Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 48
  2. Negative: 10 out of 48
  1. 49
    This new part in the franchise isn’t what it’s meant to be. The sound is annoying, the graphics are really bad and the gameplay isn’t very extensive.
  2. The menus are needlessly tedious to use.
  3. KOFXII's biggest problem is that the fighting game bar has been raised considerably in the last 12 months, with the release of Street Fighter IV in particular showing how reboots should be done.
  4. The King of Fighters XII is a somewhat disappointing experience compared to the earlier installments. But even though SNK Playmore have toned down almost every aspect of the game, the game mechanics feels solid enough to attract those who enjoy some fighting and hand-drawn sprites.
  5. It offers no challenge for the solo player and is unplayable online, even after the hefty patch. If it wasn’t already hard enough for KoF to compete with Street Fighter, this release has made it even more difficult for it to do so in the future.
  6. If you like online play, King of Fighters does it extremely well. However, with only one single-player offline mode, this title feels a little empty overall.
  7. While the game is a bit thin on play modes and the online battles are a complete write-off at the moment, the fundamental gameplay is still fun and true to the series.
  8. If you're looking for only one full fledged fighter loaded to the brim with goodies, BlazBlue is what you get. Unless you're a hardcore fan, wait a bit before splurging on this $60 game. Give it time to hit $40 or less.
  9. In the end, the sparse content maims Kof XII. Next time around there better be more stages, characters, modes – more everything. You can’t just rip the five-minute-per-play arcade code straight to consoles and expect people to invest the full $60 over a few coins.
  10. 65
    The fighting genre is getting crowded and that doesn't help KoF, unfortunately. Playing KoF is like having your dog fetch the morning paper only it comes back all chewed.
  11. So when it’s all said and done, The King of Fighters XII isn’t going to be placed on a mantle above all other fighting games. It lacks proper net code and not everyone is going to enjoy the pixilated graphics.
  12. 60
    King of Fighters XII is fun to play when you're fighting a buddy locally, but everything else about the game is seriously lacking.
  13. Although a competent beat ‘em up, it lacks not only the accessibility but the depth of Street Fighter IV, the classic gameplay of Mark of the Wolves or Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and the hardcore technical side of Blazblue.
  14. The King of Fighters XII is a typical beat‘em up with a really lame gameplay and short content. The only advantages of the title are the retro music and the nice anime graphic.
  15. The King of Fighters XII is the latest chapter in 15 years of fighting game history. It's also a disappointment.
  16. 47
    The King of Fighters XII doesn't offer you enough for the price of 60 euros. It feels like an old arcade game, that could have been downloaded from the PlayStation Store for a cheaper price. The game should have taken an example to Street Fighter IV, but unfortunately it doesn't.
  17. The fighting at the center of King of Fighters XII is totally fine, but with everything surrounding that action coming off so half-cocked, there are a lot of annoying little barriers to enjoying that fighting.
  18. There’s little here to recommend, even for the most loyal of fans. Instead, don your best shell-suit, hook up your mum’s old telly to the SNES in the loft and play out your childhood battles with the original. It’s far better.
  19. 30
    KoF12's online play is (to put it mildly) atrocious.
  20. 50
    KOF12 fails to seize the windfall in online matchmaking. It uses an archaic, even backwards, system that serves only to frustrate the player.
  21. Don't get me wrong, the game does handle fairly well, and with friends this could be a fun one to share, but single-player is worse than most. Combine a three-player team with the smallest roster KoF has ever had, and you'll have your faves chosen like a routine in no time.
  22. This is a sad day for The King of Fighters. The combat is as taught as ever, but everything else is a comedic misinterpretation of “less is more.”
  23. With 22 fighters, this stands as the worst-attended KOF game to date, and as the series still largely relies on team battles, the limited mix-and-match options are particularly annoying.
  24. In the end, calling this a "rebirth" or even a "reboot" just doesn’t cut it. If one looks hard enough, they can see the ambitions SNK had with this game, sadly outstripped by time and budget.
  25. We'd expect a new KOF to offer more depth. [Oct 2009, p.118]
  26. As it stands, it's just another fighter that tries – and fails – to knock Street Fighter IV off its mighty throne.
  27. The brawling itself is still solid. [Sept 2009, p.112]
  28. The core gameplay of King of Fighters XII is quite good, a thing which is quite hard to mess up nowadays. But the total content of the game is seriously dissapointing, having only an arcade mode and a poorly implemented online mode. There's not much extra material to unlock and the environments are few and dull. King of Fighters XII has not taken over the throne of beat 'em up games this time around, making it only appealing to hardcore KOF fans.
