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The 2D fighter will never have the same level of popularity as it once did, since when 3D became the new 2D, but it will also never die when companies like SNK can still provide classics of this level. If you are even remotely into 2D fighters… if you still carry your memories of playing Streetfighter 2 in an arcade or on a SNES deep in the murky past… you owe it to yourself to pay homage to the new King.
PlayStation 2Console Obsession
King of Fighters XI is strictly for those with the bleeding and often oddly shaped fingers, AKA the hardcore fighter. Here is a fighting system that has been honed over many years, with new additions that are successful in their execution, all of which culminates in a 2D fighting game of the highest class, one that should only be played by its strong fan base and the truly dedicated.
Det här, mina vänner, är ren "bara en match till"-känsla förpackad på en liten neongrön dvd-skiva. Nytändning för serien, praktexempel på en lysande konvertering och ett helt suveränt fightingspel.
Kof XI est le jeu parfait que tout amoureux de la saga depuis sa création se doit de posséder. Au niveau graphique, il n’y a pas grand-chose à reprocher. Le jeu est très joli, et les décors détaillés. A défaut d’être originaux, les thèmes musicaux font également partie des points positifs. L’ambiance est aussi soignée, avec de nouveaux effets et des artworks superbes. Et le meilleur dans tout ça, c’est que le maniabilité reste excellente. Sur ce point, ce volet est la référence de la série, c’est vous dire le niveau ! Malheureusement, le jeu est un poil simple, et le facteur chance permettra aux débutants de parfois battre les pros sans vergogne. Mais rassurez-vous, on tient là un excellent cru. Que vous dire de plus ? Ce jeu est énorme, une vraie leçon pour les amateurs de l’ère NeoGeo. Un jeu mythique, qui permet à la PlayStation 2 de partir doucement avec les honneurs.
SNK: Playmore should be applauded for what they have done with King of Fighters XI. Although coming up short in the past, it seems they have finally started listening to fans' pleas while clearly coming to the conclusion that the best way to satisfy fans while potentially bringing new fans in is simply by making the best game possible. There is no need to attempt to cater to tastes when a game is this well put together. After the relative disappointment of Neowave and the simply appalling 3D Maximum Impact series, SNK: Playmore have finally come good with one of the finest 2D fighters around. If you are a fan of the genre, or even slightly curious, then you simply must pick up a copy of King of Fighter XI just as soon as you can.
Overall this edition of KOF is possibly the best KOF game since KOF98! A lot of people will find that hard to believe, but it has the solid gameplay that 98 had and the variety of KOF2002. This game will go a long way if players can forgive SNK Playmore for messing up the series in the first place.
PlayStation 2Gamers Europe
It's a mystery how two such very different games manage to share so many things in common. In away it's almost a relief that Maximum Impact 2 is so poor, as it allows XI to bask in its own glory, an example of how the 2D fighting genre isn't dead and hopefully an opportunity for younger gamers to appreciate the concept of gameplay being greater than eye-candy.
PlayStation 2Worth Playing
Balanced, a little hasty, and enjoyable, King of Fighters XI is what people were expecting: an enjoyable game with new features and a stylish look that keeps in line with the rest of the series. Although some of the changes were unexpected — some would say unwelcome — in terms of team changes, I doubt many people will be disappointed. It's a very solid game and a welcome part of the series, which also helps its expected sibling, SNK Battle Coliseum, to emerge with necessary hype to get some purchases through its hidden characters with those new designs. Either played alone or with a friend, this game can be enjoyed by new players and veterans alike.
Un épisode de grande qualité que ce King Of Fighters XI. En plus d'une jouabilité profitant de plusieurs trouvailles, cet opus se veut toujours aussi technique tout en étant plus ouvert, ne serait-ce que grâce à son nouveau système de victoire, basé sur la façon de jouer et non plus sur la seule et unique barre de vie. Alors, oui, on peut regretter l'absence de mode online mais à 30 euros, ce n'est clairement pas une raison suffisante pour bouder ce volet de haute volée.
The King of Fighters XI is fun, complex and has a ton of characters to try out, with only a handful of them requiring an unlock. At only about $20, it's hard not to recommend this to fighting game enthusiasts. While it doesn't bring anything new to the table, and its visuals fail to impress, the fast-paced tag-team battles and old-school challenge make this a title to look out for. Casual gamers beware: this is a game with an absurd amount of information to learn and master, so skip this one if you don't want to invest the time and sore thumbs.
