IGN Hands-On Preview of KOF XII (PS3)

May 21, 2009

IGN has posted an encouraging preview of The King of Fighters XII on PS3 here. Below are some excerpts from the hands-on session:

This is truly one of the sharpest 2D games I’ve ever seen and watching it in motion makes the screenshots look completely lifeless. This really is a fighter that must be experienced first-hand.

And although the game’s aesthetics might have been given a total overhaul, the fighting mechanics still feel very much like a King of Fighters game.

What surprised me the most when I picked up the controller was how much weight the characters had. It was a fantastic feeling, especially when you compare it with other 2D fighters where characters move around without any real substance.

Standard throws are also included as well as an evasive roll that can help your fighter get out of sticky situations.

Every character can also counter at any time. During a character’s counter frames, if an opponent lands a strike on you, your character will immediately follow-up with a counter attack that tends to knock your opponent across the screen. This is not only an extremely important gameplay mechanic for advanced players, but it also looks damn stylish. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as reversing an incoming attack and sending your once-confident rival sailing through the air.

King of Fighters XII also sports Critical Counters, which function very much like standard counters, except you have to build up your Critical Counter gauge in order to execute them. If you manage to pull one off, you can string together a custom combo that your opponent can’t block against, which creates some devastating (and flashy) on-screen moves.

Although I didn’t have hands-on time with it personally, I was told about the game’s online battle mode, which will actually feature clan support exclusively on the PS3 version.

King of Fighters XII will also have a replay editor, where you can upload and share entire matches on both the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

Good to hear of a good hands-on preview, though it is of concern to Xbox 360 fans that the clan feature is only exclusive to PS3 owners, probably because Microsoft has yet to provide proper clan support for Xbox360. Sad, but guess Xbox 360 fans will have to make do with it and enjoy the other features of the game.