The King Of Fighters XV (2020)

k'_127

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I don't mind the graphics and I don't mind the art style. What I would like them to focus more on is throwing finer details here and there. Examples:

better designed stages, interesting NPC's reaction in the backgrounds, character tracks on the sand of the beach stage / metal slug stage, characters interactions with the backgrounds (like in FF3), hidden cameos / SNK trivias .... Etc etc
 

100proof

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I'm of the same opinion. I really think they should've gone the way of Arc System Works. It would have given them the 2D look that fans want and allowed for that gritty classic look. Hopefully in 16...

There are a lot of people who won't be happy even then. Some people just can't accept that financially, 2D simply isn't possible anymore. I would much prefer if they went down the ASW/Guilty Gear route of making proper 3D representations of the old sprite look and build from that. Then again, I also don't mind the way it looks now.

My frustration with 14 (and from the looks of it, 15) is the uneven quality of the animation. Old SNK games, for however you felt about the resolution of their sprites, were always terrifically animated. Now everything is chunky as shit and it's often difficult to tell move transitions apart from one another.
 

SouthtownKid

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There are a lot of people who won't be happy even then. Some people just can't accept that financially, 2D simply isn't possible anymore.
There are good looking 3D fighters. GREAT looking 3D fighters. This isn't one of them. Of all the major developers producing fighting games around the world, this is by far the furthest away from good looking. In fact, you'd probably have to go back two entire console generations-- POSSIBLY THREE-- to find a less impressive looking 3D fighter from any major developer other than SNK. It's ridiculous. Maximum Impact 2 looked like it belonged on PS2 a billion times more than KOF XV looks like it belongs on PS5.
 

100proof

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There are good looking 3D fighters. GREAT looking 3D fighters. This isn't one of them. Of all the major developers producing fighting games around the world, this is by far the furthest away from good looking. In fact, you'd probably have to go back two entire console generations-- POSSIBLY THREE-- to find a less impressive looking 3D fighter from any major developer other than SNK. It's ridiculous. Maximum Impact 2 looked like it belonged on PS2 a billion times more than KOF XV looks like it belongs on PS5.

No argument with anything you're saying. 15 looks like a PS3/360 game at best. However, a) I'd argue SNK hasn't been a major developer in 20 years and b) I just don't think that inherently makes it a bad game. SNK has been making below average looking games from a technical perspective for 25 years (with the possible exception of MotW). Ultimately, all I care about is that it plays well and 14 was pretty good on that front even if it largely just ripped off 2002. Max Impact 2 may have looked okay for its time but it animated and played like reheated dogshit.

That being said, the animation in 14/15 just isn't smooth enough for a KoF game... especially one that looks as middling as these games look.
 

Taiso

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At this point they should just hire Arc System Works to skin the visuals and handle the art direction. The Guilty Gear games are more SNK than SNK itself.
 

Taiso

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I feel like SNK was limiting itself in terms of technology because they were working with aging architecture and an adherence to a particular art aesthetic and creative direction.

But with current gen consoles, trying to make a 3D version of a charming, antiquated aesthetic is a directorial fail. It could also be that no one at SNK can do better with Xbox 1 and PS4 era technology and that they don't have the money to hire people that can do it or even teach it.

In the past, it was a kind of 'living nostalgia' that we were all existing inside of. Today, it just looks like ineptitude. So there is a difference.

The digital age has preserved far too much of the past to where we're not allowed to forget what should be forgotten. I'm not talking about bad historical precedent or lessons from our mistakes. I'm talking about stuff like anonymous Christmas gathering videos from the late 80s, workout videos that were on VHS and have been transferre to Youtube or Soundcloud recordings of weird cult crystal meditation scams.

This shit haunts us now, digital ghosts in the machine that make us pine for 'the good old days'. It's like when people say that they feel like they lived in the 50s even though they may not have been born until the 70s. We aren't allowed to look back wistfully, take only the good things from those eras and use those to shape a better world by pruning the mistakes off. It all exists forever and stalks our collective consciousness. It's eerie, and it's not how we're supposed to remember shit.

