King of Fighters XIV may not be the most aesthetically pleasing fighting game on the market, but it’s already in a much better position than its greatest competitor. According to the latest scores on Metacritic, SNK’s newest installment has established a much stronger resonance among major media outlets.
Here are a few excerpts from what the critics had to say:
GamesRadar: “Whether or not you dig its new look, KOF 14 offers everything you could want in a fighting game: refined gameplay, a bevy of appealing characters, and accessibility that gives way to complex depth.
Destructoid: King of Fighters XIV falls somewhere between XII and XIII. It’s not exactly bare-bones and the roster is might, but the gaudy presentation and by-the-book is distracting and takes away a lot of the uniqueness of the series.
Gamespot: With plenty of opportunities available online or off, KOF 14 is a well-executed addition to the revered fighting series. Those disappointed in its new visuals may be unwilling to give it a chance, but if you remain steadfast in parsing through the multiple layers of its mechanics, you’ll be rewarded with the most accessible, satisfying entries in the series to date.
Gaming enthusiasts sites also chimed in:
Digitally Downloaded: The King of Fighters XIV channels the spirit of the 90s whilst very subtly evolving to attract more casual players.
Hardcore Gamer: Anyone who ever enjoyed the series will find a lot to like about KOF XIV
Of course, there's always a select few that will be a bit more critical.
Push Square: Ironically, the biggest sticking point with King of Fighters XIV is the one aspect designed to make it more appealing to outsiders; the new "Rush" mode allows even complete newbies to look like combo-crunching experts, but it's likely to divide opinion with serious players who prefer to rely on their own skill and knowledge when it comes to unlocking the game's most potent moves.
Gameblog.fr: The King of Fighters XIV is a good fighting game but its complex gameplay may not be enjoyable for novice players. Its graphics are generally not very good, and it shows some irregularities. Despite all these points, the game has a lot of solo content, and a good online mode.
Looking elsewhere on the net, GameRankings.com currently has an 80.38% overall rating. (Note: It actually dropped a bit from 81.25% during the writing of this article).
Some websites, like Eurogamer have done away with using a scoring system, so you'll need to read their article to accurately determine their opinion.
It’s no secret that Street Fighter V struggled right out the gate, and it’s a point which is reiterated for emphasis. Eurogamer stated the following:
"In video games, as in government, one can never underestimate the value of strong opposition; without it, complacency sets in and the urge to deliver deadens — here’s looking at you, Street Fighter V."
The review briefly addresses the visuals — an area that can be quite important to many players. It's a message to fans that the technical depth that’s defined the series remains intact, though the bar of entry is significantly lower.
Most of the FGC’s dedicated players have started actively playing the game. Over the weekend, 'American Hero of EVO' — LI Joe decided to test out his skills and succeeded in taking top 8 at Summer Jam X. It would seem SNK is making a more conscious, assertive effort to get its latest title front and center.
Based on popular opinion, King of Fighters XIV has managed to win the hearts of fans and critics alike. And though opinions may vary in regards to eye candy, depth, and longevity, one point has been made abundantly clear across the board: the franchise can finally go toe-to-toe with Capcom’s prizefighter.