tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

If this is what they mean by ‘re-birth’, screw reincarnation

Ever find your skepticism to be completely justified?

Everything about KOFXII’s game system feels weird. The game is definitely slower than XI, 98 and 2K2, no doubt about that. On top of that even stuff like jumping has had its timings changed. When I do what used to be a hyperhop in XI or ‘98UM my character flies across the screen to get an uppercut up his ass. On top of that timings for things as basic as Terry’s dB, dA, df+C, QCB+A combo have changed. The first KOF that comes to mind when I think of an equivalent in the games I’ve played is probably KOF2003, and considering how bad that game was I don’t think that’s a good sign.

I took a spin through single player mode, and immediately recalled KOF XI’s pretty good AI on normal difficulty – while not awesome, it at least tried to use human-like attack patterns on you. Iori would pressure you with hop Cs and Ds, Gato would regularly do his tap combo into punch super every time he got an opening, Kyo would try to stuff your pokes with his QCF+A autoguard, and so on. The reason I remembered this is because KOFXII’s normal difficulty AI is dumb as a brick. It jumps around randomly, spamming pokes and rolling out of the blue for no reason (making it perfect bait for a down B combo on recovery). Athena basically did her reflector something like five times in a row, only stopping after I smacked her with a DM. The only exception was Daimon who would use the bullshit autoguard on his HCF+P to blow through absolutely everything I did to him – even jump attacks.

Also if the AI somehow manages to land a critical counter on you it’s terrible of taking advantage of it. Andy tagged me with a counter close C so that he could do f+C….forward roll, nothing. And it doesn’t even get better as you get further in the game.

OK, fine, AI in fighting games isn’t typically known for being great, and the point of fighting games is versus mode anyway. But seriously, everything about this game screams ‘WE DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO FINISH THIS, BUT HERE IT IS ANYWAY.’ Practice mode doesn’t save your training settings (it did in previous KOF ports), there’s no way to go back to the character select menu from Practice mode, and there’s random slowdown all over the place in the front end, which looks like it was designed by some guy with a copy of Photoshop and a hard-on for Times New Roman.

The game also has some weird hitbox issues. I could swear my opponent and I passed through each other in mid-jump, and the hitboxes on ground attacks are messed up against opponents landing behind you. I managed to score a counter hit on someone who jumped over my Terry’s crouch C because he landed behind me and got smacked by the tail end of the hitbox while trying to poke me. Go figure.

And then of course there’s shit like this:

And on top of all that, I still think this game is a net loss in terms of depth from KOF XI.

I haven’t tried it online yet, mainly because I don’t know anyone else who has it on PS3 and because of the horror stories I’ve been hearing about people who have played it online. BlazBlue lets me play laglessly against my friend in Japan – I doubt KOF XII will give me anywhere near the same connection quality.

Oh, and regarding the sprite issue I brought up in an earlier post – I have a HDTV at home, and it is rather obvious that KOFXII’s sprites have been scaled up. While I can’t make out individual pixels on the BB sprites at about 5 feet away, it’s pretty easy in KOFXII.

On a happier note, I scored an S-video cable for my PS3 so I’m going to see if I can record some of the BlazBlue (and maybe KOFXII, if they ever fix the netcode) matches that I’ve been saving. In particular xephyris and myself had a great set of matches last weekend…I’ll be sure to post them up here once I’ve uploaded them somewhere.

UPDATE:

I tried playing online. The lag was so bad that the game was running at less than 1/2 speed, and some fuckwit who didn’t know how to play managed to beat me with his laggy Joe after I beat his other two characters with Kyo alone. RAGE

2 comments

2 Responses to “If this is what they mean by ‘re-birth’, screw reincarnation”

  1. Toldyaso Wind says:

    OMG Raiden learned Guile’s magic handcuffs!!!

    Seriously though your post confirmed most of my fears about XII. I want to support SNK but I’m not buying this broken half game… not even once it hits the bargain bin.

    Thanks for saving me $60

    • sonictempest says:

      I’d say that the game’s probably worth buying once they bring the online play up to scratch – compared to the likes of GGPO, STHDRemix, BlazBlue and SFIV it fares especially badly.

      The system isn’t particularly involved and everyone feels stripped down as hell, but it’s not fundamentally broken like KOF2003 was, I suppose.

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