Console Corner: The King of Fighters lives on

King of Fighters XIV launches on August 26th
King of Fighters XIV launches on August 26th

The King of the Fighters is back in full 3D glory and with the biggest roster of combatants ever.

The classic SNK title is out August 26th and is the first main-series game rendered entirely in 3D using 2D backgrounds - like Street Fighter.

KoF XIV should have a good pedigree considering it is being directed by Yasuyuki Oda who has previously worked on Capcom’s Street Fighter IV as well as other titles by SNK.

Developers have introduced the “Rush” system in order to revitalise the series and attract newcomers.

The Hyper Drive system from the last game is no longer present and has been replaced with a new version of “Max Mode” from earlier games in the series.

In Max mode, the player can perform unlimited EX special moves for a short period of time, and the timer changes depending on what position their character is in.

The roster of fighters is the standout stat ahead of launch, though, with 50 ... yes FIFTY ... characters to choose from.

Each will have three types of Supers: the returning “Super Special Moves” and “Neomax Super Special Moves” (the latter of which are only usable in Max mode), and a new type called “Climax Super Special Moves”.

Climax Super Special Moves are the strongest types in the game and will require a total of three power gauges (two with Max mode on). The game also features the “Just Defend” mechanic from Garou: Mark of the Wolves. The HD thrust system now makes the opponent hit the wall and crumple for follow up attacks.

For beginners, there will be the automatic and simple “Rush Combo” while the online lobby has three modes: team VS, single VS, and party VS with up to 12 people able to enter and also spectate.

Whether Kof XIV can compete with the likes of the next gen Street Fighter or if it holds enough appeal to UK gamers remains to be seen.

But gameplay footage suggests it is slick, action-packed and should have lots of longevity particularly for those who like to master all fighters.