By Sam Coles:
The King of Fighters series is something that has interested me but for one reason or another I never played them, what appealed to me was the classic sprite art style that kept all the way up to XIII. I jumped into XIV thinking “can’t wait to play a classic 2D fighter” however they decided to use 3D models that doesn’t mean they’re bad they just lose their unique look from the old 2D sprites and it doesn’t help the 3D characters are lacking in detail. Is it a good fighting game? Well yes and no.
The King of Fighters XIV has a few modes to choose from however the content is lacking, I thought after the Mortal Kombat reboot fighting games needed more than just a Vs and Arcade mode. Once you’ve done the laughable story mode there is not a lot to do unless you want to play with friends which I don’t think you’ll want to due to the clunky movement and controls which I’ll get into later.
This is not your traditional fighting game and it feels fresh because you don’t pick one fighter you pick a set of three which determine the amount of rounds you fight. There is not a set amount of rounds in this game it depends how many opponents are defeated for example say if you have only one fighter, if you’re skilled enough you can turn tide on your enemy and win the fight, it adds tension and unpredictability to fights. You can play through a story mode which to be honest I had no idea what was going on it’s you standard tournament story where you try and win the championship where different characters interact differently to each other.
The problem I have with this game are the controls they feel extremely clunky and sluggish and what I’ve heard from fans of the series is that the games don’t normally play like this they’re usually fast and responsive. It pains me to say that this is the first game in the series I’ve played and it hasn’t left a positive outlook on the series for me, but maybe I’ll go back play them to see. The controls feel like early 3D fighting games as it feels like you’re pushing a shopping trolley filled with breeze blocks that’s how slow some of the characters are in this game.
Graphically it’s not great as I said a few paragraphs ago they ditched the unique and stylised 2D sprites and instead opted to use 3D models, 3D character models aren’t bad in fighting games but these models are low in detail and something you would see on an early PS3 and Xbox 360 game. I would ignore graphics generally if the game played well but it’s clunky.
Overall I like the idea of a three on three fighter, but do to the subpar visuals, lack of content and clunky controls I couldn’t muster up the energy to keep playing.