SNK is kind of like that to me now. I still love my memory of it, but it's fair to say that I'm more excited to fire up the home cart system and actually play Fatal Fury 3 or Real Bout Fatal Fury over playing a new game that botches its attempt to revive those old affections. And I certainly wouldn't post vids of those sessions. It's definitely a 'you had to be there' kind of feel. That's what makes it special.

Like arcades. People that go to vintage video arcades today don't understand that it wasn't just a thing you could dip into and dip out of at your leisure; it's not just that room with all those glowing machines. It's the house you lived in, the car you rode in or the bike you rode on, the doors to the mall and the marquees above them, the wood tile floors, the fake palm tree islands, the pay phones, the t-shirt transfer stores, the food courts, the Bergner Weise, the Kay-Bee Toys, the Waldenbooks, the Orange Bowl, the Recordtown and Musicland...these things are all interconnected and to me, they are a verbal history handed down, not something so quaint that it can be captured on a video camera and uploaded for our sampling. Pictures of the past are things you are sitting down with and sharing with others. Communicating context to people that didn't live it is the only way it retains its magic.

So if you want to share an old Neo game with someone who wasn't there, sit down with them and play the games with them, and share your stories. Don't just tell them to download a ROM or play a PS2 compilation. That is meaningless advice.
 
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FTL

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I feel like SNK was limiting itself in terms of technology because they were working with aging architecture and an adherence to a particular art aesthetic and creative direction.

But with current gen consoles, trying to make a 3D version of a charming, antiquated aesthetic is a directorial fail. It could also be that no one at SNK can do better with Xbox 1 and PS4 era technology and that they don't have the money to hire people that can do it or even teach it.

In the past, it was a kind of 'living nostalgia' that we were all existing inside of. Today, it just looks like ineptitude. So there is a difference.

The digital age has preserved far too much of the past to where we're not allowed to forget what should be forgotten. I'm not talking about bad historical precedent or lessons from our mistakes. I'm talking about stuff like anonymous Christmas gathering videos from the late 80s, workout videos that were on VHS and have been transferre to Youtube or Soundcloud recordings of weird cult crystal meditation scams.

This shit haunts us now, digital ghosts in the machine that make us pine for 'the good old days'. It's like when people say that they feel like they lived in the 50s even though they may not have been born until the 70s. We aren't allowed to look back wistfully, take only the good things from those eras and use those to shape a better world by pruning the mistakes off. It all exists forever and stalks our collective consciousness. It's eerie, and it's not how we're supposed to remember shit.

SNK is kind of like that to me now. I still love my memory of it, but it's fair to say that I'm more excited to fire up the home cart system and actually play Fatal Fury 3 or Real Bout Fatal Fury over playing a new game that botches its attempt to revive those old affections. And I certainly wouldn't post vids of those sessions. It's definitely a 'you had to be there' kind of feel. That's what makes it special.

Like arcades. People that go to vintage video arcades today don't understand that it wasn't just a thing you could dip into and dip out of at your leisure; it's not just that room with all those glowing machines. It's the house you lived in, the car you rode in or the bike you rode on, the doors to the mall and the marquees above them, the wood tile floors, the fake palm tree islands, the pay phones, the t-shirt transfer stores, the food courts, the Bergner Weise, the Kay-Bee Toys, the Waldenbooks, the Orange Bowl, the Recordtown and Musicland...these things are all interconnected and to me, they are a verbal history handed down, not something so quaint that it can be captured on a video camera and uploaded for our sampling. Pictures of the past are things you are sitting down with and sharing with others. Communicating context to people that didn't live it is the only way it retains its magic.

So if you want to share an old Neo game with someone who wasn't there, sit down with them and play the games with them, and share your stories. Don't just tell them to download a ROM or play a PS2 compilation. That is meaningless advice.
Great post.
I agree with your words.
 

Fygee

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Next up. I'm all for hunchback Kriz.