  29. A disappointing series reboot, with the new graphics proving more trouble than they're worth.
  30. A very limited game that shows mistakes in planning and execution, making it much worse than other offerings in this genre (yes, Street Fighter IV, I'm referring to you).
  31. Grey, old, and well beyond retirement, KOF XII is irredeemable. [Oct 2009, p.74]
  32. 82
    Short on content but solid technically. [Issue#182, p.76]
  33. King of Fighters XII looks good, has great sounds and plays really good, but isn’t a top game. The arcade mode is entertaining, but a little to short. The rest of the modes are boring or missing. In the end we can say that King of Fighters XII is only interesting for the few hardcore players who aren’t satisfied with Street Fighter IV.
  34. Right now, there’s way too little here to recommend a full-price purchase to anyone. Die-hards should only buy it when it hits the $20-30 range, and everyone else will likely be satiated by a rental. What’s here is done quite well, but there just isn’t enough of it.
  35. King of Fighters XII proposes to be a new start for the series, and it manages to do it half and half. The graphical change is positive, but it stalls midway, and the price to pay has been losing characters, scenarios and music.
  36. Worth a rental for certain, but only the most diehard King of Fighters fans will want to add this one to their collection.
  37. 68
    King of Fighters XII is not a bad game; it just came out at a bad time. The re-birth of the franchise really feels like ten steps backwards, and it wouldn't be so bad if the competition wasn't so stiff right now.
  38. With a little extra love in the practice mode, some online love and character development, KoFXII could have been a charming fighter for old and new fans alike.
  39. KOF XII is a bad attempt to bring a fan favourite onto next-gen consoles.
  40. If online can be improved King of Fighters XII will be a much better game, in the meantime though stick to the Xbox LIVE version or one of the recent anthology games for your SNK fighting fix.
  41. The King of Fighters XII offers a superb visual section. Unfortunately, the rest of the game gives the sensation to be unfinished: poor artificial intelligence, scarce game modes, online filled with errors.
  42. It really is sad to see a game like King of Fighters XII turn out this way. It has a solid fighting mechanic and great graphics, but the surrounding features are so meager that they kill everything good about the game.
  43. There's no story, no extra modes and merely functional presentation. [Sept 2009, p.77]
  44. It's hard to decide what's more offensive, the massive changes made to the core gameplay that kept this series different or the complete lack of options outside of the useless online play. Either way, fans of and newcomers to the series both lose.
  45. Maybe hardcore fans will appreciate the subtle mechanics at work in KOF XII, but as fighting game fans who aren't devoted enough to count frames of animation and the like, we can't help but feel indifferent. [Aug 2009, p.78]
  46. It's neither as interesting as Street Fighter IV or BlazBlue, or as infinitely playable as Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.
  47. If you were jazzed on the hype that King of Fighters XII initially had, calm down. This game has a pretty face, and that's about it. A competent fighting system with nothing else to offer makes for a pretty short and shallow experience.
  48. 70
    Most gamers may not want to pay full retail price for only a handful of light features, despite how pretty the game is, but if you love your fighters old-school and 2D, The King of Fighters XII is probably worth checking out.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 10
  2. Negative: 5 out of 10
  1. Darkstrike
    Oct 6, 2009
    4
    As a long time fan who has played every single title in the series since 94', I am thoroughly disappointed in the latest over-hyped and under-delivering iteration. The movelists are paltry compared to the hugely enjoyable predecessors (not to mention the exclusion of many fan-favourite characters). The excuse that every single character has been painstakingly redrawn does not make up for the many shortcomings of this game (no final/mid boss, no intuitive training mode, among others). However, based on the game play, potential remains for the next KOF to make it up to its fans. Full Review »
  2. JuanDiez
    Sep 2, 2009
    8
    Just like I thought! It keeps the original flavour of the series, but playable on a PS3. For me it is a must. I have enjoyed SF IV, BlazBlue and then this KoF. Each one has its pros and cons, but definately I am able to find a time to play each title without being bord. Full Review »
  3. JerseyChris
    Aug 1, 2009
    1
    The essence of KOF had is missing... Don't buy this game, just rent it!!! I rented my copy and on the 2nd day finished all the characters. No Boss! No Plot! No Story! No Ending! No Secret Characters! & NO GOOD!!! The only good thing is the detailed graphics... :( Full Review »