Ever find your skepticism to be completely justified?
Everything about KOFXIIâ€™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 â€˜98UM my character flies across the screen to get an uppercut up his ass. On top of that timings for things as basic as Terryâ€™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 Iâ€™ve played is probably KOF2003, and considering how bad that game was I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s a good sign.
I took a spin through single player mode, and immediately recalled KOF XIâ€™s pretty good AI on normal difficulty â€“ 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 KOFXIIâ€™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 â€“ even jump attacks.
Also if the AI somehow manages to land a critical counter on you itâ€™s terrible of taking advantage of it. Andy tagged me with a counter close C so that he could do f+Câ€¦.forward roll, nothing. And it doesnâ€™t even get better as you get further in the game.
OK, fine, AI in fighting games isnâ€™t typically known for being great, and the point of fighting games is versus mode anyway. But seriously, everything about this game screams â€˜WE DIDNâ€™T HAVE TIME TO FINISH THIS, BUT HERE IT IS ANYWAY.â€™ Practice mode doesnâ€™t save your training settings (it did in previous KOF ports),
thereâ€™s no way to go back to the character select menu from Practice mode, and thereâ€™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 Terryâ€™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 thereâ€™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 havenâ€™t tried it online yet, mainly because I donâ€™t know anyone else who has it on PS3 and because of the horror stories Iâ€™ve been hearing about people who have played it online. BlazBlue lets me play laglessly against my friend in Japan â€“ 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 â€“ I have a HDTV at home, and it is rather obvious that KOFXIIâ€™s sprites have been scaled up. While I canâ€™t make out individual pixels on the BB sprites at about 5 feet away, itâ€™s pretty easy in KOFXII.
On a happier note, I scored an S-video cable for my PS3 so Iâ€™m going to see if I can record some of the BlazBlue (and maybe KOFXII, if they ever fix the netcode) matches that Iâ€™ve been saving. In particular xephyris and myself had a great set of matches last weekendâ€¦Iâ€™ll be sure to post them up here once Iâ€™ve uploaded them somewhere.
I tried playing online. The lag was so bad that the game was running at less than 1/2 speed, and some fuckwit who didnâ€™t know how to play managed to beat me with his laggy Joe after I beat his other two characters with Kyo alone. RAGE