i have been on a two day King of Fighters XII binge and i can tell you that
A: in my opinion it is not the best looking most animated game ever! its heavily animated thats fo sho but its guilty gear style highly animated which means choppy and fluid at the same time. not sf3 animated, which is fluid and beautiful at the same time and yes i know this game is not sf3 but sf3 is famous for its beautiful animation therefore it seems to be the only game whos animation can be compared to this new kof. also the shading on every single character is annoying as fuck. they all look like they are fighting in a cave entrance where just a little light is able to hit their bodies. they all lack beautiful colors which is interesting since every single background and all the cut scenes are chalk full of colorful people and buildings.
B: my fears where realized as this game does not play at all like a kof game fans know and love. of course i knew this would be the case with games like sf4 being made so that people with no skill at the game can suddenly beast without effort and still making millions of bucks regardless of its obvious shortcomings. this game is no exception. very simple and sooooooo easy to combo in. but at the end of the day the only thing i don’t like about the game play is that its slow (which is funny becouse running and movement in the game is hella fast but the attack come out slow as fuck…terry’s crack shoot, uuuuhg!) and dosent feel like kof at all. it will trick many a fan in the beginning though. much like sf4 tricked many people into believing that it played like a typical sf game which it surly does not.
C: not enough characters for a kof game. if this was any other fighting game then of course there would be no problem but we are talking about the king of fighting game rosters. there are so few characters in this game that you will and i mean WILL get bored with it as soon as you can say kof three times in a row. there are some interesting game play mechanics, but at the end of the day more than half of the characters we know and love are not in this game. i know that it takes these guys like months and months to make one character so i cant really blame them for the low roster count. i can however pass on (the home version not the arcade) this obviously half done game until a full roster more kof like upgrade comes out in the future cause this my friends is a test version.
an added note is that i have played the game in 4 (which is admittedly isn’t a lot) different arcades fairly spaced from one another and no one, NO ONE is playing the game except me it feels like. no ones even standing around the machine and looking at the game! even basara got more attention than this game. my guess is that it is not good enough just yet for the fans. i am sure snk will continue their normal practice of listening to their fans and fix this shit up asap cause at this rate they aint gonna be makin any money off of this latest effort.
interesting that i can find more people online for kof98 ultimate match or kof 2002 unlimited match than i can find in a physical arcade here in japan for kof xii.
this game is just starting and ill play it more to see if my feelings will change about it. and of course these are my early opinions. just wanted to share.