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In a recent interview with Famitsu series director Yasuyuki Oda shared some more information on The King of Fighters XIV’s roster.
The King of Fighters XIV is the latest installment and true successor to the main (numbered) series, the game visuals have evolved into 3D graphics, however rest assured that The King of Fighters XIV keeps the classic 2D gameplay and three-on-three team battle game system.
Oda originally joined SNK in 1993 and was placed in R&D Division 1 which mainly did the “Fatal Fury” and “Art of Fighting” series. He left SNK when the company went in its fiasco near the end of the 20th century. Then in 2014, Oda came back together with other ex-SNK staffs to work on KOFXIV. So in other words, KOFXIV is being developed by a team consisting of core ex-SNK staffs that’ve reunited as well as new excellent dev members.
Famitsu asked Oda if there were internal discussions about the games new visual style. Oda responded “It was already decided that we’d be developing for the high-end enviornment so it was never a debate. However, even though we’ve gathered good staff, we don’t have the technology/knowledge base as SNKPlaymore yet [for doing 3D], and that’s something we’ll need to do building up from this project.” He then continues “Back in our days, the Neo Geo had restrictiona and we only had the option of going by pixel art. But even back then, there were high-quality 3D games like “Virtua Fighter”, and it was certainly something I wanted to try if we had a good PCB. 2D pixel art is still something that remains as a culture, and I know there’s a lot of people that like them. I like them too. But on the other hand as a developer, there’s always the unconfortable feeling that there’s no tomorrow if you can’t keep up with the times, the progress, and new technology. So it’s a hard decision.”
And now on to the good part, Famitsu asked Oda if all 50 characters will be playable on the game’s launch.
“Don’t worry about that. You’ll be able to play all 50 characters on launch. It’s not going to be a game where you can only use a few characters at launch and the roster will gradually increase. Make sure you write that clearly (laughs). After all, it’s not a KOF if doesn’t have many characters.”
The interview can be summarised into the following key subjects:
– All 50 characters will be playable at launch/release. Roster is already solid.
– Additional characters/dlc is undecided
– All voices have already been recorded. Some VAs will be different from before due to various circumstances.
– Online will feature a 3on3 mode where 6 players each control a character when it’s their turn. Same characters will be allowed (at current planning stage)
– Development went full throttle in spring 2014.
– Project started out after company CEO (Kawasaki?) suddenly said in 2013, “We’re gonna be #1 in [fighting] games again!”.
– Oda comes from the former SNK R&D Division 1, aka the “Fatal Fury/AOF dev team”.
– A bunch of other staff from R&D Division 1 have also returned to work on the game; the dev team is a mix of seasoned and new staff
– All the returning staff have been active in the front line, meaning no washed out staff.
– Game is returning to its roots in terms of graphics with “sharp looks on the characters”
– Attention is being given to game balance and controls
– Fighting game aspect for both offline and online are priority, but single player/story mode experience will also be given focus
– Whether game will be updated by versions (ala SF4) or go by sequels (KOF15,16) is still undecided, but it’ll be the beginning of another new saga in terms of storyline
The King of Fighters will release in 2016 for PlayStation 4.