The King of Fighters XI
 

 

STORY:  Mukai, a member of a mysterious group known as "Those from the Distant Land", stole the Orochi seal in the last tournament and broke it, causing confusion and destruction to happen from within sight. Taking advantage of the situation at hand, Ash Crimson attacked Chizuru Kagura in her weakened state and stole the Yata Mirror from her while draining her powers from within the process.
 

KOF XI's character selection screen is slick.

 
REVIEW
The 11th installment of SNK's trademark series reintroduces the 3-on-3 tag team gameplay and Tactical Shift system from the last 2D prequel. This version introduces a variety of new gameplay enhancements, including: an enhanced "tag combo" system, canceling system, and counter system. Among these are the Quick Shift (switch characters during combo), Saving Shift (tag out a character while they are being hit), and Dream Cancels (allowing players to use stocks to interrupt a move in the midst of its execution with a more powerful move, opening the door to devastating combos).
 

Don't let Shion fool you... Shion's a dude. :/

 
The home (PS2) version of King of Fighters XI includes a classic 3-on-3 Team Mode (if tag just isn't your thing) and even a traditional 1-on-1 mode. The console version presents the most characters ever to appear in a KOF game to date... including several PS2 exclusive characters which were taken straight from Neo Geo Battle Coliseum (Mr. Big, Geese Howard, Tung Fu Rue, Robert Garcia, Hotaru Futaba, Mai Shiranui and EX Kyo Kusanagi). The PS2 version also includes playable boss characters, Color Edit Mode, 4 new stages, and 10 new BGMs. As far as presentation goes... the intro isn't as flashy or as exciting as one might hope, and the end boss of the game is really REALLY cheap. Those flaws are easily overlooked, however, because the VS mode is where it's really at, as usual.

Overall, KOF XI's gameplay is faster and smoother than ever before. The new characters add great variety to the roster. Most of which are unquestionably cool and fun to use as well! The important thing is... it still feels like KOF. Whether you're a long time fan of the series or just a fan of 2D fighting games in general, you'll find something to like about this installment. The animation and graphics impress for a KOF title... yes, the 2D sprites still look dated, but strut their stuff on some impressively sharp backgrounds. Some backdrops are done in high-res 2D, others in 3D, and the 2D sprites manage to look decent in both. The home version also has several graphical options, including different levels of "sprite blurring" to best suit your TV and screen size.
 

Leona looks sad... I wonder why. lol.

 
The extras & options in the home version of KOF XI are easily the best found in a console KOF game to date. There's a nice selection artwork and endings to unlock (not to mention all of the unlockable Battle Coliseum characters), and about 50 or so "challenges" to take on. There are a ton of options, and the new Color Edit Mode is loads of fun if you're a 2D sprite fanatic like myself. Not only can you change your characters colors to your artistic liking, but you can actually change their "fire" or "effect" colors... which makes for literally infinite possibilities. Want a K' in all black, with black hair, and have him use black flames? (I did... and I made him. He's badass!!!)

 
Page Updated: November 25th, 2013
Developer(s): SNK Playmore
Publisher(s): SNK Playmore
Artwork by: Hiroaki
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 2
Release Date(s): October 26th, 2005 ( Arcade)
December 2005 ( Arcade)
June 22nd, 2006 ( PS2)
November 13th, 2007 ( PS2)
Characters Kyo, Ash Crimson, K', Kula, Maxima, Terry, Duck King, Kim, Shen Woo, Oswald, Gato, Mary, Ramon, Kasumi, Vanessa, Ralf, Whip, Hayate, Clark, Ryo, King, Athena, Yuri, Malin, Duo Lon, Iori, B. Jenet, Tizoc, Shingo, Benimaru, Elizabeth, Momoko, Eiji, Adelheid, Gai, Magaki, Shion, Silber, Jyazu, Hayate (PS2), Mr. Big (PS2), Geese (PS2), Tung Fu Rue (PS2), Robert Garcia (PS2), Hotaru (PS2), Mai (PS2)

Featured Video:

Related Games: King of Fighters '94, King of Fighters '94: Re-bout, King of Fighters '95, King of Fighters '96, King of Fighters '97, King of Fighters '98, King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match, King of Fighters '99, King of Fighters 2000, King of Fighters 2001, King of Fighters 2002, King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, King of Fighters 2003, King of Fighters XII, King of Fighters XIII, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact MANIAX, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, King of Fighters: Neowave, King of Fighters EX Neo Blood, King of Fighters EX2 Howling Blood, King of Fighters R1, King of Fighters R2, KOF Collection: Orochi Saga , Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

Gameplay Engine
 9 / 10
Story / Theme
 8 / 10
Overall Graphics
 8 / 10
Animation
 8 / 10
Music / Sound Effects
 8 / 10
Innovation
 8 / 10
Art Direction
 9 / 10
Customization
 9 / 10
Options / Extras
 9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation
 6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun
 8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor
 8.5 / 10
Characters
 9.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

8.8 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version
Final Words:

If you've read my previous KOF reviews, you'd know that I really enjoyed 2000 and 2003... but now I have a new favorite. The gameplay has evolved significantly, but still offers that classic KOF gameplay that defines the serious. I definitely dig this edition's roster (even though Yamazaki is on vacation, yet again). 

KOF XI's Color Edit Mode is a brilliant toy as well... I must've spent a couple hours in the mode just toying around (then I remembered the game is actually fun too)! I'd recommend KOF XI to any 2D fighting game fans... not only to KOF fans.
~TFG Webmaster  

  
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