The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition Review
Despite its library of thousands of games, the PC is noticeably lacking in one department: fighting games. Some may balk at the thought of throwing down with a keyboard, but SNK Playmore is giving the genre a shot in the arm with The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition, a port of a fighter that has been rocking arcades and consoles since 2010. Is this transplant worthy of the fighting game community?
Those who have yet to throw down with Kyo and Ryo could not have picked a better time to jump into the series. The series might have 20 years and dozens of titles to its name (ignore the thirteen part), but The King of Fighters XIII packs a sizable roster of 36 characters and high-res spritework. It’s not the series’ largest roster, but it’s certainly its most polished one to date.
Bouts in The King of Fighters XIII are of the three-on-three variety, complete with quarter circle moves, EX moves, and flashy super moves. The difference lies in its input system — unlike titles like Capcom’s Street Fighter, inputs are far more deliberate, punishing button mashers and rewarding high level play. Watching two pros at it shows how it is less about spamming moves and more about perfect timing. It’s a small investment, but a worthwhile one for fans of the genre.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition has all of the bells and whistles of the PS3 and 360 releases, from the in-depth tutorial mode to the color tweaking system to the mission mode. The slowdown from the console versions has been fixed here, and options to adjust the background activity allow for faster framerates on slower machines. It should be worth noting that there is only so much optimization you can do with spritework, so do not expect any small miracles on your Pentium II.
The biggest selling point for The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition would have to be its self-proclaimed improved netcode. Matches are indeed smoother than their console iterations, and matchmaking has no disconnects to speak of. However, the lack of a spectator mode seems like a missed opportunity, especially when one considers how long the original release has been out. Still, what is here is more than enough to throw down against foes around the world.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition is almost a straight port, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Being the definitive port of one of the best fighting games around is no small feat, and it goes to show how solid of a fighting game it really is.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition is a rock solid port of a rock solid fighting game.