Will KOF 15 Bring a New Identity To The Long-Running Franchise?
SNK finally announced that the next entry in the King of Fighters franchise is currently in the development. The announcement came surprisingly during EVO 2019. EVO is the fighting game tournament that includes players around the globe competing in a way to be crowned as the best in a wide variety of games.
The announcement wasn’t much and was only a logo of the game. Alongside a confirmation that the game was in works. Even though it may only be just a logo, still that was enough to cheer the fans up. There were no further details regarding the game’s release cycle or which platforms it’s aiming to be launched on. A logo was the only thing that we got. But for the fans of the long-running fighting game series, undoubtedly it was exciting.
It’s nearly three years since we got our last King of Fighters game released. When King of Fighters XIV arrived during 2016, it was surprisingly taken well. Even more than the highly anticipated Street Fighters 5. Sites like Gamespot awarded it with an 8/10. And was also received surprisingly well despite being such a hard release for SNK. With the arrival of King of Fighters 14, everyone thought that the game will kneel. In front of the highly anticipated Street Fighter 5. But when both of the games were compared after release, the result was surprisingly in the favour of SNK’s long-running franchise.
Why SNK’s KOF 14 won against Capcom’s promising Street Fighter 5? Here are some of the reasons that make it somewhat simple to understand this victory in the battle of the brawlers.
KOF Features a Massive Roster of Different Characters Alongside Various Game Modes and Amazing Online Play
A Huge Character Roster
Even though many people are madly in love with Street Fighter 5’s diverse cast of characters, we cannot deny the fact that the roster feels somewhat scattered obliviously. Not to mention considering the fact that we have to grind hard to get all the DLC characters. While on the other hand, its competitor King of Fighters 14 seems to feature a massive roster. Its roster contains 50 amazing characters mostly split into teams of three during the game.
The game features fan favourite classic characters like Geese, Iori, Mai and also one of the most beloved Terry Bogard, Joe and Billy Kane. The game also has an inclusion of an appearance by Nakoruru from the other series of Samurai Showdown. This shows extreme effort SNK put into the game’s diversity.
Different Amount of Game Modes
Street Fighter 5 clearly was mistaken in this area of expertise. The game came out without much alongside the single-player content. This meant no arcade mode and even option to compete with a computer in the versus matches. Fortunately enough, King of Fighters 14 was able to solve this problem for themselves.
The game greeted the players with many game modes as they load up the game. Those modes included Story mode, Versus, Online as well as Missions. Not to mention the game also had separate training modes with additional bonus features like Galleries alongside it. It shows how much a player can easily get invested with a massive roster with various different game modes in King of Fighters XIV.
The Deep Layered Combat System
Street Fighter 5’s combat system was excellent with unique additions like the V-Gauge system for each character and more. The King of Fighters XIV also has a great brawling system, one which is much simpler for newcomers to adapt. While maintaining the depth long-running fans love so much. A great mix of new and old, the game also features a previous system known as MAX mode. Allowing players to execute unlimited attacks within a short period. There are also super special moves, ways for disarming moves or evading and cancelling moves. But what’s special about this is that its the most user-friendly entry to date. As it also introduces a new one-button combo system.
An Amazing Online Experience
The dodgy server problems of Street Fighter 5 have been improved since a very unstable one at launch. On the other hand, King of Fighters XIV was out only for a week, yet the gameplay was amazingly positive for the consumers. The gameplay was smooth, seamless and the battle lobbies allowed players with a chance to fight against other players. Not to mention many other things such as watching matches and advice-seeking too.
Continuous Arrival of New Content
If we are to name any irritating thing about Street Fighter 5, it would definitely be the feeling of emptiness in the game. At many points, the game feels incomplete. And even after a long time, it was missing many features that were essential. Capcom did add proper single-player story mode. And new ways to enjoy the game, but still, the arcade mode was feeling empty for a long period of time.
On the other hand, the King of Fighters XIV was ready and fueled to be experienced. SNK also added more DLC characters alongside new costumes furthermore to support the game. The great thing was that the game had plenty of content even before the additional DLC. So even if SNK didn’t release additional DLCs the game still had much to offer.
All we Know About King Of Fighters 15 So Far…
The King of Fighters is SNK’s flagship three vs three that has been fan favourite. Since it first came out in 1994. The series latest instalment was The King of Fighters 14 which was released in 2016. And still being enjoyed by fans worldwide. During SNK’s IPO conference that was held in Korea during the 2018’s winter. In order to hype up the company’s entering the Korean stock market. It was revealed that SNK is hard at work on the next iteration of the franchise “The King of Fighters 15”. The question is What do we know about the title so far?
