PS2 Video Game Review: The King of Fighters XI

Another entertaining KOF game featuring more characters, more gameplay and definitely a bang for the buck at less than $15!




RELEASE DATE: November 13, 2007

ESRB RATING: T for TEEN – Alcohol Reference, Animated Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence


A new KING OF FIGHTERS tournament has been announced. But, not all is what it seems. Fight through the toughest fighters in the world to unlock the mystery behind the stolen Orochi Seal and Yata mirror.

  • Total of 11 Teams; 47 characters, include 3 all new characters to the franchise.
  • 3 new abilities added: Quick Shift, Saving Shift & Dream Cancel, as well as the new Judgement System and Skill Stocks
  • Exclusive Characters: Mai Shiranui, Tung Fu Rue and EX Kyo Kusanagi
  • Various Modes of Play: Arcade Play, Team Play, Endless Challenge and Practice
  • 14 New Enings and 4 New Stages, exclusive to the console version

The following review was from 2007:

The latest KOF game in the series came during the Holidays and for many of us who have enjoyed the fighting game series for years, not only had it slipped under the radar for many fans but it also was difficult to find at a store, making online purchasing the most viable way to obtain it.

As a big fan of the series, my love of the “Fatal Fury”, “Art of Fighting”, “World Heroes” and “Samurai Showdown” began when I was younger. While long lines of people waited to play “Street Fighter 2” and “Mortal Kombat”, I used my quarters on the Neo Geo machine.

There was something about SNK fighting games that I loved about them. And for “KING OF FIGHTERS”, mainly how it incorporated characters from each game and you had the ultimate fighting game. To make it even more entertaining was how SNK would tweak the games to incorporate skill sets, strikers and most of all, a cheap ass final boss that would take so long to beat and force you to figure out how to beat it.

“THE KING OF FIGHTERS XI” marks the tenth game (the first game was “THE KINGS OF FIGHTERS `94”) and features the second game in the “Tales of Ash” storyline continued from “THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2003” (note: KOF2002/KOF 2003 were released together on the PS2).

In 2003, the game introduced the “multi-shit” and introduced the characters of Ash Crimson, Shen Woo, Duo on and Malin. And a new cult is now trying to reawaken the Orochi. In this game, Mukai from the 2003 game has stolen the Orochi seal and Ash Crimson, well…you get to learn a bit about his true intentions and makes you wonder if he is either a good character or a villain. Also, “THE KING OF FIGHTERS XI” brings back a few old faces as well as a few new characters.

One of the things you will notice when starting up the game is the look and feel. Visual presentation has this anime-like look that is pretty cool to see. The overall animation, seems to look updated in terms of the sprites but doesn’t stray from the 2D fighting look that we have been used to for so long. In fact, as much as I enjoy the 3D KOF “Maximum Impact” games, it’s hard to stray away from an SNK fighter without that 2D sprite feel and overall look.

The backgrounds use 3D and really nice painted artwork and XI definitely looks pretty cool (I know…graphic whores will scoff at this game looking too old school) compared to previous games and how they look now.

As for game mechanics, now there are abilities such as “Quick Shift”, “Saving Shift” and the “Judgement System” and “Skill Stocks”.

For each battle, you select a team leader and which person would then come into the battle (you set who is first, second and third). Quick Shift allows the player to change to another character during battle. This uses up one skill point.

The next one is called “Saving Shift” which makes the character invulnerable while he/she is being hit and changes to a waiting character (uses two skill points).

As for “Dream Cancel”, this is a combo that can be used by the leader of the team. It’s actually a very damaging combo.

Exclusive to the PS2 version are the following characters: Mai Shiranui, Geese Howard, Tung Fu Rue (Fatal Fury), Robert Garcia and Mr. Big (Art of Fighting), Hotaru Futaba (Garou: Mark of the Wolves) and EX Kyo Kusanagi (KOF: NESTS Saga).

I have read that the PAL version of the game is littered with bugs. For the US (NTSC) version, I have not had any problems with this game at all.

The sub boss Shion and final boss battle with Magaki has been beatable and not too frustrating.

The endings have been pretty cool so far using K Team’s K’ and Fatal Fury Team Terry Bogard and Kim Kaphwan for team but mainly K for single play. The ending for the K’ Team (K’, Maxima and Kula Diamond) have been fun to watch.

But all in all, I really like the overall look, roster update and feel of the latest KOF game.

The game goes for $14.99, so if you are a fighting game fan, especially a KOF/SNK fan, definitely purchase this game. It’s a great update to the series so far and for those who haven’t played a KOF since the 90’s, definitely a good time to jump in.

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