SNK Playmore's revival of the King of Fighters franchise has been met with a lot of wary responses from gamers, but as they release more teaser trailers, improve the graphics and unveil new content, many long-time fans are starting to come around and warm up to the new take on the old franchise.
Over on the PlayStation blog, SNK producer for King of Fighters XIV, Yasuyuki Oda, revealed some new details on the upcoming fighting game for the PS4, along with dropping a brand new teaser trailer featuring some of the new and returning faces to the franchise. You can check it out below.
Many fans haven't been happy about the art direction of the game, and who can blame them? It looks rather drab compared to the striking hand-drawn art that the series used to be known for. Nevertheless, the addition of new fighters like King of Dinosaurs, an evil mysterious heel wrestler, and the return of some of the best fighters known in the genre of fighting games, has made even the most bitter of fans happy to see one of the greatest fighting game brands make a strong return to form.
Boasting 50 fighters as the core of the roster, this newest entry in the King of Fighters franchise is aiming to be one of the most complete ever, possibly even topping what's hailed as the best King of Fighters of all time: KoF '98.
I'm just happy to see that all of my mains are in the game, so far. The only two missing are Ryo and Ryuji Yamazaki. With 50 slots there's no way that Ryo and Yamazaki won't make the cut. Even still, King, Robert Garcia and Terry Bogard – three of my mains from some of the earlier 2000s King of Fighter entries – are looking well and good in this game. It's nice to see Robert's kick-combos intact along with King. They're a deadly duo together since they have similar styles but King is usually considered the upper tier character in the tournament scene. It's interesting that they made Robert look like Orlando Bloom in this iteration of the game.
The Ikari Warriors Ralf and Clark are also back, so for those who like up-close-and-personal hard-hitting, explosive punches and devastating piledrivers, you'll definitely get it with those two. We knew that Chang would be back along with Leona. I'm curious if Chong will also make a return? And hopefully we'll see Heidern come back as well, and maybe he'll be joined by Leona's comrade Whip. They were usually the military force out to stop Rugal and the other Orochi-blooded warriors in the King of Fighters series.
The emo group led by K' (pronounced 'kay dash') is back. Maxima was always a difficult character to play but I loved his look and design, the Canadian fighter is teaming back up with K' and Kula just like in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Maxima appears to have received some cybernetic upgrades, which should be interesting as far as his specials and abilities go.
Oh, and another fan favorite from way back in the 1990s also has made an appearance: Benimaru. He's been a consistent character throughout the franchise and a good friend of Kyo Kusanagi. It makes me wonder if the original Japan team will get back together and we'll see Goro make a return?
I'm actually getting pretty excited for this newest King of Fighters XIV because there's a lot of potential. Hopefully the fighting itself is smooth and on-point and the input timing and reactions are as precise as can be. It would be great to see the series go back to being one of the top fighters in the FGC and SNK has a good chance of that happening with enough polish and care put into the product.