Any long running take any long running fighting game and chances are, it’s got history. Since Street Fighter 2 people have been arguing if change is necessarily better- with every fighting game that’s not the latest one getting elevated in status just by virtue of not being the current hotness.
One of these venerated titles is KOF XIII – one of the most gorgeous looking KOF games is also the last hurrah of the franchise’s sprite-based era, and as such holds a valuable spot in everyone’s heart. There’s only one downside- playing online wasn’t the best experience. Delay based netcode means getting matches becomes a gamble between unplayable and decent, which isn’t a great look when you have a title that’s already going to be niche by virtue of not having Luong sit on your face when she has full meter.
That’s all set to change with KOF XIII Global Match– the console re-release of the title sports updated internet infrastructure, meaning you can reconnect with players all around the globe and ask them if they’re ok before hitting them with the sickest Buster Wolf the earth has ever seen.
I’m really glad that we live in an era now where rollback is being more widely implemented. Now that the latest entry, KOF XV sports the netcode, having KOF XIII sport smooth online play is a great sign about making sure the KOF series is remembered for more than just the newest entry on shelves. Good rollback can make the other person feel like they’re right next to you- something that the game does excellently.
Even if you’re playing at odd hours, that doesn’t mean you’re just going to be sitting in the main menu watching the matchmaking go- you can simply sit in training mode and practics those loops while the game gets back to you once your next opponent appears.
Of course, the fact that KOF XIII is an old game means, chances are you’re going to run into killers. Don’t be discouraged if you find yourself on the receiving end of some terrible combos- this is just the inherent risk of playing an older title. From Drive Cancels to timing those Jump-Ins, there’s a lot to learn if you want to run with the big dogs in KOF XIII.
To this end, the game’s replay mode is actually pretty excellent, letting you pull up a stats screen to see the stun and damage values of your moves as they hit. It’s great for answering the age-old question, uttered in every arcade: “How the hell did that hit me?”
If you’re like me and allergic to labbing, this will probably be the way you most end up learning. It’s easier to watch back footage of you eating an axe kick and learn to block on wake-up than it is to sit in a boring training room screen trying to think of every thing that’s kicking your butt, after all.
Improving On A Classic
Really, there’s a lot to love with KOF XIII Global Match. For one, it’s got some of the most gorgeous spritework in any 2D fighter- up there in the alls of fame with 3rd Strike and Skullgirls. It’s also notoriously streamlined- characters movelists are much smaller compared to modern fighters, instead having you use the in-game systems to make full use of them.
Combine that with a working online mode now and you have a recipe for a solid rebirth of a popular game- I can only hope this reintroduces more people to such an iconic title because even if you’re not competing, you can’t tell me this game doesn’t look good on the big screen.
Game provided by SNK