This fighting game series left us with a big room for improvement with King of Fighters XII. But now, The King of Fighters XIII is here, and it addresses all of the issues the previous installment faced.
As with its predecessors, The King of Fighters XIII features one-on-one fighting between two three-person teams. When one fighter goes down, the next is subbed in. With four types of jumps and a roll that can pass through anything but throws, it takes practice to navigate the battlefield quickly and efficiently.
There are three main gauges to manage in the game: power, hyperdrive, and guard. To explain these quickly, the power gauge focuses on offense; it is used for enhancing special attacks. Next, the hyperdrive gauge is for being cool. You can use this meter to cancel certain special attacks into others or activate hyperdrive mode. In this mode, your character can link together moves and build combos that aren’t otherwise possible. Finally, the guard gauge depletes as you block attacks. If you let it run out, your character enters a vulnerable state.
Thankfully, XIII does not repeat XII’s mistakes as it now offers an online experience that’s smooth and stable, provided you find an opponent in the three-to-four green-bar range. If you fall below that, you’ll encounter noticeable performance dips. When you finish, you can choose to save that match’s replay for future viewing.