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Critic Reviews

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Good Game (Aug 17, 2009)
There are a few new things in 12 to make it more exciting. Scoring a close range heavy attack will send you into a super combo mode, and all of a sudden the game changes as you try and chase the other person down. You can also intercept an attack while blocking with good timing, and 2 simultaneous heavy attacks will force both players back, unless you cancel it and go in for the kill.
GameFocus (Aug 24, 2009)
While the game is a bit thin on play modes and the online battles are a complete write-off at the moment, the fundamental gameplay is still fun and true to the series. The new mechanics make for exciting, momentum-turning fights that are equal parts frenetic and tactical. The game looks great and plays well – it’s a shame that the current netcode is a complete mess. Once that gets cleared up, you have a very satisfying brawler that is a fine installment to the King of Fighters lineage.
Overall, your experience with KOF XII will largely depend on how much you value online play in your fighters. If you are a regular on the BlazBlue and Street Fighter leaderboards, then the online experience that KOF XII has is definitely worth the price of the game. The strategic elements of the battle system and gorgeous graphics certainly make the game itself very fun and a pleasure to look at. Just having one single-player offline mode really hampers the overall experience if you aren't an online aficionado. Still, if you do like playing online, then this King can't be beat!
PSX Extreme (Aug 01, 2009)
If you're looking for only one full fledged fighter loaded to the brim with goodies, BlazBlue is what you get. Unless you're a hardcore fan, wait a bit before splurging on this $60 game. Give it time to hit $40 or less.
Vandal Online (Sep 22, 2009)
King of Fighters XII propone dar un nuevo comienzo a la saga, y lo consigue a medias. El cambio gráfico es positivo, pero se queda a medio camino, y el precio a pagar ha sido perder personajes, escenarios y melodías, que, todo sea dicho, son bastante anodinos en este juego. Además, se presenta escaso de modos de juego, y con un multijugador en línea negligente, a la espera de que los programadores consigan solucionarlo (si es que lo hacen). Pero, por otro lado, es un juego de lucha divertido, lleno de posibilidades, con combates dinámicos y técnicos que nos darán mucha diversión, pese a su falta de variedad de modos y carencias en otros terrenos. Habrá que ver si se hace, finalmente, una apuesta por contenidos descargables que ayuden a paliar sus carencias en contenidos (y si es así, habrá que ver a qué coste), o si tendremos que esperar a una próxima entrega para que el resultado global sea mejor.
Game Over Online (Aug 10, 2009)
In the end, KOF XII is a well-made, but altogether lacking and incomplete experience. The kind of game that, if it was in a multi-game collection, would probably get played a few times and then you’d quickly move onto the newer installments afterwards because it’s too bare-bones to offer long-term play. Right now, there’s way too little here to recommend a full-price purchase to anyone. Die-hards should only buy it when it hits the $20-30 range, and everyone else will likely be satiated by a rental. What’s here is done quite well, but there just isn’t enough of it.
GamePro (US) (Jul 28, 2009)
Most gamers may not want to pay full retail price for only a handful of light features, despite how pretty the game is, but if you love your fighters old-school and 2D, The King of Fighters XII is probably worth checking out.
Game Informer Magazine (Sep 22, 2010)
In the end, the sparse content maims Kof XII. Next time around there better be more stages, characters, modes – more everything. You can't just rip the five-minute-per-play arcade code straight to consoles and expect people to invest the full $60 over a few coins.
King of Fighters XII is not a bad game; it just came out at a bad time. The re-birth of the franchise really feels like ten steps backwards, and it wouldn't be so bad if the competition wasn't so stiff right now. The template is now laid out for the series, and hopefully we can continue to see improvements over the next few chapters. DLC would do wonders for fans wanting new characters, but I think it is more likely we will see a new version of the game released before that happens. As it stands if you are a huge KoF fan I cannot deter you from purchasing this, you probably already have, but at $60 it just doesn't deliver enough to warrant a recommendation over the other games already out.
Console Monster (Oct 31, 2009)
I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with King of Fighters XII. While the overall 2D presentation of battles is impressive, the rest of the game is lacking in actual content. With a slowly dwindling online circle and no real rewards for pumping hours into the offline mode, King of Fighters XII has been added to a pile of fighters that just can’t compete with other fighters already out. With a little extra love in the practice mode, some online love and character development, KoFXII could have been a charming fighter for old and new fans alike.