I'm thinking Kula with the flared sleeve and less boobular boobs.

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ShaolinAce

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Its Athena


Pretty decently happy about her trailer. She is my main in alot of the games. All about that psycho ball. All in all, I don't mind this iteration
 

Fygee

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Her design looks great. Definitely didn't expect her to be teamed with Mai and Yuri though. Does that mean Kensou and Chin were gettisoned out of an airlock, or will still have the Psycho Soldier team with someone else in her place?

Bao, Kensou, and Chin would be the least played KOF team ever.
 

Stuart989

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Weakest looking unreal 4 fighting game by a mile, and this is a 2022 game? Haha...it will look even more outdated by the time it comes out. Samurai showdown looks better than this with better animations and backgrounds. KOF 15 looks very tacky because some characters are a copy and paste job from kof 14, while some characters look revamped. The only redeeming thing about this game is the potential rollback netcode.
 

Mr. Karate II

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I have completely re-read this discussion.

So Meitenkun's voice actor is Whip, ok.
Whip's Japanese voice actress is Shiho Kikuchi (1972), who also played Jun Kazama and Kunimitsu within 'Tekken 2' and the first 'Tag Tournament' (find a more detailed list of her animated performances here), while Meitenkun is dubbed by Seira Ryū (1985), who voiced Shingo Tsukino (the brother of the main character Usagi) in 'Sailor Moon Crystal'.

One more thing.

Hey whats up Shito, I assume you’re referring to the unlockable cards from kof-i 2012? The initial release of that game was an iOS exclusive along with "King of Fighters Encounter"** and was, oddly enough, the only way to try out the kof13 engine outside of arcades prior to the eventual console release that followed much later (and was the sole reason I purchased an iphone at the time). The art cards took absolutely forever to unlock since you spent points to pick them at random and I kept hoping that a lot of the art and sprites from that game were teasers for the eventual King of Fighters XIV sequel, but sadly, that was not the case and KOF XIV opted for completely different visuals due to the difficulty of the kof13 sprite process (render in 3d, then paint over each frame, etc).

Soooo many characters were teased in the new kofxiii sprite style.

Adelheid, Geese, Heidern, Oswald, Botan, Momoko, Shingo, Whip, the list went on:

xnxAbVA.png


**Information on the old King of Fighters Encounter game (had a ton of fun playing this when it came out):
https://www.siliconera.com/the-king-of-fighters-encounter-brings-streetpass-battles-to-iphone/

I remember that you wrote an anecdote about the possible prototypal version of Adelheid with green flames like those Ash's: unfortunately your comment was lost during the transfer, could you rewrite it again as if you were the first time?

Because I found a detail in 'KOF '98' that might confirm what you were told at the time.

They truly brought Mai back to her original model: Mine Fujiko.
I knew that the developers had conceived the sensual curves of Mai based on two famous 'idols' who really existed in that period: one of them among other things died in 2008 due to pneumonia, while is Lien Neville from 'Maximum Impact', who always seemed to me to be a Fujiko Mine in biker version (by the way, in this three-dimensional series Geese Howard also has an alternative costume based on the red jacket of Lupin III [is not a something immediately available, because it is necessary to first amateurishly modify the colors of this character's elegant dress]).

The initial part of this trailer is a tribute to the introductory video of 'Art of Fighting 3' (1996).


View attachment 49275
Damn, Ryo still in the same busted orange gi. They could’ve given him B1 gear. And Robert’s busted John Williams mustache?

This was disappoint.
Since when did Robert get a porn stache? Where was I when this happened?
I thought Robert's facial hair and costume were from NGBC, which itself is an evolution of his look from AOF 3. He had the blue and white outfit in AOF 3 but not the goat.

