Welcome to part II of my ongoing coverage regarding KOF XIII. In this article, it is directed towards the longtime fans (the ones let down by XII) But fear not friends, XIII brings KOF back with a vengeance. And honestly its better than SFIV.
Gameplay modes - Although there are many, its easy to access all of the sub-menus. There may be a loading logo at the bottom right, but it doesn't last very long. Or during matches, its a quick start up and go. Btw I advise any one playing this game to save it to your hard drive. It makes things so much better, and less waiting time.
Controls are quick on the fly, every button press is touch sensitive. Including the D-pad (for those hardcore ones out there I'm sure you're playing with an arcade stick, hopefully the patch comes out soon for improvements to allow you fun characters to play. Try out the tutorial in case you are not familiar with the adapted setup, it may seem overkill to learn but in fact its worth it. You might be surprised how robust the adapted Drive Cancels really are. Including the NeoMAX or as we longtime fans love to call them HDM. Explore the different power modes, in fact there are five! I know its crazy, but you will get used to it after awhile, its a lot like breathing.
For those worried about visuals, need not be concerned. Presentation is excellent! The character designs are sharp (actually sharper than XII) The "Zoom" happens when your character unlocks their HDM move and lets their opponent have a fresh serving of pain. It also happens during other special moves, which is a neat feature because it was rare to see the in-game camera focus on a variety of moments. Here it does just that, the character even gives a "wink" to the player when the move is pulled off. Just watch, you'll see. **And I'm sure many know by now of the classic KO specials towards King and Yuri. That aside, the characters actually react more towards their health bar dropping, listen to the audio cues (this is something that really surprised me).
Btw for those longtime fans, the character designs remind me of the CG style we all grew up with in FF and AOF. I am surprised just how much detail went into every movement. From defensive, to offensive, and even when the character stands still. Another hidden detail is from the "burst" mode is that every attack attains a more zen-like quality where you gain full control of the HDSM's without a hiccup. The NeoMax attacks are unleashed full force, and can be controlled until the very last hit. (or an ongoing combo can be made up until the opponent "kisses the earth").
For you newcomers, we're glad to have you with us. Practice, and learn well. And to everyone just have a ball playing this excellent game. I admit it, XIII beats SFIV anyday. Sorry Capcom but you've been beaten by KOF to this gamers heart. *wink*