it quite a bit and while I will be saving my overall thoughts for a proper 'Played' feature, I think it wouldn't be too much of a spoiler for me to say that the weakest element of the game is its visuals.

Irrelevant to this post but it's an awesome angle...heh.

From a distance, the characters look fine but up close with the cinematic super move animations (like the one pictured above) the poor level of detail cannot hide. Now obviously this game was turned around quite quickly by a developer that always seems to be on the brink of collapse, features a mammoth 50 character roster and actually plays fantastically so if visual quality was sacrificed at the altar of the dreaded deadline then I can understand that. The game does, after all, take a pretty big dump on Street Fighter V in terms of immediate day one accessibility for example.

Backdrops can be a bit inconsistent in their ability to impress, special effects are a bit so-so at times and the characters in general have a bit of a Playstation 2 level of detail to them. Much better than the two 3D Maximum Impact games that were on the PS2, mind but still not really up to the standards of PS3 or 360 titles from the last generation.

Well, SNK have recently announced the 1.10 update patch which - amongst other things - will actually upgrade the quality of the visuals. Clearly they have listened to fan feedback and you have to hand it to them for working away at this rather than simply relying on the gameplay alone to sell KOFXIV. Below is an example of the upgrade we can expect (images courtesy of The Fighters Generation):

Current visuals...
...new visuals!

Straight away it is apparent that lighting and shading are both drastically improved as is the overall sharpness, textures and level of detail. It's actually a pretty decent-looking update and I can't wait to see what the other characters will look like now. There's no word on when the 1.10 patch will be available to download on PS4 but I'm looking forward to the weakest part of this otherwise enjoyable game being addressed.

Nice one SNK!

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