If I'm recalling it right. Been so long.
Ryo looks like he came straight out of gears of war, terrible. Robert's face is too child like and the facial hair doesn't fit at all.
As many of you already know, basically the original Robert was based on Stevel Seagal (even if for the USA version of the first 'Art of Fighting' in AES format, Shinkiro had drawn him as Jean-Claude Van Dame), however, nowadays, the figures of these actors are completely obsolete and decayed, so, for 'KOF XIV' Robert has undergone a complete process of reworking; for the face, the hair and the moustache they have took his cue from Orlando Bloom when he wore his hair long (see the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' period); while the suit to me has always seemed similar to the one worn by Johnny Depp when he advertised the perfume 'Sauvage' by Dior (even if they have some differences like color of the pants and the fact that Robert is wearing of the gloves for example).


Vanessa is definitely the worst looking one thus far. Her face looks kind of janky for some reason. I don't mind the striped pants personally, but they're definitely a bold look. I think she needed more time in the oven before releasing the trailer.
Right now for me the worst makeover of 'KOF XV' is definitely Chizuru Kagura and it's not a three dimensional problem, because the model of 'The King of Fighter ALLSTAR' (2018), it came out well for being hosted on a cell phone.


By the way, how can you be a secret agent team if you're announcing the fact that you're secret agents to the world?
I think all these names are a classification that SNK does for the simple marketing, rather than being a title that the characters actually use within of their world.

Finding out The Kid's favorite KOF character is Vanessa made me go :spock:
Why? Vanessa if well drawn/animated is a great character to see/play: I would have been more shocked if he had said that 'Terry Bogard is a shitty character and that Sho Hayate is a definitely better protagonist than him!' (:spock:).

hbseTuu.gif


Its Athena


Pretty decently happy about her trailer. She is my main in alot of the games. All about that psycho ball. All in all, I don't mind this iteration
I like how they've made the hair much more detailed, plus, the face is definitely improved as well (in 2016 it was really horrible): they still haven't reached the extreme limit that three dimensions can offer, but at least it is clear that they've invested money and accumulated a lot more experience compared to previous years.

2016

Vr9bIPM.jpg


2022

quLbuXg.jpg
 
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Fygee

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Right now for me the worst makeover of 'KOF XV' is definitely Chizuru Kagura and it's not a three dimensional problem, because the model of 'The King of Fighter ALLSTAR' (2018), it came out well for being hosted on a cell phone.

I think all these names are a classification that SNK does for the simple marketing, rather than being a title that the characters actually use within of their world.
She looks just fine to me. Definitely more detail than the ALLSTAR version. But you know, opinions and all that.

And yeah, I get the practical reason why they were named that, I just thought it was funny. Historically though, whatever team names SNK's marketing comes up with are also used "in-world" too, albiet usually in media outside of the game itself (such as comics and whatnot).

I'm on board with you as far as the general improvement in graphics. The differences between Athena in 14 and 15 are huge, and really show how much better everything looks. On top of that the stages are much better, and the overall color scheme is more vibrant which is nice considering how dull 14's colors often were.

Fundamentally, people complaining about the graphics of KOF on a technical level is just funny to me. Since the mid-90s KOF has always been "behind the times" on a technical level. Still looked great though (for the most part, up until 01 and 02 looking ugly as sin). Point being, KOF has never been on the bleeding edge of graphics, and it likely never will be.
 

Poonman

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Graphics aside, this is an embarassing roster so far.

A highschool kid liking kof94-96 in the mid 90s? Basically a suburban arcade rat who hangs with his buddies after school or whatever.
Remember: this was a game where rugal was murdering people, encasing them in gold, and ripping at his own chest with his cybernetic arm.


A modern kid who will get into THIS kof though?
Probably an autist fag who gets his ass kicked a lot.

I know this was never the coolest thing to be into but snk is feeling less like anime and more like hentai, if that makes any sense.

Haven't cared for this series since 13, bought 14 just to support the company but now after seeing that Athena trailer I'm definitely disinterested in this game or the direction it's taking.
 

Fygee

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What did you expect from Athena's trailer? Of course it's going to be "animu" as all hell since that's what her character is all about.

And as far as it feeling more like hentai, when has SNK ever been shy about showing skin or hentai body types? Their main, OG female character is a half naked woman with cartoonishly bouncing tits. I dunno, maybe I'm not getting your point there.
 

