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4.6 out of 5 stars
The King of Fighters XIII - Playstation 3
Platform: PlayStation 3Change
Price:$98.88 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
I picked up my pre-order at GameStop this morning alongside my four disk soundtrack. I can't review this game without mentioning kof xii, I did not hate the twelfth installment in the franchise but if you played it, then you'll know what I mean when I say it felt like an expensive demo. King of Fighters XIII knocks out its' predecessor in everyway!

Content (5/5)
This game has so much more content than the previous one. Several game modes to choose from: Tutorial, arcade, story, versus, practice, network, replay, gallery, mission, and customize. Most of these features were missing from the previous installment, including arcade mode which is a strange exclusion from a fighting game. This also has more than fifteen stages, which was a much needed improvement. The four disk soundtrack with music from kof 94'- kof xiii was just the cherry on top.

Story (4/5)
In my opinion this is the least important part of a fighting game. From what I gather this takes place after kof xi.

Graphics (5/5)
Starting with the epic opening scene and displayed in up to 1080p it looks simply beautiful! Over 30 hand drawn characters, all of them look very unique and are very detailed, with only slight pixilation in some of the sprites motions. I'm not sure if the backgrounds are hand drawn but they look amazing, off the top of my head... I couldn't stop staring at the stage with all the elephants in the background must see to appreciate.

Sound Effects and BGM (5/5)
High quality original music, can't say much here kof has never disappointed in this department. You can choose from two setting in the music section, from what I gather one is kof xiii music and the other is randomized music from various kof games.

Game play (5/5)
The game play is solid as always, this is the strength of the kof series. I'm going to focus on "Arcade mode" which is the one I spent most my time on so far. My opponents never felt overly cheap, the A.I. was challenging but satisfying to compete against. Difficulty is well balanced on all five settings.

Controls (5/5)
I had no problem pulling off some special moves and short combos without looking at a move list. Overall most of the moves are instantly familiar if you played kof in the past or even fighting games in general. If you have a choice I do recommend the use of a decent arcade stick for extended play sessions.

Replay value (5/5)
The extensive game modes will keep you busy for a while. I can't stop customizing characters; it's a fun little feature. You can customize every character up to five separate times, not to mention the custom colors that are already pre-made. The online experience will ultimately extend the life of the game. I spent about 2 hours getting by behind handed to me over the network, the connection with other players was a lot better than I expected, I only had two or three sluggish connections in a 2 hour period. The improvements of this feature are like night and day over kof xii.

Minor Imperfections:
Three small things I do want to mention: Vibration on the duel shock 3 is poorly utilized so far, it would have been nice if this feature was better supported during game play. Also there is beautiful animation and cut scenes during the arcade mode which lack voice acting. The other small complaint I have is the omission of "Dynamic" zoom in and out of camera perspective, its still there but not during actual game play. This makes some of the sprites seem thin. All of these are just small things I noticed, not a big deal.

General View (5/5)
I know I'm going to spend endless hours playing online and trying to achieve gold and platinum trophies. I'm glad SNK did proper justice to this installment, the arcade port out does the previous one in every way. My pre-order choice was very wise and I encourage others to pick up this game, it is worth every penny to own even without the soundtrack, it's a great alternative to Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and it's an awesome game for your library. King of Fighters is back baby!!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2011
I'm a long time KoF fan, and after I played this in the arcade and felt how much better than KOF XII this was, I just had to preorder it, and after 6 hours of playtime today, I'm totally hooked. This game REALLY did keep its promise by going back to the CORE of KoF, and bring back the classic gameplay that KoF fans like me fell in love with to begin with. The game includes a tutorial to teach you the basics and how-to of the game, so you won't be scratching your head on how to do all the super-cool, extremely damaging combos or moves.