The King Of Fighters XI is as easy on the eye as any version yet, and benefits from a playability overhaul and the inclusion of a majestic tag battle system. It is as frustratingly difficult to beat as ever, thanks to the joypad-smashingly evil bosses, but remains compulsive and playable. It is, of course, a blast in VS mode. No one is sure where the series is headed next, particularly now that retro compilations of older Neo Geo games and online marketplace versions would seem to be more popular than the newer instalments and indeed the arcade versions themselves. This is a shame, as KOF XI has finally addressed some of the issues that the “fans” have harped on about for years, with Playmore finally delivering the flagship 2D mainstay goods.
PlayStation 2Eurogamer.net (UK)
The cheap bordered 50Hz conversion is a touch disappointing but when the rest of the game is so damn great and taking into account the fact that you'll get change out of fifteen notes for this little beauty, it seems harsh to keelhaul XI over cut corners like this. Unlikely to win younger or more fickle gamers over from the sumptuous eye candy of Soul Calibur and DOA as this may be, KOF XI displays intricacies and technical possibilities far beyond these showier titles and marks a resplendent return to form for SNK's best-loved franchise.
KoFXI is a curious beast then. It does its best to dissuade you from playing, looking like it was put together on a budget of about 50p, yet offers one of the most superlative and complete 2D fighting experiences Gamestyle has had the pleasure of playing in recent years. With an RRP of just £15.00, KoFXI becomes an even more attractive package. So, think of the developers - don’t let KoFXI become one of the latter.
Overall, King of Fighters XI is a superb addition to any retro fans collection. With ample moves, special attacks, dozens of characters and a couple of extra good modes to boot, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that matches the level of quality seen in SNK’s latest release. Throw in the addition of some superbly effective, yet rewardingly complex new manoeuvres, and you have what is undoubtedly a more balanced, versatile and ultimately strategic nudge to 2D combat, which even the most obstinate of gamers will find hard to disparage. Retro-tastic.
The problem with this game (and indeed the series sometime) is if you aren’t already familiar with the KOF lineage it is a bit hard to feel like you’re getting right to the heart of the drama, certainly without a bit of googling for info. You will take little from the character history, be blissfully unaware of the new incarnations and may even think some protagonists are pretty thin masquerades of other, shall we say more well known, beat em up flag bearers. On the other hand you sure are getting a large slice of action for what tends to be a very moderate price tag and there is a place for a good hand to hand combat affair in everybody’s collection. See this as a bespoke tailored suit, in a Windsor style; even if you aren’t a regular player of these type of 2d beat em ups the fact that someone is still around turning out quality offerings in a now less fashionable genre should make you reassured that should you ever have need for such an item SNK is there to help out.
All in all this is essentially a game for fans of the series. Its innovations will mostly go unnoticed by the masses and rightly so as they have been primarily designed to titillate the faithful. It is likely that those who aren't already nostalgic about King of Fighters should probably opt for the more impressive and bigger budget Maximum Impact 2 that comes out at the same time, and features in our other review this month.
PlayStation 2Retrogaming History
Sia pure sotto una veste leggermente rinnovata l’undicesimo capitolo rimane pur sempre l’ennesimo King Of Fighters. Non aspettatevi dunque grossi stravolgimenti o novità, così come un’intelligenza artificiale degna di questo nome.
PlayStation 2Video Game Generation
Sadly, the 2D fighter may have finally run its course. It was rather disappointing that SNK hasn’t even tried to upgrade the graphics to present day standards. It gives the game a dated feel and leaves you feeling like you’re a couple of generations behind the times. The truly hardcore 2D fighter geeks should enjoy the latest edition regardless, but the rest of us get left somewhere on the outside, wondering why some people haven’t moved on to something new and better – retro stylings or not. It’s like still playing the same “classic rock” albums over and over – while the new bands may not have the same sound or feel, eventually, those records will start to feel stale, grooves will begin to wear, skips and crackles overtake the original sound. Eventually, there’s no choice but to move on. R.I.P.