King of Fighters 15 Graphics and Visualization
Let’s be a little honest here, The King Of Fighters 14 didn’t have the best graphics. Since its first release, the game has been criticized, ridiculed, made fun of and even compared to PS2 graphics. SNK did upgrade the lightning and colour saturation post-launch that made the game a little more good looking. But still, it wasn’t enough to get in competition for modern games graphics. Luckily, it seems like SNK has learned their lesson. And has announced that The King Of Fighters 14 will be using Unreal Engine 4. The engine that is currently on many modern fighting games including the upcoming Samurai Showdown.
SNK confidently stated that The King Of Fighters 15 will look even better than Samurai Showdown. As the company is learning more about the new engine. They’re hoping that some cell shaded effects are there to rival the gorgeous look in Dragon Ball Fighter Z. It also uses Unreal Engine 4 by the way. It may also be not good news for fans wanting SNK to go back to hand-drawn sprites. As they had in The King Of Fighters 13. But we all saw this coming as the time for 2D hand-drawn sprites is very long gone.
King of Fighters 15 Platforms
It’s very difficult to talk about platforms when the game is still in development. Thanks to the same IPO conference, it was announced. Specifically to investors that SNK is planning to have The King Of Fighters 15 available on all major consoles simultaneously. Specifically mentioning PlayStation 4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch and Steam. If the next-gen arrives by the time the game launches as it seems likely it will, then the game may also be planned for a cross-gen title. And will release on the next-gen also. This is a major departure from The King Of Fighters 14. It was time exclusive for the PlayStation 4 before hitting the PC on Steam a year later. Having the game available on all major consoles will help the sales and brand recognition for the title.
King of Fighters 15 Story and Plot
One thing that sets The King Of Fighters series aside from every other fighting games is its unique approach to storytelling. The King Of Fighters has always presented its fans with a coherent and well written as well as exciting storyline. The lore of the franchise is separate in sagas that build up the interesting world of the series. First, we have the Orochi saga that spanned from The King Of Fighters 94 to 97. And dealt with the revival of the 1800 years old demon Orochi.
An Ongoing Of Sagas
Then The King Of Fighters 99 started the NESTS saga, a saga based upon secrecy. Where our heroes had to deal with a secret organization. One possessing the ability to create super-powered humans, space ships and satellites and were able to mass-produce thousands of Kyo clones in a year. We saw some great characters in the NESTS saga like K Dash and Kula Diamond who are still beloved by fans. This saga’s span was until The King Of Fighters 2001. While this ending was amazing, it initiated a brand new saga. One that would go on to be one of the most beloved sagas of the franchise. The King Of Fighters 2003 initiated the Ash saga. The story focused on the secret cult of those from the past trying to revive Orochi. The tale of this saga included Time Travel and Time Paradoxes and ended the sacrifice of Ash’s life.
Now as this saga ended, The King Of Fighters 14 started a brand new saga, one that we don’t know much about. We do know that there are some Space Anomalies in the final boss “Verse”. Who’s a being made of many souls and somehow he’s related to Shun’ei. Then it was revealed that his death caused the revival of many deceased fighters. Such as Shermie, Chris and Yashiro which was confirmed in the SNK heroines game.
A Heavily Structured Brand New Era
But besides that, we do not have any idea how this saga will go. And what The King Of Fighters 15 be about. But thanks to Kyōtarō Azuma’s manga, The King Of Fighters: A New Beginning, we now know that NESTS is heavily involved in The King Of Fighters 14 era.
The secret organization which we all thought was over with Igniz’s death is pretty much active. And is infiltrating The King Of Fighters 14 tournament. Their goal seems to revive Igniz himself whose soul seems also a part of Verse. Their plan is to somehow use all of the NESTS cyborgs, K Dash, Kula, Maxima, Angel and Sylvie. Who even though they defected still have some sort of active chips in their bodies. That they do not have any idea of. To what extent NESTS will have in The King Of Fighters 15 cannot be said yet. But still, we have some sort of glimpse of what the plot of the game will include.
Not to mention this era’s heavy focus on Shun’ei. And also the revival of Ash Crimson may also heavily affect the game. Also, the game seems to be headed again in the direction of the Orochi sagas uniting alongside this new one. Also, it seems that just like fans, SNK loves Rugal. And with a story opportunity to bring him back, it would be really surprised if they pass on it. Could this new KOF saga deal with the resurrection and rise to power of Rugal? Why this theory came into the mind? The answer is the teaser of The King Of Fighters 15. It included the soundtrack of Rugal playing in the background.
The King of Fighters 15 Release Date Planned For 2020
The highly surprising entry in the King of Fighters series will arrive for us as soon as this year. As during the revelation of the logo, it said currently in development. But since we don’t know how exactly near their development is complete, we can’t say anything for sure. It seems we need to wait till E3 to get a clear picture of when the game could make its way to release. As the E3 of 2020 is going to be one of the biggest events ever.
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