1)GAMEPLAY
There isn't much to say here, because gameplay for me is flawless. This is definitely the selling factor for KoF games (except for XII) for me, I've really liked the different feel these games had to their much more popular rival, Street Fighter. KOF XIII definitely delivered, with silky smooth controls with no tackiness to them whatsoever. I really like the new EX-moves, Cancel system, and the new deadly NeoMax Desperation moves. The flow of the gameplay is quick and swift, no sluggishness anywhere at all. **5/5**

2)GAME MODES
For the game modes, you have the typical Arcade Mode, which plays you through the game exactly as if you came into the arcade and hit up the machine for a round of play. No story is involved other than your participation in the King of Fighters tournament, and you can make any team you want, consisting of 3 members of not the same "Team" Very good if you're looking just to get straight to the action, no questions. Its not many rounds, and I wish it'd be a little longer, however being 3 vs 3, the battles can be quite long, so there's nothing to complain about there. Next you have Story Mode. In this mode, you select a team that has a set (not changeable) 3 members, and you play through the story of who is hosting the new KoF tournament, and what is the evil that is unfolding behind the scenes as usual. The story is significantly longer than the Arcade, especially if you choose to watch the cutscenes, which honestly I just had to, because I adored the art style implemented in them. The boss suffers somewhat from the usual "SNK Boss Syndrome", but don't worry, it's not even near being another Goenitz ('96) or Igniz ('01) ;) Then you've got the Online mode. While I never play online, I decided to do about 10 games online for the sake of the review, and the gameplay remains unaffected for me (my PS3 is connected via Ethernet, mind you.) I felt no lag at all, it was as if the person playing against me was right next to me with their controller. You've also got a practice mode as well as a Versus Overall, I'm happy with it **4.5/5**

3)GRAPHICS
Gorgeous, that's the word I'd use to describe it. I truly appreciate the fact that the game has been completely hand drawn, and it shows. The sprites of the characters are very pretty, as well as their animations for their special moves and their supers. The backgrounds are beautiful, some even more impressive than others. I was getting mauled sometimes in the game because I had been staring and distracted by the attractive backgrounds. Being hand drawn, don't expect it to be computerized-perfect, because that is, in essence, the beauty of hand drawing. Overall **5/5**

4)SOUNDTRACK
Here KOF has never, ever failed to deliver. Each and every game has a fantastic soundtrack accompanying it, and KOF XIII does not disappoint a single bit. The music for each stage fits perfectly to what you're seeing, or (in the story especially) what is going on in the particular battle you're about to undertake. Sounds for the characters is excellent. I like how there are several different "tone" of voices for the same move for almost every, if not every character. I can't tell you how much it annoys and irritates me to hear the same sound bit over and over again, so by doing this it doesn't let it get as irritating, in my opinion. For those of you (like me) that preordered, you get "The King of Soundtracks" pack, with 4CDs, spanning across ALL KOF games. ('94, '95, '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, XI, XII, and XIII) Except for XIII, you are not given the ENTIRE soundtrack or the arranged soundtrack, but rather the most notable tracks from each game. (Boss themes, particular stages) Can't really complain, and the packet it comes in is very nice. Overall **5/5**

5)CHARACTER ROSTER
KOF XIII has a roster of 30 characters, which you may find using google. The characters ALL have several different preset costumes to choose from, as well as the ability to customize and create your own color set. NOT that big of a deal for me, but I think there are others that will find this very pleasing. I was very pleased with the return of Yuri Sakazaki (she's my favorite SNK character), Billy Kane, and Kula Diamond. Overall the roster is quite solid, and I believe that most KOF fans will find no disappointment. I do wish that Vanessa had been brought back, as well as good old Rugal Bernstein (understandable that he's gone, due to his multiple "deaths" in the series), but it really is not that big of a deal, I'm very satisfied with the roster, and overall I give it a **4/5**

CONCLUSION
The game has exceeded my expectations as a picky, die-hard KoF fan, and I have almost zero things to whine about, and those that I do are mostly opinion-based. I say that if you're looking for a great, fun fighting game to pick up, and you've never tried a KoF game before, BUY THIS, you will not be disappointed. I may update my review after I rack in more hours. Hope this review was helpful!

EDIT: If you would like to talk to me or play the game with me, go ahead and add my PSN: Kuban_Kevin
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
I just picked up my copy from Gamestop and I have to say this is what KOF 12 should have been and it's even better! The background is very beautifully presented and the characters look vivid and beautiful in a retro 2D presentation. In KOF 13 the story mode has been added back along with other modes such as endless and mission challenge, AND some popular characters that were RIDICULOUSLY missing in KOF 12 such as Mai. The characters are fully customizable from head to toe. Guys if you are a KOF fan or if you are into fighting genre in general this is the one to got for!

For the online play part it is definitely much better! If you ever played Super Street Fighter IV online you can expect the same level of smoothness, which is great because you probably wouldn't be able to notice the tiny lag that exists in the physics of Internet.