Poonman

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What did you expect from Athena's trailer? Of course it's going to be "animu" as all hell since that's what her character is all about.

And as far as it feeling more like hentai, when has SNK ever been shy about showing skin or hentai body types? Their main, OG female character is a half naked woman with cartoonishly bouncing tits. I dunno, maybe I'm not getting your point there.
I dunno man, it's just the tone and presentation of these games....very cartoonish and puerile. Same thing with street fighter 4 and onwards.

The T&A was always a part of SNK and I never had a problem with it. I guess it's the delivery/placement of it, knawmean?

Basaras naked ghost wife = cool

Iroha in a maid outfit breaking the third wall to bow to her master(tasuke) not cool. Like physically embarassing.

Sorry if you take offense, but annoying little girl characters are fucking stupid.
Luong, on the other hand, is a bitch done right...so credit to whatever artist came up with her.
 

lachlan

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I dunno man, it's just the tone and presentation of these games....very cartoonish and puerile. Same thing with street fighter 4 and onwards.

The T&A was always a part of SNK and I never had a problem with it. I guess it's the delivery/placement of it, knawmean?

Basaras naked ghost wife = cool

Iroha in a maid outfit breaking the third wall to bow to her master(tasuke) not cool. Like physically embarassing.

Sorry if you take offense, but annoying little girl characters are fucking stupid.
Luong, on the other hand, is a bitch done right...so credit to whatever artist came up with her.
I see where you're coming from, y'know the western perspective. However this sort of shit is so ingrained in Japanese media it's beyond words. I literally walked past a store in Tokyo with a guy on a megaphone promoting a high school hentai game with a trailer running on a huge screen which was pretty much pornographic. All that and it was on a main street with people everywhere but no one could care less.

What we think of as spergservice seems normal there... that or accepted. Id prepare my anus for more of this stuff.
 

Mr. Karate II

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I'm on board with you as far as the general improvement in graphics. The differences between Athena in 14 and 15 are huge, and really show how much better everything looks. On top of that the stages are much better, and the overall color scheme is more vibrant which is nice considering how dull 14's colors often were.
In this regard we feel the same way, Athena in 'KOF XIV' looked like a exemplary of reptilian engaged in cosplaying a typical Japanese schoolgirl, while in 'KOF XV' she's simply a cute girl you might meet on the weekend.

Yes, the backdrops of 'KOF XIV' were really turned off: they gave a sad sense of winter period (where darkness is master and the intensity of sunlight is much weaker compared to subsequent seasons).

Anyway, it must be said that at least the latter was a stylistic choice on the part of the programmers, because in 2017 the members of SNK staff interviewed by 4Gamer, they stated that were inspired by the color palette used at the time by 'The King of Fighters' 94', which had a very dark coloring because of the graphic designer called as Mitsuo Kodama.

They didn't go with cell-shaded graphics because Oda and Kuroki's visual image of the KOF series is that of KOF94. (Note: The original KOF94 had an almost metallic gloss to its graphics because Irem's Mitsuo Kodama (R-Type, Last Resort) worked on it after moving to SNK. He's now the president of K2.) Neo_G agrees that Neo Geo games back then had a look that tried to imitate reality through pixels. According to Oda, the KOF series always had tall un-SD'ed characters up until 13, which was more anime-style. But because KOF13's been played for 6 years, there were people saying that the next KOF would be better if it looked anime.

8mzQOne.jpg


Original Source:
4Gamer goes No Holds Barred with KOFXIV Devs.

Sometimes it's good not to always chase the past: especially if they do not have the skills necessary to replicate the same level achieved with previous works and fortunately in this new chapter they opened their eyes, because they have finally started to use the technique of cel shading (combined with the resources provided by the Unreal Engine 4), in addition, in this chapter Eisuke Ogura has been promoted from illustrator to Creative Director and results have already begun to see, in fact, as you have already said too, now every background of 'XV' has finally started to take on color.

