Have you, your loved one, or your parents ever make an amazing brownie? Did you ask for another batch and got a treat that left a bittersweet flavor in your mouth? Well, this is how I, and many others, felt after playing The King of Fighters XII.
The King of Fighters XII simply felt like it was a rushed game when it comes to gameplay. The Arcade Mode simply leads you through three versus three team matches in which you try to beat the opposing team in the least time possible giving you one retry per match. It consists of five rounds and adds up your time in the end. What do you get for beating Arcade Mode within a set time? Nothing but Achievements/Trophies. There isn't even a story to get out of it, no secret characters, no special bosses, nothing; so the Arcade Mode is basically an average Time Trial. But, I like Time Trials, they make me feel as if I'm getting better if I get a better time. I mean, damn, there's an Achievement/Trophy for beating Arcade Mode within 3 minutes and 30 seconds. I'm not that good yet, but I'll strive to one day get that Trophy.
One thing that people rant about when the topic of The King of Fighters XII comes up is not just the lack of characters, but the lack of fan favorites. The King of Fighters XI boosted over 40 characters (and a color edit mode), while The King of Fighters only features a mere 22 playable characters. With many of the series' usuals such as Mai and K', people were/are disgruntled. This doesn't really bother me, personally, but I do miss Rock Howard; I usually main him. /cry.
As any King of Fighters game, there is one definite upside: it's easy as pie to just jump in and fight. There isn't anything special about the fighting system in the King of Fighters series, which makes it perfect for anyone to just pick up and play. It's relatively easy to get used to and fun to play around with.
King of Fighters XII's online mode is decent at best, but nearly unplayable for me. I've only played a couple matches but the imput lag was horrible compared to the no lag I get from Arcade Mode. I'll stick to local Versus until I get that cleared up. As for the Online Mode setup, it's nothing to baffle over. It just rates average in my book.
Iori - Flames = :'[
Now, to the gem of The King of Fighters XII: the sprites. The sprites are just works of art in themselves, giving depth to the characters and all of their being. They are beautifully designed and the animations are smooth. There's not much more to say about it, but I was left in awe when I first saw them. The backgrounds are very well designed, too, but there aren't many of them.
Fighting games aren't always supposed to offer much, but there is a certain limit to the minimum a game can give. I think the King of Fighters XII upholds this limit. I highly enjoy the smoothness of the game and the eye candy that comes along with it, but like any other candy, the taste becomes all too familiar and leaves me wanting something more.
The brownies might not taste as good this time around, but c'mon, they're f!@#ing brownies.