Will The King of Fighters XII make a dent?

In a rare but saturated fighter market, The King of Fighters XII is going to try and steal some thunder. With the recent releases of Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, and Street Fighter IV this will not be so easily accomplished. Also, looming in the distance is the anticipated release of Tekken 6 and the exciting rumor about the existence of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.

The new iteration in The King of Fighters franchise has received a near complete makeover from its predecessor. Boosted visuals in the form of larger and more detailed characters and an increased color palette are just the beginning. The last The King of Fighters game had a mind-numbing 40 character roster and while KoF12 will only have 20, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be getting extra characters. SNK has mentioned that while the roster is smaller it’s all to support a more cohesive and deeply rich design for each of the chosen characters. That intricacy alone may help KoF12 garner some playtime from busy gamers but another selling point is that aside from Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom on the Wii, KoF12 is the only tagteam style fighter for the new generation of consoles. KoF12 also has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the poor matchmaking of Street Fighter IV with some well thought out multiplayer features. There’s your typical Online Versus style and a new friends team battle which is sure to be quite fun. Players will also be able to watch and record online battles for viewing later which has been an absurdly overlooked feature in multiplayer games of all genres.

Fighters as a genre have been somewhat of an underdog genre, with near misses of gaining mass appeal. When is the last time you remember a fighter winning Game of the Year? Gamers should relish this unique slew of fighters invading the market and while some titles might be overlooked, The King of Fighters XII is a tagteam 2D fighting experience you shouldn’t miss come June.