When SNK showed off The King of Fighters XII at arcade show AOU in Japan and industry event GDC in San Francisco, the unanimous reply was: Nice cell shading. That, or it's "just" hi-res 2D. Thing is, that's totally incorrect. And for SNK, who's been working on the game for the past three years, frustrating! Today, I checked out the game's latest build at SNK's Osaka office and saw a few stages that haven't been revealed. Screens weren't available, but there was a French stage, complete with fat, rich women and an Egyptian one that had loyal subjects worshiping before the Pharaoh. Colorful stuff and classic SNK. The company set out to make the ultimate 2D fighter — unparalleled by anything else out there, attempting not only to raise the bar, but snap it in half. KOFXII producer Masaaki Kukino tells Kotaku:
"We knew it was going to be hard going in," says Kukino. "But we wanted to make the ultimate 2D fighting game." Up close, that meticulous attention to detail becomes apparent, and you're always noticing a flourish here or a nice touch there. Every inch of the screen has something interesting going on. "We wanted the look of the game to have more in common with manga or anime," Kukino adds. With KoFXII, it looks like SNK hasn't only created another stylized 2D fighter, but this time, a genuine work of art.