Extensive gameplay allows you to have a lot of fun learning new mechanics and developing your abilities. However, King of Fighters 15 clearly focuses heavily on the multiplayer component, which may turn off some players.
The story mode in SNK’s latest fighting game takes 40-50 minutes to finish. While we do get various cutscenes when we choose different characters, the content itself – including the boss – is always the same. In practice, Story Mode is the same as Arcade Mode in other games. Furthermore, if we wish to play alone, we still have training or missions to do, such as practicing special moves and combinations. KoF 15 genuinely drives us to the online mode, which is plainly shown even in the main menu, highlighting the importance and status of online games.
NetherRealm’s fighting games, such as Mortal Kombat, demonstrate the importance of several single-player modes to enormous audiences. This provides additional opportunities for stress-free training and attracts new users who may wish to attempt online combat after several hours. It’s also a shame that the authors included about ten less characters in the first episode of the series than in the previous chapter, even if 39 warriors are plenty to fill out your preferred squad. King of Fighters is a video game in which three-person teams compete in an arena. We do not, however, alter the characters at random, like in Dragon Ball Fighterz or Marvel vs. Capcom. When one of the characters loses all of his health, another enters the fight. This has always set the franchise apart from SNK. This technique allows you to automatically learn and become accustomed to a variety of combatants, which, of course, increases the game’s difficulty when compared to 1v1 fighting games.
The mechanics of King of Fighters 15 are its greatest strength. This is an incredibly sophisticated production in which numerous things must be remembered throughout fighting. Even the tiniest difference in how many fundamental blows work depends on the distance between the opponents. Regardless of the character, we have a plethora of attacking possibilities. In contrast to KOF 14, enhanced attacks (EX Moves) may now be executed whenever the energy bar permits. Furthermore, the reintroduced Max Mode can intensify our blows and – in the quick version – allows you to combine punches in additional ways. Because the emphasis is on multiplayer, the internet part is wonderfully implemented. There are rated and informal bouts, as well as a well-functioning system of rooms to which friends may be invited. It is even possible to train with other players without being bound by the rules of typical battle. The most essential thing to note is that the new King of Fighters has rollback netcode, which is increasingly being used in fighting games. This form of netcode efficiently decreases latency and is hence the best choice for this game genre. It’s great that the creators are no longer afraid of it. I haven’t even seen latency that would interfere with the pleasure in dozens of online matches. The new section of the series is right in terms of setting. It undoubtedly looks better than King of Fighters 14, particularly in terms of character models and effects. Some ladies are still displayed in ridiculous designs that flash off their breasts embarrassingly or even run about in their underwear, but I’m sure ardent supporters would term it a tradition.
The fighting game King of Fighters 15 is fantastic. This is, however, another evidence that Japanese developers prefer to overlook single-player content – because without it, this very specialized genre of video games will never garner more players.