Game Watcher (Oct 05, 2009)
So when it’s all said and done, The King of Fighters XII isn’t going to be placed on a mantle above all other fighting games. It lacks proper net code and not everyone is going to enjoy the pixilated graphics. At the price point of Ł40, KoF XII is a hard sell to anyone outside of the fanbase. Hardcore fans will enjoy it for what it is – a game that tries to stay true to its roots – but everyone else will be scratching their heads wondering why they should convert over from their current fighting series of choice.
65 (Aug 09, 2009)
The fighting genre is getting crowded and that doesn't help KoF, unfortunately. Playing KoF is like having your dog fetch the morning paper only it comes back all chewed. You appreciate the effort but the execution still needs training. The time to produce the incredible sprite based visuals must have been excruciating but the rest of the game suffered because of it. The fighting is fun but going online is cumbersome and there are still some connection issues so it stymies KoF matches between you and your friends in the same living room. It is easy to imagine future KoF games being built on this foundation but this rebirth is still a new born.
Good Game (Aug 17, 2009)
I felt like I wasn’t in the King of Fighters club. There’s nothing interesting about the game to bring you in, it doesn’t teach you when you ARE in, and the complexity demands dedication. Why you’d limit yourself to your already existing audience, I don’t know, but they did. 6.5/10.
The King of Fighters XII is a real let down, and fans of the series will be disappointed at the somewhat lack of effort that has gone into this game. Moreover, the game feels like it should have been released as a download on the Playstation Network, rather than coming out as a retail game. I honestly can’t think of a good enough reason why you’d want to pick up KOF when there are more exciting games in the genre available.
60 (Oct 25, 2009)
Así que al final, el renacimiento de la saga King of Fighters se ha dejado la grandeza de antaño por el camino. El resultado es un juego muy limitado, que muestra preocupantes errores de diseño y planificación y que se queda muy por detrás de otras opciones disponibles en el mercado (sí, Street Fighter IV, te estoy mirando a ti). Los fans de la lucha en 2D, desde luego, harán bien en esperar al año que viene, cuando se pondrá a la venta la versión europea (y mejorada) del BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger de Arc System Works, porque KOF XII es un título menor con una vida demasiado corta.
GamingXP (Oct 16, 2009)
„The King of Fighters XII“ ist ein typisches Beat‘em Up im klassichen Arcadestil. Die Grafik wurde im Comic/Animestil gehalten. Der, in einer Endlosschleife, ertönende Retrosound gefällt sicher nicht jedem aber mir persönlich extrem gut. Alles in allem muss man aber sagen, dass Inhalt des Spiels sehr kurz geraten ist und auch das Gameplay nicht für langfristigen Spielspaß sorgt.
DarkZero (Oct 25, 2009)
Back to the initial question – where does King of Fighters XII fit into this resurrection? It doesn’t, really. Although a competent beat ‘em up, it lacks not only the accesibility but the depth of Street Fighter IV, the classic gameplay of Mark of the Wolves or Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and the hardcore technical side of Blazblue. It sort of stumbles around in the middle, giving hardcore fans a bunch of new techniques to try out, then diluting everything from the characters moves lists all the way to the poor Arcade mode. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled? 2009 has been a great year for fighting games, so far. Unfortunately for this, the first next-gen King of Fighters, there simply isn’t room for any mediocre ones. Go back to 2008, where you belong!
Thunderbolt Games (Aug 12, 2009)
But they botched it. Horribly. From a technical standpoint, the game is among the best out there; even with the severely reduced movesets, the new mechanics offer an awesome blend of offensive and defensive gameplay. The graphics are arguably the best ever seen in a 2D fighting game. But everything else just drags it down. The playable character roster is solid enough, though some of the more iconic characters are missing. The Arcade Mode feels rushed; there’s not even a boss character, one of the most basic features of all fighting games. The alternate gameplay modes are lacking; aside from the versus mode and some unlockable artwork, there’s no incentive to keep playing. The menus are needlessly tedious to use. The online multiplayer has some awesome ideas, but the laggy gameplay and annoying interface kill any potential entertainment value. If there was ever a game that could be used as an example of wasted potential, The King of Fighters XII is it. So much for a rebirth.
Teletext (2009)
This is by no means a disgrace to the King Of Fighters name, but next to the recent BlazBlue it seems very old-fashioned, even in terms of graphics. The tag team gameplay is still relatively unique, but this is actually one of its least satisfying implementations in the series. BlazBlue and Street Fighter IV proves 2D beat 'em-up can still be fun and relevant, but this cannot compete.
