Catching Up on The King of Fighters XIV

“Hey! So what the heck happened with all of those King of Fighters XIV posts you were making?” It’s a question you…might have asked if you’re someone who stops by regularly. I was pumping them out on a biweekly basis at one point, highlighting every character SNK was revealing for the title — despite how the entire cast had leaked beforehand. Those suddenly ceased, but not due to a loss of interest.

Many who write or blog about gaming were sidetracked in their projects thanks to the torrent of information and announcements from E3 2016, despite this year’s event being comparatively light on surprises. And for everyone, it happened through no fault of their own. I fully intended to make a KoFXIV post shortly before E3, but didn’t expect the high number pre-E3 reveals, something I’ll have to remember for next year. This isn’t anything to fret about too much, since the game is still around two months away from release.

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Since unveiling the release date and relaunching the official website, SNK has been releasing Team trailers instead of the teasers revealing new characters they previously relied on. Fortunately, these are just as exciting, not only because they contain a significant amount of gameplay, but because most teams include one character who has yet to be shown by SNK (though some were featured on streams beforehand). They’ve released quite a few in the last month-and-a-half, so I had to do some catching up here.

This started with the always-reliable Team Japan, which revealed Goro Daimon in addition to showing off more Kyo and Benimaru. Goro didn’t appear as fluidly animated as he did in the previous sprite-based games, but the developers fortunately addressed this for newer builds that have been shown on streams and press events. The Team Yagami trailer marked the first opportunity to show Mature, whose altered outfit (combining her older and newer threads) unsurprisingly mimic Vice’s. The Fatal Fury Team’s video marked the first real opportunity to show Joe Higashi, after being treated like a butt monkey in the Ryo vs. Geese trailer. (No, that’s not a reference to his infamous taunt, which is well worth linking to again.) This was also an opportunity to hear the new voice actors for Terry and Joe, which, while good attempts, will be tough to adjust to thanks to their previous actors being attached to them for over two decades.

With the Art of Fighting Team, we received a good look at Yuri Sakazaki, who’s just as goofy as ever. You’ll also notice her considerably shorter hair this time around, likely due to it being easier to render on a 3D model. In addition to Kim Kaphwan himself and Luong, the Kim Team will also feature new character Gang-li, an expert Tae Kwon Do practitioner who’s also Kim’s master. He has a lot of Kim’s older techniques, along with some from Kim’s sons from Mark of the Wolves. Another brand new character is Xanadu, who’s teamed up with Kim’s former partners on the Villains Team. He doesn’t have a fighting style of his own, and seems to take many of his moves from cartoon villains, so he’ll fit right in with the lineage of unique SNK characters.

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Finally, the newest character revealed was Mian, who’s part of the Official Invitation Team with the also-new Sylvie Paula Paula (not-Kyary Pamyu Pamyu) and Kukri (not-Gaara, though this one’s more of a straight homage). Mian uses dance moves and wears a mask due to her shyness, though reveals her face at certain times. There, that’s all the characters who have been revealed in the last few weeks. To see them in action, pay the official website a visit, which has all the team videos in one convenient place. It’s nice to see they were thinking of lazy people who didn’t want to link to each one individually like me.

If you want to see more than that, SNK has been advertising the game through streams and tournaments, and hours of footage (much of it direct-feed) has been uploaded to YouTube on various channels. This lengthy video from KoF Station did a good job showing off abilities from the old and especially new characters.

There was also more release info provided in the interim between my last post and this one. For one, we’re getting a “Burn to Fight” premium edition, which includes the game in a Steelbook package, a 144-page art book, and the 3-disc soundtrack. That’s a great deal for an LE that’s a mere $20 more than the standard edition at $79.99. Also, the game will be published by Deep Silver in Europe and release on August 26th, the same week it arrives in America and Japan.

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More characters will be revealed on a weekly basis through team videos until the American release on August 23rd, but it shouldn’t take me as long to get around to covering them. At least, I hope it won’t.

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