E3 2011: The King of Fighters XIII Hands-On Preview - Early Details

KOF XIII is the newest version of SNK Playmore's fighting series, and Persona publisher Atlus is bringing it home to consoles. We take a quick look at E3 2011.

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E3 2011 is the venue for news, announcements, and surprising developments, like how Persona publisher Atlus has just been revealed as the home console publishing partner for The King of Fighters XIII. The console version of the arcade fighting game is in an extremely early state, so much of the planned content for the home version was still missing, but Atlus representatives assured us that both they, and SNK Playmore, are aware of the poor reception of the developer's previous console fighter, KOF XII, and that Atlus is committed to delivering a much stronger home console experience.

We briefly played the game in head-to-head play with Atlus representatives and found that all of the characters have already been implemented and are working. This included characters who are newcomers to KOF XIII, such as Hwa Jai, the balding Muay Thai master of Southtown, and Raiden, the masked pro wrestler. All characters look and play just like their arcade counterparts, from their standard suite of four normal attacks (a light punch and a heavy punch, a light kick and a heavy kick), knockdown attacks, and forward rolls to their trademark special attacks and devastating superattacks. KOF XIII also has a new hyper drive system performed by pressing the light kick and strong punch buttons together that causes your character to be followed by trailing shadows onscreen and lets you extend your character's attacks into longer combinations. Hyper drive is also in the game and seems to be working just fine. Popular characters like Kim Kaphwan, Ryo Sakazaki, and Terry Bogard all play similarly to their KOF XII versions, though the game pace is faster and seems to run more smoothly.

While it's definitely gratifying to see that the core of KOF XIII's gameplay has been implemented and is working, the real story for KOF XIII will come down to two factors: online play and console extras. Online play in the console release of the previous game, KOF XII, was notoriously terrible at launch, and although SNK Playmore eventually patched the game to have improved online performance, by that time, most players had already abandoned it. KOF XIII's online play will be based on the improved online of KOF XII's latter days, and Atlus again emphasized its commitment to work with SNK to create a solid experience. For example, the home version of the game will be based on the 1.1 update of KOF XIII, which fixed several issues, including the character Mature's embarrassing infinite juggle attack. Whether or not the game will see additional updates to fix bugs or update character balance is really up to SNK Playmore, but Atlus representatives assured us they'll work directly with SNK to try to get any additional updates or changes into the game.

As mentioned, console extras are the other sore point from KOF XII because that game came with an Arcade mode and online play but not much else. Atlus is currently working on including "more than a half-dozen modes," including Versus mode, Arcade mode, and an in-depth Story mode told with cinematic scenes featuring static high-resolution 2D artwork, along with art galleries and other modes that the publisher isn't yet ready to reveal.

Atlus is also known for putting together attractive preorder packages, but when asked about the subject, the publisher was not yet ready to confirm what was planned. However, the game has already begun to appear on retailer sites for preorder at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49.99, which is admittedly well below the usual $59.99 charged for most new console games. The publisher suggested that it's in talks with SNK Playmore about this subject and that if and when it can reveal any details about any kind of special preorder version, it will. In any case, the game will be released for consoles later this year.

Discussion

37 comments
Quezakolt
Quezakolt

feels like a tight schedule. maybe they should delay. i liked KOF12. But my brother is a fan of martial arts and said that some of the animations are wrong for certain fighting styles. Apparently MK is fine in this regard. Which stuck me as odd.

5ssj
5ssj

i dunno about the console versions, but when i played the arcade version, the stages felt so "lively", i just wish they upgrade the character animations (or make it 3d :P) cant wait to get it on the ps3 ( or 360 for some others)

pqwoei
pqwoei

Oh yeah KOF is Back!!

robereto
robereto

Been waiting for this!!!

afraz-z-jin
afraz-z-jin

It is nicely played this game with honor of kof series i loved that 2d revolution graphics, awesome combos ans clothes

bored_gamer
bored_gamer

this is what King of Fighters XII wasn't. I only played some of the old ones in the arcades like KOF 2003 but KOF XIII looks real nice

madsnakehhh
madsnakehhh

@chrisangelo2k7 Yes, Angel was such a fresh character for any figthing game, her style and animations were pretty good and she was also very deep and complicated to master but once you did you were a big treat to any player, she deserve a spot in this game. Anyway, October will be sick, as long as this game has a great online it will be a 1st day buy, i love this franchise and i can't wait to get good at it and to kick some ass online, not to mention, i really hope they add new characters, like Blue Mary, Angel or Vanessa :D

vengefulwilberg
vengefulwilberg

It is good to see that some companies still works with the 2D graphics design. KOF 13 looks nice so far. I got SSF4 Arcade Edition and I love it; however I have a soft spot for fighting games that stick with 2D graphics. I wish Capcom would have came up with an updated art style like third strike for the street fighter 4 series. I am going to keep a close eye on KOF 13.

