King of Fighters is well renowned in the fighting game genre, and for good reason. With a unique cast of characters, intricate combat system, and an overall enjoyable experience KOF is considered one of the best fighting games of all time. King of Fighters XIV incorporates the aspects you know and love from the series while bringing a cast of new fighters, new gameplay mechanics, and a new look. Does King of Fighters XIV win this bout, or does it fall flat?
Starting up KOF XIV there is one thing fans of the series will notice, that is the change in style of the characters models. For the first time since Maximum Impact on PS2, KOF decided to go with 3d characters models again but this time sticking with the 2d fighting plane. While the 3d character models are a nice change from the traditional 2d sprites, the character models look quite dated for a Playstation 4 title. The same goes for the arenas in the game, the backgrounds are animated but feel lifeless. This game looks like a PS3 game, but was it lacks in quality it makes up for in quantity in a massive way. Presenting a massive roster of 50+ fighters (with more coming in dlc), and 19 different arenas KOF XIV brings more than enough new content to stand out.
With new content for returning fans of the series, and new players, KOF XIV brings alot to the table. The new standout features are Max Mode, and rush. Max Mode gives the characters a little more power to their shots, and more combo options which when used correctly can turn the tide of a fight instantly. On top of new combos Max Mode allows characters to use special EX moves that deal large amounts of damage. While newer players of the game may not have the same level of proficiency at hitting combos, the new rush mode allows players to hit powerful combos with just pounding the light punch button repeatedly; and if a special attack is available, the combo will transition into it. What’s nice about rush mode is that it newer players an easier time getting use to combos, without it being exploited because the combos deal out less damage in rush mode.
King of Fighters XIV contains the usual game modes that you see in most fighting games so there is more than enough content to keep players occupied. For fans of the series there is a brand new story to KOF XIV, but sadly the game follows the generic fighting game story; but who plays a fighting game for the story anyways. There are the training modes that allow new players to get used to the gameplay mechanics, but also for veterans of the series to learn new combos for the new characters introduced this game. The games online mode will be the go to for most, which is fluid and competitive. For those without Playstation Plus, there is a challenge mode allowing players to complete certain tasks in a fight; but it can get old fast.
As the 14th installment in the King of Fighters series KOF XIV is a solid game with enough new content to satisfy fans of the series while still giving new players a positive introduction into the series. While I would have liked a little bit more detail put into the characters, and the stages, the game plays very well. KOF XIV keeps the name alive in a very good way.