For fans of punchy-punchy games (otherwise known as the fighting scene) Christmas has undoubtedly come early at this year’s EVO tournament, with a bevy of announcements for every fighting game under the sun. One of the biggest though has been the glorious appearance of a new entry in the storied King of Fighters series, with the official announcement of King of Fighters XV.
While it had been rumoured beforehand, SNK waited until this Sunday’s final day of EVO to make the official announcement. The last outing, King of Fighters XIV, released nearly three years ago and was a quiet success for the developer. At the time we handed it a 7/10, saying that “as a new entry in the series that pushes it into uncharted territory, King of Fighters XIV is an admirable effort. Boasting a huge roster, accessible action and smooth gameplay, there’s a lot to like, but the mediocre transition to 3D and inconsistent netcode hold it back from greatness.”
However, SNK went on to improve the whole experience, including releasing an enhanced graphics pack that made some much needed improvements to the visuals, as well as regular additions in the shape of costume packs and DLC characters. It’ll be interesting to see what direction they go for with XV, especially in terms of graphics, as XIV’s divisive move to 3D created technical challenges for the team as well as alienating some of their fans. I’d love to see an King of Fighters game that returns to 2D visuals – particularly with modern, hi-res artwork – but there’s every chance they’ll double down on the 3D engine. As long as they nail 60fps and improve on the previous game there’s going to be an rapt audience waiting for it.
Better dust off that fight stick and head back to XIV!