omeaga1lenin
omeaga1lenin

kof 12 was not a bad game, just a unfinished one i have it and enjoy it even now.... i kind of liked the cam zooming in and out i hope they put it in 13 as an option that can be turned on or of ......... i hope they are not planning any dlc, ex costumes are ok. characters are not, put them all on disk and charge me extra 4 it i will pay u wat ever u ask 4 snk..................... just dont charge me after i have bought my disk

ModNinja
ModNinja

Yeah! Just the fact that Mai is back "It's a must buy title"

chrisangelo2k7
chrisangelo2k7

I want ANGEL and GOENITZ as extra for home consoles!!! I'm ready to pay for any price, specially for ANGEL, BEST KOF character ever!!!

Sam-os_IMP
Sam-os_IMP

I hope it does not look all pixelated and nasty like 12

regix416_basic
regix416_basic

@Glade_Gnarr: Hey, one word and it will all make sense... after a LONG absence, Mai RETURNS! That's enough incentive for me. Still wish they'd release more SNK Classics though. I wonder why after Volume 1 came out, nothing else followed? I mean sure they did the compilations of KoF, Samurai Showdown, and Fatal Fury, Metal Slug... oh yeah, and World Heroes, but what about the other shooters, the OTHER fighters and all that other good stuff that wasn't released yet? I want my Voltage Fighters Gowcaiser dang it!

rey2
rey2

Thank you ATLUS for publishing this SNK Playmore game for us all. This is long overdue. Already saw the arcade version. I'm sure this won't dissappoint.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

If they have more characters then I'll definitely buy this, I hope they bring back Yuri, she was my favorite.

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

Are my eyes deceiving me? Is that Mai? I don't believe it. Maybe I'll buy this now. Give her some new sexy outfits and I'll preorder now!

shincorno
shincorno

I will like to see a KOF games with SF4 graphic style or SF4 VS KOF but with sf4 graphic style too. This kof looks good but I think SNK is not doing the giant step like capcom did. Who don´t like the current sf4 series? Am playing SF since SF2 turbo in snes and the current series is awesome. Capcom keep the classic 2d fighting style but with cool 3d cell shading graphics. All we love KOF anime style art but imagine this same anime style but with 3d cell shading graphics, es better. Well is my opinion.

iRaInOnPaRaDeS
iRaInOnPaRaDeS

I wish Alba would be thrown in the roster cause it seems that Maximum Impact is probably not gonna make a return. Other than that it already looks more promising than the last KoF installment so I may get it after more speculation.

Lonebird
Lonebird

Hope this one dont ruin the name again... the last version was a big mistake , not even close to the king of fighters

itBit
itBit

All hail the KING OF FIGHTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aero_Slasher
Aero_Slasher

I look forward to picking up my boy K' and lighting up a few people. It's been too long!

Agelu
Agelu

That took some time... but finally!!!...

X-RS
X-RS

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! =D

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

This and Prey 2 are my most wanted games at the moment. No question. It's funny, as both their predecessors weren't very good. I'd like to think this game will end up with a story mode almost as deep as BlazBlue's, and that Vanessa, Billy, and Blue Mary will be added as a team, but that's unlikely. Regardless, the game will be awesome as long as it's as good as the arcade version with a survival mode added.

King9999
King9999

I hope they can get Vanessa in this.

dibooda
dibooda

I dint bought KOF Xll because of a bad review, and blazblue came out at pretty much the same time, but this time, this one sounds promising. Lets wait and see.

AtlanticRock
AtlanticRock

finally... been itching for KOF... just wish billy was in this :'(

TheDuskwalker
TheDuskwalker

Can't wait! Hopefully lots of console extras making it content packed giving no fighting game fan a reason not to own it. Can't wait to get my Mai and Leona on. :P