If you read the IGN review the reviewer complained about the bosses being cheap. That is just bull$h!# it's a fighting game and the boss has the same life meter as your characters do how do you expect the bosses being more challenging than regular opponents if they are not using full screen damaging supers?

Actually my little complain is that the main theme sounds really like cheesy rock music, but the team theme absolutely can make up for it.

[UPDATE]

So I have played about 10 online matches, there were definitely good and bad network conditions. More than half of the matches I could say they were completely lag free, for some others I could notice that there were very tiny noticeable lag between your input and your characters' moves, but I was still able to do all the combos I trained in practice mode. There was one match that was totally unplayable but I could confidently say that the reason is the other person has really crappy Internet connection (Good luck with any game!) I have the same experience with Super Street Fighter 4 and I guess it's a regional factor.

[UPDATE 2]

When you are playing online, you will encounter players with four different levels of network latency. LV.3 and LV.4 are recommended as you will not be able to notice any lags. LV.2 is playable, you will notice a tiny lag which will make you feel awkward and some combos you practiced for hours are harder to do. LV.1 needs to be avoided at all time. it will make you throw your controller away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2013
I've been into fighting games for a few years now, and I've sampled a lot of the market by this point. KOF XIII I find to have a very high learning curve, but with some of the most fun gameplay available in a fighter.

First of all, I would recommend AGAINST getting into this game unless you're already playing on an Arcade Stick or something similar like the Hitbox controller. The games' inputs are similar in nature to those of Street Fighter IV and UMvC3, but a lot more complex (think along the lines of Guile's 'Flash Explosion' input). The inputs in this game are simple enough to pick up on if you're new to the KOF series, but they will destroy your thumbs if you're using a regular controller.

I do recommend this game for anyone who has been playing fighting games for a while, but NOT if you have never played a fighting game before or if you are new to the genre. KOF XIII has a very high learning curve and the inputs and combos can be incredibly complex.

There are two things working against new players in this title. First of all, the game is in a 3v3 format, meaning you will have to learning 3 individual characters in order to even play the game. However, it's not like Marvel 3 where you will be doing complex tag combos; All the matches are 1v1.

The next thing working against newbies in this game is the trial mode. While trial modes are very helpful for picking up fighting games, KOF XIII's trials start out on a medium-level and get exponentially more challenging. They don't seem to be built on the same philosophy as Perona 4: Arena or SSFIV's trials are at starting simple (1 or 2 hit combos) and then gradually increasing in difficulty; KOF's trials are set up to be more like an actual challenge mode for more seasoned fighting game players.

Between needing to learn 3 characters and the difficulty in learning the basics of the characters, this game can be a very frustrating uphill battle for newbies. However, for more experienced players, I highly recommend it.

Veteran fighting game players, or even just players looking for something more challenging than what they're already playing, will have a good time learning the ins and outs of KOF XIII. The game offers very deep gameplay, with intricacies all over the place. There is even 3 kinds of jumps in the game! You won't learn the game in a week like you might another, but you will come out of it feeling accomplished and knowing that you can play one of the most fun fighting games on the market!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
I have no personal opinion of this item. It was purchased as a gift to my grandson and he doesn't use a lot of words. Just says Rocks !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
This is my first foray into the KOF series, I've dabbled with other snk games before like Garou, but never KOF.

I have to say this is the 2nd best fighter I have ever had the joy of playing, (first of course being 3rd Strike =D)

if you want a real fighter, something that actually requires practice and execution, buy this!!/
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
Being a big KOF fan for years since 94'. I've no doubt that this going to be the best install for this game in HD in years. They put so much effort in everything with some stuff that can get better with time and some patches. But so far I LOVE IT. And the Soundtrack Collection is awesome.

$50 worth it.

Get it and learn how to play, enjoy with your friends online. I'm from Costa Rica and we don't have great ISP but i was able to play with no Lag most of the time. But they still need to work on the delay.

IORI with Flames is great.

I really love this game i'll attach to it and spend hrs playing.

Thank you ATLUS.