RGxKkZW.png


Original source of this image.

Fundamentally, people complaining about the graphics of KOF on a technical level is just funny to me. Since the mid-90s KOF has always been "behind the times" on a technical level. Still looked great though (for the most part, up until 01 and 02 looking ugly as sin). Point being, KOF has never been on the bleeding edge of graphics, and it likely never will be.
Here I beg to disagree, initially 'KOF' had a graphics in step with the times, but simply was not the 3D which in that historical period was becoming the new standard, however, I have never seen the three dimensions as a direct evolution of the 2D, because the way to communicate of these graphics is totally different, so I have always considered them as two parallel tracks, in fact, at that time, even the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, which have represented part of the apex of the home market, they never managed to churn out a NEOGEO conversion that could be defined as perfect or even superior to the original, because basically these platforms had little Ram available and therefore were always forced to cut animations and details of the games previously published on MVS/AES (not to mention the additional loading times [derived from the low speed of optical drives of that period]).

4vQACSJ.jpg


The King of Fighters '97: Neo Geo vs CD vs PS1 vs Saturn vs NGP Comparison.

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The King of Fighters '96: Neo Geo vs CD vs PS1 vs Saturn vs Game Boy Comparison.

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The King of Fighters '95: Neo Geo vs CD vs PS1 vs Saturn vs Game Boy Comparison.

For me the graphics of 'The King of Fighters' began to stink of old starting from 'KOF '99', because by then that style had already said everything it had to say and under normal economic conditions, this series would have needed a drastic change: similar to that seen in 'Capcom vs. SNK'.


But we all know the financial problems that the SNK faced during that time, so for ten years it were basically an indie company releasing low-resolution games exclusively for their supporters, until in 2009/2010, out of pride they decided to gamble everything and they released the best pseudo 2D game of that generation.


However, that project it cost too much and if 'KOF XIII' hadn't sold enough, today SNK wouldn't even exist anymore, so they were forced to convert to 3D: in which they had practically no competence, but that in these years they are building through their experience in the field (trying to sit again on the table of bigger companies).

Their graduation from maturity is still a long way off, but the new 'Samurai Spirits' after all it came out well.

bglqet9.jpg


PzakXtZ.jpg


3vQto60.jpg


RWCHcPs.jpg
 
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Poonman

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Ralfakick

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This one has me scratching my head.

The dude is fucking THICC with lunchpail hands.
Goro is just big all around. Physique looks like Takuma or Silber but this guy isn't wearing a karate gi and the waistline is too thin.....maybe a new character finally?


Maybe it's Brian battler lmfao.
Fuck yeah hope the true American team is back.
 

Fygee

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I dunno man, it's just the tone and presentation of these games....very cartoonish and puerile. Same thing with street fighter 4 and onwards.

The T&A was always a part of SNK and I never had a problem with it. I guess it's the delivery/placement of it, knawmean?

Basaras naked ghost wife = cool

Iroha in a maid outfit breaking the third wall to bow to her master(tasuke) not cool. Like physically embarassing.

Sorry if you take offense, but annoying little girl characters are fucking stupid.
Luong, on the other hand, is a bitch done right...so credit to whatever artist came up with her.
I kinda get what you're saying. Personally I prefer the more "stylistic realism" of ye olde Neo-Geo era KOFs. but there's always been a cartoonish element to them as well. I think it would be pretty tough to achieve that without it looking too much like a Netherealm Studios game. That said, KOF 15 doesn't hit me in the same way it's hitting you. To me it looks stylized, semi-realistic with some anime cues for certain characters. I dig it, though I do think those anime cues could use some toning down.

If they could pull something off where it looks like Hiroaki's character art from KOF 2000, then to me that would be the best way to go.

I'm with you on Iroha. That level of blatant, yucky fan service for a series like Samurai Shodown was completely out of place.

Admittedly I have a soft spot for Athena just because she was literally the first ever SNK character I ever became familiar with, but otherwise I'm not into those types (e.g. Momoko and her ilk).
 
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