SNK's King of Fighters XIV is a fantastic return to the KOF series for both veteran players and fans, but to gather in new fans, too. The art style has shifted from the 2D characters of previous releases, to 3D character models on a platform, on a 2D backdrop. It's a nice change in aesthetic, but still retains enough of the King of Fighters feel not to disgruntle too many diehard fans of the originals.
Exclusively for the PS4, I feel that opening it up to Xbox One owners would have been a good idea, especially considering XIII's release for 360 - and the fact it's been six years since then - giving more people a chance to play. Another thing to consider is the popularity versus other fighting games, sales did reasonably well for KOF XIV, but compared to games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, it's practically nothing. Which, in all honesty, is a shame as King of Fighters XIV is definitely not a bad game by any means.
With an impressive array of fighting styles between all of the characters, this can prove selecting a team a tough choice. Characters are displayed in their little trios, if you want to play them with their usual teams, but of course you have the freedom to pick who you want, also. With so many characters to choose from, you're also bound to have a few favourites, although mastering them may take quite some time as the game does have quite a sharp difficulty spike, especially as you have to master three characters at once, rather than just the usual single character playstyle of other fighting games.
Fighting is beautiful, with the characters, as previously mentioned, now in 3D. The colours are bright and really make this game a pleasure to look at. The characters are greatly varied in both appearance and in ability, and with both series originals and newbies - this allows both old and new players to find something new to marvel over. And the music, whilst not groundbreaking, was certainly fun enough to keep me in the fighting mood.
I really enjoyed King of Fighters XIV, albeit struggling a little with the difficulty of pulling off some of the better moves, but regardless of that, it is still a very enjoyable game to play. In the end, we came to the agreement that KoF XIV gets a well deserved 8.5/10.
Have you played King of Fighters XIV?
What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!
- V x