60 (Oct 05, 2009)
KOFXII's biggest problem is that the fighting game bar has been raised considerably in the last 12 months, with the release of Street Fighter IV in particular showing how reboots should be done. The single-player features won't keep anyone's attention for more than half an hour, and the ropey online only exacerbates this problem. The new redrawn art style's full of beautiful animations, but the pixels ruin it somewhat. The Critical Counter system is great, but some will say it's not enough of an addition to justify the "rebirth" tagline. In the 90s, KOFXII would have been hailed as a brilliant fighting game. In 2009, in the post Street Fighter IV world, however, it has to go down as a disappointment that won't be of interest to anyone except the most loyal KOF fan.
Meristation (Sep 17, 2009)
Y es que el juego online de KOFXII no durará eternamente, dado que en la actualidad la mayoría de competiciones por Internet en lo que a lucha se refiere se vuelcan en SFIV, y todo parece apuntar a que seguirá siendo así durante mucho tiempo más. En definitiva, los aficionados a SNK y sus personajes deberemos seguir echando mano de las viejas glorias de la compañía. En Xbox Live Arcade, por ejemplo, hay disponible un más que interesante remake actualizado del soberbio KOF ’98, infinitamente superior a este KOFXII en todos los apartados excepto el gráfico. Playmore sabe hacer las cosas bien, el notable KOF Maximum Impact 2 (2006, PS2) es buena prueba de ello, así que esperemos que el futurible KOFXIII sea todo lo que el juego que nos ocupa debería haber sido.
IGN (Jul 29, 2009)
King of Fighters XII is fun to play when you're fighting a buddy locally, but everything else about the game is seriously lacking. This is not the franchise rebirth that SNK was hoping for, as smoothly animated sprites can't make up for the bare-bones presentation and broken online support. Even though this might seem like a must-buy for hardcore King of Fighters fans, I still wholly encourage gamers to pick up a copy of BlazBlue instead. It's a far superior game.
Giant Bomb (Aug 04, 2010)
The fighting at the center of King of Fighters XII is totally fine, but with everything surrounding that action coming off so half-cocked, there are a lot of annoying little barriers to enjoying that fighting. If you're planning on playing versus matches against local friends, go right ahead. But everyone else should probably wait a bit for a lower price, another set of online-focused patches, or both.
Gaming Age (Jul 28, 2009)
So yeah The King of Fighters XII could have been so much more. It's a reboot/re-birth alright, albeit a seemingly unfinished one. With a good online connection or local friends who are fans of the franchise, it offers some Vs. mode thrills for a bit, but that's about it. Overall, KOFXII is a good enough start, although it's neither as interesting as Street Fighter IV or BlazBlue, or as infinitely playable as Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. It was at the top of my list of fighters for the year, and the end result not measuring up to the hype isn't something I take lightly. At least we finally got those new, 2D hand drawn HD visuals.
Worth Playing (Aug 25, 2009)
It really is sad to see a game like King of Fighters XII turn out this way. It has a solid fighting mechanic and great graphics, but the surrounding features are so meager that they kill everything good about the game. There will be some appeal for the hardcore, but for a series that's run as long as KoF, fans should be demanding much more. As an arcade booth, KoF XII might be worth stopping for, but as a full retail game, it isn't worth taking home. If you are on the market for a 2-D fighting game, I'd recommend checking out BlazBlue instead.
GameSpot (Jul 31, 2009)
Sitting down longer with the game will probably make you yearn for more offline modes or your favorite KOF characters that didn't make the cut. And trying to play the game online--at least at the time of this writing--will probably make you want to stick to playing the game offline, with friends who are sitting next to you. If you're lucky enough to have an in-house fighting game competition, you're probably in the best position to enjoy KOFXII because despite the thin roster and gameplay changes, the game still offers a decent head-to-head experience with bona fide new gameplay features and some overhauled characters with interesting new abilities. If you're not, you might have trouble justifying the decision to pick up this game when there are other excellent 2D fighting games out there with stronger online multiplayer, more characters, and more offline content.
1UP (Jul 28, 2009)
KOF12 doesn't feel like a KOF game. Its signature rushdown playstyle is present to some degree, though the new mechanics, the guard attack and critical counters, prevent an overly offensive strategy. The roster feels slightly off, with half the cast exceptionally developed, and the other half incredibly anemic. And KOF12 fails to seize the windfall in online matchmaking. It uses an archaic, even backwards, system that serves only to frustrate the player. Polish, revision, and perhaps another rebirth can help restore the KOF legacy and, hopefully, advance the series to its next stage.
