The long development time of King of Fighters XII is finally coming to an end as the game has been dated for NA release on July 28th, 2009 via the Facebook page for the game.
With its all hand drawn sprites, it is easily one of the prettiest 2D fighters ever seen. SFIV showed that a new fighting game can be accessible to non-veterans while being incredibly deep at the same time, so I for one am really looking forward to finally getting my hands on it. I have always loved the KOF series for its differences from its main competition: Street Fighter — KOF is often said to be more offense-oriented with its variety of subtle different jumps and hops that can impact the pace greatly.
King of Fighters XII retains the 3 vs 3 combat system with up to 5 rounds, but has done away with the Tactical Shift System from KOF 2003, in favor of a new “critical counter” system. It also contains a “break” system for when two hits collide at precisely the same time. If this happens, the characters are blown back from one another. However, I have to wonder how the “break” system is going to work with online multiplayer lag.
Anyway, it is coming out soon.