PlayStation 2The Video Game Critic
Unlike the backdrops, the character graphics have not been upgraded, and compared to the sharp scenery they look downright pixelated. The fighting action is fun but not exceptional. When you dispose of an opponent the next one appears in the same place, and you can use this to corner the new guy and apply some cheap early hits. As one of the weaker entries in the series, King of Fighters XI is long on characters and extraneous features but short on imagination.
PlayStation 2Game Watcher
Overall, this game has a lot to live up to with its older siblings in the arcades. The PS2’s D-pad or analogue sticks are always going to struggle in comparison to a proper arcade joystick controller. The Dual Shock’s buttons too are a poor reflection of the large micro-switched arcade artifacts that respond so well and provide a greater amount of travel for each press. Pretty much everything that could be done has been to make this a viable next iteration for the series. If you have played other King of Fighters games and are curious to see how the series has developed this is a great game for you. If you are new to fighters, you will have to be willing to invest a significant amount of time to get the best out of this game. For those that do have the time and patience though this, like other fighting games, delivers an experience that opens out and out as you discover layer upon layer of fighting ingenuity that will keep you coming back for more.
PlayStation 2Jolt (UK)
King of Fighters XI is more of the same, giving fans exactly what they want and completely ignoring the possibility of opening up the series to new players. It’s perfectly balanced and intricately developed, improving upon its predecessors yet still offering nothing so ‘new’ that could improve its score. This is the sort of game best left to the professionals: enthusiasts who will play until their arcade sticks are worn out or broken, the disc beyond repair and their social lives non-existent. We’ve always got Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter and personal hygiene to keep ourselves occupied.
Then again this likely doesn’t matter to anyone interested in this game. The King of Fighters fans out there are going to run for the game regardless of how it looks or sounds so long as it plays just fine. Nobody is going to be converted to this game series by this entry, it doesn’t offer anything phenomenal to gamers. With games such as Virtua Fighter 5 going online, Soul Calibur is as fun as ever and Tekken 5 introducing some new, interesting characters this game doesn’t offer much of anything. Keep this one for the fans only and look forward to the next game in the series.
The question is: "Should I spend my money on this game, or should I pay the same amount in an arcade room playing the older version of The King of Fighters?". I'd go with the second one, because it would be the same experience, perhaps a more pleasant one, because of the better controls. When you've reached the eleventh installment in a famous series, fans will not forgive slip-ups and a failure will most definitely ruin the brand. Will the number XII mark a return to success? Will we even see such a title? One can only hope for the best, because it would be a real shame to let such a famous fighting saga go to waste.
PlayStation 2Thunderbolt Games
So, King Of Fighters might be a much-loved series amongst its hardcore fans and it might deliver in all the areas that those familiar with the franchise would expect, but measured toe-to-toe against modern fighting games it just doesn’t fare well. The fact it's getting a budget release at just £15 softens the blow somewhat, but then considering you can pick up several excellent contemporary fighting games such as Virtua Fighter 4, Tekken 5 or even Soul Calibur 3 for the equivalent value and this point doesn't hold as much weight as it might. However, if you are a fan of retro games and the prospect of a fighter stepped out of the early nineties sounds appealing, then you can probably slap another point or two on the score at the bottom and rest assured this game will provide you with many hours’ entertainment. For the rest of us who don’t fit into this fairly narrow niche, it’s hard to recommend KOFXI over the abundance of other fighting games you can get on the PS2.
It's difficult to find much of a reason to buy a copy of King Of Fighters XI. This is a game that could have been blooming brilliant, but came out looking pleasant, although really rather average. The main problem is that it's hard to see what it offers to the player that really differs from anything else that's available on the market. It's a swamped market, a swamped genre, and this is really a shame, because KOF as a series was historically always so good at coming up with whatever was necessary to achieve tremendous success. Beyond the surface, there's an enjoyable little game here. Just a shame that it perhaps wasn't what many fans of the series or the genre were expecting.
PlayStation 2Diehard GameFan
KoF has been on a massive downward slope. From 7’s for 2002 and 3 to a 5.5 for Neowave and now a 4.5 for XI. Either this is the beginning of the end of this once great franchise, or my tastes have changed a lot over the past two years. My recommendation here is to simply stay away or hope that Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is awesome.