TotalPlayStation (Aug 10, 2009)
That's probably the biggest problem with King of Fighters XII: there's nothing to it. When all its contemporaries are doing smallish story arcs for multiple characters, or offering a ton of unlockables, or are doing online play well, uh, right, the glaring omission of something like Street Fighter IV's incredibly deep per-character tutorials and challenges only adds to the feeling that things were cut either for time or scope reasons. The smaller roster, barebones offering of modes and weak serving of that is there makes this rebirth feel decidedly stillborn. It's possible the increased communication and collaboration between SNK and US publisher Ignition Entertainment could repair some of the more glaring gameplay fumbles and get the online back on track with patches, but to be perfectly honest, I'll have long since burned out on the other releases this year and have zero desire to come back to KOF -- possibly ever again.
Game Positive (Aug 07, 2009)
Because of the extremely shallow single player options available and the broken nature of the multiplayer, there really is very little of value in The King of Fighters XII. The game may give you a few hours of nostalgic fun if you are a long time fan of the series, but the only way that it will overcome much older versions of the game is if you happen to be extraordinarily interested in the graphical update. In all likelihood, it will leave you disappointed. The King of Fighters XII is a title that tries to go back to the basics for a storied franchise, but instead of offering an accessible game, the developers deliver an entry that feels stripped down and shallow.
PSFocus (Oct 15, 2009)
We hadden van deze game wel meer verwacht, mede doordat dit het zoveelste deel inmiddels is in de franchise. Grafisch is de game op de animaties na echt uit het jaar nul en de audio is niet al te beter. De muziek is vrij boring en ook de voice-overs zijn van lage kwaliteit. Dan is er nog de gameplay dat wat het vechten betreft in orde is, maar qua modi teleurstelt. Online is het lastig te spelen vanwege veel lag en offline blijft er dan niet veel over. Ook is de leercurve voor nieuwe spelers erg lastig om te overbruggen. The King of Fighters XII: een game dat de fans ongetwijfeld wel weer erg lang zal boeien, want het merendeel van de gewone gamer zal dit niet heel denderend vinden en meer neigen naar een echte topper zoals Street Fighter IV, welke op de hekelpunten van deze game wel goed scoort.
XGN (Aug 24, 2009)
Tenzij je echt houdt van de 2D-graphics, slechte voice-overs en drie-tegen-drie gevechten, kun je deze 60 euro beter aan een andere, goede vechtgame uitgeven, zoals Street Fighter IV. En ook al gaat deze serie al een tijd mee, is dit nieuwste deel geen 60 euro waard. Deze game had veel beter, voor een goedkopere prijs, in de PlayStation Store uitgebracht kunnen worden.
Game Shark (Aug 13, 2009)
This is a sad day for The King of Fighters. The combat is as taught as ever, but everything else is a comedic misinterpretation of “less is more.” Unless you have a friend aching to hold the second controller, the lag-ridden multiplayer and pitifully skeletal single-player experiences only serve to stain the memories of this beloved series.
Game Revolution (Jul 29, 2009)
Don't get me wrong, the game does handle fairly well, and with friends this could be a fun one to share, but single-player is worse than most. Combine a three-player team with the smallest roster KoF has ever had, and you'll have your faves chosen like a routine in no time. I don't know what I would want in a true re-launching for this series, but this isn't it. As a fanboy, I'm crying on my keyboard.
Gaming Nexus (Oct 14, 2009)
If you were jazzed on the hype that King of Fighters XII initially had, calm down. This game has a pretty face, and that's about it. A competent fighting system with nothing else to offer makes for a pretty short and shallow experience.
D+PAD Magazine (Oct 11, 2009)
At its core, and despite all these negative points, KOF XII is still a relatively good fighting game. But with competition fiercer than ever this latest release feels incredibly lightweight in comparison. There’s little here to recommend, even for the most loyal of fans. Instead, don your best shell-suit, hook up your mum’s old telly to the SNES in the loft and play out your childhood battles with the original. It’s far better.
GameSpy (Jul 28, 2009)
The only way you're likely to get any enjoyment out of King of Fighters XII is through local matches with friends -- and if you're that attached to SNK's characters, it is a decent 2D fighter that does all the basic things that you expect a 2D fighter to do. But with so many better options to choose from, why would you want to subject yourself to this?
The A.V. Club (Aug 03, 2009)
To fully put KOFXII into perspective, an apt comparison would be Street Fighter, another long-running fighting-game series that earlier this year finally leapt onto current-generation consoles with a highly stylized reboot. But whereas Street Fighter IV (the franchise’s 13th installment) fully embraces and builds on what originally made those games such classics, KOFXII ultimately suffers from a heavy-handed dose of revisionist history. With 22 fighters, this stands as the worst-attended KOF game to date, and as the series still largely relies on team battles, the limited mix-and-match options are particularly annoying. Much like that souped-up Corvette in the neighbor’s driveway, the fancy graphics here are just compensating for deficiencies elsewhere.