It has been a long, long time coming but yesterday SNK finally revealed what they have been working on for so long. The first, and biggest, announcement was the first official reveal of King of Fighters 15. Sporting a much improved art style from King of Fighters 14, the game looks in the same vein as the newest Samurai Shodown, but a touch better. We didn’t get to see any real gameplay, most of what we saw of characters in motion were either intro or victory scenes, or cinematic super moves.
The first character we see in the trailer is Shun’ei, the new protagonist of the game returning from King of Fighters 14. We also get to see small glimpses of Kyo, Benimaru, Leona, K’, and Mai. The game also appears to have some sort of story mode, as we get a few looks at some fully cinematic cutscenes. The game is set to release sometime this year in 2021 and another trailer is set to release next week. Hopefully that trailer will be entirely focused on gameplay and show off what new and/or returning systems will be making it into the game.
We then have a brief talk with Yasuyuki Oda, the producer of King of Fighters 15, as well as Eisuke Ogura, the creative director of the game. During which it was revealed that an animated promotional short is being made for the game directed by the legendary Masami Obari. Obari also helmed the Fatal Fury movie from 1994, as well as many other beloved anime series. Then the same trailer for King of Fighters 14 Ultimate Edition is shown again, which we covered here.
The Nation of Rollbackia rises
The last big King of Fighters related announcement was that King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match is coming to PlayStation 4. Not just that though, this is the same version that released on Steam last year with rollback netcode. Between this and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, it feels like eastern fighting game developers are finally beginning to take rollback seriously. No release date for 2002 was given other than a vague “coming soon.” With putting so much emphasis on rollback now, it would be almost suicidal for King of Fighters 15 to not include it as well. Unfortunately, no news on that front was given.
Last up was the reveal of the third season pass for Samurai Shodown. The first character that will be added to the game is Cham Cham, a fan favorite character and younger sister to Tam Tam. She will release in mid-March of this year alongside a big balance update and patch to the game. Not only will characters and overall balance be tweaked in this new patch, but for the first time ever in the series’ history, a Guard Crush mechanic will be added to the game. No further information was given on how this new mechanic works exactly, but given the already incredibly offensive nature of the game, this will be sure to drastically change how the game is played.
The second character being added is Hibiki Takane from The Last Blade 2, the other weapon based 2D fighter from SNK. After the trailer, the game’s director Hayato Konya acknowledges that although Samurai Shodown and The Last Blade play radically differently, Hibiki will be adjusted to fit into the world of Samurai Shodown. Two more characters will be joining season pass 3, but who they are and when they will be announced was not said at this time.
Remember Dream Cancels?
SNK is up to some big things this year, and next week we will hopefully see some actual gameplay from King of Fighters 15. King of Fighters 14 Ultimate Edition is available for pre order right now for Europe and Japan, but nothing for the US just yet. It is scheduled to release only digitally in the US on January 20. Samurai Shodown however is available on every platform imaginable, so take your pick.