The legendary 3-on-3 fighting game series that united rival brawlers from SNK PLAYMORE's classic arcade franchises celebrates its 15th anniversary in style with the 2009 release of The King Of Fighters XII. For the first time in its history, this epic martial arts showdown has undergone a complete graphical overhaul. The antiquated character sprites used over the past 14 years have been dropped in favor of all-new, high-resolution fighters fluidly animating across painstakingly detailed, 100% hand-drawn backgrounds.
Gameplay - The King of Fighters XII is a pure arcade fighting title. Like a few other releases in its franchise it does not contain a storyline, instead focusing on the tried and true 3-on-3, five round team fighting gameplay mechanic. Far from a liability, the lack of storyline plays into the fighting mechanic by eliminating official teams linked to the prevailing story, which in earlier releases compromised the characters that could be added to a team. In addition, the game also features new combat elements including the "Critical Counter" system which opens up the possibility of additional linked attacks and finishing moves when players land effective counter punches following an opponent's attack, and "Clash Timing," a break effect during a bout that separates combatants when they land blows on each other at the exact same time.
More Than 20 Playable Characters - Although the more than 20 characters featured in The King of Fighters XII is only about half the numbers veteran players of the series may have grown used to selecting from in earlier releases, the characters that are included having each been recreated for the game are very much graphically superior to anything ever seen in franchise history. Going for an old school feel, the majority of these are pulled from early King of Fighters games.