Jaime M
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The last time we had a King of Fighters game, it was 2009's underwhelming King of Fighters XII. While it wasn't a bad edition of the long running fighting game franchise, it was still mammothly disappointing in terms of included content, gameplay modes, fighter selection, and online functionality. With King of Fighters XIII, all the rights have been wronged. More fighters, more gameplay modes, and vastly improved online gameplay options really make this installment a winner. Graphically not a whole lot has changed since KOF XII, with many backgrounds and sprites recycled from that game, but they seem to be animated a lot better this time around. Gameplay modes include the standard arcade mode, as well as a new story mode (with a presentation that's reminiscent of Blaz Blue) and the thankfully improved online modes. The only real flaws about KOF XIII is that I still wish there were some more fighters to pick from (although it is great to see Mai back) and that the online play wasn't as laggy as it is. All that aside though, The King of Fighters XIII is 2-D fighting at its near best, and deserves your attention right now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I admit that I have not played KOF since the old KOF '95 arcade days. That's 15 years since! But I have become disappointed with many other fighting game franchises that I once loved (Street Fighter comes to mind). Also all the crazy Marvel vs Capcom games don't interest me. What got my interest here was the slick arcade style control that I saw on the youtube videos. So I pre-ordered this instead of Elder Scrolls V (pretty crazy huh!), mainly because I wanted the included soundtrack (pre-release bonus).

I haven spent a few hours playing and I will update this review as I play more.

There are several modes to play through: Arcade, Story, VS, Trials, etc... as well as online. There is quite a bit of depth here. I played through Arcade a couple of times. The storyline is nice, pretty fast paced, and interesting in the arcade version. The last boss(es) are pretty tough and bring to mind some of Soul Calibur's crushing last battles. If you do get beat up on, then you get to continue with the option of selecting a handicap for your CPU opponent. I admit the first time I beat the game I had to use the 75% life bar handicap... But I plan on improving quickly!

Story mode is a lot slower and pans out like a partially animated manga. There are no voice overs, in the arcade mode, characters' mouths move (without voice), but in story, their mouths usually don't. I enjoy story mode because it gives you much more insight into the characters and the plot. Essential for someone like me who is new to the series.

Control is slick. Some of the moves require expert timing and control, but you can get a pretty good grasp of the characters normal and special attacks fairly quickly. They are often standard fighting game combos. The EX moves are a little tougher to execute, and chaining them into massive combos requires skill. Luckily you can go to practice or trial mode to work on them. In one of the trial modes you select a character and then must hit combos to advance. It's harder than you think! Blocking is easy (hold away on the stick), jumping is nice, and running/hopping forward easy to execute. You also have rolls with the R1 button (standard button configure).

The music is a real treat. Much is typical J Rock or J Pop, but there are some nice jazzy and bluesy tunes as well. It's a nice mix, and the tunes are pretty catchy. They tend to be fast paced during the action and slower during cut scenes. And I love the voice for "You Lose"! It's like he's kind of mocking you, but not in an overly obvious way. I actually laugh when I lose and hear that voice!

Graphics are a mixed bag. It's a little grainy, even on my Toshiba 46" 1080p LCD (with HDMI). It's more noticeable with certain characters, but it doesn't really bother me. The animation and frame rate are good. It just looks like a PS2 game ported and enhanced for PS3. The backgrounds are fun but with the same issue, some grainy qualities, (pixellating?), but again, not complaining. The characters are all well drawn and pretty interesting to watch on screen. Special moves are pretty flashy, and finishing an opponent with a special move gives a fun little screen 'blast'.

So overall my first impression is that this is a fun, fast fighting game with a lot of depth, plenty of characters to try out, and lots of combos and moves to work on. I think that it slightly edges out SSF4 just with the fluid controls and the focus on attack and combos over defense and counters. People will prefer one style of fighting game over another, but this is one hell of a fighting game that deserves to be played! It's just FUN!

If I were to give it a rating on a hundred point scale, I would say 93/100.
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on January 13, 2015
Amazing game. I've always been a big fan of this series--it was a King of Fighters game that finally got me to purchase the RAM cart for my Sega Saturn so I could play the imported versions of KOF on the system.

Fantastic gameplay, gorgeous graphics, tons of variety, and a fighting game that demands real skill.

Someone else was arguing whether this was the best in the KOF series. I'm not an expert, but in my opinion, this is one of, if not THE, best in the series (for me.) Even if you don't quite agree with that sentiment, if you're a fan of this series at all, you're going to like this game.

I've noticed copies are slowly drying up (and prices creeping up) over the past few months. If you're going to take the plunge, I'd go ahead and do so soon.
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