SNK Playmore’s King of Fighters XI is very similar in all respects to their recent NeoGeo Battle Coliseum in that it is a purely two dimensional fighting game that appeals almost exclusively to hardcore two dimensional fighting game fans.

It’s a one trick pony.

King of Fighters XI revolves around a new tournament that has been announced. You have to fight through the toughest fighters int he land to unlock the mystery behind a stolen “Orochi Seal” and “Yata Mirror.”

But you’ll have to take my word for it. There is no true “story mode” to the game, and there is no cinematic intro to set the stage for the tournament. Most players are just pretty much going to jump in — and depending on how good the player is, you’ll see a ton of button mashing. Plus the single-player boss is really overwhelming.

The game is better in a two-player environment. It’s always fun to beat the bejesus out of your friends.

XI features a three-character team play mode and 47 characters to choose from, with three new ones added. Also look for new abilities like quick shift, saving shift and dream cancel.

It’s one of the better pure 2D fighting games out there right now, but there also aren’t a ton of them in development right now. King of Fighters XI is one of the best in a long-standing series, and the sheer number of players and different moves will keep you entertained for hours trying to figure it all out.

I mean, what can I really say? The graphics suck, like like Battle Coliseum (16-bit anyone?) and the game gets really boring if you don’t get good quick and you’re not a traditional fighting game player. But you probably wouldn’t look for this game unless you were into the genre.

My favorite part was playing as Ramon — who is Mexican, looks pasty white on character select screens, is black in the game, and speaks Japanese while fighting.

The game quickly gets hard, and despite the 14 endings, don’t expect to beat it anytime soon.

Quick hits:

Publisher: SNK Playmore
Developer: SNK Playmore
Platform: PlayStation 2
Genre: Fighting
Players: 1-2
Launch Date: November 13, 2007

Playability: [rating:3/5]
Learning Curve: [rating:3/5]
Sound: [rating:3.5]
Graphics: [rating:2/5]
Overall: [rating:3/5]

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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